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Saturday, April 26, 2014

MUFA Day#19: Gran Class on the Bullet Train from Aomori to Tokyo


There is a new class on the Shinkansen, only on the Hayabusa (the fastest bullet train at 200 miles/hour) to and from Aomori/Tokyo:  GRAN CLASS.  As this is my final train ride on my two-week Japan Rail Pass, I thought I'd splurge by paying an extra $170 for this is My Ultimate Fantasy Adventure, Day#19.  To summarize, on the Shinkansen there is coach class, Green Car and, now, Gran Class, sort of equivalent to economy, business and international first class on airlines.  In fact, the seating area looks like a first class section on a plane:


But no seat belts.  By the time we departed, the seats were nearly filled.  

The food and drinks were free.  It all started with a large, hot wet towel.  We were then served the daintiest bento box I've ever seen.  It is not that the bottle of Aomori cider was that large, in fact, it was small...the lunch was tiny:


Worse, I couldn't figure out if it was clam or chicken. Of course, it could have been a crustacean, and had I known, I would have had to order the Western lunch, which was mini-sandwiches.  Everything was very bland.  The second course involved snacks with sake:


I guess they do things in reverse here.  The rice crackers were the freshest I've tasted.  Then some Aomori apple chips with red wine:


As a once in a lifetime experience, I enjoyed the ride, which took 3.5 hours, and service.  Was this worth an extra $50/hour.  No.

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