The guard on the rear of the train checking the platform as the train pulls into Tokyo station. The 500-Series shinkansen [bullet-train] is by far and away the most visually stunning of the Japan Rail [JR] fleet. First launched over ten years ago, the 500 is now being taken off of the non-stop, high-speed Nozomi runs from Tokyo to Hakata, reduced to 8-car sets and will shortly become 'Kodama'; a service that stops in all stations in between these two Japanese cities. Built at a unit cost [for each 16-car set] of \5 billion, they are the most expensive trains ever to run on the network. For this reason only nine were built.