Trains in Japan
Japan is a paradise for train lovers and railway aficionados. The country is famous for the sleek highspeed trains, called Shinkansen, as well as cool local and sightseeing trains. In comparison to other countries with extensive networks, Germany for example, the trains across the regions are all different in look and design. The Japanese are rightly proud of their rail system and use it frequently to get around the country. The network is so extensive that many people do not use cars as much as in other parts of the world. The trains in Japan are also known for always being on time, hard to believe for some Westerners that are used to trains being constantly delayed or cancelled even on good days. For the Japanese it is not only a means of transport though, it is an experience in its own right. There are special trains specifically designed with children in mind, with play areas on board and themed on famous Japanese cartoon characters like the Anpanman, there are scenic tracks with special carriages and even trains with honeymoon suites.
Getting to Omiya from Tokyo Station
For one of the days during our stay in Tokyo we had planned to visit the Railway Museum in Omiya, a 45 minute train ride from Tokyo station. Of course, the best way to get there is by Shinkansen. The tickets for the return journey can either be reserved at the counter, but expect to queue for a while, or simply using one of the many ticket machines available. Make sure you get a reserved seat as it can get busy on the trains, especially during rush hour and holidays. We made sure to arrive early at the platform, as it is part of the experience to watch the trains come in and being cleaned by the professional cleaning teams. They make it possible for the trains to be completely spotless in no more than seven minutes and to also change the seats into direction of travel while doing so.