I was looking forward to my first ride on one of Japan’s famous bullet trains known as the Shinkansen. More specifically, the Shin-Osaka which would take me and my wife to Osaka, her hometown.
My wife would be better suited writing a guide about the Shinkansen and how to get around Japan’s crazy busy train stations. I mean all I did was follow her around the station, wait for her to buy our tickets and then make sure I get on the same train that she gets on . So this post in by no means a guide but more about my impressions about the whole experiencse.
Without fail, the train arrives exactly as the schedule says .We get on one of the non-reserve cars to try and get seats on the left side because my wife told me we can see Mount Fuji on that side. Unfortunately all the seats on the left side were taken. There was a section right beside the door where passengers can leave their luggage so we left ours there.
I noticed some of the seats were facing each other and my wife told me that the seats on one side can be rotated so that they face each other. I thought that was very ingenious and thoughtful especially for long train rides . I saw a group of travelers with their seats facing each other .They were chatting and eating like they were in their living room obviously enjoying the ride.
My wife had to leave to go get us something to drink on one of the cars further back on the train when I noticed a lady in uniform go to the front of the car and bow. It dawned on me that she was there to inspect for tickets and I started to panic because my wife had both of ours and I would not be able to explain this to the conductor if she didn’t speak english. I imagined myself getting booted of the train at the next station for some reason. Luckily my wife got back in time just as it was our turn to show our tickets.
It took just about 2 hours and 33 minutes for us to get to Osaka and honestly I think I was asleep most of the time. Which only shows how comfortable to ride was. In between naps I ate my Ekiben ( railway boxed meal) of chicken Karaage and some of my wife’s fried tuna set.
Before I knew it we were pulling into Osaka Station. Upon exiting the train there was a lady holding a big plastic bag right at the exit . My first thought was she was a fellow passenger just recycling bottles but my wife told me she works for the railway cleaning the cars in between the time passengers get off the train and new passenger get on .
It was night when we arrived in Osaka but my wife was energized getting back to her beloved hometown and some of her energy rubbed off on me. I was looking forward to dinner with her former office mates in a local Izakaya.