As was planned, the extension of Japan's Tohoku bullet train line from Hachinohe to Aomori went ahead as planned on the fourth of December. I watched a Youtube video of the event. It was ever so exciting. The train arrived and the train left. Perhaps you had to be there.
This is a good map to show where the new train service travels. The old Tohoku Shinkansen went to Hachinohe on the east coast and from there to Aomori which meant a change to a quite fast express train. The old train route is shown in solid green and it is easy to see why even if the Shinkansen wasn't faster, it follows a much more direct line.
By 2015 it is planned for the Shinkansen to continue on from Aomori via the undersea Seikan Tunnel to the northernmost large Japanese island of Hokkaido. The Seikan Tunnel is the longest and deepest undersea tunnel in the world. We can only look north with envy at such luxurious travel.
It is planned to have the train service operating to Sapporo on Hokkaido in the extraordinary time of four hours from Tokoyo, using this E5 train.