Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

The Dream Super Express hr642

on May 15, 2021

I was born and grew up in a small village of Kyoto, Japan. My family made a living by farming, which contributed to my even more old-fashioned childhood than usual that was nothing like a current ordinary life.
Food on the table was almost self-sufficient that came form our fields or the front yard and the chicken coops of the house. We had only one tiny refrigerator without a freezer that was more than enough as beer or watermelons were chilled by pumping well water. The bathtub was round and made of wood. Its floor was a round iron plate on which a round wooden board was put in to sit. Beneath the iron plate was a small furnace that my grandmother put wood, straw or used paper in the fire to heat water in the bathtub. Our toilet was a wooden bucket placed in the garage. My grandfather would carry it on a wooden pole to our fields as manure. Not only the way of living was old-fashioned, but also the way of thinking was. All the family members obeyed submissively my grandfather who was a patriarch of my family. Women were deemed to be inferior to men and treated unfairly. Families were giving and receiving them through marriage as if they were commodities.
But the changes of the world can’t be stopped. In the year I was born, a bullet train started running between two major cities in Japan, Tokyo and Osaka. It was dubbed ‘a dream super express’ because of a high speed. The city of Kyoto where I lived was close to Osaka and on the line of the bullet train. A new special railroad and its platforms were built above the existing ones. The railway near my home accordingly had the new overhead railroad above it. When I was an elementary school student, I crossed the local train railroad and the big, tall, splendid bullet train railroad by an underpass beneath the tracks on my way to school on foot every day. In the middle of the passage, when a local train or a freight train passed above my head, I would cringe at an enormously thunderous noise. But the bullet train sounded like a whistling wind, almost soothing.


The number of children had been increasing as the economy was picking up. The elementary school I went to burst with students and a new school was built when I was in the fifth grade. I was sent to the new one that stood right next to the railroad. Out of the windows, the bullet train was running. From a brand new school building, I had never get bored to see the bullet train zipping past at incredibly high speed through the countryside where time went by so slowly. Thanks to the bullet train, my new school had the air conditioner since the building had soundproofing windows that can’t be opened because of train noises. My former four years in the old school with wooden buildings and coal stoves were felt like ancient.
I loved the bullet train so much. To me, it seemed alive with a soul like Thomas the Tank Engine as its headlights looked like eyes and its coupler cover looked like a nose. Since I had difficulty in getting along with others back then, I felt more attached and closer to the bullet train than other human beings. Every time I saw it passing by, I sensed it glanced at me and was running toward the future, carrying hope and dreams. Years later, I left home of an old village and moved to Tokyo by bullet train to become a musician.
Sometimes there is a day when we feel that this world has come to an impasse and been headed just for destruction. But if we adapt ourselves to new ways of living or thinking, we may be able to see more of something bright and exciting. In 2027, Japan is going to have a new railway on which magnetic levitation bullet trains called Linear Bullet Trains run at the highest speed of 320 miles per hour. I wonder how their faces look like. I can’t wait to see them.


11 responses to “The Dream Super Express hr642

  1. juliadeniro says:

    Good story. 320 miles per hour sounds exciting. I wish the US had public transportation like Japan’s.

    • Hidemi Woods says:

      Thank you for a comment! I’ve heard a similar super-speed public transportation has been under development in the US. I guess you’ll have it sooner than Japan as in many other cases! Thanks again!

      • juliadeniro says:

        I don’t know. Our politicians seem determined to have us keep our broken transportation system and keep driving gas-guzzling, pollution-spewing cars and trucks.

  2. Toonsarah says:

    I loved your tale of your childhood and the changes the bullet train brought. And I loved seeing the bullet trains myself when we visited Japan, and riding in them 🙂 That new linear bullet train sounds very exciting!

    • Hidemi Woods says:

      Thanks for reading my story and leaving a comment. I’m glad we shared the experience of riding the bullet trains. Why don’t you visit Japan again when the new linear bullet train becomes ready? We’ll wait for you!

  3. Vinny says:

    That’s a great story. Wow what a childhood! It’s very different to today isn’t it. Great blog.

  4. genkrish says:

    A poignant tale, deep rooted faith, culture and traditions changed with the arrival of a super fast train. But yes, world over, women were treated as commodities and was shameful. Older men usually talk of ‘good old days’ but older women say,’good riddance’ to the bad days. At least now the women are treated with respect in most households of the world.

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