JAPAN: May 13: We landed in Osaka at Kansai Airport and found our train to Kyoto with little trouble. Although we were not at first aware of it, this was to be our first experience with the luxurious shinkansen or “new trunk line” trains which Westerners call “bullet trains.” They fly along on continuously welded steel rails at speeds up to and beyond 200 miles per hour. The seats are large and comfortable, food is always available (mostly boxed bento lunches), seats are reserved, no-smoking cars are provided, and the conductors bow politely to the passengers of each car as they leave it.