Hakutaka Shinkanesen Arriving at Shin-Takaoka Station, Toyama Prefecture
The Hakutaka (“White hawk”) is a high-speed shinkansen train service jointly operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West) between Tokyo and Kanazawa on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line in Japan.
Shin-Takaoka is a little-known (but not so little) shinkansen station on the Hokuriku line. If you’re travelling from Tokyo, it’s one stop before Kanazawa – the final stop on the line.
On this day I had arranged to meet a Periscoper for the first time. His Periscope name is BDJoetsu. BD are his initials and he lives in Joetsu – a town not far from Nagoya. BD was born in Scotland but has lived in Japan for more than 20 years. (Check him out – his scopes are really interesting about everyday life in Japan.)
We agreed to meet up and spend the day in Kanazawa. I had stayed in the beautiful mountain village of Ainokura in Gokayama the night before, heading down to Takaoka by bus to catch the Hakutaka shinkansen to Kanazawa. DB and I were messaging each other that morning to co-ordinate a rough arrival time in Kanazawa of around 10:00am.
I told him my wife and I were aiming to pick up shinkansen at Shin-Takaoka around 9:30am. He replied saying he thought the shinkansen he was on from Nagoya stopped at Shin-Takaoka around that time.
Wouldn’t it be cool, I thought, if we met on the train en-route rather than just at Kanazawa Station!? BD said he was in car 4 – so we headed up to the platform and waited in the boarding location for the fourth carriage.
The beautifully-designed Hakuata shinkansen, with its sky blue roof and white and copper side livery, glided into the station and as it came to a halt, there – right in front of us – was BD waving to us from his window seat! (That’s when you can hear me laughing as the train comes to a stop – almost in disbelief – at how small the world is sometimes!)
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