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osaka subway PET bottle mystery



I often get emails asking whether any new lines have opened recently on Osaka's subway system. The answer to the question is "yes", though the line isn't that new because it didn't open recently.

The newest line on the system is the Imazatosuji Line, which opened in December, 2006. Judging by the spotless nature of the trains and stations, one could easily be led to believe it opened yesterday. But it didn't.




This man alone is responsible for the stunningly good condition of the line's entire fleet of trains and all 11 stations....




The Imazatosuji Line is the first to have barriers installed on the platforms to prevent depressed salarymen falling forward onto the track just as a train arrives at high speed....




The very latest computer technology has been utilised to ensure the perfect alignment of the barriers with the train doors, allowing for the effortless movement of passengers from carriage to platform and vice versa and then vice versa again if necessary....




New carriages, new seats and new passengers....




Architects who are also good at art were called in to design the stations....




However, in recent months there's been a significant increase in chatter in Osaka-based internet chatrooms due to the mysterious appearance of used PET bottles cut in half and stuck upside down on the ceilings of some stations along the line....




Is this art? Or is it just half an upside-down PET bottle taped to the ceiling?

Or possibly something altogether more sinister....

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On Sunday, 02 March, 2008, Anonymous Mark said:

You don't see any cats on the platform do you? Well, the PET bottle's the reason.  



On Sunday, 02 March, 2008, Anonymous Scotty.vor(Michaels) said:

No, your wrong. This is more proof of my super-duper-portals-of-deathâ„¢ theory. Before it was Pigeons from Trafalgar, now its bottles from Manchester civic dump. Being from Manchester I suppose they were bound to get stuck...

I'm told, by a very reliable source, that the tape helps stabilise the portal.  



On Monday, 03 March, 2008, Blogger zichi said:

May be those pet bottles are something to do with a sprinkler system? But most likely to discourage flying cats.  



On Monday, 03 March, 2008, Anonymous Wim Wom said:

Lord Foster eat your heart out.  



On Tuesday, 04 March, 2008, Blogger Contamination said:

It's clear that you've been in Japan too long. When you start calling them PET bottles instead of plastic bottles....

Cool photo's though.  



On Thursday, 06 March, 2008, Blogger SaffronSaris said:

I was in Osaka for about 1 week last October. Used to live in Chiba, and moved around via buses and JR, so initially I was rather apprenhensive about the subways in Osaka. But I had a pleasant surprise. The subways were fast and really so much cheaper than JR. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see much of Osaka, used it as a base to move around Nara, Kyoto and Kobe instead.
That said, am definitely going back to Osaka--moving around is really friendly, except for the confusing Umeda interchange when I'm dead tired.  



On Friday, 07 March, 2008, Anonymous Mio said:

I think they are used for leaky water.
When water gathered in the PET bottle, you can remove it by opening it's cap. Great idea, isn't it?  



On Thursday, 20 March, 2008, Anonymous Collins said:

Looking at your post leaves me envious!the internet narrows the distance between the people but we are Worlds apart.You should see my post entitled "jogoo road mess"on what Nairobians have to do to get to work in this day and age!

good blog!  



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