World’s Fastest Train

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The current fastest train in the world is the Maglev bullet train (the Japanese call it ‘Linear’) which was invented in Japan. It uses magnetic technology so it levitates above the track without touching it. Of course when it starts it’s on wheels, and then as it picks up speed the wheels fold up (like an aeroplane) and the magnets kick in, so that it hovers. The Maglev can travel at around 505 km/hr. That is why the Maglev in this photo is missing its nose – when we took this picture it was doing a full speed test run!
We saw the Maglev at the test line in Yamanashi Prefecture. There’s a visitor centre that’s worth going to see (although it’s not easy to get to without a car). The Maglev is scheduled to be opened to the public between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027 (I want to be the first to ride on it!).

Rabbit Café

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In Japan there are normal cafés… and then there are dog cafés, cat cafés and rabbit cafés! We went to a rabbit café in Harajuku (Ra.a.g.f.). We sat down and got some drinks and also some little pots of rabbit food. There is a wall with large cages all along it and you can pick your favourite rabbit and the staff will get it out to play with you and hop around the room. You can feed the rabbits and stroke them while having something to drink. We were lucky – we got a whole group of baby rabbits (so cute!). They were friendly and hungry for snacks and they jumped right onto our laps. I’ll definitely go back next time we’re in Harajuku!

A Friendly Robot

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This is Ashimo. He is famous because he is an advanced robot whose job is to make people comfortable about the idea of being around and living with robots. Ashimo can: kick a football, hop on one leg, reply to you if you talk to him and he can pick stuff up and give it to you on command. You can see him at the Miraikan Museum on Odaiba Island, Tokyo. He gives a little show a few times a day for people to watch.

A Fishy Snack

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This is a ‘taiyaki’ fish-shaped dessert snack. Traditionally they are filled with sweet bean paste, but nowadays you can also choose from chocolate cream (my favourite!) or vanilla custard.