Why are the seats on train platforms in Japan different?

Some train platforms in Japan have benches for people to wait for their train to arrive that are completely different from what you see in other parts of the world.

However, as strange as it sounds, I assure you that there is a good explanation for this. Thus, the unusual design in Kansai is a smart example of thoughtful customer service, specifically designed with the user in mind.


Learn more about these seats and what they look like.

Seats on train platforms in Japan can be confusing

osaka is a famous city in Japan and is located in the Kansai region. Already Tokyo, the country’s capital, is in the Kanto region. Both locations pride themselves on doing things differently from each other. This is an interesting game and competition that makes one always look for an evolution for everyday things in life, even in food.


The differences don’t stop with the food, however, because at train stations in the Kansai area, you’ll find that the seats on some platforms look very different from those in Tokyo. So, while in Tokyo stations the seats on the train platforms are like the rest of the world, in Osaka they are a little different.

In Osaka they are parallel and facing the train that will arrive, as in the photo below.


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But why are they like that?

The rationale may surprise you. The Sora News website contacted the Osaka train administrator to find out the reasons. See the answer. “Well, the main reason is to prevent drunk customers from falling (on the tracks). Until they were installed, there were several cases where drunk customers who were sitting on the seats got up and fell off the platform.”

Because of this, in some stations, it is possible to find posters that show the change of position of the seats, with the explanation that the new configuration was thought to protect against drunken falls.


Drunken falls are a big problem at train stations across Japan, so much so that it’s common to find signs warning passengers of the dangers. It’s one of the reasons why platform doors are being installed at a number of stations, but given the costs involved and the fact that Japan’s rail network is wide and varied, a nationwide rollout would be a difficult and time-consuming task.

The seats on the platforms at Kansai Railway Station are another example of how Japan’s dedication to customer service can lead to innovative UX (user experience) design that creates a meaningful, relevant and memorable experience for users.

These small adjustments can help many people and certainly reveal the attention that the Japanese have to every detail.

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