Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A New and Improved Japanese Bullet Train Is in the Works

  • If you’ve ever lived or been to Japan, then you’ve definitely heard of, or even ridden, a Shinkansen or bullet train. The Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) officially announced that they are working on a new-generation bullet train – the Chuo Shinkansen. Find out about it here!

    Chuo Shinkansen

    The Chuo Shinkansen is an upgrade of the already-existing and renowned Shinkansen in Japan. The Nozomi Shinkansen’s average speed is 218 km/h, and it once reached a record of 319 km/h in 1979 on a test run. The new Shinkansen, however, will be running at a maximum speed of 500 km/h. It is being built to connect Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027, and is going to be connected to Osaka by 2045.

    The difference between the Chuo Shinkansen and regular trains/other bullet trains is that the former fall under the category of maglev trains, short for “magnetic levitation.” The name itself sounds like a promising experience. The Chuo Shinkansen is being made to provide a smoother experience, due to the lack of friction that comes from the train having no contact with the ground.

    The Chuo Shinkansen will be like the new and improved version of exactly that. Foreigners will be able to travel around the cities in Japan with ease and in a shorter amount of time. This applies to local Japanese people as well, especially salarymen or locals going on their periodic business trips. With many businessmen going on trips around the country, time spent commuting will be cut by half.

    JR Central tried to complete the project in time for the 2020 Olympics taking place in Japan as it will help increase domestic tourism. However, the project is being delayed and will not be finished by 2020.

    The Shinkansen Service

    Service in Japan’s Shinkansen is high-end. The popular train cleaning staff, known as the Tessei Division, is in charge of maintaining the utmost standards of cleanliness, which they get done in seven minutes. They have personally named their job as “The Shinkansen Theater for Seven Minutes” – a big team divided into teams of 22 move swiftly, cleaning and polishing about 20 trains a day. This is why you’ll find that the Shinkansens are clean of the usual graffiti and vandalism that you might witness in a local train anywhere else in the world. The Tessei Division treats the trains with respect, bowing to them regularly, and ensuring that the Shinkansen environment remains hygienic for its millions and millions of customers.

    “They take pride in their trains,” Teruo Yabe of East Japan Railway Company said regarding the Tessei Division. “They are as ready as any athlete for the Olympic Games.”

    And we are as ready, too!

    Commuting around Japan is already both simple and easy as it is, and the Chuo Shinkansen will add to that luxury. Japan has many seasonal areas to visit that many people might miss on due to distance or time. The Chuo Shinkansen will be a great opportunity for foreigners visiting Japan to travel all over and experience the many rural cities and attractions that the country has to offer. Where would you like to go with the Chuo Shinkansen?

    Chuo Shinkansen Website *Japanese only

    Related article
    97 Things to Do in Osaka, the Japanese City of Street Food, Culture, and Comedy, in 2018