The Japan Mint’s U.S. distributor, Panda America, is now accepting pre-orders for a 5-coin set issued to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Japan’s first Shinkansen bullet train, initially conceived to improve the country’s infrastructure as it prepared to host the 1964 Olympic Games. A press release notes that this is the first time in 39 years the Japan Mint has issued commemorative 100 yen coins.
Five coins share a common reverse with an image of the first Shinkansen, known as the “0-series.” Curved along the rim of the design are Kanji characters meaning, “50th Anniversary of Shinkansen.” The obverses each feature one of five train lines: the Tokaido, Sanyo, Tohoku, Joetsu, and Hokuriku lines. Panda America is offering the set for the price of $21.99.
The coins feature a Brilliant Uncirculated finish, measure 22.6 mm in diameter, and are composed of cupronickel and copper. The sets have a mintage limit of 300,000 units.
The 50th anniversary of the first train’s debut occurred on October 1, 2014, at which time the mint struck a 1,000 yen silver Proof coin in honor of the occasion; the 2015 set is part of an ongoing series.
Four more coins representing the other Shinkansen lines are scheduled for release in 2016. For more information, visit the Web page of the Japan Mint, or call the mint’s U.S. distributor, Panda America, at 1-310-373-9647 to pre-order the five-coin set.