Yes, that’s it. It’s already been 50 years since the Shinkansen debut!
It wasn’t the world’s first high-speed train, but when the Shinkansen debuted in 1964, its futuristic design and to-the-second punctuality resulted in it being named ‘the bullet train’, making Japan’s railways the envy of the world. 50 years later, traveling in Japan by rail is a real joy.
But here is year a new feature.
Not only can Japanese train passengers arrive at their destination much faster than their British counterparts, soon they’ll be travelling in the lap of luxury.
Traveling at speeds of up to 320 km/h, the Japanese bullet trains are set to offer passengers the chance to relax with carriages devoted entirely to soothing foot baths.
The carriage will feature two banks of seats facing the windows so passengers can grab the view while soaking their feet in 8ft-long tubs.
The Japanese 1,600-year-old tradition of bathing feet will be launched by Japan Railways (JR) in July, aiming to offer a more relaxing experience to travelers.
The Toreiyu train – a word which mixes the English word “train”, the French word “soleil” (sun) and the Japanese “yu” (湯, which refers to “hot water”) will be the first bullet train to feature this service.
It will also have several cars that are covered with tatami mats, traditional soft floor coverings historically associated with Japanese nobility and designed to make it comfortable to sit on the ground.
Akaya Ryosuke, a spokesman for JR East, said: “We are trying to offer services in which getting on the train itself is the purpose of the travel.” And maybe they are doing it the right way!