The image of the shinkansen or ‘bullet train’ passing Mount Fuji is one of the most renowned images of modern Japan. Yet, despite its international reputation for speed and punctuality, little is understood about what makes it work so well and what its impact is. Since 2000 I have been conducting research on the shinkansen – its development, what other countries can learn from it, and the symbolism of it. My first book based on this research is Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan.
I continue to do research about the shinkansen, particularly looking at what can be learnt from looking at the external design of the train, as discussed in Japan: The Basics and also my chapter in a book on Contents Tourism in Japan, and also its impact upon local regions and depopulation. I have also used my many trips on the shinkansen as the basis for one of my novels, Hijacking Japan. You can find posts of mine related to the shinkansen here.
As a result of my research about the shinkansen, I have featured in TV documentaries such as ‘Trains That Changed The World‘ (Episode 4 – Metal Monsters, Episode 6 – SuperTrains) which was first shown on the channel Yesterday in November 2018.
During the autumn of 2021, I wrote posts about each of the main shinkansen in a series called ‘my favourite shinkansen‘. To help index these posts – although you can use the tag also, the list of shinkansen is below. They are listed in numeric/alphabetical order. You will need to go through the posts to discover where they ranked.