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【Hokuriku】The Hokuriku Shinkansen will debut on March 14, linking Tokyo and Kanazawa in just two and a half hours2015.03.13

0313Brand-new stylish bullet trains are about to debut on March 14 to link Tokyo and Kanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture facing the Sea of Japan, which will dramatically cut the travel time.

The Hokuriki Shinkansen’s fastest train will connect the two cities via Nagano in just less than two and a half hours. It takes more than three and a half hours using the conventional railways. Currently, bullet trains run only between Tokyo and Nagano under the name of the Nagano Shinkansen.

This will mark the first new Shinkansen line in four years after the Kyushu Shinkansen in southern Japan started its full operations in March 2011. The Hokuriku Shinkansen will run at a maximum speed of 260 kilometers per hour.

The new bullet trains will have fancy features particularly for the first-class Gran Class passengers. They include leather seats equipped with control panels to electrically adjust the reclining angle of the chairs, call train attendants and turn on reading lights. Only 18 such seats for the Gran Class are available at each bullet train.

Now, big Shinkansen fans can hardly wait for the opening and the popularity is already heating up. About 2,000 reservation tickets for the first trains heading for both directions on the debut date sold out in just about 25 seconds in the mid-February. Each of the bullet trains has 934 passenger seats with 12 train cars.

The Hokuriku Shinkansen will be operated jointly by East Japan Railway Company, or JR East, and West Japan Railway Company, or JR West.

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