Arriving at Tokyo Central Station after a 40 minute trip from Chiba, we quickly found the Shinkansen platform. Next, we purchased bento (box lunches) from station concessionaires to eat on the train. My bento consisted of five finger sandwiches (three egg salad and ham on white, two tuna on wheat).
Our luggage had been sent on ahead to Kyoto in Japanese traveling style. There is no room for luggage other than carry-on on the Shinkansen and no checked luggage. The hotel made arrangements for forwarding the parent's luggage. The homestay families helped the students forward theirs from 7/11 and other convenience stores. Taking your luggage to a convenience store for forwarding is a common practice in Japan, I learned.
As we waited on the platform, carry-on bags and bento in hand, the train slid swiftly into the station. It had come from Osaka and Tokyo was its turnaround point.
Shinkansen at Tokyo
A cleaning crew was already lined up right where the doors would open. As soon as arrivng passengers had disembarked, the cleaning crew boarded and quickly went about their business. In about ten minutes, it was time for us to board. Presently, the train pulled out of the station and we watched as train yards and buildings packed right up against the right-of-way sped by. This was the scene all ths way out of Tokyo, and one I remembered from a previous train trip in Japan. The buildings right up agiant the right-of-way. No wasted space or buffer zone.
Depends how much luggage you have! Carry-on is fine. We had more as the musicians had their formal concert clothes and instrument cases. Hotels will also arrange for forwarding but it was interesting to learn the takkyubin procedure from the inside.
Posted on: Jul 25, 2010
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