History of the Shinkansen: The Japanese bullet train

The Shinkansen are Japan’s gleaming symbol of technological development, its fast and efficient means of transportation. The Shinkansen are bullet trains that connect cities throughout Japan¡s high speed railways.

Most visitors to Japan desire to experience the Shinkansen trains, which attain top speeds in excess of 320 kilometers per hour (199 miles per hour), although most regular trains don’t go beyond 300 km/h. Tourists may not realize, however, all that has gone into making this unique rapid transportation possible.

Today’s bullet train system is over fifty years in the making. It is also one of the safest means of transportation, one of the few transit systems in the world that can boast of having no fatal accidents across its long history. In this article, we will consider some of the major events that have made Japan’s rail system the one you can today enjoy with the Japan Rail Pass.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics with the Japan Rail Pass

Some would consider it the trip of a lifetime: attending the 2020 Olympic Games in the bustling city of Tokyo, Japan. Tourists are already scrambling find tickets. The games, often simply called Tokyo 2020, are scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9 of that year. Over twelve thousand athletes from two hundred and seven countries are expected to participate in thirty-three types of summer sports.

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The Tokyo Monorail: Haneda Airport Transfer

The Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line, often called simply the Tokyo Monorail, began operation in 1964. It was the first commercial monorail system in the world. The elevated straddle-beam monorail line parallels the coast of Tokyo Bay. Travelers can enjoy seaside views, and on clear days, Mount Fuji is visible in the distance.

Haneda Airport is ideal for travelers wishing to reach Tokyo, as it is much closer to the city center than Tokyo’s Narita Airport. It is also the busiest airport in Japan. The Tokyo Monorail is there to ease this inherent congestion and make travel to and from the airport an excursion in itself.

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Taking the Hokkaido Shinkansen with the Japan Rail Pass

Japan is a wondrous, exotic land, full of iconic places, pop-culture galore, and a perfect marriage between the old and the new.

Among one of Japan’s most iconic symbols is the Shinkansen bullet train, an incredible piece of engineering and technology that links major cities in Japan in just a few hours. Throughout the years, Japan has been expanding and improving its railway system to cover the majority of each island and facilitate traveling all together.

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Haruka Express: Osaka & Kyoto airport transfer with the JR Pass

The Kansai International Airport (KIX) services the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. If you hold a Japan Rail Pass, travel from the airport can be a simple and exciting process, as the Japan Railway West’s Express Haruka train offers direct transportation from the Kansai International Airport to downtown Osaka and Kyoto.

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The JR Chuo-Sobu Line: Crossing Tokyo East to West

Do you have plans to visit Tokyo? If you do, you’ll likely be using Japan’s extensive commuter train system to get around. The railways in Japan are quick and efficient, as well as affordable – especially if you take advantage of the Japan Rail Pass, which allows to ride it for free!

When traveling in Tokyo, common train lines include the 60 kilometers that make up the Chuo-Sobu Line. This line runs east and west across Tokyo, between Chiba Station and Mitaka Station. It is the single JR line that crosses the circle of the Yamanote Line, and it serves as a major artery for local commuters as well as other travelers.

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Taking the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line in Tokyo

The Keihin-Tohoku Line is a busy train line connecting the cities of Saitama, central Tokyo and Yokohama, among others. The line’s name is derived from Tokyo, Yokohama, and Tohoku Main Line when written in Japanese characters. The train line has been in operation for well over 100 years, having taken on its first passengers in 1914.

Your Japan Rail Pass is valid on most trains along the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, as it is owned by JR East. Where will your travels take you – to Tokyo, Yokohama, or elsewhere? When will your trains depart, and when are the stations the most crowded? Check out this handy travel guide for more information.

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Akihabara Station and District Guide

Akihabara Station is located in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo. The area is known as a lively shopping district, with many stores specializing in electronics and otaku, the diehard anime and manga fandom. Akihabara was named for the Akiba, a local shrine formerly found there. Akiba was the god of fire, and Akihabara means “autumn leaf field.”

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Using Japanese IC cards: PASMO, SUICA and ICOCA

International travel can be an intimidating experience for both the novice and seasoned adventurer. Japan, however, has taken steps to make internal transportation easy and stress-free, for Japanese residents and tourists alike. Learn to use IC Cards to make traveling throughout Japan metropolitan areas a breeze.

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Shibuya Station Travel Guide

Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s 23 wards, famous for the shopping and entertainment district centered around Shibuya Station. Many of Japan’s fashion trends are born on the streets of Shibuya.

Shibuya is also a station with a long history. Shibuya Station opened in 1885 as a stop along what is now called the Yamanote Line. It was also the afternoon rendezvous of the famous dog Hachiko, now immortalized in bronze statues, film, and print. Continue reading “%s”