Sunday, August 11, 2013

Shinkansen - The only way to fly !

During this summers trip to Japan we got JR passes for one week and took two Shinkansen rides.  These trips both originated at Tokyo Station.  I've always found the Shinkansen part of the station to be more like visiting an airport, but back in the day when flying was still fun.  Tokyo station is the terminal for the Tokaido, Tohoku, Nagano, and Joetsu Shinkansen lines so it's quite busy.

Inside Tokyo Station, below the Shinkansen platforms there are displays showing the trains that will be departing and which tracks they will be on.

The displays are in both Japanese and English and include graphics of the trains.

This display is just for the Tohoku, Nagano, and Joetsu Shinkansen lines.  The Tokaido Shinkansen line uses different tracks and has it's own similar display.

I have always noticed that even among the Japanese there is more excitement about going on the Shinkansen.  Notice the platform in the photo, I'm not the only one taking photos of this E5 / E6 lash up.

Each arriving train that is going to then go back out again is met by a large team of people who service the train after the arriving passengers have left the train and before the departing passengers are allowed to board.  You always get a fresh train with leaving from Tokyo station.

Someones post on the JNS forum led me to this story about the cleaning of the Shinkansen trains.

Here is Tamami and Nona on the way back from Osaka on an N700 Hikari service.

We were enjoying drinks, a smooth and fast ride, and way more leg room.  The Shinkansen is still my favorite way to travel.

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