700 Series Shinkansen
Happiness is a fast train (clang, clang, zoom, zoom). 700 Nozomi Shinkansen, photo by Not Quite a Photographer.

Yesterday morning I woke up in Tamami’s grandparent’s place in suburban Hiroshima (like Wallingford density) took a train into the city, bought a Shinkansen ticket and was cross-country to Tokyo before noon. That’s real freedom: just waking up and deciding I want to go all the way across the country today, instead of tomorrow, and getting there between breakfast and lunch. Not being trapped in a car or in an airport security line. Even by American standards that’s like waking up in suburban Seattle and being in downtown San Francisco by 2 pm, and there was wi-fi most of the way.

It’s not nearly as depressing coming back this time, knowing we’ll have a rail transit system for a good portion our city and region, and some sort of high speed rail for our greater region. Back in the States on Monday.