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Bullet Train

The Japanese Shinkansen, otherwise known as the bullet train, is widely regarded as the most reliable high-speed train system in the world today. It is a sign indeed of Japan's phenomenal post-war development that such high speed technology was introduced as early as 1964, ready for the Tokyo Olympic Games held that year. All bullet train routes start and terminate at Tokyo's main station, and are operated by Japan Rail (JR) Companies. Principal routes include the Tokaido (to Osaka), the Sanyo (to Hiroshima and the island of Kyushu), the Joetsu (to Niigata) and the Tohoku (to Aomori). Plans are currently afoot to upgrade the Tokaido Shinkansen Line to accommodate 500-kilometer-per-hour trains by the year 2030, cutting journey times between Tokyo and Osaka to just one hour.

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