by chance, a few days ago, we got to be on the first ride of the new shinkansen, hayabusa.
the omnipresent media campaign turned the green, long-nosed train into the wet dream of local train spotters.
although the train was scheduled to leave the shin-aomori station at 6 am, the place was already full of people trying to get a glimpse/picture/video of the star train. there were camera crews and the conductor was standing proudly, polarizing whatever pixels the long nose failed to attract. we even had a trio of anime-like characters wearing spandex full body suits and helmets, probably each embodying a type of shinkansen.
regardless of the high prices (approximately 150 euro for 675 km), the train was fully booked and went through one station after another receiving the undivided attention of its admirers scattered along the neighboring platforms, holding phones and cameras. the internet says that a crowd of 1,500 people awaited the arrival of the long nose in tokyo.
the fare pays for regular shinkansen conditions and then some: plenty of personal space, all announcements are bilingual (japanese and english), the food and drinks cart include, beside the normal offerings, hayabusa shaped bento boxes and key rings, etc.
the train is non-smoking and the average speed of the trip was of 300 km/h. your ears will occasionally pop but it`s a small price (beside the actual fare) to reach tokyo from aomori in 3:10 h.
the tagline of the media campaign was made in dream and i found it very fitting.
photo credits: lilaesthete