If there’s one aspect of Japan that I loved so much that I actually miss it – is the rail network. I consider myself a bit of a rail buff. This started when I was little toddler. We lived near a train station and a trip on a Queensland Rail EMU inbound to the City was a regular thing. I’ve always been fascinated by trains. Well…Japan is the train buff’s heaven.
Just in the JR East network itself, there are a variety of trains on the numerous lines. From the E231-500 Series of the Yamanote Line, to the E259 series that runs on the Narita Express – Japan is full of trains. The flagship service of them all is the Shinkansen, or as it’s known colloquially outside of Japan – the Bullet Train. It is a well constructed piece of railway.
I was able to board the Hikari Shinkansen to Kyoto. There are 3 levels of services on the Tokaido Shinkansen line. Nozomi being the fastest, Hikari in the middle, and Kodama as the all-stops service. The Hikari service is the highest level of Shinkansen that you can ride with a Japan Rail Pass. I was able to board both the 700 Series and N700 Series of trains. They both look elegant and the ride is smooth. So much, I nearly fell asleep! I struggled doing that on Queensland Rail’s Tilt Train but that is comparing apples with oranges.
This is a video montage of my trip on the Shinkansen.
There is so much Queensland Rail can learn from the JR Companies. We should look to Japan to improve our rail network.