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disturbman

Japanese Model Railroading - Basic guide for beginners

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Bernard

Hobby Dreamer - this could be a interesting idea and I think it would pool together different members knowledge on tracks. I for one have only used Unitrack for bridges on my layout but in conjunction with flex track. I know from a previous post you are thinking about using flex track with Unitrack to make various curves for a Tram layout.

You mention using code 55 with code 80 track and it is possible... but I wonder how it would look with mixing the codes.

Lets see what the response is to your post from members and will take it from there. I like your idea.  :icon_thumright:

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kmcsjr

Hi, complete newbiie to site and JNR, I clicked on these links and they are in Japanese. Do they exist in English? Thx

Recently I came across my machine translated copy of  a Japanese language guide to starting in nine gauge.  It includes 18 parts: Introduction, Basic Set, Electricity flows to the rails, structure of the locomotive, preparation for train set, which rail system is good, couplers, preparing the train set, commissioning, installation of the number plate, structures, use of the point, track plan that uses the point, making the layout, adding geographical features, adding grades and turntables.

 

http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/nbgn_1.htm#

 

As is on the web site with detailed information on steam engines, the how to guide focuses on steam engines too. But as the article points out other locomotives and trains are basically the same.

 

And here is the steam engine guide.

 

http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/index.htm

Hi

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KenS

Hi, complete newbiie to site and JNR, I clicked on these links and they are in Japanese. Do they exist in English? Thx

 

Probably not, but there are several online tools for translating pages.

 

I've mostly used http://translate.google.com/#, and while it's not perfect, I can usually puzzle out what the original author meant.  Take a look at the "1-click translator" on the Tools and Resources link.

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bill937ca

You can try using Excite which is actually designed to translate English to Japanese. It's in Japanese so might want to start by translating Excite in Google the first time.

 

http://www.excite.co.jp/world/english/web/

 

The less you translate at once, generally the better the result will be.

 

You learn far more when you begin to translate Japanese web pages into English.  Generally you can make out the basics. The more you read the more you will learn.

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Webskipper

This Forum is the best place too learn about J-Trains and N-Scale.

 

Best advice to other Shoshinsha (Newbie?) is don't get off track getting wrapped up in the new technologies and lose sight of the real reason you have a one track mind. Joy and fascination of the hobby.

 

Break in your motors by running them on 1/4-1/3 speed for say 30 minutes to an hour. Motors always run better after the first run. Don't gun them the first day.

 

When a woman calls them toy trains, politely correct her with "Incorrect answer, they are precision models".

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Triplex

I guess it's appropriate to ask this here, as it's about general reference information.

 

You're probably all familiar with

http://www.visi.com/~spookshow/locos.html

I use it all the time.

 

Is there any equivalent for Japanese prototype N? Obviously, the list would be much larger. It's acceptable if there are separate sites devoted to each manufacturer. English is preferable, but I suspect that may not be locatable, and though I can't read any Japanese, I could probably get the information I want out of it anyway.

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David

I guess it's appropriate to ask this here, as it's about general reference information.

 

You're probably all familiar with

http://www.visi.com/~spookshow/locos.html

I use it all the time.

 

Is there any equivalent for Japanese prototype N? Obviously, the list would be much larger. It's acceptable if there are separate sites devoted to each manufacturer. English is preferable, but I suspect that may not be locatable, and though I can't read any Japanese, I could probably get the information I want out of it anyway.

There has been some talk around here of trying to make a Japanese version of Spooks listing, but at the moment none exists, not even in Japanese.

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paulmaglev

I wish I had read this before I set up my C62.  I'm afraid I very likely shorted it this morning once I got it in the mail and set it on the tracks.  The controller I had output 17 volts.  .·´¯`(>▂<)´¯`·.

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Welshbloke

Is there a dictionary somewhere for the various Japanese characters you might find on train boxes?

 

I'm about to order a Kato 10-210 train case for my 165 Series (the basic and add-on sets will live in there, as the cardboard and foam boxes they're delivered in don't stand up to being opened and closed repeatedly), and I'm trying to work out what the lettering on the included sticker sheet means:

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10003586a2/20/2

 

I know the one at the top of the right hand column means "Series", but what are the rest? Normally I'd feed them into a translator but I can't copy and paste them from an image.

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Kabutoni

I hope this helps:

 

系 (kei) = Series;

形 (gata/katachi) = Type/Class;

編成 (hensei) = Formation;

号 () = Name (e.g. Yamabiko-gō, Flying Tōjō-gō, etc.);

色 (iro/shoku/shiki) = Colour (e.g. Niigata-colour);

鉄道 (tetsudō) = Railway;

電鉄 (dentetsu) = Electric Railway (comes from 電気鉄道, denki tetsudō);

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kvp

 

Normally I'd feed them into a translator but I can't copy and paste them from an image.

A small advice: you can try google translate with your smartphone as it has a scan from image option. Imho it's great to just point your phone at a japanese text printed on any surface and see it translated.

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Welshbloke

Thanks for that - I'll try translating the 165 Series boxes and work out what I want to write on their new accommodation (other than "165系").

 

I know I could just write "165 Series Power + Dummy" but I'd rather have it in intelligible Japanese!

Edited by Welshbloke

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gmflynn

Hi Gary here, new member as you can see. Well let me tell you my dilemma, Just moved and have a 10x10 foot room I can set up in, but need some ideas on a layout. I use KATO track mostly the double track and have V11, V12, V14 (3), V15, and V16 (2). The room has no doors, or windows to worry about, just an opening of 5 foot (I guess it was designed to be used as an office). I would like to get some ideas to use most of my track and V units, I also have a lot of the single track. Turn radius is 19  inches so a complete turn is 38 inches wide. I would like to just have a lift up gate to increase track and  room utilization. Thanks 

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Kiha66

Hey Garry, Welcome to the forum!   I've found a lot of inspiration from kato's published uni-track plans, although they tend to be designed for temporary floor layouts more so than permanent room layouts.  Another good place to look is in the inspirational layouts thread here!

http://www.katomodels.com/unitrackplan/

http://www.katomodels.com/unitrackplan/plan_p1.shtml

http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/6917-inspirational-n-gauge-layouts/

 

-Sam

Edited by Kiha66

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TRod

As a noob with less than an yt? Idea about Japan railways, epochs, prefectures etc..

I've started watching Japan Railway Journal on YouTube. Great way to start learning.

 

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bill937ca

 

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DanielMackay

Just received my first Kato and Tomix catalogs as part of a larger shipment of models from Japan. Want to endorse other newbies ordering one or both, as they provide a very helpful overview of track set contents, train configurations, track parts and combinations, etc. All in one handy, analog location. 

 

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cteno4

Careful the nice glossy pages stick together if you drool on them! Enjoy!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Onizukachan
Posted (edited)

As a newbie myself I’d like to add a couple of small updates that have proven invaluable to me and may help others. 

 

First: 

 

 Though you can not just use your US Amazon account, you can sign up separately for Amazon.co.jp, it doesn’t cost anything to do so. 

 

Yes, they accept your US address and US credit or debit card paying in dollars ( but not US amazon gift card)  and ship to the US. 

Yes, They have as good as or better selection as anyone, 

Yes you can PREORDER new Japanese releases at regular pricing (not be gouged by ebay scalpers) for US delivery, 

Yes, you can choose English as your preferred language and read the site and search the site in English. (You often get more and better results with English keywords than kanji) 

Yes, the shipping timeframe is up to Amazon’s exceptional standards, even halfway around the World.

 

 

Last order I made with them was a Friday morning, for various packages of Tomix fineline track (all fulfilled by Amazon.jp except 1 item) and I got it all on Tuesday before noon for about $50 shipped rather than $80+ for the same items (after combined shipping)  from some aforementioned sellers. And it took 3 business DAYS, not 2.5 to 3.5 WEEKS. It’s become my go-to shopping site for Japanese manufacturers (ever try to find N scale playground equipment anywhere else?  Sheesh!) 

 

 

 

Second: 

 

if you are using Apple devices (and maybe others too), try adding Bing app (includes bing translate) or Microsoft translate app, you can then add the translation as actions in Safari. I’ve been using Bing translate addon to read Japanese websites and blogs in Safari when I need to for a couple of years now and though the translations are sometimes odd (colloquialisms I am sure), it has never failed me yet. 

Im about to try Microsoft translate and see if it does as good a job on NGDCCs website, since it supposedly can translate images as well. 

 

3rd: model trains and accessories  (as far as US Customs are concerned) are still toys, and we do not charge tariffs  or customs taxes on toys. 

Edited by Onizukachan
Clarify train of thought.

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katoftw

I think Chad uses Amazon jp a lot.  Seems like a good deal for USA residents.

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Chuo

I use Amazon jp for about 80% of all of my transactions for Kato. The prices work and the shipping takes about a week to the central US. I'll usually shop around on price just to make sure that the price works. Only when it doesn't I will look elsewhere. ModelTrainPlus usually has good deals but no stock.

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cteno4

In the last couple of years amazon has been doing more trains and I think more Japanese sellers on amazon have gone over to amazon’s international shipping. I check there, they have a limited selection for what can get shipped internationally. It’s now maybe 50-75% of the time now they have something I’m looking at and half the time now it’s the best or competitive price with all the usual shops as well and you get the 2-3 day DHL shipping. The knock the vat off in the shopping cart so that is usually what make the price competitive then a lot of the time. That said I usually only buy at amazon if it’s a really big difference in price as amazon is that 800lb gorilla and I’m not sure how things will go if there are any problems like something not working. Other shops have good customer service history and a good relationship so rather spend most of my bucks and keep that going.

 

one thing to be careful With amazon, I got one Tomytec 5 car set shipped only in a very skimpy padded envelope. The box was pretty crushed so not very usable for long term storage (was probably going to eventually move it to a casco coffin). Luckily the train was intact. I was a bit shocked they did this on an international shipment. I’ve had books from amazon.jp come much better packed!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Sheffie
Posted (edited)

I couldn’t figure out whether I could use my regular amazon account at the .co.jp website or whether it’s necessary to open a new account and pay again for Prime membership. 

 

Has anyone had success with this?

 

(and perhaps we should now be talking in a separate thread on a different platform?)

Edited by Sheffie

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cteno4

prime on co.jp sadly doesn’t get your free shipping to the us! That would probably be well worth it if you shifted all your purchases there! Not necessary to be a prime member on co.jp to buy though.

 

They do have a small point system (1%) on items sold directly by amazon. I’ve not used my us amazon cc yet there to see if I get the discount (my stupid bad) and called in and it sounds like you will get the 5% reward for amazon.co.jp purchases, but I’ll believe it when it happens. I also checked and the chase amazon card has no international fees. Amazon.jp adds about 5% for charging your cc in USD, so much better to just change in yen to a cc that has no international fees and you will get the best exchange rate. Paypal is the same adding charges to charge in USD not yen.

 

it was easy to sign up and you can get all the basic interface and checkout stuff in English, though the product info is usually not translated.

 

the best deals I’ve found there are some of the preorders being dramatic like 40% off! But its rare and at usually offset a lot by a high shipping charge thru amazon.

 

if it’s an amazon retailer then you need to pop the item in your cart and try to checkout to see if they will ship internationally or not thru amazon.

 

Jeff

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Chuo

Jeff, Thanks for all the extra details. This pretty much sums up my experiences as well. I'm not the most sleuthy shopper. I haven't jumped into pre-ordering anything yet. Usually when I want something, I want it and I don't want to wait a month like on Aliexpress 😂. I usually see good deals on Hobby Search and the likes but everything I want is always out of stock. If I did a bit more research, I might be able to find some discounts.

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