Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Shinkansen are a network of very high-speed trains in Japan, which connect most major cities on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu. They're also known colloquially as bullet trains - and when you consider the fact that they regularly run at 186mph/300kph (which works out at 83 meters per second), you can see why.

They're a technological marvel, against which the rest of the world has been playing catch-up for the past thirty years or so. They're just about managing it now, with several countries boasting high-speed rail or heavily investing in maglev (magnetic levitation - sounds sci-fi, huh?) technology, but Japan really leads the way.

Plus, as a nice touch, they give each service its own cool name - we caught the Kodama on our way from Tokyo to Hakone which, as die-hard Ghibli fans, thrilled us to bits!

 Kodama photo by Mitsuki-2368                                                                                Kodama by Hayao Miyazaki


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