I had to make a return trip to tokyo today and i chose to use the Shinkansen instead of the bus. While the ol bullet train is about twice as expensive, I think that it's worth it. FIrst off, it's convenient. You just buy tickets the day of from the machine or the ticket counter and then you hop on, select your seat and blast off. THIs brings me to the second reason the train is better- It's fast as hell! THe train takes about half the time of the bus. There is some superb thrill in rocketing along the earth at that speed. It's way better than an airplane. While there is some coolness in being 30,000 feet in the air, it's nowhere near as good as whipping by houses and mountains like you were fastforwarding a movie. A certain section of track which takes me 28 minutes normally in the train is more like 8 in the Shinkansen. If there weren't the immense fixed costs involved, i would suggest that the US bag the stupid airlines and get us some bullet trains! I think while the maximum speeds might not compare between a bullet train and airplane, the actual transit time could be lessened by the superb convenience of the train. No passport scanners, no waiting for takeoff, everything on time every time!