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.