Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Southern Japan Time!

Written on August 6, 09:00

On my first day in Japan, I rode a double decker Shinkansen. From the inside, it did not feel this fast.
Bullet Train from SurelyMaeby on Vimeo.

I estimate that each car is about 75 feet long, give or take, with the end cars being about 5 feet longer. This video is of 16 cars, with the total train clearing a point in the video in 5 seconds for an approximate speed of 160 mph. I love the Shinkansen's efficiency, and amenities!

Yesterday, we took three trains to Himeji, 2 Shinkansen, 1 local. The total travel time was 7 hours and 43 minutes. Think about it, that 7 hours and 43 minutes to travel a distance that's equivalent to the distance between San Diego and Redding, CA!

The trip to Himeji was short lived, about half a day to see Himeji Castle. This is one of the few real castles in Japan, most of the other are modern recreations. 

Unfortunately, the main castle was being restored, but we were allowed to tour the long side building where the chamber maids lived and Princess Sen built her vanity tower. 

This stop was a "Jeff must see". I was too distracted by the heat to really appreciate or enjoy it. The temperature wasn't terribly high, around 93 degrees, but the humidity and hot winds made it unbearable. Not to be over dramatic, but I imagine this was what hell must feel like. You don't realize that your sweating so profusely until you feel little droplets on your shoulders or chest. You only know that a wind is blowing because you can feel the pressure on your skin. Any movements of air do nothing to cool you because the external temperature is the same as your internal temperature. It's an incredibly frustrating thing to wrap your mind around when you're in it. 

View of the town behind the Castle


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