500 Type Eva Cafe releases exclusive lineup of Evangelion-themed meals, sweets and drinks

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!

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Evangelion Shinkansen gets range of souvenirs, including its very own bullet train ekiben obento

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.

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Get in the bullet train, Shinji! The Evangelion Shinkansen is here 【Videos】

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.

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Shinkansen: Evangelion Project will also open a café and goods store at JR Hakata Station

Thanks to Japan Rail West, we will soon be able to ride a Shinkansen train modeled after Shinji Ikari’s Evangelion unit. Details have been flowing in about the train itself, but what about the stations that will be receiving this special train? The most appropriate thing would be for Hakata Station or Shin-Osaka Station to redecorate itself to look like Neo Tokyo-3, but the futuristic decor might not be for everyone. Instead, Hakata Station will be opening two Evangelion-themed stores in order to fill all our needs for special Evangelion eats and goods!

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Japan’s newest Shinkansen is world’s fastest gallery, packed with contemporary art inside and out

From an engineering standpoint, Japan’s famed Shinkansen is already a work of art. Recently, though, the country’s bullet trains have been putting a renewed effort into their appearance, taking inspiration from centuries-old tradition and science-fiction anime.

The latest Shinkansen to be unveiled, though, incorporates design cues more modern than tatami reed floors yet not as futuristic as giant robots. Instead, it’s envisioned as a travelling gallery of contemporary art, allowing for what operator East Japan Railways calls “the world’s fastest art appreciation.”

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Evangelion Shinkansen service takes off on November 7 with life-sized Eva cockpit on board

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”.

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Now bullet train geeks can ride the rare, top-secret “Doctor Yellow” train

It’s apparently a pretty rare sight, not unlike the majestic (read: ugly as sin) Northern Bald Ibis, the probably made-up Sasquatch, or the sober RocketNews24 writer, but on certain lengths of Shinkansen bullet train track, one can occasionally catch brief glimpses of a completely yellow bullet train as it whizzes past. Japan Rail (JR) doesn’t make the train’s schedule public, it doesn’t stop at stations, and it only runs a few times a month.

And, until a little later this year, no member of the public was ever allowed to ride. Learn how you can ride the special “Doctor Yellow” bullet train after the jump.

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Where have we heard Metal Gear Solid V’s iDroid voice before? When we last rode the Shinkansen!

The release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been met with as much excitement and frenzy as you might expect from the latest instalment of a legendary video game franchise. But while most players are preoccupied with riding D. Horse around, frolicking in cardboard boxes and puzzling over the intricate story, it’s a certain voiceover that’s had us scratching our heads. Where on earth have we heard iDroids soothing tones before? Oh, that’s right – on the Shinkansen!

Voice actor and vocalist Donna Burke is a veteran of the video game industry, lending her vocal cords to multiple games including MGSV and Silent Hill, and she ALSO provided the English-language spoken announcement that’s broadcast on the bullet train to help foreign visitors navigate their way around Japan!

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Is there a busty schoolgirl hiding in Japan’s bullet train symbol?

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.

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Faster than a speeding bullet! Ride the Tokyo to Kyoto “Nozomi” Shinkansen with us! 【Video】

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!

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The Evangelion Shinkansen will let you ride the rails like a cool angel this fall

Over the past few years, we’ve seen Japan Railways, Japan’s largest rail operator, embark on a spurt of posh train building, with coaches that feature gold leaf accents, split-level suites, and relaxing foot baths. This fall, though, JR West will be launching a train that dials back the luxury while pumping up the awesomeness in the eyes of anime fans with the Evangelion Shinkansen.

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Further details about Shinkansen fire incident emerge

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.

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We visited Fukui Station to see the dinosaurs! No Chris Pratt, but the Dino Doctor was in!

We’ve talked about Fukui Station, located in Fukui Prefecture, and its Jurassic Park of animatronic dinosaurs before, but today we have a ton more photos and a video of them in motion as the station draws closer to completion. Check out our photos of the rampaging dinosaurs at Fukui Station and call Chris Pratt, because we might need backup!

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Two die after man sets himself alight on bullet train in Kanagawa Prefecture

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.

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The Shinkansen image that’s got Japanese Twitter users giggling

The N700 series Shinkansen trains have been in operation since 2007, and reach maximum speeds of 300km/h (186 mph). While not quite as speedy as Japan’s upcoming maglav train, these babies can get you from Tokyo to Osaka in just 2 hours and 25 minutes – they’re basically a miracle of modern engineering.

But it seems that some people out there do not respect the beauty of the Shinkansen. In fact, they look at all that shiny, white metalwork and see only one thing.

Can you guess what it is? Join us after the jump to find out if you, too, have the mind of an eighth-grader…

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This is how Japan’s train-cleaning crews clean the Shinkansen in only seven minutes

Riding the Shinkansen in Japan is always a fun experience. Not only does it go super-fast (you can totally feel those G-forces!), it’s also guaranteed to be quiet and incredibly clean. But with 323 Shinkansen trains departing from Tokyo every day, how do they find the time to clean all those trains?

Well, it turns out that it takes a highly synchronised team of mega-efficient cleaners only seven minutes to clean each train – since that’s all the time they have!. And here’s an incredible video of how they do it!

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Free Wi-Fi now available on Tohoku Shinkansen, inside Tokyo’s Yamanote Line stations

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.

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Fukui Station, the upcoming Shinkansen station, is also home to roaring dinosaurs!

The steady expansion of Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train lines is a project welcomed by everyone from train fans to average citizens who just wants to get around the country as easily as possible. Last Friday saw the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, the line connecting Tokyo with the Hokuriku region. The newest train stations are located in Toyama and Ishikawa Prefectures, but all the attention on-line is actually focused on Fukui Station!

Though the Shinkansen line won’t actually make it to Fukui Prefecture until 2025, people still love the station, which currently serves a variety of JR and Echizen lines, thanks to its Jurassic Park-like scenery. That’s right, Fukui Station is overrun by dinosaurs!

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We try one ekiben shop’s three most popular bento boxes- out of a selection of 170 kinds

On March 14, the new extension of the Nagano Shinkansen line will open, connecting Toyama and Ishikawa Prefectures to Tokyo. This is exciting news for Chubu region locals and Tokyoites alike, as the trip from the northern central prefectures to Tokyo will take a mere 2.5 hours, so everyone is preparing for some fun day trips!

What’s the best part of Shinkansen day trips (other than effortlessly speeding through beautiful Japanese countryside)? Ekiben! Ekiben are lunch boxes sold in train stations, specifically to be taken on long train rides. One of our Tokyo-based writers visited a famous ekiben shop, which sells over 170 bento box options and ate the top three kinds. Do they deserve their rankings at the top?

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Seven cool things set to happen in Japan during 2015

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that you should always wash your hands after going to the bathroom. If there’re two things we know, though, the second is that you’ll never get anywhere in life being fixated on the past. So while 2014 was a pretty good year for us, we’re already looking to the year ahead, which is already promising seven cool happenings for Japan in 2015.

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