Japan Word of the Day #113 – Daiya (Railway Term)

Today’s Word is: Daiya (ダイヤ)

In Japanese, when one says daiya (ダイヤ), it could mean two things.
One is short for diamond, as in precious gem. The other is short for diagram, and more precisely, refers to a service planning diagram used in railway and bus operation.

Daiya in latter case is a document showing exact routes and time schedules of public transportation. When you are using trains in Japan, sometimes you may hear announcements for “daiya no midare (ダイヤの乱れ).” It means daiya, or the pre-set operating plan, has been disrupted, and certain trains and buses may be delayed as a result of it.


Daiya could be disrupted by various reasons, such as bad weather, accidents, and natural disasters. When it happens, railway companies are not responsible for financial loss caused by delay, so they wouldn’t be able to pay your tickets back. What they can do though is to issue a certificate of delay (Chien Shoumeisho from Japan Word of the Day #44) that you can bring to work to legitimately explain why you were late.

Image source: Kokoro no Tonoyo

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