What do you know about the bullet train in Japan - Shinkansen?
The land of cherry blossoms has long been famous for the complex network of public transport and the most modern train system in the world. Of course, when mentioning trains in Japan, it is impossible not to mention Shinkansen.
During my trip to Japan last November, I had the first opportunity to experience the Shinkansen train from Tokyo to Osaka.
Shinkansen was invented by engineer Hideo Shima, with the desire to design the ship "to feel like an airplane". After leaving the railway industry, he became head of Japan's National Aerospace Development Agency.
Many of you must be curious about the origin and timing of the Shinkansen bullet train, right? Talking about the birth of the Japanese train in general and the Shinkansen in particular, the first railway was opened in 1872. Nearly a century later, in 1964, right at the time of the Tokyo Olympics, the first express railway line called Tokaido Shinkansen was put into use. After more than 140 years of formation and development, as of 2017, the total length of Japan's railway network has reached 27,796 km. In which, the Shinkansen high-speed railway is 2,765km, which is considered as the "backbone" of Japan when it runs from the northern island of Hokkaido to the last southern largest island, Kyushu.
There are many "super" train systems around the world such as in The US., South Korea, Hong Kong, England, France, etc ... then many of you will probably wonder whether the Shinkansen has anything special compared to floating places, right? I used to have that question myself. After researching, I found that one of the things which made the Shinkansen famous was not just because of its fast speed but because of its safety. During 55 years of operation, there have been no cases of passengers being killed related to the Shinkansen despite the frequent earthquakes, tornadoes in Japan. The average delay time, including due to natural disasters, is always less than a minute.
At first, the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka (about 500 km) took 4 hours, now only takes 2 hours 25 minutes. In addition, there were about 333 Shinkansen trains operating daily between Tokyo and Osaka in 2012, carrying 391,000 passengers at a maximum speed of 270 km/h.
The train has two classes of seats placed in separate cabins. The special compartment has larger seats, more legroom, similar to business class. And seats are usually smaller in size, similar to economy class on the plane. In addition, Shinkansen has reservation space (reversed) and a free compartment (non-reversed). You must line up even though which wagon you get into. If you already have made a reservation, find your right chair since tickets will be checked, so getting to the wrong cabin or seat can be frustrating because you will have to relocate or pay an extra fee. The ticket price for the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka is 14720 yen (approximately 3 million VND). In addition to the method of buying tickets directly in the area where tickets are sold for the Shinkansen, another convenient option that many people usually use nowadays is buying online and paying by card.
The luggage is placed in the luggage rack, in the upper or in front of your seat, so be sure to place it in the right position and not to block the aisle. There is also a special point that the two rows of seats on the train can rotate to each other, so it is very convenient if you go in groups of 3-4 people because you can talk freely during the trip. It's too convenient, right?
On the way from Tokyo to Osaka or vice versa, you will have the opportunity to see Mount Fuji - the symbol of the country of the rising sun, so if you want to see the highest mountain in Japan, remember to not oversleep.
Because I went early in the morning, I bought "Bento" (lunchboxes) for lunch on board. The lunch box is available at the station so you can freely choose according to your taste. That day I chose seafood bento, at noon we ate, talked and watched the roadside so that the 2 hours and 25 minutes of sitting on the train became a very enjoyable time.
The space on the Shinkansen is quiet, the speed is fast and saves time a lot compared to normal train, does not shake or noise, clean, no smell even though many passengers use it everyday, also convenient because there are food and drinks on board. When using the Shinkansen bullet train, I felt really similar to the engineer Hideo Shima's expectations when he invented this special train, it was a train ride but it totally felt like the airplane.
The railways in Japan are very complex, so be sure to research the information in advance to have an interesting trip. Hopefully through this short article will help you understand more about the Shinkansen-bullet train in Japan.
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