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Shinkansen – by Alex

by on August 1, 2016

Yesterday, we took the Shinkansen train from Kyoto to Tokyo. The Shinkansen is Japan’s bullet train, and it was a great experience. We had reserved seats that had tons of leg room. The seats in the economy-class equivalent had more legroom than first class. United would’ve fit 3 rows in one row on the Shinkansen. There was no security, which was amazing, and trains run on insanely fast frequency. There were trains running about every 15 minutes, with the possible capacity of every 5 minutes. We think that they do not run at maximum capacity because the trains were nowhere near full. The ride was just over 2 hours, and we passed Mt. Fuji. However, it was very foggy, so we could not see above the 1/3 mark of Mt. Fuji.

We don’t have many photos of yesterday, sorry…. I took some on my camera but it’s hard to post them to the blog.

When we got to Tokyo station, it was an experience. Tokyo station is insanely big although it was only semi crowded. It felt a lot less crowded than, I don’t know, Incheon airport. We found a coin locker and put our bags on it so that we could find lunch. The restaurant we went to was outside of the station (just barely), but we had to pass through a ticket barrier. For some reason, the five other ticket machines that we passed through gave us our tickets back, but this one decided that it would be mean to give us our tickets back. Now, our bags were in the Shinkansen area of the train station and we were outside of the station where they do not speak amazing English. We got lunch and thought that we would go check out a bookstore, because Anna is desperate to get the new Harry Potter book, but is unwilling to get it on Amazon. This was at 2:26. Just when we got close to the store, which is on the other side of the station, we got a text from the person who owns the apartment we are staying, saying that we will meet at 2:30. This, of course, makes us feel extremely rushed. We quickly walked back to the gates where are bags were, and tried to figure out how to get through the barriers. Dad wanted to push through, but the gates were not happy about that. We went to the central office where they let us through. We eventually got our bags and got in a cab and made our way to our apartment.

At the end of the day, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe. The food was mediocre, but the music was horrible. There is only so much Bon Jovi that you can listen to before you start living on a prayer that something written AFTER 2010 starts playing so Mom and Dad will stop singing. You can imagine how pleased Anna and I were. 

But we did get Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts to add to our collection.

There was an English bookstore nearby that had lots of interesting books, including some books about Hillary Clinton. (E.g. “American Evita”) There was no Harry Potter, however. 


The last thing we did was watch a light show. It was essentially firework.mov playing on a massive screen at 1/8 speed. 

This is what we did yesterday.

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