Why do Japanese People Sleep on the Trains? - What is popular in Japan right now!?

Why do Japanese People Sleep on the Trains?

When you ride on trains in Japan you will notice quite a few people who are sleeping. It is a very common for people to sleep while they are taking the train.
Why do Japanese people sleep on the trains? Let’s explore some of the common reasons:

1. Long commutes.
Some people are commuting from a outlaying city into a larger city like Tokyo, Osaka, or Nagoya. Some of these train commutes can take more than one hour before the commuter will reach their destination. The commuter will need to wake up early to catch their ride.

2. Tired from fast pace at work or school.
The lifestyle of the modern Japanese person moves at a fast pace. There are so many things to enjoy and do in Japan; it’s always hard to find enough time to sleep. People are tired from working overtime or from the many extra hours of exhaustive studies to try to get into a good school.

3. Nice temperature to sleep.
The trains are heated in the winter and cool, due to the air conditioning, in the summer.
It is very comfortable to ride on the train especially in very hot humid summer and the very cold winter.

4. The repetitive sounds from train ride make you sleepy.
The regular sound of the train moving over the rails can lull you to sleep….zzz….

5. Its a form of privacy.
Some people are not comfortable looking at so many strangers sitting all around them, especially if their is a kowai (scary) person sitting in front of you!

6. It is safe to sleep and not worry about theft.
Yes, there are thefts on the trains in Japan, however it is rare.

Here is a nice short film “Tokyo Dreams” directed by Nicholas Barker.

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1 Response

  1. Andrew says:

    I totally agree and wrote a similar post wondering why it is so common. Great pictures as well. I saw so many Japanese people asleep on the trains, if not entire carraiges of people sleeping.

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