Driverless Shinkansen: JR East announces tests in 2021

As part of its Change 2027 program, JR East has announced that it will conduct a series of driverless Shinkansen test runs in late 2021, using a 12-car E7-series bullet train.

The 5-kilometer trial runs, which will take place in October and November in Niigata Prefecture northwest of Tokyo, are intended to collect data that can support JR East’s long-term plan to introduce driverless Shinkansen trains on its rail network.

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Hello Kitty Shinkansen: The cutest bullet train also in 2021

The Japan Railway West Co., better known as JR West, premiered a Hello Kitty bullet train service on its Sanyo Shinkansen line on June 2018. At the moment, like other special shinkansen trains before, it seems that this train will run for a limited time, for now it’s not known until when but, according to JR West, it will be announced 4-month a time.

This new must-do item has chosen Hello Kitty’s iconic red ribbon as the main theme, as a way to represent the strengthening of the ties between the Shinkansen services and the western part of the country. The best part? It’s included in your JR Pass!

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Doctor Yellow Shinkansen: The Iconic Test Train

The Shinkansen network of high-speed bullet trains in Japan has a great safety record, thanks in large part to Doctor Yellow, the Shinkansen test train.

The Doctor Yellow Shinkansen is so named because it literally diagnoses any problems with the track and overhead wires as it speeds along, and is painted yellow instead of the regular white to make the trains more visible at night.

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The Hokuriku Shinkansen line to Kanazawa

The Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa is considered one of the three most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan. Once the outer garden around the castle of a ruling family, Kenrokuen has been open to and enjoyed by the public since 1871.

Thanks to the Hokuriku Shinkansen, an extension of the Nagano Shinkansen Line that began operating in 2015, it is possible to cover the journey from Tokyo to Kanazawa. Now you can reach this and other attractions in Kanazawa- such as the Ninjadera Temple, the 21st Century Museum, the Oyama Shrine, the Omicho Market, or the Nagamachi samurai district – in record time. Consider the following information when making your plans for using the Hokuriku Shinkansen.

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