MAEBASHI, GUNMA PREF. – With many students busy with last-minute efforts to pass entrance exams, Maebashi Station of East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, is attracting attention for distributing replica tickets bound for a person’s first-choice school.
The idea of making such tickets to show support for students came from Shohei Arai, 38, and other young workers at the station in Gunma Prefecture.
Over 1,000 of the pretend tickets have been obtained by students and others since distribution started Jan. 7.
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“I hope (the tickets) will cheer students up,” said 24-year-old station worker Nana Akashi. “I want them to do their best right to the end.”
The supportive tickets cannot be used to take any trains but the design and the size are the same as regular ones.
On the front, the support ticket shows that it is from Maebashi Station to your first-choice school. Phrases such as “Pray for victory,” “Valid until you give up” and “5110,” which can be read as “faito,” or “fight,” also appear.
On the back, messages such as “Do your best,” “Unconditional pass” and “We believe in you” can be seen.
It is the first time for Maebashi Station to engage in such a project, according to Arai.
“We started the project because we wanted to do something to support students” at a time when they are studying hard for entrance exams, Arai said, noting that many high school students use the station.
A box of the tickets is placed inside the station, as well as a message board filled with supportive messages from station workers and a white board for people to leave their own messages.
More and more people have started asking for the tickets since the station’s efforts were introduced on social media early January.
“That encourages us,” Arai said, showing his pleasure.
The station plans to continue handing out the tickets until late February.