I often go back and forth between eastern and western Japan. This time, my family drove from Osaka to Tokyo. We took the Shin-Meishin Expressway and the Shin-Tomei Expressway, which are directly interconnected to the Isewangan Expressway.
Here is a Japanese lesson. The prefix “Shin” means new. “Mei,” “shin,” and “To” stand for Nagoya, Kobe, and Tokyo, respectively. This means if you take these routes, you can get from Kobe through Nagoya to Tokyo.
The Shin-Meishin Expressway and the Shin-Tomei Expressway run parallel to their original expressways: the Meishin Expressway and the Tomei Expressway. They were built as alternative routes to the original ones in order to avoid traffic congestions. The Shin-Meishin Expressway runs more on the coastline, while the Shin-Tomei Expressway runs more on the mountain side. They both provide shorter and more direct routes to the destinations.
Driving on the Shin-Tomei Expressway was comfortable. The speed limit was 120 km, which is extraordinarily high in Japan. And best of all, it was stunning to see Mt. Fuji before us when we were approaching the Shin-Shimizu Interchange.