Although the Tokaido Shinkansen doesn’t offer the interesting variety of trains that can be found north of Tokyo, it does have some great backdrops and thanks to the very frequent service, it lends itself to photography. In this post I will feature a couple of locations close to Odawara. Both of the locations are easiest accessed by car.
To get to the first, take route 135 south from Odawara and proceed along the coast. You then need to follow narrow roads up into the hills (the turning after the Dive Shop is the one you need). The GPS location is 35.223848,139.13602 If you get to the tight hairpin bend, you have gone too far.
From this spot you get great views across the Ishibashi hamlet and the coast behind. It is best to visit this location in the afternoon as otherwise you’re likely to be photographing into the sun.
As well as the shinkansen, you can get conventional trains going by and you can get a great mixture of wide angle and close-up shots.
For the next location, head back towards Odawara to Hiratsuka. The easiest way is along Route 271. After that there are a number of roads that lead to the location. The GPS location 35.366458,139.336434
There are actually a couple of spots in this area. On the way to the main two, there was a small allotment (about where the red pointer on the map is) with some sunflowers, which I used for some shots.
Moving on from this spot, head right on the map, take the first left and first left again and follow this road (this takes you past the third spot which I’ll return to below), and you will be able to go under the shinkansen line itself. Continue up this road about 100 metres (to about the top of the red pointer on the map). This spot gives you good views across rice fields. There are (or at least when I went) no fences in this area, so you can see the whole train.
Once the sun gets low enough, return back under the shinkansen line to the third spot. As well as beautiful mountains, hopefully you will get some interesting cloud formations and a good sunset.
Here are some links to other pages you may find interesting:
- My research about the shinkansen
- My book Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan
- Photos in my research
- My novel Hijacking Japan (set partly on a shinkansen)