Did you know that Japanese trains issue delay certificates?

Well, it’s true! A large part of Japan’s population relies on public transportation. And most of us are well aware that punctuality is an important part of Japanese culture. Their government, companies, and schools are unbelievably strict about arriving on time. Therefore, punctuality of public transport is also essential.

Trains in Japan run on a strict time table with great discipline and efficient communication. But say, for some reason, a train is delayed or reaches its destination late. The passengers get delayed for their daily commitments as well, which could raise a quandary for them at school or work.

In lieu of that, the Japanese railway company came up with an ingenious solution. When a train is delayed in Japan, the staff at each station where a delayed train stops will distribute a densha chien shoumeisho or train delay certificate which can be given to a boss, a teacher, school administrator, or another person in charge as an acceptable reason for being late.

The certificate is a small paper, no bigger than a business card, that officially confirms the delay. Generally, this tiny paper certificate indicates the date as well as how late a train was running. They are issued for any delay staring from about 5 minutes or more and they are available at any exit gate.

For now, this practice is only prevalent in private and public Japanese railway companies and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn.


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