TOKYO -- Japan Rail extended its service in an effort to better
accommodate business and leisure travelers to Tokyo.
Tohuko Shinkansen, the bullet train that runs from Tokyo to
northern Honshu Island, extended its service last month from
Morioka Station in Iwate prefecture, 289 miles northeast of Tokyo,
to the Hachinohe Station in Aomori prefecture.
The new train, called Hayate, or "swift wind," travels to the
Pacific coast, almost 60 miles farther.
The new, $4 billion Morioka-Hachinohe section means travelers
can avoid switching trains at Morioka for the final leg of the
Travel time also is reduced. For instance, the journey from
Tokyo to Hachinohe has been cut to under three hours.
Foreigners traveling to Tokyo will find these railway routes
most accessible with a Japan Rail Pass, which must be purchased
before arriving in the country.
It allows for unlimited travel on all Japan Rail trains
throughout Japan for seven, 14 or 21 days. Prices start at
Travel agents must purchase passes from authorized Japan Rail
sales agents in the U.S. For a list of firms, contact the Japan
National Tourist Organization at (212) 757-5641.