Comic: Japanese superpowers

YB_2_23 comic comics life in japan texan in tokyo cartoon

I am insanely jealous of the “superpower” most Japanese people have – the ability to fall asleep on moving trains.

Ryosuke and I went down to Tokyo yesterday to hang out with one of my friends who was visiting Japan – and only the way back, we had to transfer trains. We got on at the train’s first stop – but before they would let anyone on the train, an attendant went through the aisles, waking up everyone.

I swear, there was at least two people sleeping in every car – sometimes more. They were just passed out.

And of course as soon as we got on the train, Ryouske and a number of the other people in our row fell asleep.

I was so jealous~


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My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book


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Confessions of a Texan in Tokyo

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

23 Comments on Comic: Japanese superpowers

  1. After you have been here several years, you will gain this superpower. I used to think it odd too, but now I am out light a light as soon as the train starts going.

  2. I seem to have the same superpower, I fall asleep instantly as soon as I take a seat on any moving vehicle. It’s like the movement of the car, bus, train (and even motorbike, this is actually very dangerous) rocks me to sleep like a baby. :) I love falling asleep in the car.

  3. I used to go in the country side some years back. I had to wake up early in the morning to get there to help a bit around the house.
    I wasn’t doing much, but i was getting so tired :/ [perhaps the cleaner air there had something to do with this, lol] On my way back i was so tired i couldn’t stay awake, i had to nap. I was riding a minibus with chairs that were too straight and narrow to allow a comfortable position for napping. I was way tired to care, lol.

    on the same note, i did nap in the subway too, even if i had only a few stops to go. still due to being super tired. i wasn’t really sleeping, because i had to pay attention to my stop, lol. but just keeping my eyes closed did help with getting a bit of rest… ;)

  4. zoomingjapan // 28 May, 2015 at 5:48 pm //

    I do fall asleep on trains in Japan sometimes. Mostly when I’m travelling cuz I never get enough sleep. *g*
    What I’ll never understand is HOW some Japanese sleep. Like their heads are bouncing around, they almost look like zombies. How can one even sleep like that? And they can sleep while standing in the train as well!

    Oh, and I’ll never get how most of them manage to wake up when it’s time to get off the train. XD

  5. I think it is more a matter of feeling safe enough to fall asleep. In Finland I also fell asleep rather often when traveling around in a bus but not here in Germany…

  6. Well, I happen to have these superpowers too! And I must say, it has nothing to do with being Japanese, or even living in Japan… you see, since I was a University student I always slept in the bus or in the subway, and always (almost) woke one stop before mine… and man, I lived in Mexico City, not exactly a place where you wouldn’t worry being stolen.

  7. I’ve always been able to do this on buses. Get my extra sleep in the morning this way.

    On my recent trip to Japan, I couldn’t stop myself from falling asleep on every long bus/train trip, even when I wanted to stay awake and look at the scenery. Being in a seat for a long time, I just start snoozing.

  8. Back in the days when I was an apprentice I had to go by train to school once a week and every second week two days a week. It took a few hours because we were not getting paid a ticket for an express train. I was always tired because we had to get up very early to be in time, so we started to nap in the train. I learned to sleep and wake up exactly at the station were we had to leave the train.

    But I don’t think I still could do this. Now I’m older and I would worry about safety and missing the station. And mostly,because I’m not so tired as in the days back, with going out in the evening with friends and getting up early because of school….. ;-)

  9. Philip Ebbrell // 28 May, 2015 at 2:23 pm //

    I would be thinking extra reading or drawing time.

  10. Tip: Be sure the train staff and the passengers around you know where you’re getting off (mention it). They will wake you up so you don’t miss your stop.

  11. The feeling of safety cause in my country it can be dangerous to fall asleep..

  12. yeah.. once you are as dedicated to work, work long hours and as hard as the Japanese do, you’ll be able to fall asleep anywhere too xD

  13. My Doctor Sister can fall asleep in the middle seat of an airplane during take off.

    Also sitting down on a couch anytime after 8:30 PM.

    As a sometimes insomniac, I understand this jealousy of which you speak!

  14. I found out can sleep on long distance trains [DC to South Carolina and back] after four different trips, but not due to exhaustion, but motion sickness. I find nothing but sleep helps so with in an hour of my trip, I’m out for all the trip minus a few stretch / bathroom breaks. And Amtrack is awesome to help wake those sleeping prior to their stops. Any other mode of transportation I can’t seem to sleep in though.

  15. Wow, is that why I can sleep practically anywhere? I have superpower!

  16. Yes…this. My wife has commented before that she wonders how people driving cars manage to stay awake since everyone else falls asleep the moment a vehicle starts moving.

  17. The problem I found with people sleeping on the train was all the “hair product” stains on the windows after their power naps (when they sleep while facing the ceiling)

  18. I’m not only always impressed with their ability to fall asleep in an instant but also the ability to wake up just seconds before they have to get off the train.
    When I fall asleep I will definitely miss my stop…

  19. It is a superpower. I was always fascinated by how fast people could fall asleep on trains and buses. I think Americans, and perhaps people from other countries, are taught it’s not safe to fall asleep on public transportation. In Japan, it’s the opposite. There is a low level of concern that someone will steal from them. And with attendants to wake them up, they don’t have to worry about missing a stop. Still, I wish I could fall asleep that fast.

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