The day starts earlier today too as we found ourselves on the way to the metropolis Tokyo. We started our trip from Kyoto Central Station on a 8.56am Shinkansen SuperExpress on the Hikari line (bullet train) from platform 11 for a three hour journey (Kyoto-Nagoya-Hamamatsu-Shizuoka-Atami-Shin-Yokohama-Shinagawa-Tokyo Terminal). All these stops at an average of 460km an hour, ground speed.
This bullet train is so stable that I can type the first part of post without any problem. Quite packed on the early morning route with mostly business travelers, our train arrived two minutes earlier than scheduled time and left exactly 8.56am! It was a good ride and as I type this, I expect to see Mount Fuji on my left in two hours. We couldn’t get the window seat view though.
I am still amazed about the power of discipline that has kept the country so clean, including the interior of this car number eleven we are travelling in as I type this on my table. In fact, before boarding into this car, I have noticed that the Shinkansen has the best trains in the world but yet operating from the simplest architecture design platform! The platforms have bare minimum design and have no sophistication found in other cities (including Shanghai’s bullet train that I have traveled on).
The cabin comes with full fledge toilets, bar and snacks purchases. The seats are comfortable and comes with a business class leg room and overhead compartments.
Striding our pace up north east I can see the countryside with rice and vegetation fields and intermittently some factories and not so tall buildings. The land is pretty flat from my view out the window.
I saw Kirin’s factory on my left just before our first stop at Nayoga, a brief one. Nagoya thus is thirty eight minutes on Shinkansen from Kyoto! Nagoya is more industrialized from my view here.
Second stop was Hamamatsu, seems to me like a busier city with more passengers boarding and getting off. I saw a Sony factory before this stop. Third stop was Shizuoka, also an industrial city to me. This point onwards seems to be more mountainous as we went through more tunnels, although mostly short ones. Next was Atami, followed by Shin-Yokohama and Shinagawa. Next was the most anticipated view of Mount Fuji and Tokyo!
At sharp twelve noon we have reached the Metropolis of Tokyo. Let’s the adventure begins! But wait, did we missed out the view of Mount Fuji earlier? Yes, don’t ask me how!
Our first meal in Tokyo was our first stop at a ramen shop in the Ueno Station itself, the Atre Station. This ramen is one of the better one and tasted great. Your cell where you eat your meal is very small but the food itself had override the space constraint. Great meal!
Our hotel, the New Izu is just a stone throw away from the station, making it very accessible for the next two days! We left our luggage in the hotel and made our very first visit, the Tokyo Skytree. The tower is majestically structured.
I have nit downloaded some puctures from my dslr which shows the most happening place in Ueno with rows of shops offering food, beers, panchikos… stay tuned for next post. Meanwhile Oyasumi~nasai (good night)