Just for you, Alex.
They go up to speeds of 300km/hr, but more usually go at about 200 or so kph. They arrive on time, on average within 6 seconds of scheduled arrival time, according to wikipedia.
They are really quiet and smooth. Much smoother than anything I have experienced, Railway wise.
The scenery does not go by in a blur…..it really does not feel like you are going very fast at all. The scenery from the bullet train is not terribly pretty – at least not on the routes we have travelled.
At the stop, the doors line up with markings on the platform, so that you line up at the right place. This is important because the trains don’t stop for very long at all.
There are smoking and non smoking carriages, and there are reserved and non reserved carriages. There is also a carriage which has no announcements – a so called silent carriage.
Like all rail in Japan, you must have your phone switched on silent, and refrain from talking on it during your ride. This is why the Japanese invented SMS.
In the shinkansen, people come up and down the aisle to sell you coffee and snacks, and there is also a canteen car. On the silent carriage, the trolley dollies are silent.
Like all Japanese public transport, it is really easy to use. There are really good connections. It is recommended that you book.
BTW on the subject of trains, Shinjuku station, where we travelled through in Tokyo, is the busiest in the world. No wonder it felt overwhelming!!