Day 34: Riding the bullet train AKA the Shinkasen

On a field trip to Kyoto, I got a chance to ride Japan’s famous bullet train, locally known as the Shinkasen. I traveled by the Tokaido Shinkasen, which operates between Tokyo and Osaka. It was very fast, very smooth and an amazing experience. 
The exterior of the Shinkasen
There are different kinds of Shinkasens running on each line. Some stop at more cities than others. The one I took was the express train (the fastest one), called the Nizomi. Here is a video I shot when the train seemed to be at its highest speed (which is over 300 kmph according to wikipedia):

The train was very sleek on the inside. There was lots of leg space. For people on the window seat, there was a ledge on the window which you could lean on if you wanted to sleep. The train wasn’t at all shaky and one could easily walk around without realizing the high speed of the train. Of course, a visit to the toilets (which are probably the fanciest train toilets I’ve come across) is enough to remind you of that. The toilets are located at the rear of each compartment and are shaky as hell.

The inside of the Shinkasen

There are separate cars for passengers who had reserved seats and those who hadn’t reserved seats. Apparently, the train gets pretty full during the Obon festival in August when people visit their families and passengers in the non reserved cars have to remain standing throughout the journey. There are also separate cars for smoking and non smoking passengers.