The Future of Trains? Possibly, but Where?

I recently did an interview with River Davis about the future of high speed rail and particularly the outlook for linear/maglev trains that are being developed by Japan and China. Some of what we discussed featured in an article in Bloomberg, ‘China and Japan Race to Dominate Future of High-Speed Rail‘. The article was also…

Anniversary of the Opening of the Shinkansen

1 October marks the anniversary of the opening of the first shinkansen (‘bullet train’) line, the Tokaido Shinkansen. The line opened in 1964, just a few days before the Tokyo ‘summer’ Olympics (which were held in October to avoid the heat of a Japanese summer). Since then the network has expanded across the country, and…

One of my favourite shinkansen trips

I cannot even begin to guess how many shinkansen trips I have been on over the past 31 years. The vast majority of these I have no memory of at all. Some, such as when I travelled in the cab with the driver for my research about the shinkansen, were very memorable. But amongst all…

Photographing the Shinkansen: Near Odawara

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…

Photographing the Shinkansen: Maibara

During media interviews a couple of times I have asked where my favourite place is on the shinkansen network. The answer is Maibara (米原). Thanks to there being a bend just before the station (if approaching from Tokyo/Nagoya) and also a slope down into the station, it’s one of the few sections of the shinkansen…

Photographing the Shinkansen: The Hokuriku Shinkansen

I have already done some posts about taking photos of the shinkansen. This one is a bit different as rather than focus on one location, it covers a whole line. Also, as yet, I’ve not had a chance to explore the variety of popular sites that exist along the line and will feature instead two…

Gifu-Hashima: The Political Shinkansen Station?

I have already done a few posts about taking photos of the shinkansen and I have done one, about Urasa, linking that to one of my articles relating to the political links to the shinkansen. On another line, the Tokaido Shinkansen, there is another station with strong political connections, Gifu-Hashima (岐阜羽島). Just as with Urasa…

Photographing the Shinkansen: Takasaki

I have already done a few posts about taking photos of the shinkansen and my previous post was about Urasa on the Joetsu Shinkansen. This post is about photographing the shinkansen at another station on the Joetsu Shinkansen, Takasaki (高崎) – together with discussion about why I have been to Takasaki so many times over…

Photographing the Shinkansen: Urasa

I have already done a few posts about taking photos of the shinkansen. This one is a little bit different in that it’s centred around taking pictures at a station, namely Urasa (浦佐) on the Joetsu Shinkansen. Normally photographs at stations aren’t the most interesting, partly as they’re not so challenging since trains are likely…

Researching Japan – My busiest trip

I have been visiting Japan since 1989, going there at least once in all but two years since my first visit. To date (May 2020), there have been 45 trips and the majority of these have been for research. As well as keeping notes from the observations and interviews and taking photos during these trips,…