Riding the subways and trains in Tokyo can not only get you from point A to point B but they also provide you with time to learn. The few years we spent living in Tokyo, we did everything but drive. We walked, rode our bikes, Rollerbladed, took taxis, rode the bus, subway, train and Shinkansen. We also rode in other peoples cars as passengers.
As you can see here, I collected many of the subway passes. This one for about $10 was typical Japanese - cute and adorable image of a puppy. I can't tell you how many of these I brought home as keepsakes.
Usually my time spent on a train was trying to read the posters and listening to the announcements. As I studied Japanese, one of my favorite study tools was to read the movie posters on the train. I learned that all foreign words are spelled in katakana. Once I started to learn katakana it was fun to translate popular movie titles like Eyes Wide Shut.
The worst time I had was with the movie poster for What Lies Beneath. It is a mystery movie starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. For some reason I kept thinking that "lies" was "rice", which made no sense when I stared at the images on the movie poster.
The next time you are on a train or bus in another country, look around. You might surprise yourself with what you can read and learn about the place you are visiting. You might see a celebrity like Brad Pitt selling Edwin Jeans or Boss coffee in a can.