Japan’s Train Station Jingles

Each one of Japan’s train stations has its own unique — and charming — jingle.

Our kids have been studying various Asian countries in home school this month, and the most recent country is our beloved Japan. Great Big Story (RIP) has a bunch of excellent and entertaining videos on Japanese culture, but this video about composer behind the unique train jingles that ring throughout every train station in Japan is particularly delightful.

Minoru Mukaiya used to be the keyboardist in the jazz fusion group Casiopea. After the band went on hiatus in 2006, he followed his fascination with trains to create the company Ongakukan, which builds professional train simulators. He then began composing the little melodies that play in Japan’s transit system to alert travelers of their arrival. To date, Mukaiya has composed 200 songs for over 110 stations. (My favorite detail from the video: All of the melodies that play along Tokyo’s Tozai Line are parts of the same song.)

If you want to hear more of these station melodies, check out this YouTube video and this Reddit thread. (Or you can buy a CD or two from Amazon Japan.)

Read more about Japan and Minoru Mukaiya.