Test takers given free pass and good luck charm.

Entrance exam season is a stressful time for teens in Japan. Months of intense studying go into students’ preparations, and the tests themselves last several hours, making them a daunting challenge of one’s abilities to focus under pressure.

So it’s nice that the Yokkaichi Asunarou Railway company, based in the town of Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, wants examinees to have at least one less thing to worry about on the day of their test, and lets them ride for free.

On select days during entrance exam season all that examinees have to do is show their test registration card to the station staff, and they’ll be given a pass, free of charge, that they can use for a round-trip ride on the Yokkaichi Asunarou Railway Hachioji Line. The pass is officially called the Rail Pass with Included Prayer for Passing High School Entrance Exam, making it also a message of encouragement and good luck charm.

▼ A colorful train on the Hachioji Line

Yokkaichi Asunarou Railway has been handing out free rail passes to entrance exam takers since 2019 and distributes about 2,000 every year. For 2024, the first day for the passes was January 20, when roughly 650 teens sitting for the entrance exam at Yokkaichi’s private Kaisei High School received theirs. Passes were also given out on Kaisei’s second test day on January 26, as will be provided to those taking entrance exams at Mie prefectural public high schools on February 5 and 6 and March 11.

The kindhearted, generous gesture has been creating smiles and earning words of praise online as it’s begun attracting wider attention. In a practical sense, some have also said that giving examinees one more reason to remember to take their registration card with them when they leave the house on the big day is a big plus, and hopefully the morale boost from the little nicety will help relieve some of the stress of the situation and help test takers perform at their best.

Source: Yokkaichi Asunarou Railway, IT Media, Bengoshi.com
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Wikipedia/Bakkai
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