Over the duration of this study abroad we have utilized several transportation methods.  Many of the train lines we have rode on were that of Japan Rail, or JR East.  On Tuesday, May 25 we visited JR East’s research and development facility.  There we were lectured on the new technologies that they will be implementing to their railways.  We were also able to get hands on with several prototypes.  The most useful of which the class took full advantage of.  A kiosk which allows users to view and print out train schedules on the spot.  This device needs to be implemented immediately.  I spoke with the JR representatives there and stressed heavily on the importance of these kiosk.  Throughout the duration of the study abroad I have become confused and disoriented in the subways.  Luckily for me, being in a group quickly resolved these issues.  A device that useful should already be installed on every rail station currently in use.  For the most part I feel the people at JR R&D are on the right track… pun intended.

*Image courtesy of Radin Yadolahi