THE SHINKANSEN - JAPAN'S BULLET TRAIN
Shinkansen refers to the dedicated high-speed Japanese rail network that provides a link to most major cities on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu. The name 'Shinkansen' is also used to refer to the trains that run on the network - which are perhaps better known as 'Bullet Trains'. Renowned for their punctuality, comfort and safety, the trains are frequent and fast, regularly running at speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h). The trains offer comfortable reclining seats and large windows and there are usually refreshment trolleys selling snacks and beverages.
Journeys aboard these futuristic trains deliver you to cities and rural escapes across this island nation, with highlights including;
Effortlessly blending the old and the new, Tokyo is a city that defies definition. Cutting edge technology sits alongside ancient temples, flashing neon lights, and shining skyscrapers towering above stunning Shinto shrines.
Lying in the foothills of Mount Fuji, Hakone is a stunning area of lakes, forests and hot springs. Take a cable car to the sulphurous hot springs at Owakudani, then descend to Lake Ashi for a short cruise.
Having seen devastation in World War II, Hiroshima is now a symbol of peace, a theme you can explore with a visit to Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome, both dedicated to the victims of the tragic devastation of WWII.
Discover the delights of historic Kyoto, from the UNESCO-listed Nijo Castle to the charming temples Kyoto is famed for. You could even participate in traditional tea ceremony at the Kodaiji Temple.
Another former capital from Japan's fractured ancient history, and home to an impressive 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Nara is also known for it's 1,300 acre deer park.