The Shinagawa Shinkansen station is a short walk from the hotel. I planned to be there early so that I could take lots of otaku video before I had to board. I didn’t expect to see George Gregan waiting for the Shinkansen before ours. He was waiting in the Green Car (First Class) section. He said “Hello”. I said “Hello”. He was with a tall Japanese man who I assumed could be a rugby player. In respect of his privacy, I didn’t demand a picture.
More importantly, I was waiting for the particular series of Shinkansen. The N700 Nozomi service marks a full set of JR West Japan series I’ve been on. These include 0 (original “bullet train”), 100, 300, 500, 700 and now N700. The N700 is faster on the windy Tokaido route as it tilts 1° in corners. This allows a full 270km/h in corners of 2500m radius, unlike previous series that must slow to 250km/h. This cuts a few minutes from travelling time and contributes to energy savings of 17%. And there’s a 100V socket at each seat space, which proved handy for recharging Chikako’s DS and my video camera.
Shinkansen has wireless connection from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka. However, I couldn’t connect to any of the four networks without a certificate or passcode and I couldn’t find those anywhere. Passenger near me had was reading his Lotus Notes email. In the hotel earlier I managed a download speed about 1000 times faster than my 1.5Mbps connection at home, so I was looking forward to maxing out my wireless G.