February 2009

One thing in Canada that's very inconvenient is our public transportation system. Honestly, I think Japan's transportation system is much better.

First of all, we don't have any high-speed bullet trains like the Shinkansen in Canada. Personally, I've always thought this is a bit strange. After all, Canada is a very big country, and people often need to travel long distances. So people usually fly on airplanes when they need to go from one part of the country to another. This is inconvenient and very expensive. I've often wished we had our own Shinkansen trains.

We have regular trains, of course, but they're expensive and don't run very often. They're often late, too. I was very impressed the first time I took a train in Japan, and it left right on time. In Canada, that would be very unusual!

About two years ago, I went travelling in Europe. I was actually very impressed by the train system in England. It's far more extensive than the one in Canada, and the trains run more often. Unfortunately, it also has a lot of delays. One day, when I was taking a train out of London, there were some problems on the track which caused it to arrive two hours late. I was told this was actually quite common!

When I went to Germany, however, the transportation system was wonderful. I got onto a train at the airport, changed to another train in the city, and then disembarked only a block from my hotel. When I wanted to get to the place where I was attending a conference, I only had to walk a block in a different direction, get onto a tram, and take it right to where I wanted to go. Everything was perfectly on time, and it wasn't expensive at all.

Japan may not have trains and trams quite like Germany's, but the transportation system here is certainly very convenient. I think Canada could learn a lot about transportation from countries like Japan, Germany... maybe even from England.

Return to my Japan page.