Shinkansen: zoom

One of the best ways to travel—out of all the world’s ways of traveling—is by Shinkansen, the famous Japanese high-speed train. High-speed, meaning that it runs at speeds of up to 240–320 km/h (150–200 mph).

I was lucky enough to take two Shinkansen trips this month. If it wasn’t so pricey (for example, $100 for a one way journey of about 300 km), I’d be on it all the time! The video below shows a bit of my quick journey through Aichi Prefecture.

Travel by Shinkansen is vastly more civilised than by air. Although it’s imperative to be on time (the train is precise to the minute and does not wait), you don’t have to show up two or three hours early for security checks and the leg room is massive compared to economy class on a plane. The ride is super-smooth, and you can buy snacks and wonderful box lunches (bento) on the platform, or just wait for the food trolley to come by during the journey.

My tip for first time riders is that you should get up early and wait by the door a couple of minutes before the train arrives at your station. Most stops are only a couple of minutes, and if you don’t get off quickly, you’ll be whisked away hundreds of kilometers before the next stop.

Another tip: if you are a Shinkansen (or general train) fan, visit the SCMaglev and Railway Park, run by Central Japan Railway Company, in Nagoya.


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