Waiting timing? No, Now! | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Waiting timing? No, Now!

By Guidable Writers Apr 5, 2017

Please imagine you have to get on the train arriving at one o’clock. What time are you trying to be the station? If it were me, I would be there ten minutes before the arriving time, at least 12:50.


In Japan, train basically arrives at any destination on time. It is rare to delay actually. You should have enough time before your train comes.


    That’s why I often see many Japanese people feel sad and sometimes complain when the train does not come on time. Because they have to call their office or school, at worst they may miss an important meeting. In this way, Japanese society itself have a strict perspective for a time. So as one of the examples, for Japanese, we can understand wristwatch is an essential weapon to fight to work.


     For example, I try to be a meeting place ten or twenty minutes before. It really depends on people and who you would meet, but if you do not mind, it is better to get much earlier than meeting time. You can make sure what to bring when to meet (again), and where to meet. Since Japanese city is complicated for foreigners who come for the first time, I recommend you to arrive the destination in advance in this way. I think you can firstly give a good impression for people who you will meet.

     But at the same time, I think many Japanese people have a bitter experience because of the accuracy of the time. For example, I have missed train many many times by a narrow shave. I would get on the train if I reached five seconds before.

     I felt regretted every time because this means that I would end up missing all subsequent trains that I planned to get on. Under only this situation, I hope, “Please wait for the train! Please be loose! You do not need to be strict so much!” I sometimes feel Japanese should be flexible but considering the deep trust from other countries, I think this punctuality makes us great and be able to establish our strong bonds with global.

     As long as you are sincere, people who you work with will be sincere, too. I think punctuality and accuracy are something that Japanese people should value and communicate with young generations. Whenever you come to Japan, please keep in mind this tradition and make sure to have this protected!