Japan’s subculture of train fanatics: What being a train geek really means in Japan


The Shinkansen is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan currently consisting of 2764.6km of lines with maximum speeds of 240-320kmh.

Just as Japan’s trains are in a league of their own, so too are its trainspotters.

This country, where a 20-second delay leads to profuse apologies on the platforms and conductors bow to passengers as they enter the train car, has taken train nerd-dom to a new level.

Sure, there are the vanilla trainspotters who take photos of various trains around the country. They’re called tori-tetsu (tori means to take, and tetsu means train).


Central Japan Railways’ magnetically levitating train broke its previous world speed record in a test-run at a special track…

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