So I THOUGHT I understood the meaning, but the sentence translation threw me off. Wouldn't it technically be UPtown since the train is going up? If not, can someone explain why it's set up this way? I might have misunderstood. Thanks in advance!!enter image description here

1 Answer 1


上り used like this means the train is going to a major location, just like English "up-train" does. However, English "downtown" happens to refer to a major location in a city. Therefore, in English practice, a train can be up when it goes to a downtown. This is not a problem in Japanese.

  • Okay, I see what you're saying. Is there an opposite that's equivalent to it? As in NOT heading in a downtown direction? I guess I was thinking about it from a New Yorker point of view. Uptown train takes you north while downtown trains take you south.
    – Cruzible
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 3:06
  • @Cruzible A 下り電車 is a train from a major/central location (it can be going north, south or whatever). Please read the "in Japan" part of the Wikipedia link.
    – naruto
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 3:16
  • I failed to see there was a section in Japan, thank you so much. Good to know this information!
    – Cruzible
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 3:29

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