This year’s ranking includes Kanto vs. Kansai regional variations in addition to the overall list.

Every year around this time, commuters on trains operated by the member companies of the Japan Private Railway Association participate in an annual survey to determine the most aggravating behaviors observed on trains and at stations over the past 12 months. This year’s edition was released on December 19 and features similar but different answers from the AirTrip ranking that came out this past summer. Pay attention if you’ll be visiting Japan soon for a guide of what NOT to do when you’re in transit!

First we’ll look at the 2019 overall ranking of the top ten most impolite behaviors. Scroll further down to find the top five most impolite behaviors according to survey participants in both the Kanto (east Japan) and Kansai (west Japan) regions of the country.

2019 overall top ten ranking

10. Applying makeup on the train
Some people are genuinely worried about eye shadow or other pigments staining their clothing, but there’s also something just intrinsically awkward about sitting next to someone who’s performing a grooming routine in an enclosed public space.

▼ If you absolutely must do a touch-up, make sure the makeup doesn’t touch any fellow passengers.

9. Riding while drunk
Neither passengers nor station staff like to deal with drunks at the end of a long day, especially when they begin pulling ridiculous hijinks like this.

8. Leaving trash and empty cans behind
In a society routinely praised for picking up after themselves, there are still bound to be those who just don’t care. Do your part by carrying your garbage off the train with you.

7. Sound leaking from headphones
We’ve all been around someone who, whether conscious of it or not, was playing their music so loudly that it seeped out for the rest of the world to hear. Hearing second-hand music can be so aggravating for some that one man was compelled to resort to violence on a train platform in Japan this past June.

▼ Routinely test your headphones to make sure that no sound is escaping from them while you’re in a public place.

6. Coughing or sneezing with no regard for surroundings
This one is completely new to the list this year. While face masks are a common sight in Japan to prevent the spread of germs, it seems that a certain subset of the population isn’t choosing to use the crook of their arm when they feel a tickle creeping up on them inside a crowded train.

5. Excessively loud conversations
From 2010-2017, “Excessively loud conversations” ranked in as #1–and last year it was #2. That means we’ve either seen some progress in terms of people paying better attention to their volume levels or certain other behaviors have become more visible!

4. Improper use of smartphones
“Improper use of smartphones” ranked #6 last year on its list debut and shows up even higher this year. This category includes various breaches of smartphone etiquette including walking while staring at the screen (consequently slowing others down or forcing them to dodge out of your way) and not turning off notification sounds while riding the train.

▼ We’ve all gotten distracted while walking with our phones at some point, but a bustling train station is not the place to zone out.

3. Annoying way of carrying and depositing luggage
Last year’s #1, “Annoying way of depositing and holding luggage” remains high on the list for 2019. It’s possible that people have become more conscious about not taking up too much space with bags on the train due to awareness campaigns led by the train companies.

2. Rude manners when getting on and off the train
“Rude manners when getting on and off the train” always ranked between #3-5 from 2010-2018, and this year is the first time that it’s reached #2. Rude behaviors cited on the survey include blocking the doors at a stop, not filling up enough space in the back to make room for new passengers, and not waiting for people on the train to get off before boarding.

1. Improper manner of sitting
While “Improper manner of sitting” had always been #2 or #3 between 2010-2018, 2019 marks its first year at the very top of the list. The main culprit mentioned is manspreading, though other impolite behaviors include stretching or crossing legs while sitting (an instance of which even incited one man to start hitting a woman on the train last month). Train companies have tried all different kinds of solutions to combat this common complaint, such as increasing the overall length of the seats by a little, differentiating individual seats by color, or partitioning them, but the problem continues to persist.

▼ While crossing legs might seem like the most natural way of sitting for many westerners, Japanese train companies often ask passengers to refrain from doing so since they could be encroaching on space for standing passengers on a crowded train.

Interestingly, the Association also posted a regional ranking comparison for responses from the Kanto (includes Tokyo and Yokohama) and Kansai (includes Osaka and Kyoto) regions of Japan. While #1 was the same on both lists, #2-5 saw some key differences between the regions.

Kanto ranking

5. Excessively loud conversations
4. Annoying way of carrying and depositing luggage
3. Rude manners when getting on and off the train
2. Improper use of smartphones
1. Improper manner of sitting

Kansai ranking

5. Improper use of smartphones
4. Excessively loud conversations
3. Rude manners when getting on and off the train
2. Annoying way of carrying and depositing luggage
1. Improper manner of sitting

It seems that keeping personal space in check is the biggest hurdle for train passengers to overcome no matter where they are in Japan.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, it will be more important than ever for all passengers to abide by some common courtesies while riding on public transportation to ensure that everyone has a smooth, safe, and uninterrupted ride on route to the various athletic facilities.

Source: Livedoor News via My Game News Flash
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2, 3, 4)
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!