In case you didn’t notice, it’s April and with the “cruellest month” comes a change in the fiscal year. Hence lots of emails from people announcing they are changing jobs or departments at work.

And Tokyo Metro starts a new series of posters advising its passengers to ride the subway in a courteous way.

tokyo subway metro manners poster 2012

Last year’s series was slightly ageist (of course, the only people who do bad things on trains are youngsters!) but popular, mainly for its incongruous monkey character. We feel that if you actually brought a small black monkey (no matter how cute!) onto a crowded Tokyo subway train, that might constitute a serious breach of etiquette — much more than cutting in line or answering the phone.

Anyway, the new financial year’s posters are off to a romantic start.

We can understand the pink theme in this April poster (it’s cherry blossom season, though the rain would have us believe otherwise), but the “heart” is surely a bit too much of a metaphorical jump.

tokyo subway metro manners poster april 2013

The slogan is, literally, “manners are heart”, and I guess it means that courtesy is about being “full of heart”. It works in some ways — and certainly in Japanese, where kokoro (heart) can also mean soul or spirit — but the first things surely most people will think is that it’s a very tardy advertisement for a Valentine’s Day subway train campaign.

You can peruse previous year’s posters, one per calendar month, as well as check on the progress of 2013’s, over on the Metro Manner Poster website.


  • Segolene October 11, 2013

    Congrats for your blog!
    I was wondering if you know if we can get (or purchase) these monthly posters after their use.
    If you know, where is it possible?
    I would love to get one to hang in my place.
    Thanks a lot for your help,

  • JapanTrends (Post author) October 11, 2013


    Sorry, I don’t think they are for sale. You would probably have to go to a Tokyo Metro station and ask the station to let you have one after they have finished with it!