My Favourite Shinkansen: The 800 Series Shinkansen

Next, at position number 4, in my series about my favourite shinkansen is the 800 series. As I mentioned before, it was particularly hard to order the N700, E7/W7, and 800 series, but, at least for now, the 800 got the higher position.

I featured some photographs of the 800 series in my book Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan. Indeed, the 800 series made it on to the front cover of the book itself. In fact, it was only after I had ordered all of the shinkansen recently, that I realised that the top 4 are the four shinkansen that appear on the front cover (one from each of the 4 JR companies that had shinkansen at the time of writing it).

Here is the original of that picture

An 800-series shinkansen at the Hitachi factory

Here are the additional pictures that appeared in the book…

An 800-series shinkansen passes the patchwork of a concrete-reinforced cutting
An 800-series shinkansen near Shin-Minamata station
Bamboo window covers, traditional patterns and wooden seats on the 800-series shinkansen

Since the book, I haven’t had many trips to the west side of Kyushu and taken the shinkansen and, more often than not, when I have seen JR Kyushu shinkansen they have been N700s. So the additional pictures here largely date back to the trip to the Hitachi factory in 2003 (when I also got to look around the whole train, including the cab) and then a trip in 2004.

Two 800s side-by-side in Kagoshima in 2009

I included a few interior shots above as this is one of things that I think makes the 800 series special – that JR Kyushu paid so much attention to the interior design. Having said that, I do find that the seats are so tall that it can make it hard to read the digital displays at the end of the carriages. But overall, the styling of the train – both inside and outside – is great and that this is why the 800 came out so high in my list.

See also

And so, all I have left now in my list are the top 3 (in alphabetical/numerical order): 500, 700, and E4.

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