The Women Only Car, Tsukuba Express

I hopped on the train at Moriya Station and when I got on I was grinning from ear to ear because I saw one of my former students who I hadn’t seen in quite some time, Azusa. She spotted me too, and with a smile she walked over to me, and said… “Right now, this car is from women only.” I was so embarrassed. When I stepped into the car I didn’t look at any signs or even the passengers in the car. I just got on. After scanning around a bit, I realized that “Hey, Azusa’s right!” Everyone in my car was a woman. So I thanked Asuza, stepped off the train car I was on, and made my way to another train car that wasn’t women only. After the train stopped, I had a chance to catch up with Azusa after we laughed about me getting on the wrong car.

If you’re riding the Tsukuba Express, you should see signs posted somewhere telling the days and times for the Women-Only cars. You’ll also hear both an English and Japanese announcement reiterating the same thing.

The Women Only car is also for very young children as well. If a child is under the age of six (the 1st year of elementary school) they can ride in the Women Only Car. I’m sure some guys may complain about there being a train car just for women, but I think it’s a good idea. First, it’s only for a limited time everyday and two, have you heard of chikans? A chikan (ちかん) is a term used to refer to the perverted men who fondle women and young girls on crowed trains.** I haven’t heard of there being female chikans, although I’m sure they exist. Having the Women Only Car during one of the commuter rush times would cut down on these incidents significantly.

**That’s one of the reasons I hold onto one of the handled supports above me while I riding during a rush hour…I don’t want there to be any confusion.**
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  • Aaah yes.. chikan. Now there’s a term that makes me a little queasy every time I hear it. I think the women only cars are a great idea too. I’ve heard that women in Japan are becoming more vocal about their complaints against these incidents which makes me so happy to hear.

    The reverse chikan.. well I haven’t really ever heard of it but, like you, I’m sure it exists. All my male friends are stumped about this idea and I give them the evil eye when they discuss it. lol.

  • fahad

    While I agree the woman only car is a good idea because it protects them from chikans, it is a little unfair towards the men because they have no protection from false chikans accusations.

    In recent years there have been a trend among women to accuse (innocent) men of groping them on train. They would then blackmail the men for money or threat to go to the police.

    Unfortunately a lot of women who do this tend to get away with it because in chikan cases police tend to presume your guilty unless proven innocent. There has been several cases where men are forced to ‘confess’ by the police to groping, and if they refuse to confess they end up in jail (there was a famous case where an innocent man spent 18 months in prison because he refused to sign a confession sheet).

    These women tend to make several hundred dollars a day by accusing men of groping them and neither the police, government nor the train company has done anything to prevent this.

    • Donald Ash

      Dude! That’s an excellent point. I heard about that happening to a teacher once, for a different reason. A high school student had a crush on a teacher, he wouldn’t respond to her advances. One day, they “happened” to be on the same train and out out of frustration, she shouted “Chikan!” When the man turned around, the young lady was pointing at him. To make a long story short, she confessed to having made the whole thing up. Geez! Whether the story is true or not, I can’t say for sure. But it’s one that I heard from someone at my job.

      I heard about the compensation thing, but I never knew women would do it as a scheme to get cash.

      Keep those hands where people can see ‘em guys…especially if you’re a foreigner, because things most likely won’t work out in your favor (I don’t think so anyway).

      Thanks for posting fahad!

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