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It was precisely 20 seconds past 9:44am on November 14, 2017 that Japan Railways train number 5255 departed from Minami Nagareyama Station on the outskirts of Tokyo.
Hardly anything seems noteworthy about a train leaving a station. It happens countless times each day all over the world.
THIS - Train - FORTY - Seconds - Station
Except THIS particular train was supposed to depart FORTY seconds past 9:44am. So it left the station 20 seconds early.
In virtually every other country in the world, a train departing 20 seconds early would not even be noticed. Nor would anyone care.
Japan - Japan - Train - Departs
But this is Japan. And in Japan, the 5255 train departs at 9:44:20. Not a second earlier. Or later.
The early departure was such a big deal that the train company conducted an investigation into how such a transgression could have possibly occurred.
CEO - Apology - Company
And then the CEO issued a formal apology explaining what steps the company was taking to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.
Clearly this is one of the most unusual places in the world.
Planet - Japan - Countries - Japan - Culture
I actually refer to it as “Planet Japan”, because out of the 120+ countries that I’ve visited, Japan is by far the most… different, with a culture so unique it’s practically Martian.
Japan is a land of endless paradoxes.
Country - Earthquake
Think back to 2011 when the country was devastated by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
Rather than panicking and looting, Japanese people sat quietly outside of their demolished homes waiting patiently for the authorities to tell them what to do, even while the nearby nuclear reactors were melting down.
Country - Women - Subways - Panties - Machines
Yet this is also the country where women are routinely groped on crowded subways, and used panties are sold in vending machines for sexual pleasure.
Streets in Tokyo are spotless. Yet you can walk for miles without seeing a single garbage bin.
Culture - Suicide - Bonkers - Cartoons
This is a culture so serious that they perfected ritualistic suicide. Yet they go bonkers for cartoons and animated...
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