Aomori Prefecture is at the northern tip of HonshÅ«, Japan’s main island and is now home to two brand new train stations and fully connected to the country’s high speed rail network. The Tohoku Shinkansen Line has expanded to Shin-Aomori Station which now connects it to Japan’s capital Tokyo along 713.7-kilometers of track. The trip from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori will now take just over 3 hours and comes 38 years after the government decided on basic plans for extending the bullet train line beyond Morioka, Iwate Prefecture.
The expansion of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line is music to the ears of this budding Japanese train geek as I count down the days to my first trip to Japan next year. I am already imagining waking up early most mornings – train pass in hand, ready to grab a bullet train to some far off part of Japan outside of Tokyo with the sounds of the Yamanote Line still fresh in my mind. To compare the trip from from Tokyo with Aomori that would be like making about 3 full trips along the full length of mainland Jamaica from Morant Point in the east to Negril Point in the east in 3 hours and 20 minutes.
The E2 Series Shinkansen is one of my favourite Japanese bullet train desings operating on the Tohoku Shinkansen line but come Spring 2011 the beast that is the E5 Shinkansen will make it’s debut. The E5 eats up the track running from Tokyo to Aomori in around 3 hours eventually reaching speeds of 320 kilometers per hour. Can you guess which train geek is looking forward to riding the E2 or E5 or just about any bullet train when he gets to Japan?