Saturday, 2 May 2009
Week 3 and I have received the first 'Chikoku shoumeisho' (late ticket) of the semester. The ticket says "This shows that the honourable customer's train journey was delayed as indicated on this ticket. We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience". The ticket is punched for the 24th (April) and shows that the train was 15 minutes' late. It carries the stamp of the station master. Late tickets are handed out at stations when trains are late and the passengers may be adversely affected. Our university has a late policy and students are marked absent if they are more than 20 minutes' late without a good reason. So this ticket saved one student's bacon.
Most Japanese trains run on time to the second although delays are more common in Tokyo where 'jinshin jiko' ('personal accidents' meaning suicides) or overcrowding cause minor delays most days.