Waiting for the train…


I took this photo in 2003, returning from a day-long business trip (back in my antiquities importing days) outside of Kyoto.  This photo means a lot to me.  Sure, I like it’s composition and hope you do, too.  But it’s a moment in time that represents a several-year period of my life that was very meaningful for me.

Only 30 or so minutes ago a friend in Tokyo, Hiro-san, a bar owner, sent me an email that contained a link to a YouTube vid.  It seems his vodka bar has been featured in a television show.  Within the next couple of days I plan on dedicating a post to my friend’s small business and his good fortune, and I’ll will include the video.


  1. Riding the train in Japan is so well organized with the ‘square’, ‘circle’, ‘triangle’ system.

    Did you ever accidentally end up in the “women only” section? Haha! Now I know why, while riding the train, I had a lot of women looking at me strangely.

      • letsjapan
      • April 11th, 2010

      Ah! I haven’t had to suffer the embarrassment of finding myself on a Women’s Only train car, but I know of a couple people who have. And you would be another. Seems that it’d be an easy thing to do if not paying attention (at least for a gaijin).

      Once back in college days I did accidentally board, and then fall asleep on, the Osaka Loop Line instead of getting on the right train heading out of town, back to my “home stay” town. “Fall asleep” is a euphemism, by the way. Anyway, I’ve been working that incident into a story I’m writing.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  2. Ooo, how lovely it is to fall asleep on a train. I am one of those people that can more or less instantly fall asleep while going by any type of transportation means that does not including me being the driver.

    The most embarrassing..or most annoying fall asleep accident I have ever done is to fall asleep on a buss that went Out of town, taking me a woppy 4 hours walk back to town so to speak. It was the last buss and it went far out to some backdoor area I did not know, and the bus driver that was going to drive the buss back to town did not let me tag along since its against regulations 😦 The time was around 3 in the morning and it took me about 4 hours to walk back home and at the time I arrived I just had time to wash up, grab some light breakfast and off to work 😀

    • letsjapan
    • May 2nd, 2010


    Regarding “falling asleep on a train,” you would fit-in quite well in Japan.

    Good story, very good story. I have mine, too. One involves me and a guy named Bob and the Osaka Loop Line back in 1984 (I was quite young, then, of course). I’ve been working on that story for months now, incorporating it into a larger story that I hope to publish soon, here on LetsJapan.Wordpress.

    I have another “falling asleep on a train” story, this one involving the Washington, DC, Metro’s Orange Line — but which actually has a[n albeit tangential] connection with a story here, the “Etsuko” story. I was working in DC during the summer of 1989. One time I did a “drinks-and-dinner-after-work” thing with several staffers of Senator Richard Shelby (still a U.S. Senator). The evening became night and the night became late night. I got one of the last Metro’s out of town, the Orange Line, heading towards my stop, East Falls Church. I fell asleep and didn’t wake up til the Metro was pulling into its final stop: Vienna. There were no trains going back the other way. It was after midnight. I had little choice: I telephoned my girlfriend’s house, about 15 min away from the station. That girlfriend was none other than Rene from the “Etsuko” story featured at the top of this blog (check the “STORIES” tab). She was in college but also working in DC that summer and living at home with her mom. Her mom answered the phone. I told her mom what happened. She laughed, actually. Rene came and picked me up and took me into McLean where I was staying that summer.


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