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Japan's Bullet Trains Now Travel to Hokkaido

Last weekend, Japan debuted a brand-new JPY550 billion (US$4.9 billion) high-speed rail line which travels from Tokyo to Hokkaido in just over four hours.

The 825-kilometer line, which has been in the works since 1973, begins in the Japanese capital and ends near Hakodate, the prefecture's southernmost port city, reports Forbes. Traveling at speeds of up to 260 kilometers per hour, the shinkansen, or bullet train, now cuts an hour off the previous travel time.

Each train consists of 10 cars and seats up to 731 passengers over three classes. A standard one-way fare costs JPY22,810 (US$203), while a first-class ticket comes in at JPY38,600 (US$343). Ahead of its inaugural run, tickets for the Hokkaido-bound train sold out in just 30 seconds.

Japan has plans to extend its Hokkaido line to the northermost prefecture's capital, Sapporo, by 2030.

[Photo via Japan Monthly]

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