The Japanese have earned a worldwide reputation for punctuality, and their popular commuter trains certainly do their share to maintain this reputation, with average delay times of less than a minute -- which even takes into account unavoidable slowdowns caused by natural disasters. Public transportation is usually so reliable that even a delay of just five minutes can lead to the rail company providing free ride certificates. Perhaps the best illustration of the precision of Japan's rail system is the apology issued last year by the management of the Tsukuba Express. One morning in November 2017, the company's regular train service between Tokyo and Tsukuba departed 20 seconds early. Although no riders complained, the company offered the apology anyway, explaining that its "crew did not sufficiently check the departure time and performed the departure operation."
In the Land of the Rising Sun:
- In creating Star Wars, George Lucas was hugely inspired by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's samurai movies, borrowing everything from the swordplay to the peacekeeping ways of the Jedi.
- There are more than 2 million people over the age of 90 in Japan, and more than 8 million senior citizens are employed.
- Vending machines are hugely popular on Japanese street corners. The 5.5 million machines sell everything from beer and wine to toilet paper and light bulbs.