When traveling for business or pleasure, being stuck on a train for hours because of a delay can be devastating. Not only do you miss your appointment or cut short your vacation, but it also means losing productivity and spending more money on rebooking flights when you get home. Unfortunately, these things are an unavoidable reality of train travel in most parts of the world. But thankfully, Japan has implemented a unique system to mitigate the stress and inconvenience caused by these delays.
When traveling within Japan, if a train is delayed by over five minutes, travelers receive a document called a “Train Delay Certificate” as proof. These certificates are issued so that passengers can make arrangements with their company or hotel if they are late getting back from their trip.
How Does a Train Delay Certificate Work?
A Train Delay Certificate works as most other certification processes do. The certificate is issued by a train conductor or station official if a train is delayed by over five minutes. When a train is more than five minutes late, the conductor will fill out a certificate and distribute it to any passengers who request it. The certificate is usually issued when a train is delayed by 5 minutes or more and printed in Japanese and English. Sometimes, a delay certificate is not issued even when the train is delayed by more than 5 minutes, such as during natural disasters when the entire transportation system stops.
Receiving a Train Delay Certificate in Japan
A few minutes after a train is late, the attendant will announce that the train will issue delay certificates to eligible passengers. Passengers who qualify for a delay certificate have been traveling on a train at least five minutes late and have a ticket with a departure time written on it. Once the train attendant announces that delay certificates will be issued, eligible passengers should visit the attendant’s booth. The passengers are asked to fill out a form with details such as their name, date, and reason for the delay. After filling out the form, the passengers will take their delay certificate and go on with the rest of their day.
Why Is This Important?
Although it may be tempting to forget about a delay certificate and make your way to your scheduled appointment, this document can help you reschedule your appointment or even get compensated for being late. In most cases, delay certificates can be used to reschedule appointments with companies. This is because most companies have travel policies covering passengers when delays occur.
If a train is over five minutes late, passengers may be able to get compensation depending on their situation. For example, if a delay is due to bad weather, unforeseen circumstances, or other reasons outside a train’s control, there are no penalties. But if it is due to a fault of the train operator, like a mechanical issue or staff shortage, a passenger may be able to receive a certificate.
How to Receive a Train Delay Certificate in Japan
To receive a delay certificate, you have to meet the following requirements:
• You must be traveling on a train at least 5 minutes late.
• You must have a ticket with a departure time written on it.
• You have to fill out the form that the conductor hands you.
The Japanese train system is a wonder to behold, but it is not without its faults. A train delay certificate is a valuable document that passengers should be aware of when traveling in Japan. It is like an insurance policy against the possibility of a delay that would otherwise result in you having to pay for a missed flight. Furthermore, it can be a piece of mind knowing that you have this document that can be redeemed for compensation if you are delayed.