My Favourite Shinkansen: The E3-Series Shinkansen

I have previously done a post about one of my favourite shinkansen trips and in another I have commented on what is probably one of my favourite shinkansen photographs. Having done an interview for a podcast today (topic for another post in due course) in which we were discussing the shinkansen and the topic of my favourite shinkansen came up, it’s inspired me to do a series about my favourite shinkansen. I plan to do a post on each of the shinkansen, and may try to do them in largely reverse order – though that may become difficult, as I’m not sure I can rank all of them.

I should probably say at the beginning, there are no particular designs that I don’t like. Also, sometimes whether I like a particular design or not ties in with whether I have any particular memories of trips taken on them or photographs that I have taken.

Having said that, if I am to rank the shinkansen, then in last place is the E3. This is a little surprising, perhaps, as my favourite photograph involves an E3 – but it was more that version was the special East-i shinkansen rather than a standard E3 series that helps make that photograph special.

Probably my favourite shinkansen photo – taken at Takasaki station

I also featured a few photographs of the E3 in my book Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan

An E3-series shinkansen battles through the snow near Tazawako
An E3-series shinkansen in the ‘snow country’
An E3-series shinkansen preparing to join up to an E2-series shinkansen at Morioka station
An E3-series shinkansen joined to an E2-series shinkansen travelling next to the Saikyo Line (on left) south of Omiya
An E3-series shinkansen passing a level crossing and station served by wide-gauge-conventional trains along the Yamagata Shinkansen

Other than East-i photos (probably due its own post one day), I’ve not got many photos of E3-series shinkansen in recent years. This one taken at Omiya station in 2015 being one of the few…

So what’s wrong with the E3? Nothing. As I said, I basically like all of the shinkansen designs – but for some reason the E3 just doesn’t look interesting enough for me. Perhaps it just looks too much like a standard express train (at least by Japanese standards) than a shinkansen. Or perhaps I’ve just never travelled on it enough. Whatever the reason(s), one shinkansen had to end bottom of my list and the E3 is it.

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