Japan today launched a new Shinkansen bullet train service linking Tokyo with the ancient city of Kanazawa, which is famed for its huge castle and traditional food and crafts.
Japan already operates bullet train lines from northern Aomori through to southwestern Kyushu.
But the coastal Hokuriku region was not connected with the network, and travellers had to switch trains or fly between both sides of the main island of Honshu.
With the final section to Kanazawa now completed more than 40 years after it was planned, the coastal region hopes to attract more tourists and businesses.
Japan launched its first Shinkansen service between Tokyo and Osaka in 1964, the year of the Tokyo Olympics.