Each region of Japan is connected by a highly developed railway network. The total extension distance of the railroad reaches 27000 km (16,000 miles), all of which are operated at the correct time. The history of the railroad started from Shimbashi in Tokyo.
Shinbashi, Yokohama Railroad laying
The history of Japan’s railroad starts with a railroad with a steam locomotive connecting Shinbashi and Yokohama which opened in 1872. The Japanese who tried to break up from the era of samurai and tried to make a society of Western style completed the railroad of about 30 km in 3 years from the plan.
The above video is a memorial square in the first train station (Shimbashi) that opened. At the edge of the plaza, the SL that was active in this route was placed and it became a monument to the opening of the railway in Japan.
The railway fare at the beginning of opening was up to 1.12 yen from Shinbashi to Yokohama. This is equivalent to 15,000 yen when converted to current value, it is enough to move from Tokyo to Osaka using the Shinkansen. Despite this much expensive fee, there are many people who want to ride the railway, and it is said that there were a lot of operations with full occupancy from the beginning of opening.
Later, the railroads were laid by the country, and by the enterprises nationwide, which became the support for the development of Japan. The Shinkansen, which opened in the year of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, achieved a high level of scheduled operation and high speed operation, and many Japanese people are proud of their existence as a railway system that surprises the world. Not so much Japanese railway is closely tied to Japanese people.
The reality of the Line reduction era
But the population of Japan turned to a decline in 2012. Particularly in the regional cities the population declines remarkably, and many deficit railway lines are appearing everywhere. JR Hokkaido carrying many of the deficit routes is studying in the direction to abolish all except for main routes. Already the movement in Hokkaido has been transferred from rail to car, it is said that the railway disappears from other than around Sapporo is a matter of time.
In 2016, one route continued for one student who attended school in a depopulated area of Hokkaido, but it became news that the station was abolished along with her graduation. It was sent emotionally as symbolic news of the railway in Hokkaido, but the reality is even more severe, and the predicament of JR Hokkaido is considered to imply the decline of Japan as a whole.