Because the best way to celebrate the arrival of a fast train is with a serving of fast food.
Amidst talks that strengthened the ties between the two countries comes news that you will soon be able to ride a Shinkansen in India.
November 7 means two things to Evangelion fans in Japan: the awesome Eva-themed bullet train makes its highly-anticipated inaugural run from Osaka to Fukuoka on the Sanyō Shinkansen line; and the eagerly awaited 500 Type Eva Café opens its doors to customers at JR Hakata Station for the very first time.
To add to all the excitement, Japan Rail West has just released the very first images of the café’s exclusive original menu. From specially marked toast to Eva sweets and an Angel curry, this themed collection of edible goods is the perfect way to celebrate the official launch of the Shinkansen Evangelion Project!
A train journey in Japan is much more than a means to a destination; with spotless carriages and unique tie-in promotions, riding the Shink is an event in itself. And with the Evangelion Shinkansen bullet train scheduled to start running from November 3, things are set to get even more exciting as passengers can now ride the rails from Osaka to Fukuoka and back inside a train dressed up as a giant bio-machine.
To mark the special occasion, Japan Rail West is releasing a whole range of commemorative Eva bullet train goods for travellers in the country, including stationery, snacks, and an awesome ekiben bento that comes in a keepsake ceramic shinkansen-shaped container.
Fans of hit anime Evangelion are used to having their patience tested. Almost three years after the Japanese theatrical release of the Evangelion 3.0 feature film, the movie still isn’t available on home video in North America. Meanwhile, the fourth, and reputedly final, chapter of the Rebuild of Evangelion film series remains without a release date.
But if there’s one thing Japan demands punctuality from, it’s the country’s trains. So with the Evangelion Shinkansen scheduled to go into service next month, the anime-themed bullet train is practically complete and recently made its public and video debut.
As far as joint collaborations go, the Shinkansen Evangelion Project is set to go down in the annals of history, with Japan Rail West joining up with the hit anime franchise to make our wildest dreams a reality, by bringing out a special Eva-themed bullet train to shuttle customers from Osaka to Fukuoka and back on the Sanyō Shinkansen line.
Since the announcement of the project, we’ve been waiting on the edge of our seats for more details, and finally JR West has come through with news of the launch date, along with never-before-seen images of the train’s interior, which includes Eva-themed seats and window blinds, and a designated “cockpit room”.
The art of illustration is a funny thing, because it relies on using lines and coloring to trick the mind into thinking it’s looking at a three-dimensional object. But if the whole effect is a matter of perspective, changing how you look at a picture will make you think you’re seeing something else.
Sometimes the result is cute, like when cherry blossom petals turn into a litter of puppies. At other times, the result is quite a bit pervier, like what one traveler can no longer unsee in the symbol for Japan’s bullet train.
Even if you’re not exactly a trainspotting otaku, chances are you still find the idea of riding a Japanese bullet train seriously appealing. After all, those things get up to some crazy speeds, and the whole process runs like smooth, scientifically adjusted clockwork. Even the cleaning crew get their job done, making the trains absolutely spotless, in seven minutes max!
But if you haven’t quite made it to Japan yet, then we invite you to take a Shinkansen ride with us and our Japan Wish competition winner Ashley. Strap yourself in and feel those G-forces!
New information has emerged about the tragic incident that occurred on the Tokaido Shinkansen line earlier this week. In what appears to be a case of suicide via self-immolation, two have died — the elderly man who lit himself on fire and a middle-aged woman who was accidentally caught up in the incident.
Japan Railways’ high-speed Shinkansen bullet trains have, since their inception, been famous for their timely arrivals and paramount safety. But that record was marred today by a self-immolation suicide that claimed the lives of two people on board a train travelling between Tokyo and Osaka.
Every now and then, Japan takes a shine to something that’s new to it but much more common overseas. Chairs, for example, were pretty much nonexistent in the country until the late 1800s, but now you’ll find them in just about every home except the most bare-bones of bachelor pads. Beer (one of the greatest beverages to enjoy while sitting on said chairs) is another foreign concept that’s gained mainstream popularity.
Likewise, although it’s taken some time to catch on, the number of places offering free Wi-Fi in Japan has been steadily increasing over the last few years, and is now available on the Tohoku Shinkansen and all of the stations on Tokyo’s most convenient train line.
It may not be due to begin ferrying passengers between Tokyo and Osaka for another 10+ years yet, but Japan’s magnetic levitation (maglev) train is already zipping up and down a special section of test track in Yamanashi Prefecture, and it’s nothing short of spectacular.
Check out our video of this thing in motion – oh, and try not to blink because you really might miss it.
For most people, getting to fly first class in an airplane to some far off destination is a fleeting dream, too expensive to actually accomplish. So for those of you wishing you could enjoy free slippers and a dedicated cabin attendant but don’t want to shell out half a year’s salary to do it, look to the first class section of the shinkansen, Japan’s high speed bullet train.
One of our Japanese reporters took a ride on the Hayabusa E3 Shinkansen in “Gran Class” from Tokyo all the way up north to Aomori and documented his luxurious trip. Take a look inside his first class cabin experience!
Ask anyone in Japan if they love the shinkansen, and they’ll probably say yes. Commonly known as the bullet train, it’s convenient, handsomely designed, and the train’s aerodynamic nose is surprisingly an artisanal masterpiece, carefully formed by hand out of numerous metal plates in order to achieve the perfect curves.
Becoming a conductor of one is a typical kindergarten dream, and while a lot of kids grow out of that phase, some emerge as bona fide train fanatics who go by many monikers: tetsu-ota, tetchan, tetsu-kichi (as in “crazy”), you name it. Unfortunately, travel by shinkansen may be fast and luxurious, but it’s generally not cheap—for example, a three-hour one-way ride from Tokyo to Ōsaka can cost around 14,300 yen (US $140).
So what’s this about a 240-yen ticket in Nīgata Prefecture that has train enthusiasts all abuzz? A seasonal train station that’s actually part of a ski resort? A place called “Cowabunga” 125 miles north of Tokyo? Let comedian and self-declared train otaku, Ayako Suzukawa, be your guide today!
Japan first started issuing commemorative coins in 1964 to celebrate the Tokyo Olympic Games two specially designed coins face-valued at 100 yen (US$0.98) and 1,000 yen, respectively. They would be the first in a long string of special coins celebrating events such as an Emperor’s 60th year on the throne and the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition’s 50th anniversary.
October 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the Japan’s famous bullet train lines, and so the Ministry of Finance has seen fit to put out yet another pair of coins. The first one revealed puts the legendary train lines right up there with Japan’s other iconic symbols.
Japan’s shinkansen, or bullet train in the West, was the world’s first high-speed train running at 200km per hour, and today the Tōkaidō Shinkansen is the world’s most used high-speed rail line. Impressively, even with over 120,000 trains running on the line each year, the average delay time is a mere 36 seconds!
Part of the reason the bullet train system can run as smoothly as it does is thanks to the ‘hospitality group’ working behind the scenes of the sleek, futuristic facades of these famous trains. These cleaning crews are charged with covering every inch of a train’s interior when it arrives at its final stop and preparing it for the next wave of customers–and they have just seven minutes to do it.
The Wii U — Nintendo’s first new home console in six years — may not be available until next Saturday here in Japan, but that didn’t stop our team getting hold of a North American unit and getting stuck into some quality gaming early.
Gamers among you will already know a little about Nintendo’s newest baby, but for the uninitiated, here it is in a nutshell: the Wii U combines the remote-wielding mayhem of everyone’s favourite Nintendo system with a unique new controller featuring a touch screen that can be used with or without a TV set, all topped off with a layer of gorgeous high-definition visuals. The idea is that the player uses the screen to interaxct with their games in a new way or, as we did here, use the gamepad screen in place of a TV set.
Sounds good, right?
But until we got our hands on a Wii U, we never fully appreciated just how much of a game-changer it was. We’ve played Sony PSP and Nintendo DS consoles on the go for years now, but imagine being able to take your actual home games console out on the road. Or how about on a high speed train…