The Need For Speed?

Being a commuter in Australia has its quirks. Mainly punctuality and reliability issues with trains in some states. Our interstate trains feel slightly faster than the local trains, however, the overall experience and interior is inferior to those you may experience in other countries.

Since this blog is about Japan, this post is about the infamous Shinkansen (bullet train). Mistaken for an aeroplane sometimes in the 80s, these fine pieces of invention can get you from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station in 1.5 hours – a distance of about 226km with 5 stops in between.

On a trip to Niigata, I decided to see what the GPS recorded speed was with my phone.

Pretty decent speed

Not too shabby!

In the news, there’s a new Shinkansen in the works (Chuo Shinkansen), with a max operating speed of 505 km/h – connecting Tokyo-Nagoya in 40 mins, and eventually Tokyo-Osaka in 67 minutes. These would be using the Maglev technology instead of high-speed electrical railway.

Current version of the Chuo Shinkansen (Wikipedia)

Cost of riding a Shinkansen is a hole maker in the pocket for locals. For visiting tourists, it may be cheaper to get hold of one of the many Japan Rail Passes (, which also includes rides on JR trains and some other lines depending on which rail pass you get.

In the comments, let me know what your thoughts are on the Shinkansen, if you’ve been on one or wish to be ☺


One Comment Add yours

  1. renmi86 says:

    I’ve only used it once for work, but it was pretty comfortable. The trains in New York are notoriously bad, with frequent delays and constantly modified schedules due to “track work”. Recently, I’ve been using the meitetsu line. Starting tomorrow though, I’ll be using the kintetsu to commute between Nagoya and Yokkaichi in Mie.

    Liked by 1 person

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