I traveled via shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Nikko to visit the World Heritage site. Because I'm cheap, I decided to forgo the fast ride coming home and take a regular train. This is how my conversation with the ticket seller went:
Me: I'd like a ticket to Asa-kusa.
Him: (Giant pause) Oh! You mean A-sak-sa?
Me: Er .. sure?
Him: You want rapid section or limited express?
Me: What's the difference?
Him: One is rapid, the other express.
Me: Um .....
I ended up choosing rapid because who doesn't want to the train to be rapid, right? Wrong! "Rapid" is marketing-speak for "stops at every podunk town along the way". It took me 2.5 hours to travel 60 kilometers back to Tokyo. I saw kids heading home from school, older ladies returning from their shopping, but it quickly became frustrating. Lesson learned: the answer in Japan is always express.