Category: Trains

From this distance the train appears to be suspended in the air across the valley, high above the river and motionless with its lights standing out like beacons against the backdrop of brooding forest in the deepening gloom. The tinny …

Hozukyo Station Read More »

You’re woken up by the sound of an old man violently expectorating in the hutong alleyway outside, cringing during the pause while he holds his mouthful of phlegm for a second or two between noisily bringing it up and noisily …

Life in Beijing: catching the bullet train Read More »

The Japan Rail Pass (or JR Pass) is a nationwide rail pass allowing you unlimited travel on trains operated by Japan Rail (with a few exceptions, see below) for a fixed number of days. It’s amazingly good value if you’re …

Guide to Using the JR Pass Read More »

The cool air wafting across my face, combined with the train’s extended lack of motion, coaxed me out of my slumber. “Shit,” I thought, “where the hell am I?” To which the answer was: I was drunk and jet-lagged on …

Drunk Sleeping on the Train in Japan – and Getting Stranded in the Wrong Prefecture! Read More »

Obviously, the train was packed. It was the autumn holidays, when the whole of China travels home to see family, and the only tickets available had been for the hard seat carriages – these carriages do have numbered individual seats …

Beijing to Chengdu in the autumn holiday: 27 hours in a tin of sardines! Read More »

Part One: A Bizarre Encounter at Tomakomai Station “Hey. Fuck you!” …what the? I heard this woman before I ever saw her; she’d sneaked up behind me while I was on the phone and suddenly started screaming in my free …

Sapporo to Kyoto by local train; a bizarre encounter in Tomakomai, the dog-eat-dog-politely world of busy Japanese trains, and a heroic last stand in Hiraizumi Read More »