Here are some negatives:
- You can't use the Nozomi and a couple of other bullet trains. This makes scheduling a pain.
- You can't use Gran Class, the step above the Green Car. No big deal, actually, for it's not worth the extra cost.
- Don't fall asleep if you need to get off before the end of line. In airplanes, they wake you up when you do. On the Shinkansen, if you miss a stop, it could be a hundred miles or more before the next stop, and back-tracking, while not a problem, is a waste of time and eminently stressful.
- While all bullet trains also announce in English, when there is an emergency, only Japanese is spoken. So when people evacuate a train, just follow them.
- Don't wait until the train stops to bring down your luggage and walk to the door. Sometimes these trains stop only for a minute.
- There are three separate train systems in Japan
- Japan Railway, a government-run organization. The Japan Rail Pass can only be used with JR.
- City subways, operated by the municipality.
- Private railways.
- However, all bullet trains (Shinkansen) are run by JR.
- They act like separate nations You need to get out of one station to again pay and get into another. Japan should privatize them all or nationalize them. One united system would work best. However, as you will need to use each on occasion, buy a Suica Card, which can be used for all three entries. Don't, don't stand in line to buy a ticket. The vending machines are confusing, plus the lines can be long.
At the Karuizawa Station, snow remains abundant:
Tropical Cyclone Ernie popped up in the Indian Ocean at 110 MPH, but is heading away from Australia. However, there is a possibility that Ernie could reach 150 MPH before dissipating in the open ocean: