Japanese train otaku recognise Ambassador Emanuel as a fellow railway geek during his “weekend of firsts”.

People from around the world who’ve visited Japan have often stopped to marvel at the beauty of Japanese trains. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you do for a living, either — when a train ride is this good, sometimes you want to share it with the world on your socials.

That’s what U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel did when he rode his first local train after taking up his post here in January this year.

▼ Emanuel rode his first Japanese train as ambassador with his wife, Amy Rule

Back then, Emanuel’s post caught the attention of railway geeks around the nation, who were pleased to see the high-ranking diplomat share their passion for Japanese trains, with some even dubbing him a fellow “tetsu ota” (“tetsu otaku”), or “railway geek”.

However, Emanuel’s more recent post about riding the rails in Japan has really cemented his status as the Railway Otaku Ambassador. During a business trip to the Kansai region, Emanuel rode a Hankyu line train, and this time he was able to combine his love for trains with a good ‘ol pun — two things that Japan holds dear to its heart.

“Love the really plush seats! Hankyu. Hankyu very much.”

No, Ambassador Emanuel — Hankyu very much! Now you’ve given us all a punny line to use next time we sit on those plush seats with a first-time visitor from abroad.

It’s true, though — the Hankyu line is a great way to travel in Kansai, as the private railway line combines retro luxury with modern comfort, and it connects all sorts of big sites like Osaka, Kobe, Takarazuka, and Kyoto. If you’ve ever visited any top tourist sites in the area, like Kyoto’s Arashiyama district, there’s a good chance you’ve hopped on a Hankyu Line train.

The Hankyu ride wasn’t the only thing to impress the ambassador on his trip to Kansai. In fact, he described it as a “weekend of firsts“, which included a trip to a Japanese baseball game

▼ …a taste of local delicacies at Kobe

▼ ….and a spot of fly fishing.

The visit ended with a trip back to Tokyo on the Shinkansen…and a big thumbs-up of approval from the ambassador.

Still, the local trains impressed the ambassador so much that they received two separate mentions during his time in the area.

People around the country were quick to comment on Emanuel’s rail-related tweets with their own messages of thanks and approval, for both the trains and the Ambassador’s expression of love for them.

Interestingly, one commenter pointed out that the “Hankyu very much” pun also appeared in a Japanese commercial featuring another American visitor — GregBoomer” Wells, who played for the Hankyu Braves baseball team in the ’80s.

▼ “Pastime” is used for joint and muscle pain relief.

Regardless of whether Ambassador Emanuel’s pun was an intended callback to that commercial, or whether it was something that just came to him as he sat on those plush seats, this isn’t the first time a foreign visitor has shown an appreciation for the local train — David Bowie was also photographed on a Hankyu line train back in the ’80s — and we have a hunch it certainly won’t be the last!

Source: Twitter/@USAmbJapan via Net Lab
Featured image: Twitter/@USAmbJapan
Insert image: Pakutaso
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!