The service has a worldwide reputation for reliability and punctuality, but now a rail company in Japan has issued an apology after a train left the station 25 seconds ahead of schedule.
The operator West Japan Railway has described the situation as "truly inexcusable".
This is the second time a such a mishap has occurred in the last six months, after a Tsukuba Express train travelling between Tokyo and Tsukuba left 20 seconds early in November.
With the early departure gap appearing to be on the increase, an investigation was launched into the incident. The conductor was found to have misunderstood the departure time.
Unhappy passengers were left on the platform waiting to board the train, but on social media the scale of the apology received a different reception.
The train leaving from Notogawa station was heading towards the Nishi-Akashi station in Hyogo and reportedly reached the next stop exactly on time.
JR-West says it will now be giving staff training to prevent history repeating itself in the future.