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Shinkansen - punctuality and high tech

The Shinkansen,  also known as the "Bullet Train", is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies for passenger transports: JR Central, JR East,  JR  Kyushu and JR West. The JR Group  is also made up of JR Hokkaido and JR Shikoku.

Whatever speed train you have traveled in the world, the Shinkansen is in a class by itself. Shinkansen is not only fast, but also soft,  it's always a pleasure to sink down in the armchair to go to a new destination. Add to this a punctuality that is unique, a top class service from platform to on board and you have a ride that is always on the verge of perfect.

Want travel quickly and efficiently in Japan, you should buy a Japanese Railway Pass. Do you want to go really convenient choose a Green Card that can be compared to business class on the flight and is well worth the extra cost. Do not forget that you must order the Shinkansen  Japanese Railway Pass before coming to Japan.

In service 1 October 1964

The T˘kaid˘ Shinkansen began service on 1 October 1964, in time for the Tokyo Olympics. It was the world's first high speed railway line and ran about 200 km/h.  It  is the world's busiest high-speed rail line  with more than 150 million passengers per year

The main line is Tokaido Shinkansen

Tokaido is the name of the main road, which connected during the Tokugawa/Edo period the former capital of Kyoto with Edo (today's capital  Tokyo). The T˘kaid˘ Shinkansen is the world's busiest high-speed rail line.
There are three train categories along the Tokaido Shinkansen:

NOZOMI  is the fastest train category which need 2 Ż hours for the trip Tokyo-Osaka. During peak hours 5-6 train departures but usually four per hour. The Nozomi is one a few JR trains where you  cannot use your Japan Rail Pass.

HIKARI  is the second fastest train category, which need about three hours to reach Osaka from Tokyo. There are two departures per hour in each direction.

KODAMA  is the slowest train category which is the stopping at all 15 stations along the way and requirs about four hours to reach Osaka from Tokyo. Two departures per hour in each direction, one  between Tokyo and Osaka and one between Tokyo and Nagoya. 


On a sec tion of  400 km of the Tohoku Shinkansen the maximum operating speed is 320 km/h (200 mph]. The Shinkansen network consist of  2.400 km of tracks  with maximum speeds of 240-320 km/h.  

Next time you visit Japan you must also  take a trip with the  Shinkansen.

Leif Almo, Hon. Consul General of Japan in Sweden

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