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Tuesday, 27th September 2016
In Japan Travel News,

Snake causes bullet train emergency stop

It sounds like the plot of a Samuel L Jackson film, but the discovery of a snake on a bullet train in Japan was no Hollywood plot for passengers on board.

The service was travelling between Tokyo and Hiroshima when the reptile was found between some of the seats and action was taken immediately.

After an emergency stop at Hamamatsu city, the 30-centimetre snake was captured by police and removed from the train.

Those identifying the reptile said it was not poisonous and no injuries occurred, NHK reported, with speculation centring around it being a juvenile ratsnake.

It must have been scary for passengers on the train when an announcement was made by staff asking if anyone had lost a snake.

Despite the call, nobody came forward and an emergency stop was made to allow the authorities to deal with the problem.

Haruhiko Tomikubo, a spokesperson for Japan Rail Central, told CNN: "We don't know how the snake got on the train, or if it was a wild or a pet snake."

The 103 service still arrived on time, maintaining the reputation of the famously punctual bullet trains.

Surprisingly, this is not the first such instance to have occurred on this type of transport in Japan, even though animals except cats, dogs, birds and fish are banned from shinkansen by their operators.

A metre-long Honduran milk snake was discovered on board a train near Kyoto five years ago, resulting in another emergency stop.

Although the serpent was red and black in colour, its dramatic stripes did not signify that it was venomous and there were no injuries that time either.

Related news stories:
Japan's high-speed service delayed by snake (11th July 2011)