More transit observations


Tokyo’s elevated trains are more photographic than the underground subways. Observing the neighbors is a lot easier when they are lost in their telephones.


This is what public transportation looks like in San Francisco


(Photo: Marc Heustis, via

It’s certainly not the Tokyo Metro. Here at the 16th Street BART station, a naked man stretches beneath a huge pile of hair. Reportedly he was also peeing and sexually harassing women. Around the same time, between 5 and 6 pm, two people started walking on the tracks between stations. Needless to say, the station and the system shut down. I guess when all the high-paid people take corporate shuttles in a separate and unequal transit system, there’s very little incentive to maintain the bare minimum for the public version. What’s next, an Israeli-style separation barrier between the posh and the poor?

Train bento with train fetish

Yes, transit is very sexy. At least to me. I love how this bento, sold at at the train station, celebrates JR, the national railway. That’s a lot of healthy goodness for 1,000 yen.


Boys sleeping on Tokyo Metro

From tipster Matt, a delirious photo of three boys sleeping on Tokyo Metro. So innocent, vulnerable, and care-free. This is why Tokyo is *so* adorable!


American meat, for the holidays?

American meat, for the holidays?

“We care” is the tag line to the American Meat campaign ( Convincing Japanese to touch American beef apparently requires extensive transit advertising and a complicated web site. The expensive multi-channel campaign also requires images of healthy white Americans, their innocent children, their cows grazing in belly-high grass in verdant valleys.

Of course, most of the American meat supply is kept artificially inexpensive by feeding animals soy and grains, confining them to small enclosures, and hopping them up with hormones and antibiotics. Not to mention the toxic waste caused by 10 meter high piles of chicken and pig manure that ends up in streams and the water supply. I guess that wouldn’t create upbeat “we care” imagery.

Does anyone know if the general Japanese meat supply is as factory-farmed and dangerous as in the United States? Has anyone in Japan been tempted by the “we care” ads to taste some American beef? Please send a comment.

(Just 42 more hours of Xmas music!)