Archives for the day Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Transportation system

 When you travel overseas, you see so many means of interesting transportation system that matches to the local characteristics. Some countries use bicycles,some use Tuk-tuk, some use boat,some double decker bus,some taxi..

 One thing every time I back to my home country “Japan”, I always feel Japanese roads are so narrow and so crowded, and when I come back to US,roads are wider,spacier and feel so much difference in traffic system.

 Many people in Japan use trains as main transportation. Some people use to go to school,some people use to go to work,some people use for general transportation to get to destination. If you ride trains in rush hours,you would feel like you are pushed by everyone from every corners. Trains run on schedule and, they don’t encounter traffic jam you would encounter over in US when you commute by cars. When big typhoons,or heavy snow hit area, then,trains’ schedule get messed up.

 In Japan, there are 2 kinds of trains. One is the train that stops every station from station A to station B. The other is the train that has reserved seats for first couple of train sections,and latter section is without reservation. This type of train stops only measure station and passes some stations to get to station B. And, when you visit measure city,you can use subway to get around cities. In Japan,every stations have bathroom and you do not need to get out from station just to go to bathroom.

 Unique thing about Japan maybe “Shinkansen”. It is very slender body and it runs 300km/hr. Very very fast. From Aichi prefecture (right on the middle of main island of Japan) to Tokyo, it takes just 2.5 hours. If you take plane from Aichi prefecture to Tokyo,it will be about 1 hours flight. Some people use this as cheaper alternative to flight. You can read more on shinkansen here.

 Another thing I noticed about transportation here is that, I don’t see many people ride on bicycle to go somewhere,and not many roads have pedestrian section. In Japan, many roads have section for pedestrians and people can ride bicycle to go to grocery store etc. When I was elementary school kids, kids gathered at specific meeting point and as a group,we walked to school. And during junior high school years and high school years,I rode bicycle to school everyday. At university, I used train and bus to go to school. I was surprised to know that kids here ride on bus to go to school from elementary school year and if you turn to high school kids,some drive car to school. Kids in Japan can get license for driving cars at the age of 18 and motorcycle is at age of 16 years old.

 Many people also drive cars in Japan and you see heavy traffic jam especially around holidays. We have highways and, every some certain distance, there are rest stops. All rest stops in Japan are with some food court area,some souvenir stores etc and not just vending machine with bathroom like most of the rest stops here in US.

 Japan has bus too,but it is couch type bus,not tourism type of bus. No double decker buses as far as I remember. Some cities have trolley just like San Francisco in US. Those trolley have guide in Japan, and if you ride on trolley,you hear some history behind specific buildings or area etc. It sure is fun ride for tourists.

 I have not ride Double decker bus myself, but I have seen one in England. Specifically, London. When I hear “London”,I imagine “double decker bus” and “Taxi”. Do you know how the double decker bus has started? You can read more on Helium site.Please click here. You can also read on wikipedia on Double decker bus.Please click here.In Japan, I leaned that London Taxi drivers are required to know every roads possible in town and,they should know all roads’ traffic pattern, fastest route, and they need to pass the test called “The knowledge”.  To read more on Taxi driver test in London,please click here. I wonder if Taxi drivers in other countries also require test like this.

 If you have ride on tuk-tuk, or used other means of unique transportation system when you travel overseas, please tell us your experience.

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Oct 08, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized