Tessa and I are on the Shinkansen bullet train bound for Gala Yuzawa, a ski area about 250 km from Yokohama. We boarded the train at Tokyo station. But first, we picked up snacks for the ride: a sandwich for Tessa and bento for me.
Inside the train looks about as unexciting as your typical Northeast Regional on Amtrak in the U.S.:
But on the outside, Shinkansen definitely wins.
The shinkansen’s maximum speed is 320 kph. I’m not sure how fast we are moving right now–slower than 320 for sure, but still pretty zippy. I did my best to capture it here.
The total travel time between Tokyo station and Gala Yuzawa station is around 75 minutes. Gala Yuzawa is one of the few ski areas with a Shinkansen station right at its base, while most other ski resorts sit 60 minutes or more by bus from the nearest Shinkansen stations. This proximity makes the Gala Yuzawa especially popular, even as a day trip.
Given this popularity, I had a really hard time finding a hotel room. The fancy hotels right at Gala Yuzawa filled up months ago, so I ended up with a small place about 15 minutes away. It’s located at the base of a slightly smaller resort, and I’m hoping the slight inconvenience will mean less crowded slopes. The hotel owner will meet us at the station to pick us up. Reviews on Trip Advisor gushed about the owner’s hospitality. I’m counting on that–especially since I could only get a room with a shared bath.
Shh, don’t tell Tessa. She doesn’t know yet.
One thought on “Bullet train!”
Hi Marta! In China they have similar trains, but do not use “Bullet Trains”, that is Japanese. They are High speed trains. Do you wait in a waiting area and then go down 15 minutes before the train arrives? They have that in China. My only other train experience is Poland where everybody waits track side! What a difference from the disciplined Chinese. Janek.