Posts tagged ‘train’

For the Love of Trains and Loose Change

I’m getting a major wave of nostalgia watching this video right now:

This coin bank plays all the tunes I used to hear just before hopping onto a Tokyo train. I’m having these flashbacks of me trying to squeeze into a car that’s packed with morning commuters. Aiyah~ why do we do these things?!

Strangely, I miss my daily rendezvous with Japanese public transportation. That’s why I want this coin bank so much. Every time you throw in a coin, the headlamps turn on and it plays all the tunes heard from the station platform.

In a city of 13 million, not everyone takes the same commuter train; that’s why there’s four different types to represent some of the more popular trains: Yamanote line, Chuo line, Keihin-Tohoku and the ever-popular shinkansen. They’re perfectly detailed like the real thing. You can even open and close its doors. Neat!

Though be warned, these train banks will burn a $60 hole in your wallet. So the challenge is to see how fast you can return that money to your bank. Faster than a speeding bullet? Let’s hope so!

Himawari

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November 12, 2010 at 4:55 pm 1 comment

More Cat News: Tama the Train Stationmaster

This blog has become quite pet friendly lately. We’ve discussed Japan’s love for Chihuahuas and the popularity of cat cafes.

Now meet Tama, a tortoise shell-colored cat who was hired last January by Wakayama Electric Railway Company as a mascot / stationmaster. She sits outside the Kishikawa line and draws a crowd to the western entrance. (Her official duty is to greet passengers, and she’s paid in cat food.) She’s nine years old (er, 45 in people years??), and a hit with passersby who can’t resist coming over to photograph her in her rakish “super stationmaster” cap.

The Associated Press says, “[Tama’s] job makes cultural sense in Japan, where cats are considered good luck and are believed to bring in business.”

Apparently the tactic is working; since last year, the Kishikawa line has increased its number of passengers by about 200,000.

Tama’s fame appears to know no bounds. She already has a photography book out, a series of postcards bearing her likeness, and, according to Wikipedia, she will appear in a documentary about cats. (Why not make her the main character? It’s a classic story: stray cat with humble beginnings rises to the top of the transportation industry…)

For all things Tama, check out Japan Probe’s extensive coverage. If you’re now experiencing cute overload, (or ultra kawaii – thanks, Himawari!!) I apologize, and I promise to curb my pet obsession in my next post.

(Or you could read about that angel-of-death-cat for a shot of the macabre.)

Sarah S.

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June 6, 2008 at 5:29 pm Leave a comment


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