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What's Japan like as a holiday destination?

The Birmingham train spotter

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The whole consist of the 800s is 2+2 also, no matter the seat type.  Same sizing as the 2+2 reserved seats in the N700-7000s and -8000s.


Be curious to know the seating arrangements in the 6 car Nishi Kyushu N700s.

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2 hours ago, railsquid said:

Aha, here we are: https://www.jr-odekake.net/train/sakura_n700/


Reserved seats are 2+2.


Haven't been down that way since the 0-series was still running (!)... Planning an epic Shinkansen / ferry trip to S. Korea once it's feasible..


As the wife's family is in the Osaka/Kobe area, we do a lot of travel N and S of Shin-Osaka.  In 20 years of visiting, we've  only done one extended Shinkansen trip N of Tokyo.  (We have done a few stops on various trains N of Tokyo either to visit a rail museum or add another train to our have-done roster outside of our major trip).  Our one major trip was all the way to Hokkaido, vis Aomori and then on the way back Sendai.


So that is why I was familiar (but had forgotten exactly which) with the Shinkansen where reserved is better than unreserved in terms of seating.


Oh how I miss riding the Shinkansen.  Hurry up and open up!   🙂


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Japan is an outstanding travel destination. I’ve been to 35 countries across multiple continents and it is definitely one of my favorites. I keep going back to Japan. 

Why? Japan is a semi utopia in some ways. People are nearly always polite, friendly, and respectful of others. Everything seems to operate efficiently and on schedule. People take pride in doing their jobs well. Service is outstanding. Crime is exceptionally low.


The food in Japan is exceptional. Of course the Japanese food is far better than anywhere else in the world, but I’ve had outstanding French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Indian… food in Japan as well. Interviewers used to ask Anthony Bourdain where the best food was in the world. He would decline to name one location as the best, but Japan would always come out first when he started to give a list of his favorites. 

For us train lovers, Japan is maybe unrivaled. The large number of trains in wide variety that one can observe and ride on makes it a paradise. From the Shinkansen to little single car local trains, all are represented. The trains are all clean and well maintained and run on schedule nearly to the second. Japan is arguably the leading innovator in train technology, so there are always new trains to see and ride.

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Then I guess your first stop is Akihabara.   

Without repeating what many have already said, Japan is a great place to visit. If you ever plan on visiting, get a JR Pass if you intend on using Bullet trains more than once. If you just stay around Tokyo then it may not be worth the cost.  


Those of us that live here may have experienced the different levels of culture that visitors will rarely see. It’s often been said that the culture is a bit like an onion, each year you discover something new about it as you peel away the layers. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. 


From a visitor perspective, it is inspiring, crazy, vibrant, polite, and exceptionally clean. The is a definite facade to Japan and that is always impeccably well-presented to those new to the experience. 


Your first visit will open you up to other aspects of Japanese culture and railways. I get as much joy watching a single car DMU snake along a coastal rural line in Yamaguchi as I do watching a shinkansen hurtle past at full pelt. 


Living here and talking to other people at the rental layouts of their interests, getting some approving nods at running correct formations of trains and knowing about certain parts of JNR history.One of the few social aspects to a relatively solitary hobby. 


If I could give you any advice about your first visit. Don’t have any expectation or predetermined ideas before you come. Open your eyes and mind, take it all in. You will return with more questions than answers but that is part of Japans charm. It is unlike anywhere else. Whatever your experience involves, I think it can be guaranteed it will be a good one and most likely your mind blown. 



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