Observation of train-spotting cultures in four different countries

The ‘Love Train’ project is an observation about trainspotting culture in four different countries – Japan, Taiwan, the UK and India – and to consider trainspotting as entertainment. The idea is inspired by the obsessive train culture in Japan, Tomomi’s home country.

Tomomi visited four cities in four countries, Tokyo in Japan, Tainan in Taiwan, London in the UK and New Delhi in India. She organized trainspotting tours for four to five local people at big stations in each city. On those tours, participants were asked to view trains not simply as functional public transport but rather as aesthetic objects or entertainment. The idea was inspired by Japanese trainspotting culture – which has become increasingly popular among the Japanese, even amongst women and younger generations – and to see if other cultures have a similar response to trains.

In the UK, ‘trainspotting’ is now a derogatory term, and an activity viewed as pointless by most people. By comparison, in Japan trainspotting is recognised as a legitimate hobby, and the railways in particular are a source of national pride. Tomomi is interested in how trainspotting culture is viewed in more exotic countries.

This is a challenge to observe whether Japanese this particular sub culture will be repeated outside of Japan. She would like to show comparisons between the reactions to/acceptance of trainspotting amongst the participants of the tours in the various different countries.

LOVE TRAIN projectは日本の鉄道撮影,見学文化を海外の違う国、数カ所で行ったら、どういう反応を現地の人々がするかを比較するプロジェクトです。