My Favourite Shinkansen: The E1 Series Shinkansen

Working on the basis that I will treat all of the various N700 series shinkansen (N700, N700A, N700S) as one type and won’t include the experimental shinkansen, we are now into the Top 10 in my series about my favourite shinkansen. The ones that missed out on the Top 10 were the 300, E2, E6, E5/H5, 200, and E3 – a lot of JR East shinkansen. The 10th placed one is also a JR East shinkansen – the E1.

I featured some photographs of the E1 series in my book Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan

An E1-series shinkansen in its original colours at Gala-Yuzawa towards the end of the skiing season
An E1-series-renewal shinkansen in its livery based on the colours of the ibis (‘toki’) which provides the name of the service the train primarily operates under
An E1-series shinkansen at Gala-Yuzawa station, where gondolas take passengers direct from the station to the ski slopes
An E1-series shinkansen at Gala-Yuzawa station with the impressive mountains of the region in the background

Here are some additional photographs of the E1 series I took between 2005 and 2010. There are quite a few pictures at Takasaki due to me going there to pick up a rent-a-car many years to go to Ueno-mura for my research about the JL123 crash. Many others are taken at Echigo-Yuzawa as I went there a few times when doing work on my novel Hijacking Japan.

By the time I had a better digital camera (in 2011), the E1 was approaching retirement (which happened in 2012), and I didn’t get any further pictures, sadly.

The E1 was introduced just as I was finishing my year on the JET Programme. Before returning to the UK, I did some travelling and this included a day trip to Niigata so that I could go on the E1. Despite being the first double-decker shinkansen, the E1 still maintained a great profile. However, it was let down by not having particularly comfortable seats and, of course, if you were on the lower deck, you hardly ever got a view.

See also

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