23 January, 2021

Japan Diary

It is indeed hard to find ‘Made in Japan’ stuff in Japan. It seems everything is made in China.

Photo by P. Anil Kumar
Japan Diary
Tick-tock train
I am on the Tokyo station platform, waiting for the bullet train (Shinkansen) to Osaka. The crew is waiting as well. The driver who will take over the train from Tokyo is a petite, 5-foot-tall young lady—a stark contrast to the aerodynamic monster she is about to pilot. Also positioned at the entrance to every coach is the cleaning crew. They clean the train in seven minutes flat and make it ready for the next journey.

My train was supposed to leave at 10.23. I wasn’t sure whether that meant 10:23:00 seconds or at 10:23:59 seconds? We departed at 10:23:15 seconds. While setting one’s watch is no longer necessary, with smart phones synchronising time from mobile networks, setting it to Shinkansen timings is a very credible and accurate alternative. Japanese Railways publishes statistics on Shinkansen punctuality timings every year; in 2012, the average delay was 36 seconds, aggregated over all trains on all...


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