Japanese Sleeping

Japanese have an special ability to fall asleep anywhere at anytime. Since I came to Japan I’m keeping a collection pictures showing Japanese people sleeping. Look at the first picture where four people in a row are sleeping! When I took this picture, almost everyone in my wagon was enjoying a siesta.















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126 replies on “Japanese Sleeping”

Kinda cool that they can sleep and lean on each other while they do it. If I tried that here I’d get knocked out.

I think it’s because they are more trusting of the people and their surroundings that nothing will happen to them.

I’m pretty sure you won’t find them nodding off like that here in the U.S.

I would do the same in Seattle but wouldn’t dare doing it in N.Y.

I suppose it’s something referred to as powersleeping.
If you lead a hectic life or working long hours you need to top up the hours you sleep in order to stay wake and alert longer.
I read articles on the web explaining how to do it, but I can’t.
Best I can do is sleep on the train or bus for a few minutes – and I need to power sleep with my 12 hour shifts!
No wonder the japanses can handle a hectic lifestyle..

That’s hilarious! I like the guy asleep on the motorcycle, and the one smack dab in the middle of a station. I could never do that and I’m sure I would get a few weird looks if I tried.

Gotta take in to mind some of the one’s sleeping outside could be ones that stayed up all night drinking and missed their trains.

1) The guy on the moped… that pic screams “Photoshop me!!”

2) The guy in the middle of the platform: Did it bother him that his water was knocked over?

it is pretty safe to do tht here in japan….
i used do to tht too coz train journey is long n boring.
but it must be the overwork n not enuf sleep….

Hahaha!!!! Thought I would never see that pic again!!!
The 9th pic has been characterized as “the best photo in Japan 2004 album”.. :-p

The amazing thing is that all of these people who are sleeping on trains will be mouth-open-drooling-dead-to-the-world asleep for the entire trip, until the moment the train comes to a stop at their desired station, when they miraculously wake up automatically.

Japanese are sleepwalking through life because NOBOBY–not even babies—goes to bed before midnight and EVERYONE has be in the trains by 8am.
Nobody in Japan get 8 hours sleep a night and that 5 five-hours a night sleep regime means ALL Japanese adults are zombies.

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kirai means ” dislike” or “mine”. lol

I don’t know why, even if I sit on the chair in the train and got felt a noise and quake of train, I would be sleepy.
Those are excruciatingly feelling good for sleep.


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I would assume that you see a greater number of people sleeping in Japan because their rate of Narcolepsy (A sleep disorder) is extremely high. There are even some businesses there that have required nap times.

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they work so hard here. thats why they sleep on trains etc. Even i often go to sleep on the train here now. can’t manage it standing up like they sometimes manage though. and have had people fall asleep on my shoulder and not known what to do.

i’m part japanese and have that weird ability to fall asleep anywhere, in any situation, instantaneously. i don’t live in japan, and i’m currently a college student, so i’m not always working (except for studying, lol). i think it might be a genetic thing as well as a cultural thing. i choose to believe that anyway, or i’d feel weird about my sleep habits!

i read that part of the reason this happens is that children are allowed to fall asleep any time they want in classes when they are at school.
so it becomes a habit from then. I guess if we had been used to having little naps from an early age we would probably find it easy now too.

The same thing happens here in Seoul. Not to the same extent as in Japan but it still happens. It’s actually a good way of catching up on some sleep and when you get it right, you can wake up right before your subway stop. It is fricken annoying however when someone next to you and falling asleep on your shoulder and drooling all over you.

I thought it was all hilarious, I especially loved the picture of the guy sleeping on his moped. Seriously though I don’t think they have any ‘special ability to sleep,’ These people work long hours there for little pay. Shit I’d be konkin out standing up if I was working as much as them too.

I can understand catching a nap on the metro, Ive done it before. But that seems a little different form catching some z’s in the middle of a standing platform or even a park bench… Though, they’re homes are usually smaller, or shared with family so maybe it really is easier to sleep elsewhere?

Thats what I love about Japan – people feel secure as its a safe country – if it was anything like the UK then someone would have walked off with your bag and anything else not tied down.

They are probably overworked – they don’t get much annual leave – bless ’em! I have a pic of 2 guys who fell asleep in front of me on the tube – just watching the whole process happening was hilarious!

maybe if you didn’t have to be around fat ugly Americans all the time you would feel that comfortable too

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From my own experience…those who sit on the platform, lie unconciously on seat are drunk. Other than that, yup, Japanese tends take naps during their commute. And I turned into one of them when i was there.

Well, I used to sleep on the Tube when I was commuting in London. It was relative safe. But here in San Francisco … way to many crazy people on the busses.

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I lived in Japan for almost ten years and noticed the same behavior in trains. Japanese are in their own world when in a train. It’s almost impossible to get eye contact. I think they just turn off the outside world for privacy 🙂

nice one …….
but even in INDIA we can see it,
i think buses , trains are
good place for sleeping
living in our own world……….
without any disturbance !!!

its soo cool to see alll those pics at the same time. haha
but, most of them should be drunk or something. normal ppl dont do that.. like sleep on the street or something… haha but yeah, just coool. good job.

LOL. ITs obvious its because they all are over worked, except for the guy in the 2nd pic…its ovbious hes passed out lol.

But damn man, they can’t even get a full nights sleep?

When I lived in tokyo I too was surprised about this, but I soon realized that it was really really easy to fall asleep on the train. And it wasnt as dangerous as it is here in sweden 😛

Great pics!

I think people is happy .
There is the environment that can sleep people’s being relieved.

1)nice pics
2)to pinki,only homeless, wealthless &careless people do that in trains etc. otherwise no one would do that in india.

It happens to some extent in Hong Kong too. Most people work in the morning and go shopping at night so sleeping while travelling is important. Though sleeping on pavements and on the street is a little extreme.

Wow. They are really trusting to sleep around strangers…. it’s kinda cool that they are comfortable enough to sleep anywhere they want though! I wish I could do that….

Fall asleep in public in the States and It will only be a matter of time before the cops hassle you.

I have picked up this skill since I moved to Japan. There is something about living in Tokyo which makes me always ready for a quick nap. I think it may have to do with the fact that Tokyo has a real fast paced lifestyle and people have to get sleep when they can.

HaHaHa~! So funny pictures~!

저는 한국인을 사랑합니다!
私は日本人も愛しています! ♡

And… I love U, all around the world!!!

Having lived in Japan for several years now I completely understand. Both as a student and when I was working, my commute was over an hour long. Since there isn’t much else to do, you fall asleep. Pretty soon your body gets used to this and getting on the train means feeling sleepy. The other big reason is that work hours are long in Japan and the train is a place to catch up on your sleep.

I’ve read all the comments below (they were indeed numerous), and I`ve got some insight and comments to share about these narcoleptic Nihon-jins.

1- They definitely feel safe enough to leave themselves completely vulnerable to strangers by sleeping in public as Japan is a very safe country. People have this innate respect for everything around them…well, most Japanese do, at least.

2- The pictures seen in train/metro stations are quite common as those who miss the last train (roughly around midnight) are forced to wait until dawn for the first train home. Partying in Tokyo is a commitment to pull an all-nighter, cuz seriously, who’s gonna leave the club at 11:00pm just to catch the train? It’s cool tho, cuz a lot of bars and clubs are open until 5:00am, and they never stop serving alcohol 🙂

3- Regarding the “overworked” thing: yes, and no. The majority of the people here who work do so 6 days a week, for 10 hour shifts. Taking vacation days are allowed (by law) but very few Japanese people make use of them as they feel that they would be portrayed as being lazy. Japanese people have a profound work-ethic and it’s built into them since childhood (many of my grade-school students go through 10 hour days of school/club activity/music lessons/cram schools/etc…).

4- Yes, taking pictures in trains is considered taboo, and the cell-phones purchased here have the option to turn off the shutter sound *when taking a picture* disabled. This is to prevent perverts from taking pictures in cramped spaces…they even go so far as to have “women-only” cars in some trains during peak commuting times.

5- As for being able to fall asleep anytime/anywhere, well I’ve got some friends back home who can do the same 😛 but seriously, the amount of people on trains who sleep is STAGGERING! There are 3 types of people you see constantly on trains. One: the sleepers. Two: the texters. Three: the readers (myself included). I once had a guy fall asleep right in front of me while STANDING UP! And this was a 300 lbs man! He was snoring!!!

Wow, that was a long comment 🙂

I’m Japanese and I had an experience to stay in Canada so I think I can talk about the possibility of why Japanese are sleeping in Public.

First of all, People are relieved and relaxed to sleep in public in Japan because it is safe country.There are some foeigner though, most of all are Japanese or asian races in Japan.that’s why people has less cautious to the others in public..(In Canada, It is more like opposite way.people usually show a sense of safty to notify “I’m not your enemy” with a little smile and with an eyecontact in public transportation.)

Second, People are off mode in public such as in train due to overwork or some reason and they want to take a rest and then get back to be on mode in the office or meet up friends.That’s why people are less interest with the people in public especially in big city.

Third, I’m guessing from my experience so I can’t be sure about it but, ordinary Japanese can’t hold long eye contact with stranger or avoid eye-contact intentionally with people who don’t know in train.I assume that it is because they are luck of dopamine due to stress.Besides, Some Japanese are not used to looking the stranger’s eyes directly unless they are outgoing like a TV personarity.Well, It depends on your state.
When I am lively, I sometimes watch people actively in train in Japan and in the train it is usually noisy because people surround me are awake and talking loud as well as when I’m talking with my friend or my coworker in train, usually many people are talking in train.I don’t know if it is some kind of synchronicty or not but it happens.

I’m pretty sure that if Japanese are in train or metro in the U.S. They wouldn’t fall asleep.

this is strange. but awesome. if I tried to do lean on someones shoulder here in San Francisco, theyd cuss me out and probably try to hurt me. lol.

I think it’s a special Japanese “sleeping gene”. I work in an English Language school in Australia, and our Japanese students are notorious for falling asleep in the library, rec room, lunch tables, in the busses when they take trips, and even in class!! I wonder if it has something to do with the way they can get all red-faced after one light beer, and completely drunk after two? Perhaps they have natural alcohol in their system?

Maybe their conciousness is not awake or active due to so much stress.Their soul is nearly dead. give them some weed to feel alive and get away from wrong place lol

I(Japanese) want you to know….
not rare – japanese sleeping in train(comfortable)
rare – sleeping on ground(not confortable)

It is because people believe that sleeping in trains is not dangerous and actually it is too rare to encounter a crime in train in Japan.When People get tired from their work, it is a comfortable place to get sleep in train in Japan.In some countries, it is dangerous to sleep in trains.

I’ve slept like this in New York City when I worked there. Sometimes, you get tired and can only take a nap where you are right then. So yeah, the floor of Penn Station is damn comfortable when you just worked for 17 hours. Also, the A-C-E train runs smooth enough to catch a 20 minute nap on your way downtown.

@Helio – Iiii dunno, when you put it like that, to me it could be they hassle to hassle, or they understand it’s not safe and are trying to prevent anything bad and unnecessary from happening (for your sake or theirs).

Cuz we’re tired and the train rides are really long in Tokyo. Never thought about safety etc etc, just never thought of being robbed… until I left Japan…

I hope no one snaps shots of me when I’m sleeping on the train… I try to stay alert with my eyes closed but sometimes I’m just so tired…

Reminds me of Africa, where you will also see people asleep wherever they land. In the US, of course, if that many people are asleep in public, you wonder why the city doesn’t open a homeless shelter for the overflow!!

Japan Here I come I love taking naps when ever i feel like it .I live in London and am always sleep on the bus and train and in the summer Love to meditate in the park before taking a nap

Japanese people sleep all over the place because they are complete tools when of comes to their job life. Most of them get up hella early to.commute more than 30 minutes then they get off work and stay out until the last train. Thankfully people are respectful enough not to jump you while you’re sleeping. You definitely can’t do this in most poor countries like America, most of Europe and south America. So I definitely see why it would appear weird for people from those countries.

This probably happens because Japan is awesome and people don’t have to worry about anyone steal their stuff.

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Average working hour in Japan is 56hr/week, compared to American 43hr/week. And 50% of vacations are simply ‘returned’. Generally they’re more sleep-deprived people.

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