Don’t Eat There


Upon first coming to Japan, I often heard foreigners say things like:

  • It is rude to eat while standing
  • It is bad to eat while walking
  • You can’t eat on the trains

I always found it amusing because I never heard it from Japanese people, just the foreigners. Also, on the Shinkansen, beautiful ladies roll carts of food through the cabin for sale; clearly it is OK to eat on the bullet train. Often school kids commuting are eating their jam-filled buns on the train platforms or standing around on the train.

Regardless, my job at the time required me to often be eating on trains, train platforms, or on the way to trains. My worst days involved catching a train before 8 in the morning (after working late the night before) and be riding a bus or train, or teaching a class straight through until about 11 at night. All the times I did this, I just assumed it was just more crazy foreigners with their misconceptions about the place we live.

My girlfriend worries a lot about proper behavior and appearances, so I asked her about this recently. Naturally, anyone who knows me knows this means asked questions ad nauseum. Generally it is not so much that these things are rude, as that they are considered embarrassing; hence most people would never do these things. Being rude is frowned upon, but doing something embarrassing is right out.

Students eating on the platforms or the trains are just unabashed. Eating on the train might be OK, if the seats are facing forward, so people don’t directly notice your food. If there are bench seats facing the center of the train, so that you can be seen, her recommendation is that you refrain. (Of course, the bullet train is an exception, perhaps because it seems like a plane and you expect to be on it for a couple hours or more.)

Please don’t tell her that I still often eat breakfast on the train; especially now with my schedule confounded by rehab.


2 Responses to “Don’t Eat There”

  1. titus2woman Says:

    Please tell~does she read this? LOL! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  2. びっくり Says:

    She has the URL for this blog, but she never reads it. I have another blog which consists of simple entries for beginning readers. I’m not sure if she ever reads that one either.

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