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Japan High Speed Study Tour

By Owen C. Hardy

Kyushu_Shinkansenl_183027 copyHere’s a tour for those who seriously love trains and believe in their future — as I do.

It’s an intensive, 13-day look at everything on Japan’s rails, from ultra-high speedsters to trams. It runs Sept. 27-Oct. 9.

Fukushima high-speed train
High-speed train departing Fukushima. Photo by Rick Harnish

A quick perusal of the 18-page brochure (get a PDF copy by clicking here) sets my heart aflutter.


  1. A trip on the world’s latest high-speed train— the Hokkaido shinkansen — through the Seikan Tunnel to Hakodate
  2. Express and local train rides through the countryside of Yamagata and Akita prefecture
    Hokkaido Tram
    Hakodate tram. Japan National Tourism Organization
  3. Hiroshima streetcar and interurban train rides
  4. Behind-the-scenes bullet-train tours: a factory, maintenance facility and control center
  5. Precision cleaning-crew “ballet,” as it turns around a just-arrived shinkansen in 7 minutes

The IRT Society operates the tour on behalf of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association — a great organization.

Train_Crossing_Bridge (1)
Cruise Train Seven Stars in Kyushu. JR Kyushu Photo

In the past, we’ve run similar MWHSR study tours to France, Spain, France and Spain, Germany and China.

We purposely keep the numbers small, and we have many repeat travelers.

So shake a leg if you’re interested. Call (800) 478-4881, (502) 897-1725; email me at

P.S.: Our opening photo is a JR Kyushu bullet train – NOT on the tour, but available as an add-on before or after the main tour.

Also available to those interested: VERY hard-to-get space on the world’s latest luxury rail sensation: the Cruise Train Seven Stars in Kyushu. Note: this offer only available to participants on the Japan High Speed Rail tour.