Photographing the Shinkansen: The Hokuriku Shinkansen

I have already done some posts about taking photos of the shinkansen. This one is a bit different as rather than focus on one location, it covers a whole line. Also, as yet, I’ve not had a chance to explore the variety of popular sites that exist along the line and will feature instead two sites which I came across more by chance and also discuss some of my experiences along the line.

After completing my book Shinkansen, I have continued to do research about the shinkansen and its impact, particularly in relation to depopulation, and the Hokuriku Shinkansen was discussed in both my article ‘The Shinkansen’s Local Impact‘ in Social Science Japan Journal and my chapter contribution ‘Contrasting Experiences of Growth and Decline in Regional Japan‘, in Japan’s Shrinking Regions in the 21st Century: Contemporary Responses to Depopulation and Socioeconomic Decline by Peter Matanle and Anthony Rausch. The Hokuriku Shinkansen (which until the line was extended beyond Nagano was known as the Nagano Shinkansen by many) officially starts at Takasaki. I’ll largely structure this post as if starting in Takasaki and heading away from Tokyo.

The first stop is Annaka-Haruna. I have discussed the station and area in my academic work, so rather than dwell on that here, I will present a photograph which I managed to get close to the station during a trip to Japan in November/December 2006.

The next place I would like to mention is Ueda. This is where I took the following photograph…

As I mentioned in my post about Matsumoto Castle, Ueda and its castle park, was originally planned to be a location within my first novel, Hijacking Japan. Although Ueda wasn’t included as originally planned, it, as well as other stations along the line, do get included in the book (as well as my academic publications on the shinkansen) and an experience with the police on returning from karaoke with a friend who lived in the city (which will be adapted for inclusion in a novel at some point (I don’t think I’ve done it yet)).

Heading beyond Nagano, the journey can now be done on the shinkansen, but back in 2006, it was a local line with signs still calling for the construction of the line (which still has to be constructed through to Osaka)…

I took the shinkansen to Kanazawa in 2015 for the first time. The train (E7/W7 shinkansen – depending on whether it’s a JR East or JR West train) looks great.

But so does Kanazawa station…

The inclusion of local artwork into the pillars around the station is a particularly pleasing addition

I will save writing about Toyama for another post. But I would like to finish this post with a photograph of the spectacular views you can see along the Hokuriku Shinkansen (when you’re not in a tunnel)

Click here to see other posts about taking pictures of the shinkansen.

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