Comic: Sleeping on Trains in Japan

YB_06_02 comic comics cartoon texan in tokyo foreigner in japan manga mangaka train station sleeping on trains

Four years in Japan and I can finally fall asleep on trains about 1/5th of the time, when I try really hard. I’m very proud of this accomplishment, much more than you can understand. I’m the kind of person who can’t sleep in cars, on planes, or trains. This is huge.


Last time I fell asleep, though, I over-shot my destination by like five minutes and ended up being late for my meeting. Ugh.

I try to only fall asleep on the train ride home, now. It’s much less “dangerous.”


What about you?

Can you fall asleep in moving vehicles/trains?


Like these comics? Check out my comic books (on Amazon):

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


My Japanese Husband (still) Thinks I’m Crazy


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

31 Comments on Comic: Sleeping on Trains in Japan

  1. I fell asleep on the Yamanote line. It’s great as you can just keep going round and round

  2. I can sleep on planes, cars and boats, but whenever I still can hold my eyes open I like to stay awake. I never on board to any train yet (plz don’t laugh. It’s because we don’t have any trains – yet – in North Sulawesi) and when I have a chance to go out of the island I never had a chance to get on any train :( If travelling on water or air I’d enjoy travelling when it’s bright so I can see things outside. If travelling on land I like it when it’s dark outside because I can see the lights and see the insides of the houses along the road;p it’s like looking at a gallery of doll houses with their unique interiors. When I see some that I like I use to say to myself “I’d like to have that kind of living room at home,” or “I have to try making that kind of decoration.” ? One lesson learned for me: Turn off the lights when it’s not needed at night, and if it’s on, put heavy drapes on the windows so hatever room is facing the street won’t look like an aquarium from outside ?

  3. Definitely! I think it has to do with my family living far away from the rest of the family and traveling far to visit them frequently (one to three hour car trips plus more if there was traffic). So when my brother and I were little, we’d play in the backseat, or just KTFO after a while. It was a defense mechanism for the boredom I think…

  4. I am the type that will sleep for 13 hours given a chance (like a Saturday if I know I have no obligations that day) But I can also fall asleep on command anywhere, trains, car rides, planes, (more dangerously) a park, once I fell asleep at a school dance. and a lot of those weren’t even because I was tried, just bored, so sleep would make it go by faster. I Think the weirdest place anyone has found me sleeping was outside on the edge of a basketball court and I was waiting for my ride after some testing, I was wrapped around my backpack like a body pillow but sitting straight up with my jacket as a blanket.

    This is an amazing skill for me as a college student. I sleep where ever I need to. right now I’ve become pretty notorious on campus as the Jacket on the couch, a quote “hey, your that chick that always sleeps on the blue couches, this is the first time I’ve seen your face”. FYI I am only 152 cm( 5 feet) tall and I can literally disappear underneath my jacket. people have almost sat on me ●﹏●. but it’s so comfortable.

  5. Don’t worry. If you sleep often enough you will learn to wake up at the right time. It’s weird
    I used to sleep on the bus coming home from art school and then later work. I never had any trouble shutting down. My friends and family say I have a “superpower” because I can sleep anywhere pretty much instantly. Honestly, I just think I stay up too late so I am always tired.
    The first few times I overslept but eventually I got to the point where I would wake up at the same landmark everyday. It was strange but I am glad it worked out that way.

  6. I’d chop off a minor appendage to be able to fall asleep reliably in my BED, let alone a train! Insomnia FTW!

  7. Yes, I can fall asleep pretty much anywhere. I can’t read in anything moving, except airplanes.

  8. Much as I’d like to fall asleep on REALLY LONG road trips and stuff like that, I can’t. If I’m not in the bed and settled, or on the couch and sick, I’m not gonna fall asleep, even if I try.

  9. lakerzombie // 22 October, 2015 at 1:39 am //

    I love falling asleep on vehicles. Unless i’m driving. Then its not so ideal lol

  10. I use the Washington DC metro for work. A few weeks ago I conked out on the way home and slept through seventeen stops. Fortunately my stop is the very end of the line so I wasn’t in any danger.

  11. Ever since I was small…moving vehicles put me right out. When I was young, I could tell you in detail about the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes of every trip we took…the middle, HA – sound asleep.

  12. Pretty much all forms of transportation put me to sleep. But I try not to sleep on commuter type trains because I would be afraid of missing my stop.

  13. if i’m really tired, yes. otherwise i see no point in doing so

  14. Used to fall asleep on the subway on the way to work many mornings when I lived in NYC. Never missed my transfer spot. Somehow, I always woke up in time.

  15. FiveOclockTea // 21 October, 2015 at 2:25 pm //

    I allways fell asleep on the Train ride to School, hoping I’d oversleep and miss my stop :D

    … sadly I alwasy woke up one stop before I had to leave the Train…

  16. I’ve only fallen asleep in the car and it was due to horrid exhaustion and (my) Ryosuke woke me up when we were almost home. But on the train, I usually let him sleep since I’m too paranoid. Even in this countryside I can’t let my guard down!

  17. I totally relate to this post!! In fact, I also wrote about this on my own blog:

    Learning how to nap here is HUGE part of the immigrant experience….until you master it you’re operating at disadvantage compared to the natives.

  18. I sleep in moving cars ALL the time

  19. I can only fall asleep if I`m travelling with someone. Good ol` American paranoia!

  20. When I finally started to fall asleep on trains, I had to start checking the schedules. I always set my alarm to go off five minutes before my station.

  21. It’s really hard for me to fall asleep in any moving vehicles. I haven’t been on a long enough plane ride to test that, nor have I been in a sleep car on a train. (I imagine the latter would be quite easy compared to other vehicles.) For some reason, when I do actually end up sleeping for any amount of time in a car, I wake up looking pale and diseased. So really, I can’t sleep in cars because I trained myself that way so I don’t look so bad, haha.

  22. I can on the shinkansen and flights, but local trains I doubt I’d risk it.

  23. I’ve grown up on the public bus service. My family is swimming with bus drivers, so it’s no suprise that I can sleep on a bus no problem and 9 times out of 10 I wake up before my stop.

  24. I remember that exact feeling. It took me nearly 4 years in Japan, too, but eventually I was able to fall asleep on the train about 25% of the time. I never overshot my station, but I DID wake up with a PANIC every single time I managed to fall asleep (which scared the crap out of of the Japanese folks sitting near me).

  25. My parents would take us on 17 hour long road trips. The only time we really stopped was to get gas and go to the restroom. You had to be able to fall asleep in a cramped car. I can also fall asleep on a plane, as long as I have somewhere to put my head, like the window. I’m grateful I can because otherwise I’m not sure I’d survive long flights or car rides.

  26. I can’t. My doctor sister can sleep anywhere, though. On a plane, sitting straight up, head tilted back, in the middle seat between two very large persons, even. It’s a gift.

  27. With someone I can but by myself noway. 10 years in Japan still scared to do so :p

  28. I can and will fall asleep at the start of an ignition. I would be terrified on a train though, to miss my stop. Yikes!

  29. Only if I can see the road when I open my eyes…

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