Snapshots of Modern Japan: 07

Bus Schedule

One of the posted schedules at the Morimatsu bus station in Matsuyama.

When I was an ALT, I worked at three different elementary schools, one of which was a bit rural. To get there, I had to take a bus down Highway 33 to a tiny station in an area called Morimatsu, and then catch a second bus to the school. Morimatsu, as I quickly discovered, is on the edge of town, and the only thing that’s been updated in about 30 years is the type of vending machine. That includes the bus station, which still uses old-fashioned schedules, written in kanji and read right-to-left, top-to-bottom. I hate to admit it, but it probably took me 10 minutes to fully decipher the thing, even though I could read the text. It was surprisingly satisfying to finally figure it out.

I’ve always liked that, despite all the things that are ultra-modern, it’s not hard to run across things from the past still in use. Comfortingly fixed points in a time of change.

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