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Super Komachi and Hayabusa



Don’t know what it is exactly about Japan’s extensive railway network that I love the most, but one thing’s for sure, I love its trains, especially the  Hayabusa.   It’s got to be the the nose! I love its sleekness and the perfectly engineered bogies that slide along the outside; or maybe it’s the pantographs that run along the top of the entire body of the whole train that does it for me….. Actually, let me reiterate, it’s the nose.
      ("This man must really love his job.  He gets to ride the fastest train on rails in comfort and style.   No  No.  Chinese and French folks do not even try to say anything.  Do not disturb my apotheosis on Japanese engineering").  


Bullet trains, shinkansen, were designed with perfect aerodynamic contours that allow it to seamlessly glide across steel rails at very high speeds. The faster it goes the sexier it looks, unlike its rival in France.    The Hayabusa is the product of decades of labor intensive engineering, and countless man hours. Years of learning how to develop better metals and ; years of  hard monomers and soft polymers and aesthetically different elements into one whole operating unit and then learning how to blend all of that so that the human subject could experience absolutely the highest level of comfort at top speeds on land, enabling passengers to take in majestic views of Japan’s vast and expansive countryside in the middle of winter from the warmness and comfort of a luxurious recliner.


I have ridden on the Hayabusa about five times, and in every cabin class.   The newest train on the block now is called the Super Komachi, and it's  also just as fast as the Hayabusa, reaching speeds of up to 320 k/hr.   It's red with head lights along the side.  
The Komachi has always been around, but this new one has a much more sleeker feel to it.  From Tokyo the Hyabusa couples and pulls Komachi to Morioka Station where they decouple.  The Hayabusa continues to Shin-Aomori Station while the Komachi continues on to Akita Station.  
Decoupling
                                              Decoupling is very easy and automated.  


One of the big draws for kids and train geeks like myself is that we love to come and watch decouplings happen after we get off the train.   If you haven't had a chance to see this done yet then by all means have a look next time.    The Super Komachi's standard class seating is much better than the Hayabusa.   Yellow seats with wider backs and slightly more comfortable than Hayabusa's standard seating.   I rode green class because I love black leather recliner seats that are thick and cushy.    From Sendai to Morioka the fare was 7000 yen for green seats.  

Fares are pretty standard as before.  Check here.    Another thing.  There is a big difference between the E5 and the E2 Shinkansen series trains.    While E5 ( Hayabusa ) is the latest and greatest, the windows are smaller whereas the E2 has larger windows which allow for better photo and video opportunities.   The windows are rectangular rather than square shaped, which is better for panning shots on the E2.  


If you are headed up to Kakunodate this Spring for cherry blossom viewing then riding the Super Komachi is a great excuse and worth it.   It really is super fast and super luxurious.    









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