Tag Archives: trains

On the Train Again

Our visit to Izu-Kogen concluded all too quickly, and we were once again at the station, taking multiple trains, one of which was of course the shinkansen.

Scenes from Japan Rail

Scenes from Japan Rail

For those who have never taken a high-speed train, I took a little video at one of our transit points, Atami Station. It’s a taste of how fast those trains go, and shows a little of what goes on at a Japanese train station.

1. Speed of train, and how nonchalant everyone is about it.
2. Barriers between the platform and the track – rather a good idea.
3. People still go around in Japanese dress – even while travelling.
4. The station master’s pointing routine in the background. It’s a Japanese thing to ensure that everything is done according to plan.

It was a rather long day on 5 separate services. The last was an all-stations service full of noisy high school kids. We were rather glad near the end to see this, our destination.

Glimpses of Fujisan

Why trains are better than planes

Hello, I’m back from my blog break. I missed blogging and want to share my recent trip to Japan with you. I can’t believe that it’s been 9 years since my last visit – and I believe I have enough material to last through the summer!

As an opener, I’m starting on trains. We got a Japan Rail pass for the entire holiday period, and once again it proved to be invaluable for long distance travel. The standard for Japanese rail services have not dropped since my last visit. The stations are clean and safe, with plenty of food and drink purchasing opportunities.

Scenes from Japan Rail

The services were on time to the second.

Scenes from Japan Rail

And the carriages were impeccible. This is the ‘green car’ (ie. first class carriage) of the shinkansen (bullet train), and it’s much more immaculate than a business class cabin on a flight.

Scenes from Japan Rail

I must admit that I’ve been pining for some high-speed rail since our trip to Europe over 2 years ago, and we got our fair share of shinkansen joy. I loved zooming about at 300km/h, and we even get to see Mount Fuji if she’s not too shy.

Scenes from Japan Rail

We used the services between Tokyo and Kyoto a heck of a lot this trip (I counted about 5 separate trips), and I can’t believe how easy it is to get from one place to another. For example, Tokyo to Kyoto (514km) takes about 2h 40mins on the second fastest service (the fastest takes 2h 10mins), with up to 12 services per hour! I guess the domestic services don’t make any money along this corridor.