Suicide Train Line (The Chuo Line)


Chuo Line

Suicide is quite the craze over here.  It’s averaging at around 33000 people a year. Depressed business men apparently the bulk of it.  How scary is that?  OK I know Tokyos population in huge but still (35 million in the Greater Tokyo Area).

One of the more stranger things I discovered over here is that the most suicides in Tokyo take place on train lines (jumping off pass overs and jumping straight off platforms is the most popular ).  Unfortunately my local train line (The Chuo Line)  is the most popular line for ending it all which makes me wonder how many happen in a week.  I have not seen anything yet thankfully but I am well prepared for it.  Usually when I tell people that my local line is the Chuo line it’s always followed by a statement like “ohhh that line..” or “suicide train!”.  It’s renowned for it’s suicides.

Apparently some times the trains don’t stop and sometime they have to close off the line.  I have met various people who have seen things that were not so nice.  Sometimes they clear the tracks so quickly that people don’t even notice it’s happened.

It’s also customary for people committing suicide to take off their shoes before jumping. People say it’s so they can enter heaven properly and some say that it’s way of telling people it’s not murder.  Either way it’s messed up if you ask me!  This is one of the more bizarre things about Japanese culture.

The reason for choosing the The Chuo Line:

  • It’s the straightest line and there are a few express trains on it so they gain quite a lot of speed.  Guaranteed suicide I suppose.
  • It’s the cheapest line to maintain if it has to be closed.  The family of the deceased have to pay maintenance fees for the lines closure.  Quite a lot but this this is the cheapest as it’s not the most important line in Tokyo.

To reduce the suicide rate they have installed mirrors in the Subways and some train stations to prevent the suicides. Apparently if you see yourself before jumping you change your mind.  Have no idea if that works.  It was a concept stolen from Korea.

June being the most depressing month in Japan should be interesting!  I’m guessing we’ll quite a substantial increase in the suicide rate this year with banks dying and unemployment on the rise.

Here is quite a good article on the ice cold dead atmosphere on all trains.


~ by redegg on May 18, 2009.

One Response to “Suicide Train Line (The Chuo Line)”

  1. […] Chuo Line Suicides […]

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