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For the love of shinkansen

About the different bullet trains in Japan

One of the modes of transport that Japan is best known for is the bullet train or shinkansen. Operated by the Japan Railways (JR) companies of each major region of Japan, the bullet train network connects the major cities in Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido. With top speeds of around 300 km/h, bullet trains are an efficient and convenient way of traveling between city centers.

The technology behind the shinkansen is constantly being improved on to build faster and better train sets. In fact, a new maglev train line connecting Shinagawa to Nagoya - cutting the travel time 86 minutes to about 40 minutes - is currently being tested and slated to open in 2027.

In addition to providing reliable transportation, the shinkansen is also very punctual. Bullet train drivers undergo strict training and typically arrive at the stations right on time exact to the second, which to me, is an extremely impressive feat!

Despite taking the bullet train on a semi-regular basis, the train enthusiast in me cannot help, but be excited each time I board one. Time on the train is measured not by minutes, but by the stations. E.g. five minutes is the same as going from Tokyo to Shinagawa, and 1.5 hours is the same as traveling between Tokyo and Nagoya. Below is a pictorial collection of some bullet train sets from the Hokkaido Shinkansen to the Kyushu Shinkansen lines.

Home Delivery by japan-guide.com is a series of articles on Japanese culture, life and travel for all of us who are currently staying home to flatten the curve. Many travel plans, including our own, have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. While we aren't able to share new content from the road, we hope this collection from our travel archive helps you explore a bit of Japan from your own home.