3 Useful Tips to enjoy Shinkansen, bullet train

Shinkansen is the super-express train of JR (Japan Railway Company). It is nicknamed “the bullet train”. It is very enjoyable to sit on a comfortable seat and to see beautiful sceneries from the Shinkansen. I would like to introduce travel tips and so on below.   

1. Shinkansen trains at Tokyo station

Tokyo station is an ideal spot to see various Shinkansen trains, because Tokyo station is a major railway hub. For Joetsu Shinkansen-line, the train is called Toki which is a name of bird looked like a clane. For Tohoku Shinkansen-line, the train’ name is Hayabusa whici is also a name of high-speed bird. The Hayabusa runs faster than 320 km/h, the fastest speed among Shinkansens. For Akita Shinkansen-line, they use the train called Komachi which is a name of an ancient beauty.

2. Box-lunch (Ekiben)

When Japanese people use Shinkansen, they usually buy a box-lunch called “Ekiben”, which means station box-lunch, and a canned beer, tea or coffee at a shop in the station before getting on the train, because there is no dining car on the Shinkansen train.
It would be a good experience for travelers to have lunch on the train with seeing Japan’s scenery. A vendor comes to passenger’s seats to sell beer, coffee, and Ekiben, but their variety is limited.

3. View of Mt. Fuji


Mt. Fuji is famous for its majestic views of Japan’s tallest peak. When you travel between Tokyo and Kyoto or Osaka, you can see it from Shinkansen trains. The Tokaido Shinkansen runs in the south side of Mt.Fuji between Tokyo and Osaka. If you want to see Mt. Fuji, the following seats are recommended:
Left-side seats toward Tokyo, or right-side seats towards Osaka.
In case of an ordinary class car, these seats are usually marked as D and E. Other seats marked as A, B, and C are good to see the Pacific Ocean.

4. Brief history
The Shinkansen started its operation in the year of Tokyo Olympics in 1964. It was the fastest train in the world, so it attracted a lot of attention from the world. Today there are 8 routes connecting major cities in Japan. The Shinkansen is also famous for its safety. There has been no fatal accident for more than 50 years since its inauguration.

5. The world busiest high-speed rail line
Among the routes, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen is the world’s busiest high-speed rail line. Between Tokyo and Osaka, the two largest metropolises, people travel for less than 3 hours with the maximum speed of 300 km per hour. It carried more than 500,000 passengers a day in 2014 according to the official records by the national government. It has contributed to the growth of the Japanese economy and industries.

6. Related blog
Tokyo Station (Eddy_1310)

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