Yesterday I have invited you to get to know with names of various shinkansen services on the tracks of Tokaido Shinkansen, Sanyo Shinkansen, and Tohoku Shinkansen. Now is the time for the shinkansen names available on the tracks of Joetsu Shinkansen, Nagano Shinkansen, and Kyushu Shinkansen.
Joetsu Shinkansen (Tokyo-Niigata)
There are two trains operating at this track. The fastest one is Toki, which moves between Tokyo and Niigata Station. Toki consists of Regular Toki train and MAX Toki. Wait, what’s the difference? If regular Toki train is just a normal train, then MAX Toki is a 2-storey shinkansen train.
Other train, Tanigawa, moves slower than Toki and operates between Tokyo and Echigo-Yuzawa. Just like Toki, Tanigawa train also consists of regular train and MAX Tanigawa.
Nagano Shinkansen (Tokyo-Nagano)
There is only 1 train operating at this track, it is Asama. Shinkansen Asama moves from Tokyo to Nagano with the speed of about 210 km/hour. At specific times, they also operate MAX Asama which is a double-decker type of shinkansen.
Kyushu Shinkansen (Fukuoka-Kagoshima)
Trains operating at this track are generally the continuing train from Sanyo Shinkansen route. Therefore, no wonder that shinkansen Mizuho becomes the fastest train at this track, followed by shinkansen Sakura as the second fastes. The slowest one at this track is shinkansen Tsubame which makes the stops at every station between Hakata Station (at Fukuoka) and Kagoshima-Chuo Station (at Kagoshima).
About the Seating Types at Shinkansen
On my previous articles, I have already written a little bit about green car, which I dubbed as the God’s seat a.k.a first class seat in shinkansen. But actually, there are 3 types of seating at shinkansen:
- Regular seat: It is the most standard seating in shinkansen. The wagon with this kind of seating usually consist of 3 + 2 seats. Sometimes the seating type is 3 + 3 so it is more crowded. The size and designs may vary between one shinkansen and other. But generally, here is the typical standard wagon on several types of shinkansen.
- Green car: The seating with higher comfort level than regular seatings. The seat is wider and definitely more comfy than a standard seat. Usually the seat formation at green car consists of 2 + 2 seats. Ticket to get on this green car wagon is obviously more expensive than the regular wagon, but it is suitable for travelers who wish to enjoy the trip as green car wagon is usually less crowded than regular wagon.
- Gran class: If I say green car is the God’s wagon a.k.a first class wagon, then gran car is the wagon for God’s fathers. Actually this wagon is more suitable to be dubbed as the first class wagon. Gran class offers larger and more spacious room with seating formation of 2 + 1, so travelers could enjoy the trip in much more comfortable ambience.
And then, What kinds of facilities are available at the shinkansen?
Standard facilities of shinkansen are similar to the facilities on Indonesian trains. I mean the intercity trains (not the KRL ones). Because I have never took a ride on KRL, so I could not make a comparison between shinkansen and KRL. Those standard facilities are including toilets with multilingual signages (Japanese and English), and sometimes those also feature Korean and Chinese.
What differs it from the toilet at regular trains is that the toilet at shinkansen are sometimes separated by gender. Some shinkansen even have special toilet for wheelchair users and is equipped with a large mirror.
Other standard facilities are the snacks and beverages offered by the stewardesses with a trolley. But there are some shinkansens which also feature many kinds of vending machine. Vending machines are really everywhere! And for the newest type of shinkansen, usually there are other additional facilities such as wireless internet and electrical cord.
Is Shinkansen Safe?
I believe there will be many of you will be asking about the safety of shinkansen. Even trains that moves way slower than shinkansen often got technical problems and sometimes even an accident. So what about the super-fast shinkansen?
Unexpectedly, shinkansen is considered as a very safe mode of transportation. Since it begun operating up to this point, which is almost 50 years, there has never been (hopefuly never ever) a fatal accident happened. All this time, the problems that shinkansen ever got through were just passenger or his bags got stucked at the door, and there was a failed suicide attempt.
One of the most important factor in operating system of shinkansen is the automatic early detection that stops the train if an earthquake occurs. It is understandable since Japan is one of the countries with high risk of earthquake. So with this technology at shinkansen, passengers would not need to worry that the train would get off of its railway when earthquake occurs.
There was indeed an incident on 2004 where a shinkansen was passing near the earthquake epicentrum and finally got thrown out of its railway, but nobody got hurt. So don’t worry about its sudden brake system as the latest type of shinkansen has been eqquiped with wind-barrier brake wings.
And also, no need to worry either about the shinkansen will collide with other local train, as this super-fast train has its own railway (except for the mini–shinkansen).
Then what if winter comes? Doesn’t some tracks of shinkansen pass through some areas with high snowfall depth? No worries. Some shinkansens might need to slow down its speed when the snow is falling, so it might influence the time table. But some shinkansen tracks have been already equipped with sprinklers and slab tracks, so they don’t really have problems to pass through the snow even if it is 2-3 meters high.
The Ethics of Using Shinkansen
Actually, the ethics at shinkansen are not very different with the ethics at other trains. I have already written about the ethics of using trains here, feel free to read it. Shortly said, do not do things that might disturb other people such as putting your bag in the hallway, making calls, or smoking. Especially for the smoking thing, unless there is a special wagon or spot for smoking, it is suggested to simply go to the section between one wagon to another.
I hope the informations are useful!
* All pictures were taken through creative commons. There are no editting from the original pictures. Name credits are based on the username on flickr/wikimedia.