Japanese Train Late! – Top News Story From Japan

It’s probably pretty well known that Japan is a service society in which the customer is always king. Restaurant service is nearly always excellent, shop polite and helpful and the trains always run on time.

Well nearly always.

Apart from JR (Japan Rail) trains (which used to be nationalised like British Rail but is now a private company running trains all over Japan), which everytime I’ve been on them they’ve been late (try not to use them too much), most Japanese train companies are very efficient.

We have three running through our city from Kobe to Osaka, JR, Hanshin and Hankyu.

I commute on the Hanshin every morning, and in 4 years of using them they’ve been late maybe 4 times! Probably the equivalent number of times my commuter train in London arrived on time!

One of these late times was last week where my 20minute commute ended up taking an hour.

Anyway, the point of this long winded post isn’t that a train was late, it’s the reception you get at the train station in Osaka when you get off.
There are announcements apologising for the delay, train staff greet you at the gate bowing and apologising and handing out little notes…

Japan Late Train Ticket

Train was 45 minutes late!

This says that my train was 45 minutes late.

Why do they give you this you may ask?

Unlike in the UK where if you turn up late for work, an appointment or interview and say
“The train was late”, everyone would believe you. In Japan where the trains are never late, this excuse doesn’t fly.

This little note is your proof!


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