Weird and Wonderful Things People Leave on Japanese Trains


japan rail just published a list of the rarest and most often lost items found in their trains, and when they are most likely to find them.

The Japan Railways Group, more commonly known as JR, manages a large number of railway networks across the country. JR Shikoku, which handles passengers on the South Island, operates 1,006 trains a day over an area of ​​855.2 kilometers, which includes a total of 259 stations. With such a busy operation, their lost and found department is also very active, and now the railway company has shared news of the finds they had during the past fiscal year, April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. , including everyday objects to much more unusual and surprising.

Top 3

According to the company, the top three items left on trains and in stations are:

1. Umbrellas (8,069/23.2%)

2. Personal accessories and ornaments (4,609/13.2%)

3. Books and stationery (3,700/10.6%)

Mobile phones are not far behind, with 2,300 picked up last year.


Where and when

While the majority of lost items are left inside trains (23,511/68.5%), many forgotten items are also found in stations (9,286/27.1%).

And the month for losing items appears to be August, when 3,130 items were found, with umbrellas still being the most commonly dropped item (743). Incidentally, August was also the biggest month to lose money, with a whopping 2,769,447 yen (US$26,688.33) picked up during the hottest month of the year.



In fiscal 2015, there were 34,305 cases of lost money, totaling 25,525,693 yen (246,001.31 USD). The biggest cash find was a wad of 118,000 yen. Money was safely returned to owners in 10,145 cases (29.6%), with a total of 20,185,909 yen returned, an impressive 79.1% of the total amount lost.


weird and wonderful

Some of the more unusual items left behind on trains and stations include:

Pilgrim sticks and “kasaya” monk stoles, which actually isn’t too strange considering that Shikoku Island is well known for the 88-temple pilgrimage, popular with locals and visitors alike.

Dentures, Wii game consoles, udon noodles and “bone-in poultry”, although they failed to mention whether the poultry was raw, live or cooked.

The past year seems to have been pretty subdued compared to previous years, with 2013-2014 being the year they found things like a gyudon bowl of beef and rice, a vacuum cleaner, a bowling ball, a long sword, watering cans, koinobori carp streamers, watermelons, x-ray pictures and daikon radish.


What to do

If you ever lose something on the train, there are instances where the item might not be found immediately, so the company suggests inquiring more than once to give you the best chance of finding your item. They also advise you to go to the terminal station of the train, where the item will probably be kept after checking the wagons at the end.

So the next time you ride the rails in Japan, be sure to hold on to your umbrella, especially if you’re traveling in the summer. If you lose something, even if it’s a big wad of cash, chances are it’s been waiting, safe and sound, for you to come and collect it!

Source: JR Shikoku Press Release Going through Tetsudo Shimbun
Top picture: Wikimedia commons/Spaceaero2
Insert pictures: Flickr/Taichiro Ueki, Wikimedia Commons/Kazusan, Wikimedia Commons/, Wikimedia Commons/松岡徳次郎


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