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E-paper advertising on Tokyo's trains

Japan Rail East is trialling e-paper advertising on its trains

As if everyday life didn't bombard us with enough inducements to buy this, that and, especially, the other, Japan's trains are about to become even more hostile to the quiet life when Hitachi introduces its new electronic-paper posters this week.

The one-month trial starts tomorrow (14 December) using Hitachi's 13.1-inch eight-colour e-paper displays in two carriages of a single Japan Rail East ( JR East ) train on the Yamanote line , which circles central Tokyo.

The idea of the trial is to find out if the displays and software are robust enough for the task, but the appeal to advertising sales firms of being able to cycle through adverts every two minutes is clear to see.

This time last year, Hitachi and JR East conducted a similar trial with a fixed e-paper display in Tokyo station showing rotating adverts in black and white only. J Mark Lytle