Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bullet Trains

I take back what I said about the trains being slow. I was apparently wrong. I got on a different train today called the Shinkansen to get from Hakata to Hiroshima and the thing was really fast. Houses were going by so fast I couldn:t tell where one ended and another one started. On the other side, when a train in the opposite direction went by, it was just a blur of colors going across the window. It still shakes a little more than the KTX in Korea though. :)

Oh yeah, I bought a 2 week Japan Railpass while I was in Busan for about $420. Hopefully I will be able to use it enough to warrant that price. So far I think I:ve used the train enough to have spent about $200. That was Hakata -> Nagasaki -> Hakata -> Hiroshima.

And my friend Morgan was right (not that she was ever wrong), they check your train ticket when you enter the platform area, when you sit down, and when you leave the arrival station. They are exact about it as well. The conductor walking through the train cars uses a wireless tablet PC that is connected to the database, and so when someone new gets on the train at a stop, he knows exactly where you:re supposed to be sitting and goes straight for that person in each car to ask for a ticket.

I wonder what would happen though, if someone else who is not supposed to be on the train got on? Would the conductor know?


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