Guess the scale.

Japan has a public transport system which has made the rest of the world envious; from the clockwork precision of the vehicles (a delay of 2 - 3 minutes can send all transport apps go red and scream 'severe delay'), to the groundbreaking (and incredibly safe) Shinkansen, the multi modal transport system shifts tens of millions of people on a daily basis. The superbly laid out train system lies at the heart of it (there was an anecdote in one of the basic Japanese books which had an interesting stat: Yamanote Line is the train system that runs around Tokyo, and is one of the most utilized on weekdays, and Yamanote trains average over 300 passengers on a single car during peak hours - this can be an unpleasantly surprising experience for anyone outside the ecosystem). There is another vital link in this workforce supply chain: intra-city bus network.

These intra-city buses generally operate between train stations, and provide a crucial transport link to passengers. They are operated by private as well as public entities. The Yokohama Municipal Transport buses, adorned in beige with the blue stripes, are a common site in my daily commute, and occasionally help me with the journeys.

Source - Wikipedia https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/29/ISUZU_ERGA%2C_Yokohama_Municipal_Bus_%285-3797%29.jpg/1024px-ISUZU_ERGA%2C_Yokohama_Municipal_Bus_%285-3797%29.jpg

Source - Wikipedia https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/29/ISUZU_ERGA%2C_Yokohama_Municipal_Bus_%285-3797%29.jpg/1024px-ISUZU_ERGA%2C_Yokohama_Municipal_Bus_%285-3797%29.jpg

There are several popular intra city bus models in Japan, with offerings from all the heavy vehicle manufacturers except UD. The model depicted here is a Hino Blue Ribbon / Isuzu Erga, which is very common, while the Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star is also used. The current crop of buses are widely branded as non-step buses, with the air suspension allowing the driver to drop ride height when passengers enter and exit.

The blue mascot is a regular sight on the subway line as well.

The blue mascot is a regular sight on the subway line as well.

The other model is a peek at the history of Yokohama's public transport history.

The Municipal Transport logo remains the same after 50+ years.

The Municipal Transport logo remains the same after 50+ years.

Hino RE series is the great - granddad of Blue Ribbon, with this RE100 dating back to the late 1960s.

Earnestly serving Yokohama for decades.

Earnestly serving Yokohama for decades.

These are not die cast models, by the way. Excuse me for posting them here, but I thought they would be a nice addition for the tribe. These remarkably detailed models link themselves to the model railway building, which is immensely popular in Japan. A massive array of H0 scale (1/150) reproductions of the Japanese public transport system are available for hobbyists. Authentically detailed vehicles including trains and buses are widely available, although tracing down a particular type (such as the Yokohama buses) needs a bit of effort. The level of detail in these buses (and H0 scale items in general) are amazing.

Here is a comparison for those who are not familiar with the scale.

Classic Japanese precision at work. The H0 scale models from Tomytec, and Kyosho in particular, are incredibly detailed for their ultra - minuscule size. While larger scale buses are available (such as the TLVN series, which will get a Toyota Coaster model in 2020), they are located quite far from the reach of the wallet. Comparatively cheaper 1/80 models are also available, with a credible degree of detail.

Thanks for stopping by, and going through this long post! Have a great week ahead!

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