The Shinkansen (新幹線, new main line), also known as the “Bullet train” due to the train’s speed and shape, is a network of high-speed railway lines found in Japan.
Starting with the 210 km/h (130 mph) Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the network has since expanded to link most of the major cities in Japan at modern speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph).
The line is the world's busiest high-speed rail line. Carrying 151 million passengers a year it has transported more passengers than any other high speed line in the world. Between Tokyo and Osaka alone ten Tōkaidō trains (16 cars each (1,300 seat capacity)) run per hour with a minimum of 3 minutes between trains.
- Main Article: Shinkansen
- The shinkansen Class 3-A boards on the class trip to Kyoto is based on the appearance of the N700 shinkansen train (which was ahead of its time at the time of the manga's release in 2004, the train model would not be put into public service until 2007). A 700-series shinkansen can be seen attached to the rear of the train as it departs the station.
- As of 2003 maglev trains have been tested as being capable of reaching 581 km/h (361 mph).
- Japan is the first country to develop high-speed trains in 1964.