Broken onboard announcement goes viral online.

A lot has been written about Japan’s clean and efficient rail network, which does an amazing job of ferrying commuters to far-flung destinations around the country, with trains serving millions of commuters daily in Tokyo alone.

With drivers and station attendants conducting verbal and physical checks at every station, it’s rare to find a fault with Japanese trains, but last week, it became clear that one train on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line had gone off the rails, with an onboard announcement that wasn’t right at all.

Twitter user @Rapid_ACE223 recorded the moment for posterity, sharing it online where it quickly went viral, racking up more than 1.5 million views.

While Tokyo trains usually broadcast automatic announcements in Japanese and English throughout carriages while in operation, this recording seems to have gotten stuck on the English-language track, as the announcer can be heard scrolling through a list of Seibu Railway lines before announcing some random information about stations and the cars on the train.

▼ One industrious Twitter user took the time to write a transcript of the recording in English and Japanese.

People on Twitter were quick to jump aboard with comments expressing glee at the random mishap, and tales of their own encounters with broken announcements, with one person saying it reminded them of another incident, filmed on a Hokkaido train.

Unlike the announcement posted by @Rapid_ACE223, though, the one from Hokkaido Railway Company features a male voice announcing everything under the sun, including: “Good morning everyone”; “Shortly, the exit will be on the right-hand side”; “Please take care not to leave anything behind” and “Left”.

These mishaps are a rare occurrence in Japan, and @Rapid_ACE223 says that when it happened, he and his friends weren’t the only ones laughing, as everyone else in the carriage had grins on their faces as well.

It just goes to show that you don’t need to have classical music playing in the background to create a calm mood on Tokyo trains; sometimes a harmless blunder like this one is enough to keep the atmosphere light, which is a godsend when you’re squashed up against commuters on the city’s notoriously crowded trains.

Source: Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Twitter/@Rapid_ACE223