A tourist who travels in Japan, probably makes use of the Japan Railways Group (better known as JR) to go through cities and the country. The JR provides a large part of the train network in Japan. I will not bother you with all sorts of (boring) information about types of trains and such, but I will tell you about something that does catch my interest. What is so special about the stations and the surrounding places, for example Tokyo.
The first few stops I passed when I went to the city centre had nice tunes before the train departed. These tunes occasionally kept playing in my head during my stay; All the way up until now. That is the main reason to write an article about it.
Oddly enough, the tunes are not the same! Each station appearently had a different tune.
When you make use of the multiple train lines you will notice how many different tunes there are and also which direction they are going to through every other tune.
Why do they have those tunes, aka jingles? Very simple, instead of a whistle or some other annoying sound you will hear a nice tune before the doors close. You will also have the opportunity to get out quickly when you notice that you are in the wrong train. A very handy melody! Another use of the melody is to calm down passengers and mute other sounds to make it more noticeable. The sounds make your trip appear more personal, as if the station located near your home or workplace belongs to your routine.
Every station and each line has their own jingle. That’s a whole lot of them. The jingle is mostly based on the surroundings or something familiar. For example; On Takadanobaba station you can hear the tune from Astro Boy! I also recognize the tune from The Little Mermaid on Oimachi station, located near the Shiki Natsu theatre, where they performed the musical of The Little Mermaid!
Some of the jingles were so catchy that I kept them as a ringtone. They also work amazing as an alarm clock! To give you readers an idea of how it sounds, watch the video down here. This is only a small part of the musical stations.
When you are traveling in Tokyo I recommend to take your time to listen to all of the jingles you can hear in the trains.
Which is your favourite?