Tag Archives: Shinkansen. Tokyo Station

Happy 50th, Shinkansen

(Toshikazu Aizawa photo)

Oct. 1, 2014

Japan’s bullet trains began running 50 years ago, on Oct. 1, 1964. The trains that put Tokyo on the fast track to economic emergence are a marvel of clean, fast, and efficient travel, and an example for the rest of the world to see how investment in infrastructure pays off in the lives of everyday citizens.

The bullet trains began running with just over a week before the opening of the 1964 summer Olympics in Tokyo, and came to symbolize Japan’s transformation from wartime devastation.

Japan was the first country to build completely new and dedicated railway lines for a new high-speed train network (Shinkansen means “new trunk line”), and today bullet trains connect most parts of the country and make business and pleasure travel into Tokyo and other urban centers far easier and faster than conventional surface rail. Continue reading