Shinkansen, or to most Americans, the “bullet train.” For all of the JASCers taking the bus from Kyoto to Tokyo today, I am sure they wish they would have been on the Nozomi bullet train—avoiding the horrible traffic that comes with the Obon season (an annual time during which Buddhists in Japan commemorate loved ones who have passed away). What started as a journey that was supposed to end at 5:00pm, ended up lasting until 8:15pm. Spending over ten hours on a bus will make a person think twice about the efficiency of expressway travel in Japan—but nonetheless, a lot of students were able to catch up on some much needed sleep. The bullet train, which travels at up to speeds of 300km/hr (180mph), takes just 2 hours and 17 minutes to go from Kyoto to Tokyo. While students this year didn’t get the opportunity to experience “Shinkansen,” hopefully they will get the chance to experience one of the world’s most efficient high-speed rail systems when they return to Japan in the future.