A Series E6 Super Komachi (red) coupled with a Series E5 Hayate (green) at Tokyo Station as a jealous Series E2 looks on.
Separately, the Super Komachi and Hayate travel at 300 kilometers per hour, but when coupled slow down to a leisurely 286 kph. Together, they travel north from Tokyo to Morioka in Iwate Prefecture where they part company; the Super Komachi heading for Akita while the Hayate goes on to Shin Aomori at the far nothern end of the main island of Honshu. They make few stops along the way.
By the way, Komachi means "town belle". Hayate means "hurricane". Whirl wind romance, perhaps? Regardless, we're in love with Shinkansen travel.
The E2 in the background is a much older design (1997) and makes many more stops. It is no slouch with a top speed of 275 km/h on this run, and has some double decked cars. A high speed work horse you might say. Each machine has its purpose. Sometimes, the E2 is coupled to the E6 so one can imagine that there is a love triangle of sorts going on.
We took an E5 Hayabusa to Sendai in 2011, after the disastrous earthquake and tsunami, to support the local economy up there and lend support to the local people of Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture. (Our sailing neighbor - Y-San who sails an American made cat rig - was living in Sendai at the time.)
The Hayabusa (Peregren Falcon) is similar to the E5 Hayate, but travels solo at higher speed and has some very fancy accommodation for first class passengers - "Gran Class", shown in this advert with a famous actress...
All of these trains are reserved seat, no smoking, only. The Hayabusa is the world's most energy efficient train, being more than 10% more efficient that previous Shinkansen models. JR East has a target to reduce the company's CO2 emissions by 32% by 2018 and by 50% by 2031. We need a lot more focus on that issue!
So what has this to do with sailing? Not a lot, but it is involved in how we spent September - with airplanes, trains, lakes and rivers. Or is that trains, planes, and sailing mobiles?
Until next, sweet sailing.