The Shinkansen (translating as 'new trunk line') was built to standard gauge- a first for Japan which has traditionally used a 1067mm narrow gauge system due to its mountainous terrain. The original 'bullet trains' (all now withdrawn), nicknamed because of their iconic shape, ran two standards of service named 'Hikari' with limited stops or 'Kodoma' stopping at all stations between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka.
|A 700 series Shinkansen roars through Odawara at high speed with a train towards Osaka|
|A list of forthcoming departures on the Joetsu and Tohoku |
Shinkansens during the evening peak at Omiya. The displays
helpfully alternate between Japanese and English.
|A Tokyo bound 700 series set enters Odawara station.|
The slower 'Kodoma' services are regularly looped in
stations to allow faster 'Hikari' and 'Nozomi's' to pass.
|JR East has a fleet of double deck 'MAX' Shinkansen sets|
which work commuter services to the north of Tokyo.
This train is seen at Omiya at the tail end of a thunder storm!
|An E2 Shinkansen operated by JR East makes a call at|
Omiya before its final approach to Tokyo.
|The JR East E5 is the latest addition to the Shinkansen family.|
These sets built by Hitachi/Kawasaki Heavy Industries entered
service in 2011 and are still being delivered as of 2013.
A Tokyo bound train is seen at Omiya.