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Thursday, 7th May 2015
In Japan Travel News,

Kanazawa is the latest stop on the shinkansen bullet train itinerary

The Japanese provincial city of Kanazawa has recently become the latest inclusion on the itinerary of the fabled shinkansen bullet train. This service, which classifies among the world’s fastest train lines, reduces the time it takes to travel from Tokyo to Kanazawa from 4.5 hours to 2.5 hours thanks to speeds of over 200 miles per hour.  

“The shinkansen is a very, very big thing for Kanazawa,” Noriko Iwata of the local tourist board told a Guardian reporter recently. “When ticket sales opened for the first journey in March, they sold out within 25 seconds.”

Travellers who have already tried out the train line marvel not only at its speed, but also at its punctuality and are very impressed by the polite, bowing train conductors. The atmosphere aboard the train is best typified as library-like, partly due to the impeccable manners of the people aboard the train. “No one is bellowing their weekend plans down the phone to all and sundry,” reports Will Hide, a British travel writer in a Middle Eastern newspaper. Hide also mentioned the fact that toilet seats rise as you enter the sex-segregated bathroom cubicles. 

You could argue that the first-time visitor to Japan’s primary choices are Tokyo and Kyoto, but that Kanazawa has now joined the ranks of the cities that would be second-tier destinations such as Osaka, Sapporo, Nara, Okinawa and Himeji. Kanazawa life might not as fast-paced as for instance in Tokyo, but that is not to say that Kanazawa, which has seen a dramatic increase in visitors in recent months, has less on offer.

The city of about 500,000 people boasts a rich history, not unlike that of cities like Florence in Italy. Art lovers can indulge without restraint in the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, and what’s more, tucked in between mountains, beaches and with the Noto peninsula countryside 30 minutes away, the town has something on offer in every season. 

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