Riding the shinkansen: Kyoto and Tokyo-bound

My trip to Japan last November was basically my first trip overseas without my family. Ever since I was a kid, I was used to my parents taking care of everything, from clothes for the entire trip to the food we’ll be eating every meal. It sounds spoiled, I know, and I think I definitely was, haha. So that meant that everything I did in Japan was a trial and error of sorts—including riding the shinkansen.

The shinkansen or bullet train is a high-speed train in Japan, and when I say high-speed, I mean high speed. According to this, it runs on a speed of 320km/h. A 30-40 minute train ride from Osaka to Kyoto would only be 14 minutes when you ride the bullet train. Japan Railways operate their own shinkansen lines, so having a JR Pass can entitle you to ride them. 🙂

My very first shinkansen ride with R was actually a mistake: I knew we had to obtain a separate ticket for it first, but I pulled R in with me anyway at the first one we saw that was bound for Kyoto. When I saw that there was someone checking the tickets and that we didn’t have seats assigned, we hopped out at the next station, haha. This website does a good job of explaining how you can reserve seats for bullet trains with your JR Pass.

06_bullet01Yay, seat reserved! R and I were seated separately though, haha.

06_bullet02It rather looks like the inside of an airplane, I think. It actually feels like an airplane at full speed down the runway.

06_bullet03I was like, ooh, a phone! I want to try it! …but I don’t know anyone I can call in Japan haha

06_bullet04Touchdown Kyoto! Wait, can I still say ‘touchdown’ if I didn’t arrive by plane? IT FELT LIKE A PLANE THOUGH.

Here’s a video I took from inside the shinkansen. I don’t know if it shows how fast it is, haha.

06_bullet05Hellooooooo Kyoto!! You are so beautiful! I wish train stations in the Philippines would be this gorgeous, haha.


But I’ll post more about our Kyoto adventures in other posts. This time, R and I were waiting for the shinkansen that would take us from Kyoto to Tokyo.

06_bullet06I also wish train stations in the Philippines would have convenience stores like this one on the actual platform, haha.


06_bullet08This was our train! And train car.

06_bullet09Throughout the trip, I was constantly amazed at how trains in Japan arrive at any minute on the clock. It’s not like here in Dubai where the screens only tell you when the trains are 1-5 minutes away. Or in the Philippines, where there are no screens like this at all, haha.

06_bullet10Second time! Cropped R’s smirk, LOL.

If you still doubt just how high-speed a bullet train is, well, our Kyoto to Tokyo trip was supposed to be 8 hours (give or take) on a sleeper train. On the shinkansen? It took merely 2 hours and 47 minutes.

Visit my Japan page for more of my misadventures (and information, of course)!


2 thoughts on “Riding the shinkansen: Kyoto and Tokyo-bound

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