Translated by Lester Somera
Check Out Japan's First Shinkansen at Kawasaki World in Kobe!
The first generation of Shinkansen trains are now retired, but you can still see them at Kawasaki World in Kobe. We invite you to take a tour of the Kawasaki World using Google Street View.
Written by LIFE STYLE, Inc.
The Shinkansen ("bullet train") is Japan’s world-class high-speed rail system. It is fascinating for how it balances high speed with safety.
When the Shinkansen first began running in 1964, the Olympic Games were also held in Tokyo. Initial pictures depicted the 0-Series Shinkansen, which made its debut at that time. This series, which featured a round-nosed lead car, continued running until 2008, when it has been taken out of service.
Let’s check out the 0-series train sets, which are the classic example of Shinkansen trains. While, unfortunately, you can no longer watch them in operation, if you head to Kawasaki World in the Chūō district of Kobe city, you can see the train cars on display.
Take A Look Around Kawasaki World With Street View
Kawasaki World is inside the Kobe Maritime Museum in the Port of Kobe. It is operated by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and displays trains, helicopters and other vehicles developed by the firm. Since Kawasaki Heavy Industries had a hand in the construction of the Shinkansen 0-Series, it is on display here.
The interior of the museum is publicly available for visits through Google Street View, and you can see the train sets as you take the Street View tour. Let’s try to see them for ourselves.
Place your cursor on the above picture, then click and drag to see the actual scenery unfold before your eyes.
This is an actual 0-Series car, but it has been segmented to be put on display. There are stairs to the side, and a path that continues inside. Let’s head in.
There are up to three rows of seats. Naturally, they are the real thing. Let us retrace our steps to the exit and the entrance aisle.
You Can Enter The Driver’s Cabin!
Exiting the aisle, there is an open door further ahead that continues past the passenger area. This is the door that leads to the driver’s seat. Let’s check it out right now.
Climbing the little stairs at the front will afford you a view of the driver’s seat. The material and design of the chair - it looks pretty uncomfortable - evoke images of what it was really like at that time. Well, head up those steps and see for yourself.
This is the perspective from the driver’s seat - you can see the outside world through the windows. The horizontally-oriented windows are a bit narrower than those of regular trains, but they have a surprisingly wide field of vision. Chances to see train gauges and meters from this close up are quite rare, so this spot is a must-see for train enthusiasts.
Feel The Shinkansen’s History Of Safe Transport At This Exhibit
You have gotten a glimpse of the first generation of Shinkansen trains. From a modern perspective, you may feel that they seem old-fashioned. Remember, though, that the Shinkansen has never had a major accident, from when its lines first began operating up until now.
Check out the roots of the Shinkansen’s prudent and safe operations at Kawasaki World!
Address: Hyogo, Kobe, Chūō-ku, Hatoba-chō 2-2
Operating Hours: 10:00 - 17:00
Fixed Holidays: Every Monday (if Monday is a national holiday, then the following day will be a holiday) and the New Year holiday (12/29 to 1/3)
Wi-Fi Environment: N/A
Credit Cards Accepted: Cash only
Foreign Language Support: Only Japanese available
Foreign Language Menus/Pamphlets: English and Chinese (Simplified, Traditional)
Nearest Station: 10 minutes walk from Minato Motomachi Station みなと元町 (Kobe Municipal Subway, Kaigan Line), 15 minutes walk from Motomachi Station 元町 (JR or Hanshin Lines), and 15 minutes walk from Hanakuma Station 花隈 (Hankyū or Sanyō Lines)
Entrance Fee: Adults 600 yen / Children (elementary and middle school students) 250 yen
Phone Number: +81-078-327-5401
Official Homepage: Kawasaki World