Posts Tagged ‘JR’
Kyoto station is massive! One of Japan’s largest transportation hubs, Kyoto station seems like a city all its own, with places to eat, shop, stay, you name it. There’s also terrace at the very top of the complex where you can relax and enjoy sweeping, panoramic views of the city. When we first arrived here from Tokyo, we must have spent at least a couple hours exploring the enormous station before heading to our hotel in Kyoto Gion. I was particularly impressed by the massive, open-air canopy shown above (see an alternate shot here). I wish I had a chance to come back to the station at dusk to get some night images of the structure, but we never had the opportunity.
First order of business after a long Shinkansen ride into Kyoto station? Eat! We found a great place for Okonomiyaki there, and chowed down. Took a while to decide where to eat, since Kyoto station has literally dozens of restaurants to choose from.
Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
My friends in Kyoto tell me it takes them a good 9 hours to drive to Tokyo from where they live. We traveled the same distance in about a third that time on a Japanese bullet train, or Shinkansen, last week. These trains really haul! Check out the video posted above that I took from a window on the Shinkansen we took over the weekend. See how fast those houses fly by? It’s insane!
Inside, accommodations are very comfortable. This is the standard car. The “Green” cars have even larger seats with more legroom (for a price of course). A beverage and snack service rolls through each car on a regular basis.
Train stations in the big city can get really crowded and busy in Japan. This particular day was extremely light. Well stocked food and beverage stores are located on the train platforms. Japan is all about convenience!
Top: Video by Canon S90
Shinkansen Interior: Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/2.8 ISO200 1/200 Second
Shin-Osaka Station: Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 14mm f/4.5 ISO200 1/80 Second
Beneath the Platforms: Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/6.3 ISO200 1/15 Second
Zzzzoooom!: Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 22mm f/8 ISO200 1/80 Second
From my archives, a couple photos that sparked memories of riding the rail system in Japan. I live in a city where you’re not sure if your bus will come at all let alone be on time. Japan Rail trains run with ridiculous reliability and timeliness. If the train is supposed to get there at a certain time, it’ll get there AT THAT TIME. Missed a couple trains during my trip this year thinking that perhaps they’d be late!
I also love how snacks/drinks are so accessible in the station. The photo to the left was taken at a train station in Tokyo. A green tea flavored kit kat or hot can of coffee is always near =)
We had a lot of fun riding the Shinkansen (bullet trains) at blazing speeds between Osaka and Tokyo while we were there. These things have dedicated tracks that don’t cross other roads or railways, so they’re free to rip through the country side at high speed, getting us from Tokyo to Osaka in a little over 2 hours.
Both times we rode the Shinkansen, I ate on the train. They have little stores at the station where you can pick up various snacks and even bento! They also have someone wheel a cart through the train every so often with snacks, sandwiches, and drinks. I was particularly impressed by the coffee surprisingly enough. I mean coffee on a train couldn’t be any good right? The coffee I had on the plane tasted like dirty water after all. But this coffee was good, and sure beat the 300 Yen (over $3.00 US) I spent on the smallest cup of Starbucks brew in Tokyo (yes, SMALLER than a tall, which is about $1.40 US where I live). In all, I was so impressed by the public transit system in Japan, and I look forward to spending lots of time on these trains when I return next spring!