Once again we find ourselves on transit at the busy and modern Nagoya Station built within the JR Central Towers building. It was packed with travellers. A four sided gold clock kept time for the travellers. We had just arrived from Nakatsugawa and only had transit time in Nagoya Station to catch our Shinkansen train to Kyōto. However, we did have time to check out the food stalls within the station buildings. Like Tokyo and Shinjuku Stations, numerous stalls sold all kinds of take away food – packaged, eki- ben or bento boxes and plenty of sweet “mochi”. However, time was limited for us. With food parcels safely in our hands, we flashed our JR Passes past bewildered but friendly station staff to our designated platform. It can be daunting for the uninitiated with so many platforms and departures, but a little planning [hyperdia.com on train schedules] helped tremendously.
While waiting at the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, we witnessed two Shinkansen joining up – the front ‘bonnet’ opened up on both engines and by slowly moving towards each other, is locked. Station masters in smart suits, red flags, torchlight and a whistle stood alert looking at the signals. Very methodically and meticulously, they checked and re-checked all the hand and electronic signals. It was almost an art. Our Hikari Shinkansen, the second fastest, just arrived. A white line zoomed past us before it came to a complete stop. These are amazing contraptions. They top speeds of over 270km/hr. Soon, we were on our way to a city that I had always wanted to go – the fascinating and enchanting old capital of Japan, Kyōto in Kyōto Prefecture in the Kansai Region.