Challenge Five!

Shinkansen

A visit to Japan isn’t complete without a ride on a bullet train. These high speed trains are called Shinkansen. Japan isn’t the only country with bullet trains, however, it did build the first high speed line in 1964. The train lines connect most of Japan’s major cities. The Shinkansen are known for their punctuality with most trains departing to the second, with about 800 Shinkansen run each day.

JR_East_Shinkansen_lineup_at_Niigata_Depot_201210

  1. Why is the Japanese Shinkansen called the ‘bullet train’ and what is the maximum speed it can travel?

  2. In your own words, explain how a bullet train can travel so fast.

  3. How do you think it would affect the Japanese way of life, if the Shinkansen had not been invented? Give some examples.