-･- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -･- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.
I fell right asleep after transferring to a two-car local train at Ueda Station (上田駅, in Nagano Prefecture) last weekend. Then, after how long time I don't know, a soothing chorus woke me up.
I took a look at the back car where the singing voice came from and found this scene.
Until the train arrived at the terminal, Bessho Onsen Station (別所温泉駅, Bessho Hot Spring Station), the people who appeared to be members of a tour group sang golden oldies in the Showa Period (1926 – 1989) to the accompaniment of a harmonica a man in white uniform played.
I didn’t know that but, the man, Haruhara Sadayoshi (春原貞良), is the stationmaster of Ueda Station on Ueda Dentetsu Bessho line (上田電鉄別所線) and well known as the “harmonica stationmaster.” According to a local newspaper, he sometimes plays it in the train and on the platform since 2006. His harmonica and chorus of passengers have gained popularity, and now there are tours including this chorus train. I came across one of them that day in the course of my trip.
Participating tourists in my parent’s generation seemed happy and sang songs of their youth. I was caught in a timeslip to Showa for a while in the train running through idyllic towns, and I thought if my parents were still alive, they could enjoy such a tour, too.