One of the first things in Japan that caught my attention were trains and also the amount of train geeks around here. A general passion for trains exists in Japan. Train geeks collect books about trains, they travel just to have the opportunity to “try a new train” or to visit a particular train station, they collect pictures of trains and they even know the inner workings of trains and how a certain engine works. At the beginning I was surprised by all these obsessions but little by little I am finally getting it: using every day a train line that transports more people a day than ALL New York lines, using ALWAYS train stations as meeting points, using train stations as a starting point to decide where to buy/rent a house, seeing how all the activity-life-restaurant-businesses gather almost always around train stations… These are facts that have made me realize that it is not only an obsession of some people; trains are a fundamental part of Japanese society and everyday life.
In big bookstores there’s always a section with books and magazines about trains, these are some pictures that I took in Kinokuniya, my favorite bookstore:
Plenty of magazinees about trains and railroads.
The book with the Galaxy Express 999 cover is a boring train schedule catalog.
All this books are about trains!
This book had tons of maps with every minimum detail on how railroads are placed in some stations in the north of Tokyo.