Bad manners in the train and by foreigners


Today we have @nifty’s survey into manners, where I’ll select two ranking-like questions, on bad manners in trains (by Japanese) and bad manners by foreigners.

For the list of bad foreigner manners, I suspect that a lot is confirmation bias, that one bad-mannered foreigner tarnishes the reputation of all. Furthermore, many of these ill-manners can be levelled at the Japanese too; middle-aged women (especially from the Osaka area) are rather noisy in trains, Japanese abroad are quite camera-happy in no photos and no flash areas, around my local station is no smoking, but I’ll see at least one person a day puffing away, and so on.

Foreigners taking photos in “No Photo” areas reminds me of this curious case (scroll down a little).

Here’s a couple of trains manners posters:

Please do it at home.

Ranking results

Q1: What bad manners in regular trains bother you? (Sample size=3,331, multiple answer)

Rank Percentage
1People standing in the way when others are trying to get off75%
2People hogging more than one person-worth of seat space62%
3People sitting in the priority seats but not giving up to more deserving cases56%
4Leaky earphones53%
5People coughing and sneezing without covering their mouth52%
6People putting on make-up46%
7People smelling of perfume, BO, etc46%
8People poking others in the ribs, etc, while fiddling with their smartphones46%
9People not taking their rucksack off their backs45%
10People opening up their newspaper wide and getting in the way44%
11People just shoving their way in or out32%
12People eating snacks31%
13People barging in to grab empty seats29%
14People using two or more hanging straps14%
Nothing in particular4%

Watch your train manners!

Q1: What bad manners by foreigners bother you? (Sample size=3,331, multiple answer)

Rank Percentage
1Foreigners talking in loud voices on the train48%
2Foreigners not queuing up, queue-jumping39%
3Foreigners littering31%
4Foreigners taking photos in “No Photos” areas29%
5Foreigners touching art exhibits23%
6Foreigners spreading their bags around in crowded places20%
7Foreigners taking too large a picnic when hiking and leaving food behind18%
8Foreigners smoking in No Smoking areas18%
9Foreigners cleaning out the shelves of particular items17%
10Foreigners and their toilet usage15%
11Foreigners not tidying up their trays at fast food restaurants14%
12Foreigners snogging in public13%
13Foreigners keeping their outdoor shoes on in indoor spaces11%
14Foreigners in hot springs wrapped in towels, in bathing suits8%
Nothing in particular22%


Between the 22nd and 28th of April 2016 3,331 members of the @nifty monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was presented, although looking at the numbers it looks as if there was an overwhelming number of male, perhaps round about 80:20, and the under-thirties were under-represented.

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