Translator: Sarah McNally
From Canada, Sarah has been in Japan for almost 5 years. If you are interested in a Japanese to English translation, please feel free to contact her at

Sarah. 来日五年目のカナダ人。日本の高校では英語の教師して教壇に立つ一 方、日本語検定一級の資格も活かし翻訳も行う。問い合わせは上記アドレスへ。

After Word: Day 5
To get an idea of how the Japanese TV program "From the World's Train Windows" maintains its popularity, you must experience the pleasure of England's railroad. England is the birthplace of the railroad and at present trains here carry people over both long and short distances, responding to their various needs and taking them where they need to go.

Japan's railroad was imported from England, so Japan's system resembles England's. These days, Japan's railroad technology is often called the best in the world. In the near future it seems that the Japanese bullet train will likely be exported to England. This is one more thing railroad fans can look forward too.

Here you'll find some personal notes I took during my trip.
I didn't really write this to be read by others, but you can take a look if you like. This is about what happened in London during the week or so I was there.
*Diary written between September and October of 2000

    London Diary: Day 5 - Off to Manchester

    I got on the 7:15 train leaving from Euston station and headed for Manchester-Piccadilly station, enjoying the two hour and fifteen minute ride to Stock Port.

    At first there was nothing to see but red brick houses lined up row upon row, but before 10 minutes had passed the landscape became lush and green. Looking closely, I could see sheep and cows scattered here and there, making it seem as though we were crossing through a large stock farm. The flat green fields seemed to stretch out forever. I had never seen anything like it in my life. It was just like a country side scene out of one of Conan Doyle's books.

    I got off the train at Stockport station, and the friend who I had arranged to meet was there waiting for me. My friend took me to a nearby market and shopping district. The shopping district was quite different from those in Japan. It was on a road which was about 20 meters wide with no traffic, and there were shops with bright and colourful displays on both sides of the road. If you come here you'll find all the usual shops, from HMV to McDonalds to WH Smith.

    After a walk on the shopping street I took the train to Manchester, and as I was riding I realized that in England it would be very easy to cheat on train fair. In Japan, all the railway stations have ticket gates so one can't get on the platform without a ticket. However (except for the tube) there are no ticket gates at all in England. Tickets are sold at the station, but if you get on the train and tell the conductor where you got on and where you plan to get off, the conductor will give you a ticket for that section. That's all there is to it. In spite of this, everyone was buying tickets honestly and not trying to cheat the fare. Perhaps the reason for this was not only that everyone was well mannered, but also that the fares were so cheap.

    A Manchester Metrolink tram. These trams connect the city centre and the residential areas.

    In Manchester, my friend bought soy sauce in Chinatown, and after that we took the tram to the Lowry memorial hall. Before heading off, we took a short walk near the canals. The canals were very much wider than I had imagined, and since I have no sense of geography, I decided that the ocean must certainly be very close.

    I even thought that I could smell the ocean, but this was Manchester. Manchester is quite inland. From which it follows that the sea must have been far away.

    I'm backtracking a bit here, but although I referred to the Lowry as a "memorial hall", the Lowry was actually in a ridiculously huge building that had many of Louis Lowry's work on display and also a theatre and other facilities. It had a very modern air to it, as it had just been built. Entrance was free. After taking a look at the works on display (rather slowly and carefully), I had a cappuccino. It was delicious. After my cappuccino I went for another stroll along a nearby canal, returned to Chinatown and had lunch, and then went straight to my friend's house in Stockport.

    The residential districts of England have houses of the same colour and style lined up as far as the eye can see. It's a world that would be hard to imagine from Japan.