The Shinkansen (新幹線, new main line), also known as the Bullet Train, is a network of high-speed railway lines found in Japan.
Starting with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen line in 1964 (named after the medieval Tōkaidō highway that traveled along the eastern coast from Tokyo to Kyoto), the network has since expanded to link most of the major cities in Japan.
The concept of a super-fast train was originally conceived in 1940 as a 150 km/h (93 mph) railway (50% faster than the fastest express trains of the time) that traveled from Tokyo to Shimonoseki, but the beginning of World War II stalled the project until construction began again on 20th April 1959. Completed in 1964, with the first train traveled from Tokyo to Osaka on 1st October 1964, it's opening was timed to coincide with the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Since then, the line's success resulted in expansion to reach other cities in the country and the line's design would later be adopted by European countries to connect their own cities.
There are three types of trains on the Tōkaidō line: from fastest to slowest (which are dictated by the number of stations they stop at) they are the Nozomi, Hikari, and Kodama.
Each train is divided between “Business Class” carriages (known as Green Cars) and carriages with Reserved seats and Non-Reserved seats (evidently tickets for the Non-Reserved seat cars are the most affordable and also the most popular).
Negima! Magister Negi Magi
- Main Article: Shinkansen
- Naru and Keitaro board the Hikari train service to reach Kyoto on the onset of the Kyoto story arc in both the anime and the manga. Both Naru/Keitaro and Shinobu/Kaolla board 0-series shinkansen trains to reach Kyoto (although Shinobu/Kaolla's train ends up going to Morioka instead).
- At the end of the first Tsuruko Aoyama story arc, Naru, Motoko and Keitaro board a 100-series shinkansen back to Tokyo.
- In the Forbidden Annex story arc, Naru, Mitsune and Mutsumi board an E3-series shinkansen to Yamagata. In the same arc the group, and their pursuers, later also board an E1-series shinkansen to Morioka.
- The English name "bullet train" is derived from the nickname given to the Shinkansen project while it was being developed in the 1930s. The name stuck because of the original 0-series Shinkansen train's resemblance to a bullet and its high speed.
- As of 2003 maglev trains have been tested as being capable of reaching 581 km/h (361 mph).
- Japan was the first country to develop high-speed trains in 1964.
- The shinkansen 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.
- Nozomi trains cannot be used by tourists using the Japan Rail Pass.
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