During my two months of research in Japan, one of the mode of transportation I used to move between cities other than train was by bus. This recording is a sound recording of the announcements by the bus driver in my trip from Tokyo to Kyoto. The bus departed in the morning from Shinjuku terminal Tokyo.
In Japan, bus drivers usually gave announcement through a microphone headset that hanged through the neck. The voice was then transmitted to all of the passengers through loudspeakers on the bus roof. During my experience riding bus in Japan, the speakers’ volume wasn’t too loud, as long as it could be heard clearly by all passengers.
I recorded the sound of the bus driver during my bus trip from Tokyo to Kyoto because the voice was very nice and clear. He informed the passengers like a radio or tv news anchor. Just listen to his voice. Truly great and good quality right? At the time the bus stopped at a red light intersection, getting ready to turn. About half an hour after leaving the Shinjuku terminal. Meanwhile, the bus turn signal could be heard, tak.. tek.. tak.. tek. Moments later the driver’s announcement ended and the bus continued its’ trip accompanied by the rumbling of its smooth and shopisticated engine. In general the buses in Japan had good quality. No wonder, this country is one of the leading automotive producer in the world.
As an addition, my experiences riding long distance bus trip in Japan, other than the smooth rumbling engine and the occasional announcements from the bus driver, the atmosphere in the bus were really calm. Sounds of other vehicles on the road were mostly muffled by the glass system of enclosed bus in Japan was really good. Then, it seemed like Japanese people limit themselves to talk to one another and be noisy in public mode of transportation. This rule is definitely not written in stone, but I see this as one of the habits of the Japanese people. Different from long distance bus in the northern coastal road of Java for example (named “Jalur Pantura”). The bus will be filled with conversations between passengers even though they don’t know each other beforehand and just met on the bus. Furthermore there were sound of dangdut music that is broadcasted through custom loudspeakers and usually set in high volume. Occasionally the bus conductor would announce the destination by shouting. A totally different soundscape. Culture can even be reflected through a situation in a bus.