Luxury train a new beginning

The June 23 editorial “All aboard the luxury train” conjured up the allure of travel by train in Japan. It is true that Japan’s train system is the envy of the world and has been symbolized by the Shinkansen with its safety, punctuality and speed. But I believe that the bullet train system lacks a certain atmosphere that might satisfy seasoned travelers at home and from abroad.

In my opinion, for better or worse, the bullet train system is a poster child for Japan’s economic success, which has brought about state-of-the-art technology and ingenious industrial products. That image, however, does not mix well with the sentiments that may stir the hearts of travelers.

On the other hand, Japan’s trains for commuting are usually overcrowded and often described as torture.

The new luxury train may compensate for the negative impressions and entertain a lot of tourists. It is important for Japanese people to attract a lot of tourists from foreign countries, to be sure, but I believe that the Japanese themselves should realize the fun of traveling at a slower pace by train.

Older corporate warriors, many of whom supposedly have already retired from their “battlefield,” may enjoy these trains and find that getting on trains does not always mean that they have to go to their office or visit distant clients.

shuichi john watanabe

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.