Asian Insider

The shinkansen: Japan’s beloved national icon is the essence of its innovation

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Japan is a world leader in rail innovation. The shinkansen far outpaces domestic air traffic in moving people across Japan – 370 million passengers travelled by high-speed rail in 2019, as compared to 107 million by air.
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NAGOYA – Nineteen-year-old Sougo Ito counts himself first as a train otaku (geek), then a pop idol with nine-member Japanese boyband Super Dragon.

His Instagram profile picture, of him decked out in a train conductor outfit, bears this out. He devotes most of his social media presence to his passion for trains – both high-speed and local – rather than his pop star activities, and professes “sadness” at old trains being decommissioned.

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