Yesterday I took the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto and back. The 476 km trip takes two hours and twenty minutes, averaging 200 km/h including stops.
The best we have in the U.S. over the same distance, the Acela from Boston to Philadelphia (511 km), takes just over five hours on a good day and more if it snows. Chicago to St. Louis (457 km) is scheduled for five and a half hours, but I haven't ever made the trip in under six.
The U.S. made different choices than Japan (or Europe: London to Newcastle, 483 km, takes 2 hours and 50 minutes), because our vast depopulated spaces made an automobile-based infrastructure deceptively appealing. Wouldn't it be incredible if the U.S. experienced some kind of economic situation where it made a lot of sense to start correcting that monumental error? Oh, right.
In any event, I left the Tokyo train station a little past 10 in the morning and got to see this by 2, which is really the point: