In 2004, due to typhoons, the Shinkansen total annual delays were 42 seconds. It was a disgrace to Japan. (source)
If a train were to be late for 5 minutes, everyone receives a free journey and an apology from the conductor. If a train is delayed 10 minutes, it would be in the newspaper.
So to say train delays are serious business would be an understatement. And last week, knowing what I knew about trains and average delays, I began snapping the following photos, unfolding in time, to mark the first major delay of a Japanese Shinkansen in 2011.
This was one of my favorite things about Japan. Everything was exactly on time. Always.
I also love that there are no tips. You pay exactly what is on the menu.