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Tweet of the Week

Learn Japanese with what's going viral in the Twitterverse.

By 3 min read

Earlier this week, the railway operator JR East announced the new name for its brand new station on the Yamanote Line and Twitter had a whole lot to say about their choice of moniker. 

The gateway to trouble town

Even without going so far as being a train otaku, most Japanese people are very proud of their trains so the announcement of a new station between Tamachi and Shinagawa stations for 2020 naturally sparked a lot of interest from the public.

Capitalizing on this enthusiasm for the new addition to the Yamanote Line, railway operator JR East declared the name of the station would be decided based on suggestions submitted by the public during 2018.

However, they didn’t quite keep their word.

While the obvious “Takanawa” was the public’s first choice, the railway giant decided to go with “Takanawa Gateway” instead — a suggestion which had ranked a pretty shameful 30th out of a total of 36 entries. Hmmmm.

Rumor has it that “Gateway” is a reference to a construction project near Haneda airport being funded by the Abe administration that they’ve proclaimed will be “a new hub for international exchange” — but not a hub for keeping promises, clearly. 

Katakana cop-out 

Ultimately, the Japanese public could probably have forgiven the first choice not being picked — business is business after all. But the adjonction of an English word in katakana, following the kanji, made people very アプセト.

Believing that this new station’s name was a disturbing anomaly among the 29 stations that all have very traditional names, @Kurage60 took it upon himself to provide a revised map of the Yamanote Line, renamed the Yamanote Metropolitan Loop Line for consistency.


山手線改め山手メトロポリタンループラインの路線図です。ご査収ください。= Here’s the revised route map for the Yamanote Metropolitan Loop Line. Please have a look.

Using each station’s well-known characteristics, @Kurage60 formed a map so descriptively accurate, we’re wondering why no one thought of this sooner. Here’s the list of new station names according to the tweet:

  • 東京セントラル駅 = Tokyo Central Station
  • 有楽町オールモストギンザ駅 = Yurakucho Almost Ginza Station
  • 新橋サラリーマンサンクチュアリ駅 = Shimbashi Salaryman Sanctuary Station
  • 浜松町ガーデンベイサイド駅 = Hamamatsucho Garden Bayside Station
  • 田町ニューデイズ駅 = Tamachi New Days Station
  • 高輪ゲートウェイ駅 = Takanawa Gateway Station
  • 品川インターシティ駅 = Shinagawa Intercity Station
  • 大崎ゲートシティ駅 = Osaki Gate City Station
  • 五反田セクシュアルプレイス駅 = Gotanda Sexual Place Station
  • 目黒雅叙園ホテル前駅 = Meguro Gajoen Hotel Front Station
  • 恵比寿ガーデンプレイス駅 = Ebisu Garden Place Station
  • 渋谷ヤングシティ = Shibuya Young City Station
  • 原宿ファションタウン駅 = Harajuku Fashion Town Station
  • 代々木スポーツワールド駅 = Yoyogi Sports World Station
  • 新宿スカイスクレイパー駅 = Shinjuku Skyscraper Station
  • 新大久保グローバルスクエア駅 = Shin-Okubo Global Square Station
  • 高田馬場カレッジシティ駅 = Takadanobaba College City Station
  • 目白インペリアルカレッジ駅 = Mejiro Imperial College Station
  • 池袋ウエストゲートパーク駅 = Ikebukuro West Gate Park Station
  • 大塚トーヨコイン駅 = Otsuka Toyoko Inn Station
  • 巣鴨グランドマザーズ駅 = Sugamo Grandmothers Station
  • 駒込リクギガーデン駅 = Komagome Rikugi Garden station
  • 田端ナッシング駅 = Tabata Nothing Station
  • 西日暮里エーリトスクール駅 = Nishi Nippori Elite School Station
  • 日暮里テキスタイル駅 = Nippori Textile Station
  • 鶯谷レジャーホテルズ駅 = Uguisudani Leisure Hotels Station
  • 上野カルチャーパーク駅 = Ueno Cultural Park Station
    御徒町ジュエルズ駅 = Okachimachi Jewels Station
  • 秋葉原エレクトロニカ駅 = Akihabara Electronika Station
  • 神田ヒストリエ駅 = Kanda Historie Station

Some users challenged the idea providing even more funny suggestions such as:

  • 東京トレインスタート駅 = Tokyo Train Start Station
  • 新大久保コリアンタウン駅 = Shin-Okubo Korean Town Station
  • 神田ネクストトゥトーキョー駅 = Kanda Next To Tokyo Station

Learning kana and hiragana

So to the question of the day: Which kana table — hiragana or katakana — is more troublesome to memorize? Many learners struggle getting the katakana right, as their simple features actually make them easy to mix up. If you just started your nihongo journey, check out our introduction to Japanese, which starts with hiragana and katakana. To help you with your practice, we have also selected some very practical apps to help you improve your kana on the go!


Japanese Romaji English
山手線 やまのてせん yamanotesen Yamanote Line
あらた aratame changed, former, previous
路線図 ろせんず rosenzu route map (train, bus etc.)
査収 さしゅうください
go sashuu kudasai
please have a look

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