Bullet train to Hokkaido

This item appears on page 4 of the May 2016 issue.

A shinkansen (bullet train) now links Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, to Honshu, the main island, as of March 26. At an average speed of 160 mph, the Hokkaido Shinkansen travels 513 miles from Tokyo to just south of Hakodate (with an extension planned to Sapporo) in just over four hours, an hour faster than the standard train on the route. The train traverses the Seikan Tunnel beneath the Tsugaru Strait.

A one-way pass costs ¥22,690 (near $202), economy, or ¥38,280, first class. Passes must be booked in advance; purchase online or at Japan Rail desks in train stations or airports. The train is operated by Japan Rail Hokkaido (www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global).