Day 78

Day 78: Trains, Planes and Automobiles

Well we’re mostly going to talk about trains.

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From the local metro to the internationally known Shinkansen, or bullet train, there aren’t too many countries that can compare to the Japanese train system. They’re clean, organized, and importantly, on time.

Given the sheer numbers of the thousands of people hopping on and off trains, it’s practically an art how efficient these trains are, showing up at least 30 sec before the anticipated arrival, and within 30 seconds after their scheduled departure.

The trains are impeccably clean, from the floors to the seats and even the bathrooms on the express trains, which is infinitely more I can say about the trains stateside with the implied enter at your own risk should you need to utilize the restroom facilities. You’re allowed to eat and drink on the train and there’s hardly a speck of garbage or used candy wrapper littering the cars.

It’s considered rude to speak on the trains so everyone is either reading or listening to music or watching movies through their headphones. Aside from being packed in like sardines during rush hour, train rides are a relatively pleasant experience.

The Shinkansen, I think, is a worthwhile experience. Although on the pricier side, it is pretty nifty to see how fast the train is traveling and barely sensing it, aside from the increased pressure when traveling through tunnels. We passed through a good deal of tunnels and mountains so my ears were constantly popping when we took the Shinkansen to see the Snow Monkeys in Nagano.

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