This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The West Japan Railway Company, nicknamed JR West for convenience, publicly apologized for the early departure of a 12-car train traveling between Notogawa Station and Nishi-Akashi Station. The train, which was scheduled for a 7:12am departure from Notogawa, inadvertently misinterpreted a conductor signal and left the station at 7:11:35am instead. Several passengers who missed their boarding time as a result of the early departure had to wait six minutes for the next line, throwing off their carefully planned itineraries, and one of those passengers reported the incident to JR West.

“The great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable,” JR West said in the press release posted on the railway website. “We will be thoroughly evaluating our conduct and striving to keep such an incident from occurring again.”

The train route originates in the Shiga Prefecture centrally located on Japan’s main island, and winds past the cities of Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka on its terminus along the coast.

The Notogawa to Nishi-Akashi train route winds past Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe in central Japan. Courtesy of Google Maps.

Although a six-minute delay may sound laughable to many of us hailing from more lax cultures, Japanese schools and businesses are notoriously strict about adhering to traditional values of punctuality as a symbol of respect. In fact, educational resources such as Guidable exist to help clueless gaijin better understand how and what to tell a boss when one is going to be late for work. Another article for dealing with India-Japan business relations emphasizes that punctuality is considered the first step in building trust with Japanese colleagues and employers.

Since travelers [usually] can plan their commutes to a T, that next train to leave Notogawa for Nishi-Akashi, at 7:19am, could easily have thrown off other connecting transits that would have made a number of travelers late for work and school, where serious consequences are often handed down for tardiness offenses.

This isn’t the first time an errant conductor has let down the railway system and all its patrons by departing a few seconds too early. Last November, the Tsukuba Express management apologized for the same issue: A train departing Tokyo for Tsukuba left at 9:44:20, rather than the scheduled 9:44:40. In that incident, no travelers lodged complaints, but the railway system proactively acknowledged its mistake anyway, also promising to “never do it again.”

Featured photo by JR West.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.