○…When I looked outside soon after Hikari No. 1 left Tokyo Station, there were many people on the highway from Yurakucho to Shimbashi even though it was early in the morning. They wanted to see the Shinkansen's first commercial run, some of them waving to celebrate it. After the train left Tokyo, early risers in the countryside also waved from fields and farmhouse gardens along the line.
○…A 22-year-old Yokohama man waited three days before tickets went on sale to nab the "quadruple first" ticket—the first seat in the first row of the first car of the first train. Taking his seat just before departure, he found himself surrounded by reporters. The man was an enthusiastic train fan who also bought a ticket for a seat in the sixth car. Asked how he felt about the quality of the ride, he excitedly replied, "Rather than that, I'm filled with joy that I got the ‘1-1-A' ticket."
○…After Shin-Yokohama Station, the train picked up speed. Passengers reacted when it reached 200 kph—the day's top velocity—on the section between Kamonomiya and Ayase in Kanagawa Prefecture, which had been the prototype line. Many said the noise of the train was a bit annoying, but the rocking of the cars was not so bad.
○…Many passengers apparently skipped breakfast to make the early morning departure, so the cafe car soon became crowded. Some of them settled into window seats from which they could enjoy looking at Mt. Fuji while discovering how beer tastes at 200 kph. The Shinkansen's onboard services were off to a good start.
○…The first Osaka-bound train passed its Tokyo-bound counterpart at 7:56 a.m., as scheduled, between Toyohashi and Nagoya stations in Aichi Prefecture. They flashed past so fast that passengers who hastily raised their cameras to capture the moment had no time to press the shutter button.
○…The first train arrived at Shin-Osaka Station on schedule at 10 a.m. amid fluttering Japanese flags and bursting fireworks. As anticipated, the trip had been mishap-free. The sky was clear and sunny, in contrast to the conditions at departure. One passenger said, "Everything was overcast, and then fine later"—a remark that perfectly summed up the run of the day's Hikari No. 1.