A Wave of Train Station Turnstile Nostalgia Sweeps Over Japanese Twitter

Nationwide Culture Train stations 2020.05.13
All it took was one tweet to get hundreds of nostalgic Japanese Twitter users to share their retro train ticket stories.
It's amazing what little things can bring back a wave of nostalgic memories, as more than 70 thousand Twitter users discovered this week. The heat of a busy train station, the feel of a paper ticket, or perhaps the rather distinctive clack of a unique hole punch...
When Twitter user @K_beallicanbe posted this minute-long clip on Twitter, they gave it a simple caption: "I found an amazing video. Shinjuku Station in 1990. A time when there were no Suica cards." (Fitting, perhaps, for a Twitter user whose bio translates to the even simpler "I'm hungry.") They had taken an obscure, 30-year-old video now posted on Youtube, and meant to share it with their friends. It turns out, more than just their friends appreciated the video.

In just the two days following its publication, the tweet earned tens of thousands of likes and retweets, plus hundreds of comments with people sharing their appreciation. The Suica card mentioned in the tweet is a rechargeable train pass, and it's been in use for almost 20 years already. A time before Suica cards is indeed ancient history - quite a few Twitter users were never even alive to see the days of Suica-less train stations! Looking back at this era of paper tickets and extremely skilled ticket punchers, those who remembered jumped at the chance to reminisce about the intense speed and skill of the station staff, and reply to the tweet with their own stories and documentation of the time. 
This neat collection of vintage tickets was posted by @KanbutsuyaSan, who commented on the varying shape of the punches used at different stations.
And for an even better look at what was once standard practice in stations across Japan, @tarashare shared closeups of the unique hole punch shapes used at each station, and one of the actual tools itself. Can you tell which station it came from? They're apparently called "hasami" (はさみ), also the word for scissors in Japanese. Quite a few commenters commented on the memories brought on by the rhythmic click-clacking of the hasami in the hands of expert ticket checkers.
The nostalgia didn't stop at the turnstiles, with Twitter user @MTkiraraMAX reminding fellow twitter users of the mechanical push-button machines that once dispensed tickets!
Perhaps the most striking response of all, however, was this single sentence reply from @130Matsu.

"There will come a time when they say: wow, back then they tapped their Suica cards!"

Who knows what the future will bring?
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Sophia

I came to Japan for a semester abroad, and have been here ever since, so I guess there's just something about it. Tell me all the cool Japan-related things you know on instagram or twitter @japankuru !

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