Asian Insider

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

SPH Brightcove Video
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.
Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

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.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.