The slow train to Atami

September 23, 2009 Railfanning.org 0

ATAMI, Japan – The regular commuter train from Tokyo to Japan is slow, to say the least – especially compared to the high-speed bullet trains that speed across the countryside. The local train stops at town after town, and the crowd of people aboard the train as we pulled out of Tokyo thins out more and more with each stop. The world outside the train’s window turns from cityscape to countryside with each mile of the Japanese countryside we traverse. At some of the stations, I stick my head out the door as the train idles, waiting for the precise

Hiroshima: Streetcar system like taking a step back in time

June 25, 2009 Railfanning.org 0

HIROSHIMA, Japan – My friends and I walked to the streetcar terminus, certain of which trolley to board. An agent approached us to help; he didn’t speak English, and we didn’t speak Japanese. So, we reverted to the international language: We pointed to our destination on the map. Once he realized that the trolley we needed to take was boarding and about to depart, he began excitedly gesturing for us to board. We did, and the streetcar soon pulled away from the station. The streetcar rumbled through the city’s streets, completing the scene of a modern Japanese city. Over the