The Japanese still see the privatised services as their national railway (with any other providers labelled as the ‘private railways’). Tama ( Japanese: たま, April 29, 1999 – June 22, 2015) was a female calico cat who gained fame for being a station master and operating officer at Kishi Station on the Kishigawa Line in Kinokawa, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. The country as a whole is very proud of the quality of their trains, and this makes a crucial difference to recruitment, operations and efficiency. This story began in the late 1990s with a young calico cat called Tama. The firm had to axe all staff at Kishi station in … Not that Nitama has been promoted just on account of her looks. Translation for: 'one in charge of a train station, railroad official' in English->English dictionary. Want to know more about Japan's beloved cat stationmaster? Trains in Japan are safe, clean, comfortable and punctual.. Rail services in Japan are provided by more than 100 companies, including Japan Railway Group, private rail companies and third sector companies. This line wins on a technicality: in 2010 the Tohoku Shinkansen opened and runs for 739.2 kilometers, but one section of this line (from Morioka to Aomori) is run by a non-JR operator, so it's disqualified! Appointing a promising new stationmaster doesn't mean that Tama will be forgotten. This station is less iconic for the actual station itself than for what is under it. In Japan, several railway companies operate the rail networks. Though it may be sacrilege to say so, Ino also reveals that Nitama has a reputation as a "beauty cat" compared with Tama. To ensure her success, Nitama has graduated from Cat Stationmaster Training School. "I wrote on the stone and left the stonemason to carve my letters. Before you ride the rails in Japan, a little preparation will go a long way to making your trip as smooth as possible. Whether they are strays or belong to someone, many cats roam the streets and parks of … She was found under a car on a rainy day before being adopted by Okayama Electric Tramway. Otaku is the Japanese word for geeky nerd fandom, and although you might think otaku refers only to anime, Akihabara, and electronics, in reality you can be pretty much an otaku about anything.Enter “densha otaku” or “train nerd.” What’s unique about train nerds is their specialization. A Japanese civic group teamed up with a railway operator on Sunday to let some 30 cats roam on a local train at an event, hoping it will raise awareness of the culling of stray cats. Reporting by Teppei Kasai; Writing by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Christian Schmollinger. Most cats presume it; she was sure of it. The cat held the official position as Super Station Master. Original article --> Those crazy Japanese...It is a great tourisim idea, though. "The reason I appointed Nitama as a successor to Tama is that she had teaching experience from Tama directly," says Mitsunobu. The cats that help keep a Japanese rail line in business. The cat population in Japan is around 9.8 million. "We found the suitable stone for a pedestal and a monument," says the company's president. All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. 56 • Dec 2010 26 Breakthrough in Japanese Railways 5 Japan’s Rail Stations Keiichiro Ando Introduction Construction of new railway lines in Japan progressed rapidly from the late 1800s due to competition between the government and private railways… Aug 25, 2015 - The cat credited with saving the Kishigwa railway line in Japan, who sadly passed away earlier this year has been replaced... by another cat. Search nearly 14 million words and phrases in more than 470 language pairs. The Sanyo main line is the longest line in Japan at 673.8 kilometers long. Japan has one of the most developed railway systems in the world. We visited Tama in 2013 -- read our story here: There's a perfect beach for every week of the year. The extensive rail network covers almost every city and town in the country. A Japanese cat, which became a national celebrity when she was made a station master, is mourned at the station where she served. The announcement came in a personal and moving statement from Wakayama Electric Railway president Mitsunobu Kojima in which he revealed he'd refrained from appointing a successor while still praying for Tama. “I think it’s great more people are aware about stray kittens through events like this,” said Mikiko Hayashi, a passenger from western Japan, who owns two cats that were strays. In an effort to raise awareness about stray cats in the area, the Yoro Railway LTD partnered with the Kitten Cafe Sanctuary in Gifu, Japan to create the world’s first rolling cat café on a train. It's one of the most closely guarded succession plans outside of North Korea: Who will replace Tama? The station had made for this cat a custom hat and jacket, and she acted as if she was the station master. Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Just one stop away from Tokyo station, Yurakucho could easily be a stop one breezes past, but the restaurants and izakaya that operate under its tracks make for some of the most charming (and foodie-friendly) stations not just in Tokyo, but all of Japan. In Kyoto, the central station is a complex with a very large luxury hotel (Granvia), a department store (Isetan) and a very big audiovisual store (BicCamera), an underground shopping center, a very large Tourist Office, etc… ", The monument, featuring a bronze statue of Tama, was built beside an existing cat shrine, located beside the tree "where Tama used to see cherry blossoms and can see the Kishi Station and trains.". The new stationmaster Nitama was born in Okayama City. By Daily Mail Reporter. Wide shot train pulls out of Kishi Station3. Obituary from the Economist AS SOON as she was born, Tama-chan (“Little Treasure”) knew she was divine. I don't know if it's because they eat lots of fish, but Japan is a country where there's many cats (猫 "neko" in Japanese). Japanese Train Types. Nitama visited her mentor's shrine with railway boss Mitsunobu Kojima. It's not the toughest of schools, but cats must demonstrate a relaxed attitude to working with people and a willingness to wear a hat, according to the railway company. After Tama's funeral on June 28 -- attended by 3,000 mourners -- Wakayama rail president Kojima and other company executives went to the Kishi River, where Tama was born and raised, to look for materials to build a monument for the deceased cat. The privatised network is highly efficient, requiring few subsidies and running extremely punctually. Japan Railway & Transport Review No. The five-year-old served time as stationmaster at Idakiso Station, further along the same track, before becoming the deputy at Kishi in 2012. Dining-cars are not as popular in Japan as in Europe because of the national habit of buying food at the railway stations. Nitama was born in Okayama City, about 250 kilometers from Wakayama. However, at one particular Japanese railway station, there was a reason to go. They come seeking time, and hopefully a photo, with Kishi's stationmaster, a calico cat named Tama. Kishi's late stationmaster is credited with saving a dying train line on behalf of local residents. The $10MILLION cat in the hat: Meet Tama the feline station master who helped save Japanese railway from bankruptcy . The Kishigawa Line of the Wakayama Electric Railway runs from JR Wakayama Station through 12 stops over 14.3 kilometres before reaching its final terminus of Kishi Station. Wide shot train en route to Wakayama City4. Tama worked at Kishi Station on the Kishigawa line for more than nine years before passing away. It was at Kishi Station that a calico cat named Tama lived. Wakayama, Japan - June 4th 20081. Japanese Railway Allows Its Passengers To Enjoy The World's First Cat Cafe On a Train While Adopting Kittens In an effort to raise awareness about stray cats in the area, the Yoro Railway LTD partnered with the Kitten Cafe Sanctuary in Gifu, Japan to create the world's first rolling cat café on a train. That has reduced the number of cats culled from 238,929 in 2004 to 45,574 in 2016. Nitama, Tama's old assistant stationmaster, has assumed the position, beating several other cat candidates to run Kishi train station in. Japan's longest train line in the Sanyo main line, which runs from Kyoto Prefecture to Yamaguchi Prefecture. Japan Station guide to transportation in Japan. Train lines, stations, convenient transit hotels, transport connections, Japan Rail Pass calculator, transportation news. Stations often have several exits and are often very large. THE LUXURIOUS INTERIOR of a dining-car, typifies travel-comfort in modern Japan. Tama is credited with bringing in 1.1 billion yen ($9.2 million) in her first year and increasing passenger numbers by 17% during her tenure. Kishi Station (貴志駅, Kishi-eki) is a train station on the Kishigawa Line in Kinokawa, Wakayama, Japan, operated by the private railway operator Wakayama Electric Railway.. Kishi Station was known for Tama the stationmaster cat, who became the mascot for the station until she died in June 2015. A calico cat in southeastern Japan has left some big paw prints to fill. Visit the stationmaster of Kishi Station (Wakayama Prefecture) There are supposedly over 9,000 railway stations in Japan, and one of them is very distinctive. Don't hesitate to ask a ticket inspector what exit to take for the place you want to go to. The exterior of one of the latest types of third-class sleeping-cars on the Japanese State Railways. Tama, the hero of Kishi Station. Nitama "doesn't dislike wearing a hat," according Hitofumi Ino, spokesperson of the Ryobi Group, which oversees the railway. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays. OGAKI, Japan (Reuters) - A Japanese civic group teamed up with a railway operator on Sunday to let some 30 cats roam on a local train at an event, hoping it will raise awareness of the culling of stray cats. Rail transport in Japan is a major means of passenger transport, especially for mass and high-speed travel between major cities and for commuter transport in urban areas.It is used relatively little for freight transport, accounting for just 0.84% of goods movement. Now, after a wait of 50 days -- the traditional mourning period according to Japanese Shinto beliefs -- there's a new cat in charge. Cats at train stations in Japan‎ (2 C, 15 F) Train station clocks in Japan ‎ (3 C, 81 F) Covered footbridges over railway lines in Japan ‎ (161 F) "Tama was very mild and she seldom got angry, though she was strict with her subordinate Nitama.". Read More: Japanese station master 'Tama', the cat, dies Tama is credited with saving a dying train line on behalf of local residents. Wearing a black cap and posing for photos with passengers, Tama is credited with boosting Wakayama Electric Railway's revenue by 10%. Now, after a wait of 50 days -- the traditional mourning period according to Japanese Shinto beliefs -- there's a new cat in charge. The event was hosted by Yoro Railway Co Ltd and a non-governmental organization called Kitten Cafe Sanctuary. The main company Japan Railways (JR) covers the vast majority of the territory and is well known for its special tourist pass offering 7, 14, or 21 days of unlimited travel: the Japan Rail Pass.For 30 years it has been divided into 6 departments: JR East, JR Central, JR West, JR Hokkaido, JR Kyushu, JR Shikoku. Wide shot Kishi Station2. Following in Tama's pawprints is a tall order. For the past 8 years, a darling cat by the name of Tama patrolled the corridors of the train station. The number of cats in Japan admitted to shelters has dropped by around 70 percent to 72,624 in 2016 from 237,246 in 2004. Passengers on a local train in Ogaki, in central Japan, were greeted by meowing companions on a moving train, where some passengers mingled with the felines while others enjoyed lunch. This article will guide you through the basics of riding the rails in Japan and also tell you just about everything you need to know to make your trip smooth and pleasant. A loss-making Japanese railway company is back on track thanks to the popularity of a stray cat. Join us on a 12-month journey to see them all, READ: Tama the cat, Japan's cutest stationmaster, has died, The cat that saved a Japanese train station. Several economy ticket plans, such as the Asahiyama Zoo Ticket, which combines the train fare with the zoo admission fee, are available. This is the job description for the role of feline stationmaster at Kishi train station in Wakayama, Japan.