Next, at position number 5, in my series about my favourite shinkansen is the E7/W7 series. Introduced to coincide with the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen beyond Nagano (for many years the line had been known popularly as the Nagano Shinkansen), the E7/W7 designation points to the fact that both JR East and JR West have these shinkansen (in a similar way to the E5/H5 shinkansen for JR East and JR Hokkaido).
The E7/W7 wasn’t introduced until 2014 so it didn’t feature in my book Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan. However, this means that it has only been around in the years that I have had a decent digital camera. Ironically, I have been travelling in that direction less than I was in the years 2007 to 2010, when I would tend to go to Takasaki, at least once a year, to pick up a rent-a-car to go to Ueno-mura for my research about the JL123 crash. But I have still been back that way a few times. I also travelled to Kanazawa so I could experience the E7/W7 and to conduct some research there in 2015. Here are some of the photos that I managed to get.
As I mentioned in my post about the N700, the gap between 4, 5, and 6 on my list seems particularly small. So why did I put the E7/W7 above the N700? The answer is quite simple – just look at the photograph above. That front view is so much better. The colour scheme also looks great. So why is the E7/W7 at number 5 and not higher? It nearly was. But part of the answer is that I just haven’t been on it enough, so can’t really think about how comfortable it is in relation to other shinkansen, for example. There are no special connections to the train for me. The E7/W7 is one that I could imagine moving higher up my list in the years to come, but for now it’s fifth.
- Information about my research on the shinkansen
- Information about the photographs I use in my research
- Photographing the Shinkansen: Takasaki
- Hijacking Japan – my novel, set partly on a shinkansen
In case you have lost track, the shinkansen that I still need to cover in my top 10 are (in alphabetical/numerical order): 500, 700, 800, and E4.