Japan’s Linear Megalopolis Shinkansen High- speed Rail as the Spine of a 60- year Mega- region Evolution

Hitomi Nakanishi, Fumitaka Kurauchi

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter explores Japan’s regional development based on the linear megalopolis and transport infrastructure, the high-speed rail Shinkansen. Japan became one of the richest, most urbanized countries during the 20th century. After the Second World War (WWII), Japan recovered rapidly. The driver of it was the Shinkansen, which started operation just before the Tokyo Olympics 1964. The passenger numbers continued to increase, despite the development of expressways and the establishment of a national airline company providing service between major cities as a competitor. The Shinkansen network was further extended, enabling passengers to travel by railway from north to south. The railway system of Japan has entered a new era, with progress on the construction of the superconducting maglev SCMAGLEV. The maglev will run between Tokyo and Osaka in 70 minutes, implying a creation of mega-region. The chapter concludes with the discussion of prospects and emerging role of SCMAGLEV.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Regional Design
EditorsMichael Neuman, Wil Zonneveld
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780429290268
ISBN (Print)9780367258665
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021


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