Nozomi (Shinkansen)

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Nozomi trains are the fastest Shinkansen "bullet" trains in Japan. They can reach Osaka from Tokyo in two and a half hours. The trains are called "bullet" trains because they travel so fast, like a bullet from a gun. These trains have speeds of up to 300 km/h (190 mph).

The second fastest Shinkansen trains is the Hikari train. The third fastest Shinkansen train is the Kodama train. In the Japanese language, "Nozomi" means hope, "Hikari" means light and "Kodama" means "echo."

"Shinkansen" means "New Trunk Line" in Japanese because it was built with all new bridges, tunnels through mountains and under water, and special tracks for high speed trains so it could go directly (straight) from city to city. Before the Shinkansen, trains in Japan were slower because they were old and had to go around many mountains, or share the track with cars on road crossings.