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Japanese train station safety barriers

17 Mar

Many things in Japan are high-tech far beyond other countries…such as toilets and bathtubs, vending machines, etc.

And the “accessibility” for the handicapped in Japan has become quite good…for example, braille is on many things here including money, alcohol and shampoo (Click here to read a post I wrote about that.)

But there was one thing that I also should be changed…the lack of safety barriers on train and subway platforms.

Thankfully there aren’t very many cases…but on occasion, drunk, blind or careless people have fallen off of the platforms.
And, unfortunately, suicidal people have jumped from them onto the path of oncoming trains.

But, of course, I’m not the only who noticed this problem and more and more train stations are installing safety barriers to keep people from falling (or jumping) from the platforms.
Eventually all of the train stations in Japan will have them!

And, of course, train station platform safety barriers in Japan are high-tech.

Check out this video:

(hat tip: RocketNews24)

Tragedy averted!

15 Jan

An eleven-year-old Japanese girl went out alone at about 4PM last Saturday to walk her dog. Her dog returned home alone about forty-minutes later.
Of course her parents were worried sick and called the police when they couldn’t find her after two hours of searching.
The search for the child has been on the TV news since then.

But finally good news…the girl had been lost but she showed up safe at a 交番 (police “box”) about 20km from her house early this morning!

A Japanese 交番 (police box).

2013 in 98 seconds

26 Dec

Here is the biggest news stories of 2013 for those of us in Japan:

Were all of these news stories in your country? What was the biggest news of 2013 where you live?

1963.11.22.12:30

22 Nov

It’s November 22nd (2013). Former U.S. president John F. Kennedy was assassinated fifty years ago today.

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JFK, 1917 May 29th – 1963 Nov 22nd, RIP

(His daughter, Caroline Kennedy, has recently become the U.S. ambassador to Japan, by the way. Click here to read my post about that.)

I was born in November 1969. Six years after the JFK assassination. My parents were junior high school students back then…so, of course, they remember that day well.

Since I hadn’t been born yet, I obviously have no memory of that event in history.

The earliest historical event that I can remember is the U.S. bi-centennial in July 1976. I was only six years old, so I didn’t really understand it…but I seem to remember it somewhat.

The earliest historical event that I can remember clearly and that I understood was was the U.S. diplomats in the U.S. embassy in Iran being taken hostage in 1979. There were yellow ribbons tied to trees, car radio antennas, etc all over America.

How about you?
Do you remember the JFK assassination? What are your memories?
What other historical events do you remember?

Zombies in Tokyo!

31 Oct

Today there was an event at the Tokyo Tower to promote the U.S. TV series “The Walking Dead”.

About 1,200 celebrities and locals were made-up as zombies!

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Storm on Grandparents Day

16 Sep

It’s a three-day-weekend in Japan.
Today is 敬老の日 (Respect For Elders Day).

Even though today is a holiday, we’re staying indoors … and if you’re in the Tokyo area, you should too!

Because a big typhoon is currently hitting eastern Japan!

Trains have stopped, bridges are closed, houses and cars have been torn up, some parts of Kanagawa had a black-out, Kyoto and the city of 小浜 (Obama) have been flooded.

(Speaking of the Japanese city with the same name as the U.S. president, I wrote a post here:
https://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/obama/ )

Volcano

19 Aug

One of Japan’s most active 火山 (volcanoes), 桜島 (Sakurajima) has been erupting for the past few days.

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Heroes on the Platform

24 Jul

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Yesterday, at a train station near Tokyo, a woman became stuck when she fell into the space between the platform and the train.

The people on the platform pushed the train enough for her to be pulled to safety.

Mt. Fuji – World Heritage Site … finally

22 Jun

富士山 (Mt. Fuji), a symbol of Japan, has finally been granted status as a World Heritage Site.

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In honor, Google Japan incorporated the mountain in their logo today (although Google U.S. didn’t).

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Yamanote Line … 50th anniversary

4 Jun

The JR 山手線 (Yamanote Line ) is probably the most famous train line in Tokyo.

It’s a one-hour loop around 29* stations in the heart of the city. (* a new station is planned to be added soon).

Every train and subway line in Tokyo has a unique color to make them easy to identify.  These colors are used on train and subway maps, on platform signs and the trains themselves are painted those colors (either a solid color or, more commonly nowadays, two-tone silver and the “line color”).

The Yamanote Line‘s color is lime-green.

For the past thirty years or so, the Yamanote Line has been using “205 series” trains. Older model trains have been phased out of use many years ago.

But, this year only, the Yamanote Line has re-introduced the older “103 series” trains back into service.

This is because the 103 series trains were first used on the Yamanote Line in 1963…fifty years ago.   So, the older model trains can be ridden until December 2013!

Here are some photos that I took last weekend of the special 50th anniversary 103-series Yamanote Line trains:

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These special 50th anniversary trains are painted solid lime-green just like they used to be years ago (as opposed to the current silver and lime-green).

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If you’re in Tokyo, you can ride this train until December 2013.

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It says “50th anniversary of the birth of the green Yamanote Line 103 series train”.

(By the way, if you were in Tokyo four years ago, you may remember the only time that some Yamanote Line trains were brown instead of green. Click here to read a post about it.)