Where the Magic Happens: Japan Railways

by Sarah G on August 16, 2010

in Advice,Inside Inhabit,Travel Hacks,Inhabitant Travel,Japan

Hmm… A flight from Tokyo to Hiroshima will take an hour and 15 minutes, and a ride on the bullet train will take over 4 hours. The price of both is about the same… What should we do?

Shinkansen, bullet train, japan railways

Japan Railways bullet train

If you are ever faced with this question, let me help you out: TAKE THE TRAIN! Here’s why:

1. Delicious, rice- and mystery-meat-filled bento boxes.

bento box, japanese food, train

Train station bento box

Not only do they provide you with sustenance (assuming you can finish a decent amount of it), but they’re a fantastic source of entertainment. I spent a good half hour describing each food item to my reluctant mom and brother. “Woah, this one has a weird licorice flavor to it.” And “I’m not sure if this is chicken or pork or squid, but it’s delicious!”

2. Canned wine.

Premium can wine, train wine, japanese wine

"Premium can wine"

That’s right, wine in a can. After I finished my bento box — almost as if I was being rewarded for my culinary bravery — a train attendant walked down the aisle offering candy, soda and “Premium can wine.” Each can of wine comes with a nifty cup attached to the top, making this bad boy even easier to enjoy.

3. The “aww” factor, this little boy:

japan railways, japanese boy

Little boy on the train

He made my train ride magical. I showed him pictures of my dogs on my cell phone, and he blew spit bubbles and giggled.

He was curious about me and my family. He had no inhibitions about walking – or skipping – right up to us, and was not ashamed to blurt out in baby-Japanese what I interpreted as “who are you? Show me pictures of your dogs.”

Some times I wish we never grew out of that phase…

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