26 April 2013 by Luke McCormick
In a further sign that Japan's earthquake-hit Tohoku region is now getting back on its feet after the devastation caused in March 2011, transport chiefs are celebrating a number of railway achievements.
Most significantly, the Hayabusa bullet trains have begun operating at a new top speed of 320-kph on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line - equalling France's TGV as the world's fastest trains in operation.
The E5 series Hayabusa, which links Tokyo with Aomori Prefecture on the northern tip of Honshu, has eclipsed its previous maximum speed of 300km/h and now reaches speeds of 320 km/h between the capitals of Tochigi and Iwate Prefectures, Utsunomiya and Morioka.
The extra speed was made possible after operator East Japan Railway Co. revised its service schedules. The bullet trains now cover the link between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori stations in two hours and 59 minutes - 11 minutes faster than before.
New E6 series bullet trains have also started services on the high speed Akita Shinkansen Line.
Visitors to Japan's Miyagi Prefecture can now visit a museum that has reopened after two years of renovation work following the Tohoku earthquake.
The Ishinomori Manga Museum in Ishinomaki city is dedicated to the life and work of famed manga creator Shotaro Ishinomori.
The museum was originally opened in 2001 to celebrate the creations of Mr. Ishinomori, whose work fills over 500 volumes of manga from a career that lasted from 1954 until his death in 1998.
Although the earthquake heavily damaged the building, the museum's collection of 90,000 pages of artwork survived intact and are now on display.