Nozomi is Japanese for "wish" or "hope."

Nozomi the spacecraft

The Nozomi space probe, also known as Planet-B, is the first Japanese spacecraft to travel to Mars. It was launched aboard an M-V rocket on July 4, 1998 from NASDA's Kagoshima Space Center, and is scheduled to reach the red planet early in 2004. It weighs just over half a ton (half of which is fuel) and it carries special instruments to study the atmosphere of Mars, including cameras, magnetic sensors, electron thermometers, spectrometers, and dust detectors.

You can learn more about Nozomi at

Nozomi the train

Nozomi is also the name of the fastest class of Shinkansen "bullet trains" that run between Tokyo and Fukuoka. The Nozomi trains only stop at the largest cities en route, allowing them to make the trip from Tokyo to Osaka in just two and a half hours, which is quicker than flying if you count ground transportation and check-in time.

Farther west, the Nozomi is even faster: the segment between Hiroshima and Kokura is the fastest scheduled rail service in the world, with 500-series trains (see Shinkansen Types) reaching speeds of nearly 300 kph (190 mph).

As gn0sis has kindly reminded me, the Nozomi is the only JR train that you can't ride on with a Japan Rail Pass.

Nozomi the lady

Nozomi is also a fairly popular girl's name. It can be written in a number of kanji combinations: the one above is common, but you can also find Nozomis who spell their name , 望美, or 希美. There are even a few boys who are named Nozomi: the soccer player Nozomi Hiroyama, for instance.