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Wednesday, 10th December 2014
In Japan Travel News,

Shinkansen debuts in Hokkaido

Japan's northern island of Hokkaido has become the latest to receive the Shinkansen bullet trains, with the first service tested by the Hokkaido Railway Company earlier this month on the newly created Hokkaido Shinkansen Line.

The test saw the train cover the 35 kilometer distance at a speed of just 30 kilometers per hour through rough weather. Eventually, the network will be connected to Tokyo, allowing people in southern Hokkaido to travel to the capital in just four hours and ten minutes, travelling at 260 kilometers per hour.

The eye-catching designs for the new carriages that will carry people on this journey were unveiled back in April, as well as the nicknames for the services - Hayabusa and Hayate.

During the experiment, which took place last week, train cars spent three hours travelling to and from a depot in the town of Nanae and the city of Hokuto, with workers monitoring whether any power glitches occurred in the transmission from the overhead lines.

Further trials are due to take place through to March 1st 2015, and will include examination of a tunnel linking Honshu with Hokkaido in time for the Shinkansen's full debut in Hokkaido, which is slated for 2016.

Hokkaido Railway Company and the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency said that the newly constructed addition to the network will prove extremely helpful to both residents of Japan and visitors to the country.

Shinkansen services already allow tourists to visit much of the country in a very short space of time thanks to their unbeatable speeds, efficiency and reliability. Visitors who obtain a Japan rail pass can also ensure that their journeys are cost-efficient too, since these documents allow unlimited use during a specified time.

Related news stories:
Hakodate is ranked Japan's most attractive tourist site (6th October 2015)
Double decker Shinkansen to be retired (10th June 2014)