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Shinkansen Shinkansen

Shinkansen (Bullet Train)

Photo copyright: © East Japan Railway Company

Nothing screams "Japan" more loudly than the super sleek shinkansen silently speeding out from the station to all corners of the country.

The world-renowned bullet train offers the highest rail speeds to match its peerless comfort, allowing travelers to travel around the country at regular intervals.

The shinkansen rockets down a number of different routes across Japan.

Hokkaido Shinkansen: links Shin-Aomori with Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto

Tohoku Shinkansen: links Tokyo with Shin-Aomori

Akita Shinkansen: links Tokyo with Akita

Yamagata Shinkansen: links Tokyo with Yamagata

Joetsu Shinkansen: links Tokyo with Niigata

Hokuriku Shinkansen: links Tokyo with Nagano, Kanazawa and Tsuruga (opening March 2024)

Tokaido Shinkansen: links Tokyo with Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka

Sanyo Shinkansen: links Shin-Osaka, Hiroshima and Hakata (Fukuoka Prefecture)

Kyushu Shinkansen: links Hakata (Fukuoka Prefecture) with Kagoshima Chuo (Kagoshima Prefecture)

Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen: links Nagasaki with Takeo-Onsen (Saga Prefecture)

© East Japan Railway Company/© Central Japan Railway Company/© Kyushu Railway Company/© 1976, 2020 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L617212

Types of shinkansen

Shinkansen have different stops to accommodate passengers' destinations and schedules. For example, there are three types of Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen, namely, Nozomi, Hikari, and Kodama. The Nozomi Shinkansen stops at fewer stations compared to the other two, and is your quickest route to the Kansai region of Kyoto , Shin-Osaka, Shin-Kobe and beyond. Note that Japan Rail Passes cannot be used on the Nozomi without purchasing an additional ticket.

The three typical shinkansen seat types

There are three types of seats: Non-reserved seats, Reserved seats, and Green Car (first class) seats. Also, the Hokkaido, Tohoku, Joetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen feature ultra-premium “GranClass” seats. (Rail pass users will require an extra ticket.) For detailed information on all available routes and fares, see the following links — JR Hokkaido ,JR East , JR Central , JR West and JR Kyushu .

Rail Passes

Taking a trip on the shinkansen will almost certainly be one of the highlights of a trip to Japan. The sleek trains snake through the country's mountainous regions—or sometimes straight through the mountains—to a wide range of destinations. While this service is suitably priced for super quick express train travel in unrivalled comfort, costs can be reduced by purchasing one of a variety of passes. Take a look at the following link for all the regional passes and their respective routes and costs — Regional JR Rail Passes

Shinkansen Tickets

If you are planning to use the shinkansen to travel throughout Japan, doing some research into how to buy shinkansen tickets (JR Hokkaido , JR East , JR Central , JR West ,JR Kyushu will make the process smoother. To reserve a Japan Rail Pass, please follow the instructions on this page .

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