2014.02.09 kasaoka crab

With Japan’s reputation as a country serious about train travel, train stations are a ubiquitous sight across Japan where they serve as gateways to the country’s extensive rail network. And these gateways have their own little quirks that give each station its own unique personality. From one station’s catchy “here comes the train” theme tune to an insane rush of comic book geeks running through ticket gates, click below for five quirky looks at train stations across Japan!

  • 1. Train’s a-comin’, I’m a-dancin’

First up is a visit to Okayama Prefecture in western Japan where visitors to Kasaoka Station are treated to a lively tune called Keep it up Horseshoe Crab. The song is played to announce when a train is arriving and presumably to keep commuters healthy by encouraging aerobic dance as shown by the man in the bottom left corner.

Why the zeal for horseshoe crabs? Kasaoka is home to the Japan Horseshoe Crab Conservation Association and also hosts a museum dedicated to the animal. So if your passion is horseshoe crabs, learn the official dance and make your way to Kasaoka.

Video: YouTube (DailyPortalZ)

▼A horseshoe crab monument in front of the station, unfortunately not shown dancing

2014.02.09 kasaoka crabImage: Tabelog (rvwr)

2. You disgust me, traveller 

The second video shows a customer dealing with a rather moody ticket vending machine inside of Yokohama station. The customer adds 1,000 yen (US$10) to their Pasmo smart card and the machine rudely spits the card back out onto the floor. This must have happened more than once for this user to think to catch it on video, so be careful when using the machines on the west entrance of the station near the Sagami line.

Video: YouTube (douga)

3. Tranquil travel

Next we are treated to an elaborate bamboo fountain apparently built to deal with water leakage at the Honmachi subway station in Osaka. According to the YouTube user who posted the video, station employees built the fountain using their own supplies in hopes it would be a calming influence.

Video: YouTube (oni02pro)

4. Well, that’s convenient

Our fourth video starts out at what looks like a typical visit to the Japanese convenience store Heart-in. But as the video taker walks to the left of the store, we quickly see that this is not just any ordinary combini: there is an unmanned ticket gate inside the store that you can use to enter Moriyama station in Shiga Prefecture. There are posters on the wall explaining to customers that the manned ticket gate is on the other side of the station where tickets can be bought or refunded. And another poster shows Moriyama City’s mascot using the unique ticket gate and shopping in the store.

Video: YouTube (25370100)

5. Run, nerds, run!

The last video is a look into the madness that is the first wave of comic book geeks to descend upon Comiket in Tokyo last August. Amid station staff’s concerned voices telling the visitors to refrain from rushing through the gates, the huge crowd of eager fanboys and fangirls spew out of the first train into Kokusai-Tenjijio station in order to be the first ones at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition centre. Judging by the amount of people on the sidelines taking pictures of video of the mob scene, this must be a well-known event that can whip up a crowd like this to see the “running of the nerds.”

Video: YouTube (TheTakoTako88)

Source: Yahoo! Japan