Japan's newest shinkansen bullet train, the E5, begins operations on the new "Hayabusa" service between Tokyo and Aomori today (March 5 in Japan). Although the trains are capable of operating at 320 kph (199 mph), they will initially be used with a top speed of 300 kph (186 mph). This is almost 10% faster than the Tohoku shinkansen line's previous top speed of 275 kph (171 mph).
Naoto Kodama, executive officer of JRM's sister club Iwatetsu, had an opportunity to ride the new E5 train and take some photos during a test run in late February. In honor of today's opening, we'd like to share some of Mr. Kodama's photos with you.
the new E5 Hayabusa (right) next to the E2 Hayateit will be replacing. Photo copyright 2011 Naoto Kodama
JR East Hayabusa logo. Photo copyright 2011 Naoto Kodama
The E5 has a new Grand Class seating cars that boast 1+2 seating, 45° reclining seats, and other luxury features. Photo copyright 2011 Naoto Kodama