Train Groping in Japan: Safety Measures for Innocent Men




January 14, 2022



Have you ever seen those video clips of the rush hour commuter trains in Japan? The ones with designated station staff literally cramming as many people into a train as possible. It’s crazy and jaw-dropping but completely true. You may not see the ‘pushing station staff’ in smaller cities, but this rush hour chaos is an everyday norm in commercial hubs such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Although stressful as hell for the general public, it is less a problem and considered more as just city life. A more serious issue that stems from these crowded trains in Japan is train groping (Densha Chikan in Japanese).

Densha Chikan: Statistics on Train Groping in Japan

Packed trains and stations during peak rush hours in Japan are a playground for sexual predators, perverts, and just stupidly horny men. If you take Tokyo for example, a recent report by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department stated that in 2016 there were 1,800 incidents of groping. Out of these incidents, 52.7% occurred inside a train. A further 19.4% occurred within a station. In total 72.1% of groping incidents were related to train transportation. The majority occurred during peak commuting hours. These statistics of course only include the incidents that were picked up and dealt with. There are definitely hundreds more that go unreported. Females on trains needed some protection. So, the Japanese Land and Transport Ministry introduced ‘Female Only’ train cars from 2000. However, by the overwhelming number of incidents in a year, you can still see that train groping in Japan is a big problem. To be honest, there isn’t a week that goes by that the news doesn't pick up a groping or sexual assault incident related to trains. So why is this important to a bro right? Train Groping in Japan - Male Suspects

One Accidental Touch Can Turn You into a Criminal

You may think to yourself. “I’m not a chick so it doesn’t concern me!” or something like … “I’m not stupid or desperate enough to end up train groping a girl in Japan” Hear me out. This information is important to any bro that rides or will end up riding a packed train in Japan. In the past, if females experienced train groping in Japan, they would be scared speechless. Stereotypical Japanese girls who were ‘Shy and Quiet’, ‘Conservative’, and ‘Submissive’ were the perfect prey for sexual predators. They could go for gold and girls wouldn’t speak up. But in recent times, focus on personal safety and the general awareness of train groping in Japan has increased among the female society. For example, you will find posters in stations that warn and remind women (and men) to be on alert for suspicious people. Also, a number of female focused organizations (NPO/NGOs) have been established to help educate females in dealing with sexual offenders.

The Japanese Public have their Radars on for Train Groping

Now, Japanese women and the general public are more informed and vocal. In other words, they are more confident in taking initiative and fighting back. Which may also be a reason why there is an increasing number of train groping incidents being reported and dealt with by the law. Which is, of course, a good thing! The bad guys are getting what they deserve. However, this aggressive attitude has seen many innocent men get wrongfully burnt as well. Travelling every day on a train fully packed to the brim with people, an accidental nudge can be mistaken as a push. An unintentional brush of an elbow can be mistaken as a grope. Heck, a simple tap with your bag can even be mistaken as an extension of your knob!

Men are Never Given the Benefit of the Doubt

What I am trying to say here is that absolutely anything can be mistaken as 'train groping'. And Japanese women have their groping sensors on full power. No matter how unintentional an accidental nudge of a woman on a train is, if she says you touched her in an indecent way, all hell will break lose. When it comes to train groping (Densha Chikan) in Japan, unfortunately, men are never given the benefit of the doubt (or any power to reason for that matter). And there are many unsuspecting and innocent men getting prosecuted for a train groping crime they didn't commit. Japanese women have learned to speak out. Even if they are not 100% sure and possibly have no evidence, they have the power to call you out as a 'groper' at any time, anywhere. Hell, there are some that do it on purpose so they can get legal compensation. It's a scary world out there. But don't worry! You just have to be smart bro! Here are some tips to follow for whenever you are riding on a packed train in Japan. Just by understanding the common traps that men fall into can make the difference!

5 Tips to Avoid Being Mistaken as a Groper on a Train

Train Groping in Japan - Dont Line Up with Females

Tip 1: Don’t Line up with Females

During rush hour, even with the increase in 'Women Only' carriages, you will always find females in regular cars. It just can't be helped. So, when you are waiting on the station platform, find a line without (or the fewest) females. Easier said than done I know, but if you have to ride a car with females, make sure you don't line up directly behind a one. When you board the train in the order you lined up, you will most likely find yourself in a close proximity to her when everyone else has pushed their way onto the train behind you. Train Groping in Japan - Stay Away from Females

Tip 2: Distance Yourself from Female Passengers

This is an obvious one but stand as far away as possible from female passengers inside the train. During rush hour, once you get on the train you will have absolutely zero space to move. In addition, more and more female passengers may also board the train at every train stop. Once you are on, you are stuck. You will have no choice but to go with the flow. Therefore, try and find a position as far away from female passengers or as close to a group of men. In summer it really can be an awful experience, but if you surround yourself with men you can use them as your force field. A position against a window or wall is also very useful too. By cutting down as many open angles, you can decrease the chances of accidentally touching someone. Train Groping in Japan - Stay Away from Females

Tip 3: Keep Your Hands Occupied

Obviously, women with their groper radars on are on the alert for being groped by a pair of hands. So, make sure to have an alibi for both of yours. Make sure you have something to hold on to. If you have a bag, hold the bag in front of you with one hand. Then grab onto a bar on a seat or strap hanging from the ceiling with the other. If you have an empty hand, hold a book or newspaper. Anything will do! Just by keeping both of your hands occupied, you can prove your innocence if pulled up. Train Groping in Japan - Suspicious Movements

Tip 4: Don’t Make Any Suspicious Movements

Stop yourself from making any needless movements during a train ride. If you move around or fidget with something, it can easily be mistaken for something suspicious like groping. For example, leaning down to get something out of your bag can easily be mistaken as leaning down to touch the bottom half of a girl. Or, taking your phone in and out of your pocket could even be mistaken as trying to take upskirt snapshots. ETC. If it isn’t an emergency, try to keep your body as planted in one position as possible until your train stop. Train Groping in Japan - Raise Your Hands

Tip 5: Raise Your Hands High

If you have nothing to hold and your hands are free, keep them up as high as possible. Similar to keeping your hands busy, but have both of your hands visible to the people around you. Grab the ceiling strap with both hands or have one hand on a seat bar and the other on the door. By having your hands up high as much possible, there is a lesser chance that they could end up somewhere they shouldn't when all the pushing and shoving happens. Also, by having both your hands openly visible, once again you have a blatant alibi. In the worst case scenario that you can't grab any ceiling strap or railing, and have nothing to hold on to, cross your arms tight in front of you.

Last Words

Of course, the most obvious piece of advice is to completely avoid riding trains during the rush hour times altogether. But sometimes we have no choice. Therefore, following the above tips will definitely help you to avoid being mistaken for touching a girl when you actually didn't on a packed train in Japan. Like I said above, when you are literally shoulder to shoulder on a packed train, anything can be mistaken as a 'grope'. If you somehow accidentally touch the wrong lady at the wrong time, you could get the grilling of a lifetime. And as a foreigner in Japan, fines, jail time, a tarnished criminal record ETC is the kind of trouble you really don't want. Females in Japan are more alert. It's a good thing! But we as bros can't be letting our guards down, and have to be smart too. A little bit of awareness can make the biggest difference. IF by chance you ever do get mistaken for train groping, in my next post I will give you tips on how to deal with it!

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