Japanese commuters

Japanese train departs

25 seconds early – again!

A Japanese rail company has apologised after a train left a station 25 seconds early, the second such case in months.The operator said the “great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable”.

If the details are anything to go by, customers are faced with slipping standards: a train last November left 20 seconds early while this time it was a full 25 seconds premature.


Japanese trains have a reputation for extreme punctuality, and it turned out that there were indeed still people hoping to get onboard. Left on the platform, they complained to the rail operator and an official apology was issued shortly afterwards.

In the case last November, management on the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba said they “sincerely apologise for the inconvenience” caused. Back then the mishap was also caused by the conductor mixing up departure times – though no passenger was left behind.

“it’s too early to go, but it’s never too late to leave.”

-anthony t. hincks
credits: bbc news/asia, japan today
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59 responses »

  1. Considering my inability to be “on time,” my guess is that my DNA has no Japanese genetics. As far as the quote, I’m the opposite (being an introvert) – “It’s too late to go, and but it’s never too early to leave.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t mind trains/busses leaving a bit late (means I’m more likely to catch them) but I hate getting to the right platform at the right time (just!) and finding out it’s already left.. Happens occasionally here, but no one apologises because the passengers “should be there earlier”… Grrr

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As someone who takes a daily train, I would have been annoyed. Seconds count.

    One time the train came early and we were sitting. A fellow passenger huffily stated to just leave already. The conductor said that the time on the schedule was the time the train would depart, and it did. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. having done a lot of train travel in japan, this is a big deal. generally, passengers know to the exact minute the time leaves so that gives them a very approximate idea of how much time they have to get some vittles for the travel. almost 1/2 a minute is a long time while you are waiting for your sushi, your green macha latte and latest comic book !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! Every time I watch Island Hunters on HGTV, I think about how beautiful it is but how terrible the island time is; people are told their house will be built in 9 months, and then 18 months pass bc of “island time.” Japan sounds like just the opposite! Maybe your drink never gets low at restaurants in Japan bc they’re on top of it? Maybe you get through a Starbuck’s in less than 20 minutes? Maybe their DMV is quick?

    Liked by 1 person

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