Monday, October 10, 2011

Nagasaki Electric Tramway

Streetcars used to be pretty popular in Japan: with its high population density, Japan has a massive appetite for public transportation, and trams are a lot cheaper than subway lines. But trams also take up precious street space, and they're a lot less flexible than buses.

They're a great fit for a town like Nagasaki, though: too small for a full-blown subway, a bit too big and hilly for walking, and with a geography that severely limits the number of major road routes.

Hence the Nagasaki Electric Tramway, which is something of a tourist attraction in its own right.

The tram system has been running since 1914 and prides itself on never having lost any of its original lines. It's still the cheapest, fastest way around the city, and some of the older vehicles have a lot of charm. They don't seem to run on any discernible schedule (unusual for Japan), but we never waited more than a couple minutes before another car came rattling in.

Plus, if you ride out to the end of the line, you get little treats like this.
By the way, this isn't the first time Nana and I have blogged about riding public transit in style: check out our old post at The Educated Burgher on the stunning public buses of Malta.

Today's Japanese Lesson (offered at the request of a loyal reader):

Nagasaki-eki-ni ikimasu ka?
"Nagasaki-station-to go [question]?"
(Does this tram/train/bus/dirigible) go to Nagasaki Station?

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is interesting, has left a great impression.
    Best wishes