The Sleepy Trains of Tokyo 眠くなる東京の電車

As I was taking the train this morning I was dumbfounded by the fact that on my particular carriage every single person was sleeping, or at least was pretending to.
今朝、私が電車に乗っていたとき、私はあぜんとしてしまいました。それは、私のいる車両の全員が眠っているか、あるいは、少なくとも眠ったふりをしていた からです。

Admittedly it was morning, but this was just slightly depressing.

My line seems to be one of the most sleep-encouraging of any I have ever ridden in my six years in Tokyo.     
私の乗った路線は、6年間東京で利用してきた路線の中で最も眠気をもよおすように 思えます。

On my carriage it wasn’t packed, every eight-passenger seat was occupied, and I was the only one not slumped and dozing.

What is the special ability that the Japanese have of being able to sleep within seconds of sitting?                   

I have had people sit right  next to me and be jiggling up and down against me in their instant states of slumber on my poor shoulder quicker than you can say ‘umm excuse me, would you mind jiggling on someone else?’         

If you have lived and breathed your entire life in Japan, you have probably taken thousands of trains in your lifetime, because let’s face it Japanese people on the whole do live longer than the rest of us.
もしあなたが日本に住み、一生そこで生活していくのであれば、少なくとも、何千回も電車に乗ることになるでしょう。なぜなら、実際、日本人は私たちより ずっと長生きするのです。

Maybe there is a certain relaxed attitude when it comes to the Japanese and their taking of trains.

For them it seems the train is simply a larger part of themselves, as they spend as much time on it as they do in their own living rooms.                         
彼らは自分の居間で過ごす時間より、電車の中で過 ごす時間のほうがずっと長いので、電車は彼らにとって生活の大きな部分を占めているようです。

I come from a country, New Zealand, where one’s personal space is large.

We have a country that is relatively the same size but with a lot fewer people (unless we counted the sheep which would put the numbers almost on a par!).
日本とほとんど同じ大きさですが、人口はずっと少ないです(人口と同じくらいの 数の羊を入れなければ)。

So when it comes to that personal space we never have moments of invading others’
by accident.                                                                    

I am not saying that my fellow foreigners don’t annoy in other situations.

Take for example a sporting event;
the best example in New Zealand being a rugby match.
ニュージーランドではラグビーの試合がその良い 例です。

There, certainly the crowd in general seems to also have problems, especially after consuming far too much beer and then trying to make it to the toilet.

The Japanese certainly don’t have the same problems at the sumo making their way to the restrooms.

Sure the occasional ojisan here and there might have one too many beers and get a bit boisterous, but not the way that the young male-populace do in New Zealand, where they get unnecessarily aggressive or even pick a fight.
日本のおじさんたちは、時々あちこちでビールを飲み過ぎて少し荒々しくなるかもしれません。しかし、不必要に攻撃的になり、けんかさえも始めるニュージー ランドの若い男たちと同じではありません。

The fact that in so many public spaces I can feel completely safe and far removed from harm is one of the many wonderful things that make up the Japan experience.

Trains for better or worse are a necessary part of living and working in Tokyo, and in a way the Japanese are smart when it comes to them.

Just get on your local Chuo or Yamanote lines and take some siesta time.

In terms of time management it makes perfect sense and certainly kills two birds with one stone; taking care both of commuting and stacking up on those Zzz’s.

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