Tag Archives: shinkansen

Japan 2014 – 20 From Yokohama to Kyoto via the Shinkansen (Bullet Train!) (2014-10-05) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 08 DEC 2015

A massive storm was moving in towards Japan, and so it was no surprise to wake up to a rather wet Yokohama on our day of departure to Kyoto.

IMG_20141005_074035 yellow taxis in a wet yokohama street

After yet another nice hotel breakfast room breakfast, we purchased umbrellas from the FamilyMart convenience store downstairs (seriously, these are everywhere!), and Ryan and I braved the wet weather to take a quick stroll through Yokohama Chinatown, which is incidentally the largest Chinatown in Japan (and in fact, Asia as well)!

(Mind you, we only did this because the impressive gate was literally next door to our hotel!)

IMG_20141005_085303 china town gate in yokohama

After our brief, wet walk, we returned to the hotel, grabbed our luggage and checked out, making our way on foot to the train station in order to eventually end up at the impressive Shin-Yokohama Station, where the mission was to find the Shinkansen (bullet train) counter, organise tickets and enjoy a high speed rail ride to Kyoto!

IMG_20141005_095634 ryan lotter waiting for the shinkansen bullet train at yokohama train station

Once again Ryan navigated all of this pretty much effortlessly, and before long we were on the platform, waiting for the bullet train which was guaranteed to be exactly on time – as pretty much all Japanese trains are famed to be.

(As it turned out, we were exceptionally lucky. Not long after we left, the storm became much, much worse, leading to the closing of all public transport routes!)

IMG_20141005_120017 shinkansen bullet train at the train station japan

The bullet train ride was an absolute thrill let me tell you. Comfortable seating, reminiscent of a plane’s seating arrangement (complete with snack trolley!), the journey was an incredible pleasure – everything rushes by at incredible speeds, meaning that if you blink you miss it!

Oh, and at this speed the train banks for turns, which itself is a pretty weird sensation.

I can’t remember how long the journey itself from Yokohama to Kyoto took, but I do know that my eyes were glued to the window pretty much from start to finish!

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An awesome travel treat indeed! :)

Related Link: Shinkansen | Shinkansen Travel

Japan 2014 – 18 Going home via Tokyo Station (2014-10-04) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 05 DEC 2015

Having just enjoyed a stroll through the Imperial East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, Ryan and I decided that perhaps it was time to exit Tokyo for the day and make our way back to Yokohama – and to do this we decided that we needed to use the iconic Tokyo Station!

IMG_20141004_145910 ryan lotter walking amongst the skyscrapers of the marunouchi business district, chiyoda, tokyo, japan

To get there, we would need to walk through Marunouchi, Chiyoda, one of Japan’s most prestigious business districts.

During the Edo Period, this area was located within the outer moats of Edo Castle and contained the residences of some of Japan’s most powerful feudal lords and together with neighboring Otemachi, Marunouchi is now home to the headquarters of many of Japan’s most powerful companies, particularly from the financial sector.

IMG_20141004_150235 walking amongst the skyscrapers of the marunouchi business district, chiyoda, tokyo, japan

Mitsubishi Estate owns a lot of the land in this district, and over the last decade has driven a major facelift of Marounouchi, replacing pretty much all the older office buildings with towering, modern skyscrapers – a cityscape that completely awed us two Capetonians walking underneath their shadows!

IMG_20141004_150219 walking amongst the skyscrapers of the marunouchi business district, chiyoda, tokyo, japan

Eventually, we spotted the iconic red brick facade of Tokyo Station, one of Japan’s busiest railway stations (in terms of number of trains per day – over 3,000) and terminal of multiple shinkansen (bullet train) lines!

DSC07445 iconic tokyo station railway station in marunouchi business district, chiyoda, tokyo, japan

The impressive red brick building (on the Marunouchi side of this sprawling train station complex) dates from the Meiji Period and truly is an amazing (and busy!) structure to behold.

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(Amazingly, despite the immense underground warren of levels, lines and passages, Ryan and I did actually manage to find a train and make our way back to Yokohama, our base of operations for this first leg of our Japan 2014 trip!)

Related Link: Tokyo Station | Marunouchi