Sunday, November 29, 2009

Japanese Bus Stop -- no relation to Inge. (bus schedule, actually)

We were moving some furniture around and the lovely Carol found this piece of nostalgia taped to the door of our shoe cabinet.

Shoe cabinet? Yes! As you may know, we don't wear shoes in the house in Japan, so it's nice to have shoes in the place where you're about to put 'em on before going out. And what else do you use the inside of the shoe cabinet door for?

So here's what it's about: Centered across the top, in big letters, it says "bus schedule". On the right is

  • Kashinodai 3cho-me ji-chi-kai ("3rd subdistrict of Kashinodai neighborhood association" -- Nelson's dictionary says "student council" -- probably the publisher); and
  • Heisei 9nen 5gatsu genzai (effective May 1997).
    Many dates in Japan have, instead of "1997" for the year, "the 9th year of the Heisei Emperor." To enter a date-of-birth on some Japanese forms, one must put both the emperor (sometimes indicated with T/S/H for Taisho, Showa, Heisei) and the year -- e.g., someone born in 1992 would be H.3
On the left, reading from top to bottom:
  • (bold letters) Kashinodai 2 cho-me
    This is the name of the bus stop. It doesn't say "Main and Jefferson" or something like this, because many (most) streets don't have names. The bus has recorded announcements for each bus stop.
  • a boxed 28 and a boxed 22. These are the route numbers. I think the ideograph next to the 22 means that it goes in a loop.
  • Ta-keh-no-dai kei-yu (via Take-no-dai district)
  • (bolder print) Sei-shin chuu-oh eki mae yuki -- i.e., destination: the bus stop in front of the "Sei-shin chuu-oh" (west Kobe central) station
You can see that we've written that the upper table is for buses going from the red mailbox (context is everything) to the "eki" -- the station. Also that the top "half" of that table is for Mon-Fri and the bottom for Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

The numbers are the hour and minute for when the bus is supposed to depart (I think) the bus stop in that direction. They were pretty much on time, except when there was a record-breaking snowfall. Then you were better off walking.

The bottom table (which was cut off) was "Nishi Tai-ik'kan yuki" meaning "to the West Gym" -- we never went there, but it told us about what time I could get off the #28 bus if I took that one from the station.

It's pleasant for me to recall some parts of our life in Japan, and to share them with you.

No comments: