Train to Kyoto

We were booked on the 10:08 bullet train direct from Odawara to Kyoto. We were planning to get the 8:15 train down to Odawara from Gora, but being so light of a morning here and being awake so early we got the 7:43. This particular train down the mountain was really colourful. Of course since we were leaving the rain had now stopped and we got some great views into the valleys

At Odawara we had over an hour to kill which meant we could sit down for coffee and breakfast. Got to sample a few more of the interesting Japanese baked goods. I’m yet to find one that is not delicious. Good thing I’m not here for months. Coffee was from the Hakone bakery, ok but nothing spectacular.

On the platform waiting for our Shinkansen we saw quite a few rush past on the way to Osaka or Tokyo. Odawara is not a main stop. Shinkansen literally translates as “new trunk line”. Bullet train was a nickname it gathered once it started operating and the first one looked like a bullet

Video of Shinkansen going through station

So why do they have such pointy front ends ? There are so many tunnels on the line and when travelling at 250kph+ causes serious amounts of air displacement and the long sharp nose helps displace air when entering tunnels. Apparently the sonic boom of air exiting tunnels near residential areas is an environmental issue here. Standing on a platform when one of these rushes past at 300kph is amazing.

Japan have seriously got their shit together on the whole operation of these trains. On every seat is a QR code that links to the operational website where you can check where your train is, if the line has delayed or where any train is on the track sections. I particularly like the little Mount Fuji icon so you can see what trains are passing Mount Fuji.

The ride to Kyoto took 2 hours, although it seems to take no time with all the interesting scenery.

Train leaving Gora

Every seat has a QR code you can scan which links to train running information