All About Japan

Touching Tribute to Station Master's Last Day

Trains Video

Behind Japan’s efficient rail system is a whole league of employees working together to bring the highest standard of service to commuters around the country. Often taken for granted, the working life of a railway worker largely goes unseen, but now there’s a new video from Tokyo Metro and Boss Coffee that lets us see what the last day at work can be like for a Japanese train employee.

The star of the clip is Akihabara station master Mr. Ishikawa, a Tokyo Metro employee who’s been working in the Japanese rail industry for 40 years. in March 2017, at the end of the Japanese working year, it was time for Mr. Ishikawa to say goodbye to his colleagues on his last day at work, before retiring with thousands of others across Japan.

After bidding farewell to the last train on the platform, Mr. Ishikawa received a fond farewell of his own, as the main lights at the station were turned off and the signboards suddenly lit up with personalized messages of thanks and good wishes from his colleagues.

The surprise farewell brought tears to the station master’s eyes as he read their heartfelt messages and waved at their moving images. Then, the lights came back on as his team came out to greet him personally, sending him off with a round of applause, some deep bows and a big bouquet of flowers.

According to the official campaign website for “The Last Train” video, Mr. Ishikawa had no idea about the digital signage farewell messages, which were covertly arranged by staff and videographers before his last day. With so many thousands of hard workers like these facing a brand new chapter in their lives at this time of year, we hope other employees get to enjoy a send-off just as touching and special as this station master did on his last day!

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