Typical of Japanese train stations, Oyamazaki station is spartan, unadorned, utilitarian.

In this simplicity, lies some kind of beauty which is missed in the new, the flashy, the high tech transit systems being installed – at great expense – elsewhere.

One of the small miracles that we’ve realized while living here is that, rather than spending budget on frills, fancy new trains, and high tech stations, Japanese rail companies keep it relatively simple. They put their money where it counts, providing regular, punctual train service that is cheaper, more convenient – and often faster – than driving.

If I have to stand on an old platform and ride in a 50-year-old train car to get that, all the better!


Patrick M. Lydon

born San Jose, USA / lives Osaka, Japan

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December 13, 2018