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Bullet Train

The fastest and safest train - shinkansen.

Japan's Bullet Trains (Shinkansen) have fascinated foreign tourists since they first ran in October 1964. The Shinkansen was developed as the fastest and safest train in Japan, and is a symbol of Japan's industry. Heavily admired by the nation, the shinkansen run at an average 300 kmh (186 mph). The Nozomi line , the fastest of the Shinkansen, can travel between Tokyo & Osaka within two and a half hours. In addition to the speed, the shinkansen depart every 10 minutes. The Shinkansen, like the rest of Japan's infrastructure, runs on a punctual, reliable schedule. Enjoy riding a shinkansen as standard on all tours between Tokyo & Kyoto with Japan Deluxe Tours fully-guided vacation packages. The Shinkansen, or bullet train, made history in 1964 as the world's first high-speed train. The shinkansen is more than just a mode of transportation - it is a uniquely Japanese experience. Immaculately clean, comfortable, and remarkably fast, it is the epitome of efficiency and the pride of the shockingly prompt Japan Rail network.

The Fastest and Safest Train - Shinkansen

Originally built to connect Japan's urban areas for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, construction of the shinkansen rail lines was a tremendous feat, as most of the track had to be raised on viaducts above existing developments or tunneled through mountains. The bullet trains themselves are a marvel of engineering, and the new trains are as sleekly futuristic now as the originals were when they were built over forty years ago. The networks of lines today though extend far beyond the original Tokaido which ran between Tokyo and Kyoto. Incredibly, in a land of typhoons, earthquakes and heavy snowfall, the trains always keep to schedule, sometimes running just three minutes apart at nearly 200mph. The fastest shinkansen service, the Nozomi, covers the distance between Kyoto and Tokyo in under three hours: more efficient than air travel, and much more comfortable.

History

During both tailor made and scheduled tours, there will be ample opportunity to experience speeding through the countryside with tea plantations, orange groves, rice paddies and Mount Fuji providing the perfect backdrop. Eating an obento, or boxed lunch, on the bullet train, and watching the scenery zipping past is a wonderful way to experience Japan very much as the Japanese do.

Bullet Train Ticket Reservation

Bullet Train Ticket Reservation

Although no advance reservation is necessary for bullet train in regular season, please contact us if you would like to make advance booking for peak season*. Your tour guide will always help you in obtaining train tickets on the last night of your tour. *Peak Season - April, July, August, December There is also special ticket called " JAPAN RAIL PASS " is available only to travelers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sight-seeing.

The Various Routes

Bullet trains in Japan offer a variety of routes that can get you all around the country. Some of these routes are a part of the "Taiheiyo Belt", a region specified by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry extending from the Ibaraki Prefecture in the north to the Fukuoka Prefecture in the south. Between the two prefectures include, Saitama , Chiba , Tokyo , Kanagawa , Shizuoka , Aichi , Gifu , Mie , Osaka , Hyogo , Wakayama , Okayama , Hiroshima , Yamaguchi , and Oita . While the original "Taiheiyo Belt" did not include as many regions, over time with the further development of Japan's prefectures were more regions added to the list. Two popular lines within in the "Taiheyo Belt" are the "Tokaido" and "Sanyo" lines. There are also the - Tohoku / Yamagata / Akita Line - Hokkaido Line - Joetsu Shinkansen - Hokuriku Shinkansen - Kyushu Shinkansen Line Each line is a great way to see a different part of the country's scenery, while also being able to experience the local flavors when eating " Eki-ben " or station bentos.

The Various Routes

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Ekiben (JDT Recommends)

Ekiben (JDT Recommends)

Bento Boxes Sold at Train Stations

JR PASS

Special ticket only to travelers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sight-seeing.

Tokyo Station

Tokyo Station

The entrance of Japan’s transportation which is made of red brick

Kyoto Station Light Show

Kyoto Station Light Show

Kyoto Station offers illumination light shows that visitors can enjoy during the evening times.

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The major airline companies in Japan are Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA)

Hiroshima Airport (HIJ)

Hiroshima Airport (HIJ)

Largest airport in the Chūgoku region; formerly New Hiroshima Airport

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Ferries play an important role in transportation, tourism, and distribution of goods in Japan.

JAPAN AIRLINES

JAPAN AIRLINES

Japan Airlines

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The massive railway network is developed throughout Japan.

Hiroshima Electric Railway

Hiroshima Electric Railway

Japanese transportation company in Hiroshima

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Buses in Japan serve purposes of local transportation, long distance, and sightseeing.

Taxi

The most convenient means of transportation in urban areas.

  • Shinkansen Bullet Trains
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Shinkansen: The Japanese bullet trains

Shinkansen bullet trains are the fastest way to discover Japan. Discover more about the high-speed trains and the 9 rail lines they cover.

Shinkansen bullet trains are the fastest and most convenient way of discovering Japan . The Japan Rail (JR) network is extensive and the trains reach a top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph). This allows you to get to wherever you need in little time.

The nine Shinkansen lines take you in different directions around Japan. From Tokyo to the south runs the Tokaido Shinkansen line, connecting the capital with Osaka. The Sanyo Shinkansen line connects Osaka with Fukuoka and, from there, the Kyushu Shinkansen line runs through the island of Kyushu from north to south.

The other six lines either take you north or inland from Tokyo. These are the Akita, Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Joetsu, Tokoku, and Yamagata Shinkansen lines. The Hokkaido line takes you the furthest north, all the way to Hokkaido island.

Using the Japan Rail Pass

The Japan Rail Pass gives you unlimited access to all Shinkansen high-speed trains . A supplement is required for travel on the Nozomi and Mizuho Shinkansen on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen lines.

The Hikari, Kodama, and Sakura bullet trains are the fastest trains you can board using the Japan Rail Pass without a supplement. They make just a few more stops than the Nozomi and Mizuho trains.

Types of bullet trains

On each of the Shinkansen lines there are fast trains, semi-fast trains, and local trains:

  • The fast trains only stop at the main stations
  • Semi-fast trains make a few more stops
  • Local trains stop at every station

For instance, on the Tokaido Shinkansen line (which links Tokyo to Osaka) the fast train makes 6 stops, the semi-fast train makes between 7 and 12 stops, and local trains stop at all 17. See the “Shinkansen lines” section below for more information.

All Shinkansen trains are covered by the JR Pass. The Nozomi and Mizuho high-speed trains (Tokaido and Sanyo lines) are also included, subject to purchase of a special complementary ticket. JR Pass holders wishing to travel free on these lines can board local and semi-fast trains. Semi-fast trains are slightly slower than Nozomi and Mizuho trains.

Shinkansen lines

The Shinkansen railway network includes several lines that cover most of Japan and connect all the main cities.

Thanks to this great railway system you can travel quickly and comfortably throughout the country without too much of a second thought.

The companies that make up the JR Group operate a total of 9 lines: 7 Shinkansen lines, and 2 mini-Shinkansen lines. Each line offers different train services.

The Tokaido Shinkansen connects Tokyo with Kyoto and Osaka passing by Nagoya and its extension, the Sanyo Shinkansen, which connects Osaka with Fukuoka.

From here, you can take the Kyushu Shinkansen that covers the entire Kyushu island, from North to South.

Tokyo is connected to Kanazawa by the Hokuriku Shinkansen, a train covering Nagano. From March 16, 2024, this line wiill be extended to Tsuruga via Fukui Station. Tokyo is also connected to Niigata by the Joetsu Shinkansen.

The Tohoku Shinkansen connects Tokyo with Aomori and branches out into two mini-Shinkansen: the Akita Shinkansen and the Yamagata Shinkansen.

From Aomori you can cross the sea that separates the main island from Hokkaido, thanks to the Hokkaido Shinkansen.

Tokaido Shinkansen

Sanyo shinkansen, tohoku shinkansen, akita shinkansen, yamagata shinkansen, joetsu shinkansen, kyushu shinkansen, hokkaido shinkansen, hokuriku shinkansen.

The Tokaido Shinkansen line is Japan’s busiest and most popular Shinkansen line . It connects the three biggest metropolitan areas of the country: Tokyo to Yokohama, Osaka to Kyoto, and Nagoya .

It is also famous for being Japan’s first high-speed railway , opening in 1964 for the Japan Olympic Games.

Three types of train operate on this line: Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama.

Line map and route

Train services.

The Hikari train connects Tokyo to Shin-Osaka in exactly 173 minutes. The maximum operating speed is 285 km/h (178 mph), which makes it the second-fastest train on the Tokaido line. Hikari also runs on the Sanyo Shinkansen line with an operating speed of 300 km/h (185 mph).

Kodama is the slowest of the three trains which operate on the Tokaido Shinkansen line. This is due to the larger number of stops in comparison to the other two bullet trains on this line. The Kodama train stops at every station and takes almost four hours to reach Shin-Osaka. It runs at a speed of 285 km/h (178 mph).

The Sanyo Shinkansen line connects the city of Osaka with Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu. Completed in 1975, it is the second oldest Japanese Shinkansen line. There are 5 train services that run on this line: Nozomi, Hikari, Kodama, Mizuho, and Sakura. The fastest train is Nozomi which reaches an operating speed of 300 km/h (185 mph). It is covered by the JR Pass, provided you buy a special complementary ticket.

Hikari is the fastest train service on the Sanyo and Tokaido Shinkansen lines which is fully covered by the JR Pass. The majority of Hikari trains are formed of 16 cars though some have 8. There are three Green Class cars on the 16-coach Hikari train. The operating speed of the Hikari train is 300 km/h (185 mph). It takes a little over an hour to reach Okayama from Shin-Osaka.

This is the slowest train service on the Sanyo line, as it stops at all train stations until it reaches its final destination. Because of this, Kodama trains take almost five hours to arrive at Hakata station from Osaka. The trains have 8 cars but no Green Class cars. There are both reserved and non-reserved seating areas on the Kodama train service. The operating speed of the Kodama train is 285 km/h (185 mph).

This is one of the fastest train services operating on the Sanyo Shinkansen line. Its operating speed is 300 km/h (185 mph), similar to the other trains on the same line, but the Sakura trains make fewer stops. It operates with 8-car trains with both reserved and non-reserved sections. There are also some Green Class seats on one of the cars.

The Tohoku Shinkansen line connects Tokyo with Aomori . There are two branch lines - the Akita and Yamagata lines which go to the Akita and Yamagata prefectures. There are six different train services, which run on the Tohoku line: Hayabusa, Komachi, Hayate, Yamabiko, Nasuno, Tsubasa.

Hayabusa is the fastest train in Japan , reaching a maximum speed of 320 km/h (200 mph). There is a direct train connecting Tokyo to Shin-Aomori in just 189 minutes.

Yamabiko is a high-speed Shinkansen. It operates at a speed of 240 km/h (150 mph) and connects Tokyo with Morioka. There is a direct train service that will take you to Morioka in exactly 198 minutes.

The Hayate trains connect Tokyo with Morioka. Unlike Yamabiko trains, they do not stop between Sendai and Omiya . The Hayate train’s operating speed is 275 km/h (170 mph) and it takes approximately two hours to get from Tokyo to Morioka.

The Nasuno serves all the stations between Tokyo and Koriyama. It is the slowest type of train on the Tohoku Shinkansen line and it is designed for commuters who travel from the Fukushima and Tochigi Prefectures.

The Akita Shinkansen is the branch of the Tohoku Shinkansen line which connects Tokyo with Akita . The Komachi Shinkansen is the only type of train which runs on the line. It is an E6 series, also known as the Super Komachi.

All seats on the Komachi train services requires seat reservation . There is a direct train service from Tokyo to Akita which takes exactly 237 minutes. The Komachi train can run at a maximum speed of 320 km/h (200 mph) on the Tohoku line. The Komachi train services are operated by E6 series trains with 7 coaches.

Between Tokyo and Morioka, the Komachi trains are coupled with Hayabusas Shinkansens to form 17-car trains. The Komachi trains detach from the Hayubasas at Morioka and run to Akita.

Yamagata Shinkansen is a Tohoku Shinkansen branch line. Tsubasa is the only type of train that runs on the Yamagata line between Tokyo and Shinjo . Tsubasa services are operated by 7-car E3 series trains.

All cars on the Yamagata Shinkansen line are non-smoking. There is a direct train service from Tokyo to Yamagata which takes 165 minutes. The maximum operating speed of the Tsubasa train is 275 km/h (170 mph).

The Joetsu Shinkansen line dates back to 1982 and connects travelers between Tokyo and the hot springs and leisure resorts of Niigata and the surrounding area. Toki and Tanigawa are the two train services that operate on the line.

The Toki trains include a range of models including double-decker trains called Max Toki. The operating speed of the train is 240 km/h (150 mph). The Toki Shinkansen takes you from Tokyo to Niigata in just over an hour and a half .

This is the slower of the two types of trains which operate on this line (Toki and Tanigawa). This is because Tanigawa Shinkansen stops at all train stations between Tokyo and Echigo-Yuzawa.

During the winter season, the train runs to Gala-Yuzawa, getting travelers to the nearby ski resort .

The Tanigawa Shinkansen takes you from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa in a little over an hour. The operating speed of the train is 240 km/h (150 mph).

There are three types of trains which operate on the Kyushu Shinkansen line connecting Fukuoka with Kagoshima-Chuo : Tsubame, Sakura, and Mizuho. The Tsubame and Sakura trains are fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass. Mizuho trains are covered by the pass if you pay a supplementary fee.

Tsubame is the slowest of the trains operating on the Kyushu Shinkansen line as it stops at all stations until it reaches its final destination. It is also has the fewest cars and there are no Green Class ones. The operating speed of Tsubame trains is 260 km/h (160 mph). A trip from Kagoshima-Chuo to Hakata with the Tsubame train will take you a little over an hour and forty minutes.

The Sakura train is the second-fastest train on the Kyushu line, serving fewer train stations than Tsubame Shinkansen trains. There are two different types of Sakura trains: 8-car and 6-car trains . The larger one offers both Standard and Green Class cars, while the smaller one only has Standard cars. The operating speed is 300 km/h (185 mph). It takes approximately an hour and a half to reach Hakata from Kagoshima-Chuo Station.

The Hokkaido Shinkansen line connects Aomori (on the main island - Honshu) with Hakodate (on Hokkaido island) via the Seikan Tunnel. Two types of train run on the line: Hayabusa and Hayate. The line will be extended to Sapporo by 2030.

The majority of the trains which run on the Hokkaido line are Hayabusa Shinkansen trains. They operate between Tokyo and Hakodate with a top speed of 320 km/h (200 mph). The journey from Tokyo to Hakodate takes approximately 280 minutes . The Hayabusas go all the way to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, a station located between Hakodate and Hokuto. From there, you can take the local Hakodate Liner to get to Hakodate in 19 minutes.

A few of the trains on the Hokkaido Shinkansen line are Hayate. They usually operate between Hakodate and Shin-Aomori (and Morioka) during the morning and late evening .

The Hokuriku Shinkansen line was originally opened in 1997 for the Nagano Olympic Games and was previously known as Nagano Shinkansen. The line currently stretches from Tokyo to Kanazawa, but will further extend to Tsuruga via Fukui from March 16, 2024. There are four types of trains that operate the Hokuriku line: Kagayaki, Asama, Hakutaka, and Tsurugi. * Stations between Kanazawa and Tsuruga from March 16, 2024

The Kagayaki train is the fastest on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line. It only stops three times between Tokyo and Kanazawa, and will stop at Fukui and Tsuruga once the extension is operational. The overall journey from Tokyo to Kanazawa takes less than two and a half hours. The train operates at 260 km/h (160 mph) and has 12 cars (10 Standard cars, a Green Class car, and a Gran Class car). * Stations between Kanazawa and Tsuruga from March 16, 2024

The name Asama comes from the name of an active volcano on Mount Asama, located near Karuizawa. Two train types operate on this line: 8-coach and 12-coach trains. Both are have reserved and non-reserved seating spaces, Green Class cars, and wheelchair spaces.

The Hakutaka and Kagayaki trains are the only two on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line that run from Tokyo all the way to Tsuruga. Hakutaka is the slower of the two trains as it makes more stops. The operating speed of Hakutaka trains is 260 km/h (160 mph). A trip from Tokyo to Tsuruga takes just over 3 hours. * Stations between Kanazawa and Tsuruga from March 16, 2024

The Tsurugi train serves as the main connection for locals between Toyama and Kanazawa, and will extend to Tsuruga from March 16, 2024 . The service was first introduced in 1961 and includes a sleeping car. The trains are formed of 12 cars including a Green Class car. * Stations between Kanazawa and Tsuruga from March 16, 2024

Shinkansen tickets

If you don’t have a JR Pass you can buy bullet train tickets individually. The ticket prices depend on the distance of the journey, whether you reserve a seat, and which class of ticket you choose. You can buy Shinkansen tickets at train stations or online (through the websites of individual JR operators).

The price of a basic Shinkansen ticket is made up of base fare and limited express fee (Shinkansen supplement). Additionally, it is possible to add a seat reservation fee and Green car fee, if required.

Extras on board

There is now free WiFi on most Shinkansen trains running on all lines. Learn more about WiFi on the Japanese bullet trains .

Passengers are allowed to take their bicycle with them on board for no additional fee . However, its front wheel needs to be removed (unless it is a foldable bike) and it needs to be stored in a bike bag.

Small pets such as cats, dogs, and birds are allowed on board as long as they weigh less than 10 kg, are shorter than 90 cm in length, and are safely put into a container.

Travellers are allowed luggage on board for no additional cost. However, there is a limitation of two pieces of luggage .

All luggage items must fall within the size and weight ranges permitted :

  • Maximum weight of 30 kg
  • Maximum size of 250 cm

There is a delivery service option.

Travellers with oversized bags (length, height, and depth dimensions over 160 cm and up to a maximum of 250 cm) will be required to make a seat reservation in the last row of seats on the train, in front of the oversized luggage area.

The Tōkaidō (Tokyo to Osaka), San’yō (Osaka to Fukuoka), and Kyūshū (Fukuoka to Kagoshima) Shinkansen no longer have separate baggage compartments , meaning that the oversized luggage area is the only space for large items.

It will not be possible to bring oversized luggage into non-reserved cars on the specified lines. Passengers who have not made a seat reservation will be required to move their luggage to the designated area and pay a ¥1,000 surcharge not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

Certain items can be brought onto the Shinkansen regardless of size and do not require a reservation unless you plan to put them in the oversize baggage area:

  • Baby strollers
  • Musical instruments
  • Sports equipment

Ease of Access

The bullet trains are very easy to access for passengers in wheelchairs and parents with strollers and the stations are well-equipped with elevators and escalators.

You can book special seating free of charge if you are in a wheelchair. The only requirement is that you make this request two days in advance at the train station where you will board. Strollers are also allowed on board free of charge. The only requirement is for them to be folded and safely placed in the designated places.

Can I make seat reservations on Shinkansen bullet trains?

Japan Rail Pass holders are entitled to book a seat on all Japan Railways trains free of charge. All seats should be booked before boarding the train. The JR Group does not allow passengers to change to a reserved seat once you have boarded the train.

What is included in the Japan Rail Pass?

The Japan Rail Pass is valid on the JR Express Trains, all Rapid and Local trains along the JR lines, JR local buses, the JR Miyajima ferry, as well as airport transfers like the Narita express and the Haruka express. Shinkansen high-speed trains are also covered.

I left something on the train. What should I do?

The Japan Railways lost property service is excellent. If you have lost something on a JR train, there is a good chance that you’ll recover your belongings. When a member of staff finds something on a Japan Rail train, they hand it to one of the lost and found counters, where it is kept for around one week. After this, the lost property is transferred to the regional Police Lost and Found Center.

Are Nozomi and Mizuho Shinkansen covered by the JR Pass?

Shinkansen Nozomi and Mizuho high-speed trains (reserved and non-reserved seats) will be included in the JR Pass from October 2023. To travel on these trains, a special ticket must be purchased in addition to the JR Pass. However, there are alternatives to the Nozomi and Mizuho services which you can access at no extra charge.

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Shinkansen

  • Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
  • Helping You Plan
  • Transportation in Japan

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)

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

Types of shinkansen

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Riding the Shinkansen - What you need to know

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Riding the Shinkansen - What you need to know

Shinkansen - also known as the bullet train - are operated by Japan Railways (JR). Valued for its speed, accuracy on time, comfort, safety and efficiency, the shinkansen can run at speeds of up to 320 km/h, carrying thousands of people across Japan daily. This article will guide you through what you need to know about the shinkansen.

Interior of the shinkansen

Interior of the shinkansen

When you step inside the shinkansen, it reminds you of an airplane, with rows of seats on both sides of an isle, and windows. The seats all recline, with retractable tables and sometimes power outlets for charging your phone or PC. There is enough room to stretch your legs, and luggage can be stored below or above the seats. Although it travels at a sweeping 320 km/h, the ride is very quiet and comfortable.

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Taking the shinkansen

There are many reasons why the shinkansen would be your first choice when traveling across Japan.

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Shinkansen stops at many of the large cities across Japan, and most of the time, the stations are located at the center of the cities. Those stations are usually hubs with connections to local lines and subways in the same building or nearby, making it very convinient for travel. One great thing about shinkansen trains are that they are incredibly punctual. Even though the Tokaido shinkansen has over 130,000 journeys a year, it is surprising to know that the average delay is only 24 seconds!

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The scenary may be another reason to take the shinkansen. Every shinkansen line have their own unique stunning seashore and mountainous scenery, which will definitely be one of the highlights of the train ride. For example, if you are traveling from Tokyo to Osaka on the Tokaido Shinkansen, make sure to sit on the RIGHT side of the train to see Mt. Fuji.

Train departure board

Train departure board

What is a shinkansen?

By law, trains that travel over 200 km/h is considered a “shinkansen.” To distinguish shinkansen from other trains operated by Japan Railway (JR), the term "zairaisen" (在来線/conventional train) was created in 1964, when the first shinkansen began its operation. It may sound like the shinkansen goes all the way from Hokkaido in the North to Kyushu in the South by a single operator, it is actually operated by different regional JR companies, and uses varying carriages.

Names and meanings of shinkansen

When it comes to the name of the train, it's a bit of a puzzle but the following lists might be a help to you. Tokaido Line (Tokyo to Shin-Osaka) : Nozomi (Hope) Hikari (Light) Kodama (Echo) Sanyo Line (Shin-Osaka to Hakata) : Mizuho (Bountiful Harvest) Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) Kodama (Echo) Kyushu Line (Hakata to Kagoshima-Chuo) : Mizuho (Bountiful Harvest) Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) Tsubame (Swallow) Hokkaido and Tohoku lines (Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto) : Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon) Hayate (Strong Wind) Yamabiko (Mountain Spirit) Nasuno (in reference to the Nasu Highlands) Komachi (A synonym for feminine beauty in Japan, in reference to the poet, Ono no Komachi) Tsubasa (Wings) Hokuriku Line (Tokyo to Kanazawa) : Kagayaki (Glitter) Hakutaka (White Hawk) Asama (in reference to Mt. Asama) Tsurugi (in reference to Mt. Tsurugi) Joetsu Line (Tokyo to Niigata) : Toki (Crested Ibis) Tanigawa (in reference to Mt. Tanigawa)

For trains travelling west on the Tokaido-Sanyo-Kyushu line:

Tokaido-Sanyo-Kyushu line

Tokaido-Sanyo-Kyushu line

Tokaido line (Tokyo to Shin-Osaka)

There are few different names for the shinkansen that leaves Tokyo and travel west to Osaka and beyond. The fastest trains which stop the least are the Nozomi and Mizuho. The express trains, which are still very fast but stop more often, are named Hikari and Sakura. And the shinkansen that will basically stop at every station are called Kodama and Tsubame. The Nozomi is the fastest of the Tokaido shinkansen, travelling non-stop from Shin-Yokohama to Nagoya. It arrives at its final destination Hakata (in Fukuoka) in around five hours. This shinkansen has the most frequent departures from Tokyo, and most popular, and has the least number of non-reserved seats. That’s why it’s important to make a reservation before you board so you don’t risk the chance of having to stand for few hours. Since Nozomi is primarily a commuter train shuttling employees and salespeople between their offices in Tokyo and Osaka, it cannot be used with a JR Rail Pass.Especially during the morning and evening rush hours, these trains depart at intervals of 10 minutes or less. If you are travelling with a JR Rail Pass you should catch the Hikari, which are almost as fast as Nozomi but slightly less frequent in numbers. The Hikari is the second-fastest but this train makes more stops compared to the Nozomi. Hikari is the quickest bullet train that the JR pass covers. Most Hikari trains stop at Shizuoka and Hamamatsu, but Atami, Odawara, Mishima and Toyohashi are often skipped. Most Hikari trains stop at Shin-Osaka or Okayama, so if you are planning on going further to Hiroshima or Fukuoka, you will have to change trains. When doing so, make sure to find out which train will get you to your destination the quickest, since getting on the next available train may not be the best choice. The Japan Travel by NAVITIME app will be able to give you all this information and more, simplifying the ticket booking process (especially if you are using a JR Rail Pass). The Kodama shinkansen stops at all stations between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. It is the only train to stop at Shin-Fuji, Kakegawa and Mikawa Anjo. Get this train and get off at Shin-Fuji station if you want to take the iconic photo of Mt. Fuji with the shinkansen in the foreground, depicted in the logo of the Japan Travel by NAVITIME app.

The Sanyo line (Shin-Osaka to Hakata) & Kyushu line (Hakata toKagoshima-Chuo)

Sanyo line

Keep in mind that the Nozomi and Hikari Tokaido line trains may also stop at Hakata, just like the Mizuho, Sakura and Kodama trains that run from Shin-Osaka to Hakata. Please double check the schedule when purchasing the tickets. The Mizuho is the fastest train between Shin-Osaka and Hakata. It connects to the Kyushu shinkansen stopping at Kagoshima-Chuo. It will take approximately two and a half hours to go from Shin-Osaka to Hakata, and another hour and twenty minutes to reach Kagoshima-Chuo. The Sakura which is operated by the JR Kyushu, this train travel within Shin-Osaka and Kagoshima-Chuo. It is the second-fastest and stop in Shin-Kobe, Okayama, Hiroshima, Kokura, Hakata, Kumamoto and Kagoshima etc, where its route and destination are similar to that of the route Hikari takes. The Kodama stops at all stations that the Nozomi passes on its route inside the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen. It stops at all stations between Shin-Osaka and Hakata. It stops at Hakata but doesn’t connect to the Kyushu shinkansen. The Tsubame will stop at all stations in-between Hakata and Kagoshima-Chuo stations.

For trains travelling north on the Tohoku-Joetsu line:

Tohoku-Joetsu line

Tohoku-Joetsu line

The Hokkaido and Tohoku line (Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station)

There are four main trains operating on the Hokkaido and Tohoku lines with Hayabusa being the fastest if your goal is Morioka, Aomori or Hokkaido. Services using the Hayabusa train are only guaranteed to stop at six stations on its journey north from Tokyo Station to Hokkaido, with most skipping common stops like Ueno, arriving at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station after around four and a half hours. The Hayabusa train only has reserved seating, which also means that if it is full you won’t be able to purchase a ticket. The next fastest train is the Hayate, since it also runs non-stop between Omiya and Sendai. And to add on, the Hayabusa is the only train that runs from Morioka through to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station. The Yamabiko is the main train for the Tohoku shinkansen that travels as far as Morioka in Iwate Prefecture. This is the one to get if you want to change at Fukushima to head to Shinjo on the Yamagata Shinkansen. The Nasuno is the slowest of the Tohoku shinkansen, stopping at all stations from Tokyo to Koriyama. This train is the one to get if you are going to Nasu-Shiobara, which will get you there in around one hour and 10 minutes. The Komachi is the name of the train that runs on the Akita Shinkansen between Morioka and Akita; the stations it stops at between Tokyo and Morioka are the same as the Hayabusa. And finally, the Tsubasa runs on the Yamagata Shinkansen from Fukushima to Shinjo. The Tsubasa has non-reserved seating, so if you have the JR Rail Pass you can just get on without having to make a reservation.

The Hokuriku line operates between Tokyo and Kanazawa.

Hokuriku line

Hokuriku line

The Hokuriku line was constructed to open just before the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1997, and in 2015 the extension to Kanazawa was finally completed, making Kanazawa an accessible tourist destination for those travelling from Tokyo. There are four trains operating on the Hokuriku line, but if you are planning on travelling direct to Kanazawa, the Kagayaki is your best bet. Kagayaki is the fastest as it only stops at the main six stations (Tokyo, Ueno, Omiya, Nagano, Toyama, and Kanazawa). It will take around two and a half hours to get to Kanazawa, but there aren’t any non-reserved cars so you will need to make a seat reservation even if you are travelling using the JR Rail Pass. Hakutaka has the next fastest arrival time, taking just over three hours. It stops at almost twice as many stations, but also has cars with non-reserved seating. The local shinkansen, which terminates in Nagano is the Asama; it usually stops at all stations but depending on the time of day and schedule congestion, it may skip a few. Heading back from Kanazawa, another shinkansen you may see is the Tsurugi. It operates as a shuttle service between Kanazawa and Toyama station, so if you board the Tsurugi planning on heading to Tokyo, you will have to change again at Toyama.

The Joetsu line operates between Tokyo and Niigata

Joetsu line

Joetsu line

The Joetsu Shinkansen is famous for having the only running double-decker shinkansen, the E4 series MAX which has elevated windows for those sitting in the upper level. Having said that though, this shinkansen will be phased out in March 2021 and replaced with the regular E2 and E7 series trains (The E2 will also be phased out in 2023). The Joetsu Shinkansen is convenient when going to the snow in winter, as it stops at Gala Yuzawa station, only a few steps away from the ski lift. Toki is the name of the train which goes all the way to Niigata and skips some stations, making it faster. The Tanigawa on the other hand, only goes to Echigo-Yuzawa (or Gala-Yuzawa in the winter) but stops at all the stations along the way.

Types of shinkansen seats

Railroad car interior - car number & information display

Railroad car interior - car number & information display

Seats on the shinkansen are broken up into roughly three types, with a few special ones that are available depending on the line or train. The most commonly available ticket type is the reserved seat. Most seats on shinkansen trains across the country are in reserved cars. If that’s the case, you will need to book a seat even if you are using the JR Rail Pass. The second most common type is the unreserved seat. Typically, three to six cars of the shinkansen are unreserved, meaning it isn’t necessary for you to book a seat; if you have the JR Rail Pass you can just jump on. It can be hard to predict if and when these cars are full, as they can sometimes be very crowded or completely empty, so It's safer to get a reserved seat when possible. If you are only going a short distance, need to be there as soon as possible, and don’t mind the possibility of having to stand the whole way, it’s good to know that you can just get an unreserved ticket even if all of the reserved seats are booked. The third type of seat is in the ‘Green Car’. The green car is similar to a first-class train car, or a business class flight, in that the seats are more spacious, and the car is generally quieter. The tickets are surprisingly not that much more expensive than a regular reserved seat. It’s also possible to get a special Green Car JR Rail Pass which will give you access to all of the green car seats nationwide. Green car seats are recommended if you are travelling with older or larger people who would appreciate the space and quieter atmosphere. The ‘Gran Class’ which operates on the E7 and W7 series shinkansen heading north from Tokyo on the Tohoku, Hokkaido, Hokuriku and some Joetsu lines, is equivalent to the first-class cabin on an international flight. There are meal and alcohol services, and the tickets are significantly more expensive than a regular reserved seat ticket.

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JR ticket office

How to make a seat reservation (while in Japan)

Here's how to reserve a seat in Japan.

Making reservations in person

Seat reservations can be made in person at JR Ticket Offices (commonly known in Japanese as Midori-no-madoguchi, or the green window). These are located in most major JR train stations nationwide and are easily recognizable as all the signage is green. You can either line up to speak to the staff or purchase tickets at the vending machines.

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Ticket vending machine

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Ticket vending machine screen

If you have a valid JR Rail Pass and want to sit in one of the unreserved cars, there is no need to go to the ticket office; you can board the train directly. If you would like to sit in a reserved seat, you will need to make a seat booking at the Ticket Office which is free of charge. And if you have a regular JR Rail Pass, and want to ride in the green car or Gran Class, you'll need to pay additional charges.

Midori-No-Madoguchi (green window) - ticket office

Midori-No-Madoguchi (green window) - ticket office

Due to the sheer number of shinkansen trains in operation around the country, it’s perfectly reasonable to make a reservation and travel on the same day. There may be situations where you’ll have to wait for the next train — especially when travelling from Tokyo to Osaka along the Tokaido line — but it shouldn’t be a problem unless you are in a rush or are planning on travelling at peak times in the morning or after work.

Ticket vending machine

Making reservations online

Due to the way JR-East, JR-Central, and JR-West companies are structured, which site or app you should use to make your booking will depend on your departure and arrival stations. JR-West - from Kagoshima to Shin-Osaka JR-Central - from Hakata (Fukuoka) to Tokyo JR-East - from Tokyo to Hokkaido

JR-Central - SmartEX Tokaido Shinkansen Reservation App

SmartEX Tokaido Shinkansen Reservation App

SmartEX Tokaido Shinkansen Reservation App

If you are travelling around central Japan — from Fukuoka to Tokyo — the SmartEX Tokaido Shinkansen Reservation App is the easiest: https://smart-ex.jp/en/ Covering trips between Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima and Fukuoka, the SmartEX app covers a lot of popular destinations, and is easy to install and use. After registering, tickets can be booked up to a month in advance, and you can easily alter the date and time of time of your departure if you change your mind. If you are using the JR Rail Pass, you have the option to only search for services on the Hikari, Sakura, and Kodama trains.

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SmartEX ticket purchase screens

After selecting your train and departure time, choose your seat type from the list or seat map, then proceed to purchase your ticket.

JR-West - JR-West Online Train Reservation

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If you are travelling around western Japan — from Kagoshima to Shin-Osaka — you should use the JR West Online Train Reservation site: https://www.westjr.co.jp/ Tickets booked from this site can be paid for at the time of booking using a credit card, or at the station before you board the train. To pick up your ticket (or pay for it at a vending machine), look for ones with the ‘e5489’ logo. E5489 is an online reservation network run by JR-West.

JR-East - JR-EAST Train Reservation

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If you are travelling around eastern Japan — from Tokyo to Hokkaido — you can use the JR East Train Reservation site: https://www.eki-net.com/ The JR-East site is the oldest of the online booking services and is the strictest regarding the information required and how it is submitted, making it esoteric and the hardest to use. Also, tickets booked with this service cannot be picked up on the day of travel, and an online credit card payment must be used to complete the booking. To use the service, you first select the line, choose departure and arrival stations, and then select boarding date and time. You will then need to add the date and the name of the station where you want to pick up the ticket(s). You can then add the number of passengers and seating preferences. You then will need to register, add billing information, and pay to complete the reservation process.

Ticket vending machine screen

JR Rail Passes - There is more than one type!

There are actually a lot of different types of rail passes available in Japan. The most well-known is the nationwide JR Rail Pass, which allows pass holders to ride for free on JR trains from Kyushu to Hokkaido. Normally recommended for travelers who will at least be travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto or Hiroshima. If you are travelling all over Japan or using trains that are not on JR lines, it can be difficult to know exactly how much you would save by getting the nationwide pass. The Japan Travel by NAVITIME app allows you to easily find the prices of the routes (with an icon to show if they are covered by the rail pass). It also allows you to search for routes which specifically take advantage of the JR Rail Pass, so you can work out if the nationwide pass is the best value for your trip. Aside from the nationwide JR Rail Pass, there are also a lot of bespoke rail passes for different areas that can be found on their official JR railway sites. These aren’t widely advertised outside of the official sites, but have been developed with different types of travelers and specific routes in mind. They can be incredibly good value when compared to the nationwide pass, depending on what you are planning on doing and how you plan to travel while you’re in Japan. For example, the JR East Pass for the Tohoku Area, is a “flexible five-day pass (any five days within 14 days of issuance, including the day of issuance)” and is priced at 30,000 yen (as of July 2024) when purchased overseas (less than half the price of the nationwide JR Pass). When you're ready to get your Japan Rail Pass, you can purchase online from here. If you are planning on renting a car and exploring areas that are not readily accessible by train, having five ‘travel days’ over a 14-day period makes a lot of sense. It would be possible to get the shinkansen from Tokyo to Aomori, and traverse your way back down through Akita, Iwate, Miyagi, and Yamagata, ending up back in Tokyo.

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If you are not travelling across the whole country it’s worth checking the JR railway sites related to the areas you are planning on travelling to. You can also ask the staff at the Midori no Madoguchi and see what passes and routes they recommend, since there are many routes that might include free bus and boat travel.

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Welcome Suica with JR Lines 1-Day Pass

Update date:2024/06/24

The Tokyo Station Hotel

1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo

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Japan's main islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido are served by a network of high speed train lines that connect Tokyo with most of the country's major cities . Japan's high speed trains (bullet trains) are called shinkansen (�V����) and are operated by Japan Railways (JR).

Running at speeds of up to 320 km/h, the shinkansen is known for punctuality (most trains depart on time to the second), comfort (relatively silent cars with spacious, always forward-facing seats), safety (no fatal accidents in its history) and efficiency. Thanks to various rail passes , the shinkansen can also be a cost-effective means of travel .

Shinkansen network

The shinkansen network consists of multiple lines, among which the Tokaido Shinkansen ( Tokyo - Nagoya - Kyoto - Osaka ) is the oldest and most popular. All shinkansen lines (except the Akita and Yamagata Shinkansen) run on tracks that are exclusively built for and used by shinkansen trains. Most lines are served by multiple train categories, ranging from the fastest category that stops only at major stations to the slowest category that stops at every station.

Seats and classes

Seat classes.

Trains offer seats in two or three classes, which are typically found in separate cars:

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Reserved vs. non-reserved cars

Most shinkansen trains offer both non-reserved seats (���R��, jiyūseki) and reserved seats (�w���, shiteiseki) in separate cars. Only the Hayabusa, Hayate, Komachi and Tsubasa trains on the Tohoku Shinkansen and Hokkaido Shinkansen and the Kagayaki trains on the Hokuriku Shinkansen are fully reserved and do not carry non-reserved seating. In addition, Nozomi trains along the Tokaido / Sanyo Shinkansen become temporarily fully reserved during the New Year , Golden Week and Obon holidays. All seats in Green Cars are reserved. Bilingual signs indicate whether a car carries reserved or non-reserved seats.

Advance seat reservations are required to use a seat in a reserved car ( see below on how to make seat reservations). A fee of a few hundred yen applies for making seat reservations. Japan Rail Pass holders can make seat reservations for free.

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Seat reservations allow you to secure a seat and travel with peace of mind. They can be made for all shinkansen trains, but are not mandatory on the trains that also carry non-reserved seating. Only the Hayabusa, Hayate, Komachi and Tsubasa trains along the Tohoku / Hokkaido Shinkansen , and the Kagayaki trains along the Hokuriku Shinkansen require seat reservations. In addition, Nozomi trains along the Tokaido / Sanyo Shinkansen become temporarily fully reserved during the New Year , Golden Week and Obon holidays.

Seat reservations can be made from one month before travel date (from 10:00am) until shortly before departure time. They can be made at ticket offices , at ticket machines or online . (Through the Tokaido Sanyo Kyushu Shinkansen Online Reservation Service reservations can be made up to one year in advance).

Are seat reservations recommended?

On many trains reserved seats do not get booked out, but on some they do. On particularly busy travel days (e.g. peak travel days during Golden Week , Obon and the New Year holidays), trains can get booked out several days in advance, but on most other days trains rarely get booked out more than a few hours in advance, if at all.

For peace of mind seat reservations are always recommended, especially when traveling in groups and preferring to sit together. On a few shinkansen trains along the Tohoku Shinkansen , Hokkaido Shinkansen and Hokuriku Shinkansen seat reservations are mandatory.

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Shinkansen tickets

Fees that make up a shinkansen ticket.

A shinkansen ticket is made up of the following fees:

  • Base fare The fare to get from A to B. Increases stepwise according to the distance traveled. Issued as a base fare ticket (��Ԍ�, jōshaken).
  • Shinkansen supplement (aka limited express fee) The supplement fee for using a shinkansen train (as opposed to a local train ). The fee increases stepwise according to the distance traveled. The express supplement is issued as a limited express fee ticket (���}��, tokkyūken).
  • Seat reservation fee 330, 530, 730 or 930 yen depending on the date of travel. An additional supplement (100-1060 yen depending on distance traveled) applies for using reserved seats on Nozomi , Mizuho , Hayabusa and Komachi trains. The seat reservation fee is included into the above-mentioned express supplement.
  • Green car fee (if using a green car) The supplement fee for riding the green car. Increases stepwise according to the distance traveled. It is combined with the express supplement into a single ticket.

Shinkansen passengers typically receive two pieces of tickets: a base fare ticket and a supplement ticket. In some situations the two tickets are combined into a single ticket, while more than two tickets may be issued if multiple trains are involved (one base fare ticket and one supplement ticket for each train).

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Buying a ticket at the ticket counter

Shinkansen tickets can be purchased at any ticket office found at all major and many minor JR stations nationwide. Credit cards are accepted at most ticket offices. In order to purchase a ticket, the following information is needed:

  • Number of travelers
  • Date of travel
  • Departure station
  • Destination station
  • Ordinary or green car
  • Reserved or non-reserved seat

For a seat reservation, the following additional information is required:

  • Train name (e.g. Hikari) and train number or departure time

If you do not speak Japanese , it is recommended that you write the data on a piece of paper and present it to the salesperson in order to make the purchasing process smoother. Salespersons are generally familiar with the English vocabulary needed for the purchase of train tickets and seat reservations, but many have limited English conversation skills.

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Buying a ticket at a ticket machine

Selected ticket machines can be used to buy shinkansen tickets. Most of them offer English menus. Some machines sell only non-reserved seats, while others can be used to also make seat reservations. Although ticket machines can be very useful if you know how to use them, the process of buying shinkansen tickets is not always straight-forward.

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Buying a ticket online

Although such websites exist in Japanese , there is currently no single English website for buying tickets for shinkansen nationwide. Instead, there are multiple systems that each cover only selected lines. Two of them allow for the use of IC cards in place of paper tickets. If using paper tickets, you will need to be pick up the tickets in the region covered by each system from a ticket machine or ticket office before boarding the train.

In addition to the above-mentioned JR-operated websites, there are an increasing number of third-party online ticket services available on the internet, such as Japan Experience . These websites allow tickets to be purchased online and to be picked up or delivered to an address in Japan for a service fee of typically 10-20%.

IC cards , such as Suica or Icoca, can be used on selected shinkansen lines and need some set-up before use. There are currently three different systems:

  • Tokaido Sanyo Kyushu Shinkansen Online Reservation Service (smart EX) The above-mentioned Tokaido Sanyo Kyushu Shinkansen Online Reservation Service allows users to register IC cards with the system and then use an IC card to ride the Tokaido / Sanyo / Kyushu Shinkansen . Fares are charged to a registered credit card rather than subtracted from the IC card's balance.
  • JR East Reservation System - for shinkansen trains in eastern Japan In combination with the above-mentioned JR East Reservation System , it is possible to use IC cards to ride shinkansen trains in eastern and northern Japan. Fares are charged to a registered credit card rather than subtracted from the IC card's balance.
  • Touch de Go - for shinkansen trains in eastern Japan Regular IC cards , including Suica, Pasmo and Icoca, can be used on non-reserved seats of shinkansen trains in the entire service area of JR East (see map above). Before you can use an IC card for this service, which is known as "Touch de Go", a one-time set-up procedure is required at a ticket machine. Fares will be subtracted from the IC card's balance.

Rail passes

The Japan Rail Pass can be used on all shinkansen trains and covers all the fees involved (except for a supplement fee required for Nozomi and Mizuho trains). Seat reservations can be made for free at ticket machines and ticket offices. Pass holders will receive a seat reservation ticket that indicates the reserved seat. They need no tickets besides their rail pass when using non-reserved seats. Numerous regional passes also cover some shinkansen trains.

Other discount tickets

Small discounts are available for set ticket (�񐔌�, kaisūken) and round trip tickets (��������, ōfukuwaribiki) that are available for selected sections. Other tickets provide a discount when purchased in advance (����, hayatoku). Discount ticket shops around major stations also sell shinkansen tickets at small discounts.

More substantial savings are provided by travel packages which have to be purchased in advance at travel agencies. Among them are the "Shinkansen Travel Packages" and "Shinkansen One-Way Trip" (also known as Platt-Kodama) for travel along the Tokaido Shinkansen (including Tokyo-Kyoto and Tokyo-Osaka), sold at JR Tokai Tours travel agencies.

JR West also offers discounted one-way tickets along the Sanyo Shinkansen and Hokuriku Shinkansen exclusively to overseas tourists. Prospective travelers will first receive a mobile voucher which can then be exchanged to the real ticket at a ticket machine.

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How to use the shinkansen?

After purchasing your ticket (see above), proceed as follows:

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Ordinary seats typically come in rows of 3+2 seats, although on some trains they are arranged in rows of 2+2 seats. Seats can be reclined and have tables, pockets for magazines and open overhead shelves. They provide considerably more foot space than economy seats on airplanes . Newer train sets have electrical outlets installed along the walls or in the armrest.

Green cars always come with rows of 2+2 seats and have seats that are more spacious than ordinary seats. The seats are often equipped with a foot rest, reading light, electrical outlets and a seat warmer, although the exact facilities depend on the train set.

All seats on shinkansen trains can be turned by 180 degrees, allowing travelers to always face forward. The seats are turned by the staff at the terminal stations, but can also be turned by passengers, for example, to create a group of four or six seats facing each other.

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Amenities & services

Signs and announcements inside the trains are multilingual ( Japanese and English on all lines; plus Korean and Chinese on selected lines) and inform about upcoming stations.

A gradually decreasing number of shinkansen trains are served by small food carts with a selection of snacks, drinks and boxed meals (bento) which periodically pass along the aisle.

Free Wi-Fi is available on board of most shinkansen trains and at many shinkansen train stations. Depending on the operating company, the networks are known as Shinkansen Free Wi-Fi, JR-EAST FREE Wi-Fi and JR-WEST FREE Wi-Fi.

All shinkansen are equipped with multiple toilets , which are sometimes separated by gender. The toilets are Western-style except on some older train sets. Newer train sets are also equipped with spacious toilets for wheelchair users . Outside the toilets are wash corners with sinks and large mirrors.

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Smoking is not allowed on board of any shinkansen trains. Smoking in stations and on platforms is also prohibited, except in designated smoking zones.

According to the rule book, each traveler is allowed to bring up to two pieces of luggage onto a train (not including small bags), with each piece not weighting more than 30 kilograms and not measuring more than 250 centimeters when adding up width, height and depth. However, even when bringing less than this upper limit, we recommend travelers with a lot of luggage to consider using a delivery service to make the trip more comfortable for themselves and the passengers around them.

Shinkansen trains are equipped with relatively spacious overhead shelves (smaller on certain train sets) which can store small and medium sized bags and suitcases. Furthermore, on many shinkansen trains the leg room is surprisingly spacious and may be large enough for your legs and a mid-sized suitcase, although this may not be the most comfortable solution.

Additionally, there is space for two or three large suitcases behind the last row of seats in each car; however, for security and convenience reasons only passengers sitting in the last row of seats are supposed to place their luggage into the space behind their seats.

japan tours with bullet train

A special rule for oversized luggage applies along the Tokaido , Sanyo , Kyushu and Nishikyushu Shinkansen . Passengers with oversized luggage, i.e. luggage pieces whose height, width and depth add up to more than 160cm (63 inches), are now required to make a seat reservation for specific seats with nearby storage space. It is not possible to bring oversized luggage into non-reserved cars.

Passengers without a reservation for their oversized luggage will be asked to move their luggage to a space specified by the train conductor and pay a 1000 yen surcharge which is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass . No plans have been announced to introduce a similar system on other shinkansen lines.

Shinkansen manners

  • Line up on the platform before boarding.
  • Don't block the aisle with luggage.
  • When having a conversation, keep your voice down.
  • Recline your seat with consideration for the person behind you. Return the seat to its original position before exiting the train.
  • Set your mobile phone to silent mode. Don't talk on your phone except in the deck areas between cars.
  • Take your garbage with you when getting off the train and discard it into a garbage bin on the train or in the station.

Future of the shinkansen

Several new shinkansen routes are currently being built:

  • Hokkaido Shinkansen: extension from Hakodate via Niseko and Otaru to Sapporo sometime after 2031.
  • Hokuriku Shinkansen: extension from Tsuruga via Obama and Kyoto to Osaka by the 2040s.
  • Chuo Shinkansen: Using maglev technology, this new line is scheduled to connect Tokyo with Nagoya sometime after 2027 and with Osaka sometime after 2037.

Questions? Ask in our forum .

Links and Resources

Jr east reservation system, tokaido sanyo kyushu shinkansen online reservation service, jr west reservation system, jr kyushu reservation system, jr hokkaido, links to timetable websites, jr tokai tours.

japan tours with bullet train

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Train & Rail Tours in Japan

20 train tour packages in japan with 2,733 reviews.

Japan One Life Adventures - 10 Days Tour

Explorer Train & Rail Historical Christmas & New Year +2

Japan One Life Adventures - 10 Days

"It was a very fun tour with a lot of great activities. You get to see a lot of excellent locations." Cameron, traveled in June 2024

Highlights of Japan - 7 Days Tour

In-depth Cultural Family Train & Rail Historical +2

Highlights of Japan - 7 Days

"Packed full of information about japan's hisrory. Also lots of interesting japanese cultural sights." Shanebaylis, traveled in June 2019

Japan Discovery - 15 Days Tour

In-depth Cultural Family Train & Rail Explorer +2

Japan Discovery - 15 Days

"The tour company in Japan was Tomato travel. We would gladly go with tomato travel again." David, traveled in November 2023

Japan Express: Osaka to Tokyo Tour

In-depth Cultural Train & Rail Christmas & New Year +2

Japan Express: Osaka to Tokyo

"The whole trip was so incredible. All made possible by our excellent tour guide Mayumi." Benjamin, traveled in October 2023

Epic Japan: Speed Trains & Street Food Tour

Explorer Train & Rail Christmas & New Year +1

Epic Japan: Speed Trains & Street Food

"Fantastic tour which was incredibly insightful and fun!" Pamela, traveled in December 2019

Japan One Life Adventures - 14 Days Tour

Explorer Train & Rail Historical +1

Japan One Life Adventures - 14 Days

"The trip itself will take you too all the highlights in Japan and some more places you will not go to on your own." Paul, traveled in May 2024

Epic 13-Day Japan Budget Tour: Odyssey Across the Land of the Rising Sun Tour

In-depth Cultural Family Train & Rail +1

Epic 13-Day Japan Budget Tour: Odyssey Across the Land of the Rising Sun

  • 5% deposit on some dates

Essential Japan Tour

Explorer Train & Rail Sightseeing Historical Christmas & New Year +3

Essential Japan

Classic Japan Tour

Explorer Train & Rail Sightseeing Historical +2

Classic Japan

Japan by Train: the Grand Tour Tour

Explorer Train & Rail

Japan by Train: the Grand Tour

"Beautiful places, views, citys. I love Japan." Tom, traveled in April 2023
  • €100 deposit on some dates

What people love about Train & Rail Tours in Japan

After many years solo traveling, I decided to take a chance on One Life Adventures guided group tour for my introduction to Japan. Being my first guided tour, I was apprehensive about sticking to a schedule other than my own and wondering if I would actually get a well rounded experience. Nevertheless, I joined the (June) Japan 10 Day Tour and was overwhelmingly delighted!!! This tour far surpassed my expectations and has given me a new outlook on group/guided tours in general. 10/10 would recommend!! *Sarah* was a fantastic guide and really gave much insight into the history, culture and vibe of each place visited. She kept us on schedule, feeling safe, and attended to each individuals needs and inquiries throughout our travels. We had enough free time between activities to enjoy at leisure and preferred pace. Some tips for those interested in this specific adventure: Travel as light as possible (backpack is better than suitecase). Bring a variety of comfortable shoes (lots of walking). Stay hydrated (can easily buy and refill water bottles on the go via vending machines and water filter stations at accommodations). Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat and umbrella for comfort and to avoid sunburn or getting wet on rainy days (if traveling in summer months). A jacket for evenings was essential for some areas (Hakone, Takayama in particular). Leave extra room in your bag for local goods you’ll (likely) purchase along the way. Shared accommodations were clean, comfortable and supplied shampoo/conditioner/body wash/towels, laundry services were available and optional on occasion. I’d recommend bringing an eye mask/earplugs for better rest as needed. Get yourself an eSIM for communications outside wifi zones (this is essential). While most places accept credit cards, it’s highly encouraged to bring some cash for smaller vendors and tips (however, atms can be easily found along the trip). While language tips and common words are taught during introduction, Id suggest trying to learn a few key phrases before entry into the country you plan to visit (ie Hello, Thank You, Yes/No, Excuse Me, etc). Be sure to read all the pre-trip emails/chat messages and other reviews to be best prepared and follow the directions given. Most importantly: keep an open heart and open mind along the way :)
I like the tour.zu is good guide.frindly ,and she try the best. I like her to be my guide again.
We booked our tour through MyHolidays2 in Aust. The tour company in Japan was Tomato travel. Our guide, Yumi, met up at the airport and from that time on was a true friend. Yumi is the most professional tour guide with great information each day and took care of all Hotel arrivals and tour costs. Tomato Travel should give Yumi A pay rise for her efforts. We would gladly go with tomato travel again. Thank you Yumi we love you

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Everything you need to know about Japan’s bullet trains

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Rebecca Hallett

written by Rebecca Hallett

updated 08.04.2024

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Surely one of Japan ’s most iconic images is an impossibly fast bullet train (or “shinkansen”) speeding past snow-capped Mount Fuji – you know the photo. Clichéd as it is, it captures that most Japanese of phenomena, the seamless blending of the ancient and the modern.

So, how are bullet trains any different to regular trains?

Where can i go on the bullet train, and where can’t i go, how much does it cost.

  • What's this JR Pass I keep hearing about?

How do I get tickets?

Are there any rules or manners i need to remember, anything else i should bear in mind, what’s the future of the bullet train.

Beautiful views aside, the bullet train really is one of those must-do Japanese experiences. It can feel a bit daunting to try and figure out how to use it, but don’t worry – we’ve got a few tips on how to get the most out of Japan's bullet trains.

Travel ideas for Japan, created by local experts

Small Group Tour: Splendours of Japan

Small Group Tour: Splendours of Japan

Discover the allure of Japan on our small group tour (max 16 guests). Unveil Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Osaka, and Okayama through guided explorations. Immerse in tea ceremonies and relish in the captivating beauty of these iconic destinations. Regular departures ensure an unforgettable journey.

Small Group Tour: Secrets of Japan

Small Group Tour: Secrets of Japan

Embark on an exceptional small-group tour, available monthly, unveiling Tokyo, Hakone, Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, and beyond. Uncover Japan's hidden gems, from serene shrines to bustling cities, and immerse in enchanting forests.

Small Group Tour: Highlights of Japan

Small Group Tour: Highlights of Japan

Exciting small-group tour with monthly departures. Immerse in Japanese culture, challenge a pro in a sumo suit, wander Arashiyama's bamboo groves in Kyoto, and relish a kaiseki feast with Maiko entertainment - all included in this fascinating small group tour.

Japan highlights: Tokyo to Osaka

Japan highlights: Tokyo to Osaka

From Tokyo to Osaka, this Japan trip features fantastic experiences. View a sumo session, visit ancient temples, and climb the Tokyo Skytree tower. Explore the resort town of Hakone in Mt Fuji’s shadow, savor a tea ceremony in Kyoto, and see cherry blossoms, in season, to complete a wonderful trip.

Self-Guided Adventure Tour in Japan

Self-Guided Adventure Tour in Japan

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty, history, enchanting culture and warmhearted people of Japan, with our self-guided tour of Japan. Walk-through a bamboo forest, see how sake is made, join Samurai lesson, go bar-hopping in Tokyo and Osaka and extend your journey to Hiroshima

Culinary tour across Japan

Culinary tour across Japan

This trip takes you from Tokyo to Kyoto, where you will experience authentic Japanese foods, visit morning markets in the local cities, learn how to make Japanese food and enjoy a unique stay at a monastery. A once in a lifetime experience.

They’re fast. As in, really fast. The Tōkaidō line between Tokyo and Kyoto takes between about two and a half hours (Nozomi or Hikari bullet trains) and four hours (Kodama bullet trains); by bus this takes about eight hours, and if you go by local trains it’s closer to nine.

Bullet trains also have plenty of “why don’t all trains have this” features, like seats which you can turn around (to make space for your luggage, or sit in a group with your friends), and they look pretty space age.

If you have planned a shinkansen ride from Tokyo, take care of a place to stay in Tokyo and enjoy exploring the city.

bullet-train-japan-shutterstock_681950227

© kawamura_lucy/Shutterstock

The bullet train lines snake across most of the country, from Kagoshima at the southern tip of Kyūshū to Hakodate on the northern island of Hokkaidō. Most of the big tourist sites have a station nearby, so you can easily take one to see the ancient temples of Kyoto, Hiroshima’s Peace Park, or of course Tokyo.

The big gaps at the moment are in Shikoku (the fourth-largest island, just by Kyūshū) and almost all of Hokkaidō ; if you want to explore the far north of the country, you’re probably better off flying to Sapporo and continuing from there.

Unsurprisingly, riding a bullet train isn’t cheap. You pay a base fare for your journey, depending on distance and time, plus a bullet train supplement.

You’ll pay extra for a seat reservation (reserved seats are called shiteiseki ; non-reserved are jiyūseki ), and a whole lot extra if you want to go in the Green Car (first class).

Overall, an average Tokyo to Kyoto fare – one-way, regular class – would be about 13,000–14,000¥ (around US$140).

shinkansen-railway-tokyo-japan-shutterstock_1086574901

© CHEN MIN CHUN/Shutterstock

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What's this JR Pass I keep hearing about?

If you plan on using bullet trains quite a lot on your trip, it’s worth considering a JR Pass . You can get one for the whole country (starting at 29,110¥ for adults), or a cheaper pass only covering part of the network; the newest one is the JR East–South Hokkaidō Pass (26,000¥ for an adult). You can’t use the very fastest trains (Nozomi and Mizuho ones) with JR Passes, but the others are still ridiculously quick.

There are a few other money-saving options, too. Perhaps the most useful is the Puratto Kodama Economy Plan , which gives you reduced-price tickets on the Tōkaidō line (Ōsaka–Tokyo). For instance, you can buy a ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto for 10,100¥, when a regular fare would set you back 13,600¥.

If you’ve got a JR Pass, you won’t need to buy tickets at all – you can just walk onto the platform, head for the non-reserved carriage, and you’re off. You might want to get a seat reservation, though, which you can do at JR-affiliated travel agencies, at midori no madoguchi (“green window”) ticket offices, on ticket vending machines or through Japan Rail websites.

If you don’t have a pass, you’ll need to buy a ticket. You can buy these from the same places as the seat reservations, and can reserve a seat at the same time if you’d like. It’s worth looking up routes and prices ahead of time – Hyperdia is a useful site.

Thankfully, it’s all pretty straightforward. Head to the platform and line up by the door which matches your seat reservation. Wait for everyone to get off before you get on; at some stations, cleaning staff will board before you, and you should wait for them to finish up before getting on.

Continue your exploration of Japan with our practical tips on what you need to know before travelling to the country .

The Rough Guides to Japan and related travel guides

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The Rough Guide to Tokyo

On the train just be generally mindful of the other passengers, and you shouldn’t go too far wrong. Oh, and don’t expect even a thirty second grace period if you’re running late: Japanese trains are ruthlessly punctual.

shogayaki-bento-eki-ben-japan-shutterstock_1041753235

© 56Photo/Shutterstock

Don’t miss out on the institution that is the ekiben , or “railway meal” – you can buy them in stations or on the train, and they put other countries’ soggy sandwiches and slightly crushed bags of crisps to shame. Expect perfectly prepared meat and fish, vegetables cut into cute shapes, local ingredients and flavours, and maybe even a mini bottle of wine.

Do ask about which seats have the best views when booking; the most famous is of course the view of Fuji-san when heading from Tokyo to Kyoto or Ōsaka, which you’ll get if you sit on the right-hand side (ask for a yama-gawa or “mountain side” seat).

Hopefully more trains, going further and faster. The Hokuriku line (currently Nagano–Kanazawa) should be extended to Tsuruga by 2022; the world’s longest and deepest undersea tunnel was built from Aomori to Hakodate in 2016, and the line should reach Sapporo by 2030; and the network in Kyūshū will have a Nagasaki service in 2023. This does still leave Shikoku shinkansen-free, though, and the vast majority of Hokkaidō.

Because apparently 275mph isn’t fast enough, new Maglev trains with current top test speeds of 375mph are going to be in use in the not-so-distant future. The name comes from “magnetic levitation”, and yes, they are real life hover trains. They will be wheeled out (pun intended) on a new line between Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027, continuing to Ōsaka by 2045.

A final note for anyone slightly concerned at the thought of travelling so fast: since starting in 1964, the whole bullet train network has had a total of zero fatalities due to crashes or derailments. Yes, you read that right – zero.

Rebecca flew between London and Tokyo with Finnair . If you want to do some research before you go, try checking your nearest JNTO office, and explore more of Japan with The Rough Guide to Japan . Compare flights , book hostels and hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go.

Top image © Natee Meepian/Shutterstock

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Mt Fuji, Hakone & Lake Ashi Cruise with Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo

Mt Fuji, Hakone & Lake Ashi Cruise with Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo

Join a full-day guided tour from Tokyo that travels to Mt Fuji, then continues to nearby Lake Ashi and the Mt Komagatake Ropeway. Enjoy the ease of comfortable transportation and a knowledgeable guide, who will accompany you to the revered Mt Fuji’s 5th Station. Take a short boat cruise on Lake Ashi and climb by aerial tram to the top of Mt Komagatake for views of Mt Fuji. Return to Tokyo by bullet train in the evening after taking in some of Japan’s iconic highlights.

  • Explore Mt Fuji, Lake Ashi, Mt Komagatake and Hakone National Park and return by bullet train to Tokyo
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mt Fuji Cruise the waters of beautiful Lake Ashi in a boat
  • Ride the Mt Komagatake Ropeway for sweeping views of Hakone National Park See the bright red shrine and panoramic views on a stroll at the top of Mt Komagatake
  • Learn from your knowledgeable guide about the history and significance of the sights you visit
  • Travel in comfort by coach and bullet train (Shinkansen) on Tokyo’s most popular day tour

This tour has been booked more than 5,818 times by Tokyo Cheapo readers.

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Shinkansen Bullet Trains in Japan

  • Published on : 28/10/2023
  • by : Japan Experience
  • Add to favorites

Shinkansen

©Ramon Kagie, unsplash

The best way to discover Japan

The best way to travel around Japan is on a high speed Bullet Train. Order your Japan Rail Pass today online!

With a 20,000-kilometer network of lines and high-performance, punctual trains, Japan is a train lover's paradise.

If you want to optimize your time in Japan and travel quickly between the Japanese cities, opt for the high-speed Shinkansen 'bullet trains'. 

These Shinkansen bullet trains are a big hit with tourists in Japan as they are easy to access, convenient for long-distance travel, and adorned with well-thought-out amenities for riders to use. Inside the carriages, there is a digital information system in Japanese, English, and other languages that shows upcoming stops as well as the estimated arrival time.

The  JR Pass allows visitors to Japan easy access to the Shinkansen Bullet Trains with just a quick check of the pass at the ticket gate, otherwise, the bullet train has tickets available for purchase as well! The Shinkansen have reserved seat carriages (指定席) and unreserved seat carriages (自由席). As a Japan Rail Pass holder you can make seat reservations  free of charge before your journey, but it is not mandatory. Seat reservations are advised in  periods of high demand, such as the cherry blossom season (late March–early April), Golden Week (late April–early May), Obon (mid-August), and the New Year.

Green Pass and Gran Class

The ' Green Pass ' gives you access to the "Green Car", more luxurious seat option, without any additional fees. The "Green car" provides a large seat that can recline further than the ones in ordinary cars, a footrest, more space between the seats, an integrated radio set and space for your luggage. In recent years, newer models of trains have introduced a new class for the ultimate bullet train travel experience: the Gran Class. This new first-class train travel whose name was inspired by the French word for "big", was first instituted in 2011 on the Tohoku Shinkansen.

Shinkansen History

Japan was  the  first country to create a high-speed rail network. It was in 1964, on the occasion of the Tokyo Olympics, that the first Shinkansen line was inaugurated. This stretch of approximately 500km was constructed between the capital,  Tokyo  and  Shin-Osaka  following the ancient Tokaido route.The service was an  immediate success , reaching the 100 million passenger mark in less than three years.

The Shinkansen bullet trains serve  all major cities on the main island of Honshu and also on Kyushu. There are no Shinkansen in Shikoku and none in the Okinawan Islands. The fastest trains on these islands are the limited express trains.

Shinkansen

Future Shinkansen Extensions

  • Hokuriku Shinkansen:  The extension of this Shinkansen line connecting Tokyo to Kanazawa opened in March 2015, it will then be further extended to Tsuruga in 2025.
  • Hokkaido Shinkansen:  This extension has been in operation since March 2016 and goes out to Shin Hakodate. Second stage from Shin Hakodate  to Sapporo will be fully operational in 2035.
  • Kyushu Shinkansen: This extension, allowing high-speed Shinkansen travel to Nagasaki, is planned to open in 2023.
  • Chuo Shinkansen:   This new line  will mostly run underground using Maglev technology allowing speeds of up to 500km/h. The first section between Tokyo and Nagoya is scheduled for completion in 2027.

Main Shinkansen Lines

  • The shinkansen network
  • The Kyushu shinkansen
  • The Hokkaido shinkansen
  • The Hikari/Nozomi/Kodama shinkansen
  • The Hokuriku shinkansen
  • The Toreiyu Tsubasa

Latest Articles

The Sanyo Shinkansen Line 

Sanyo Shinkansen: Your guide to Japan's western bullet train line

The Sanyo Shinkansen is a high-speed bullet train line connecting major cities in western Japan. It runs from Shin-Osaka to Hakata (Fukuoka), passing through Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, and Hiroshima.

The Shinkansen network

The Shinkansen Bullet Train Network

The first Shinkansen was issued for public use in 1964, right before the Summer Olympics held in Tokyo that same year.

Tokaido Shinkansen

Tokaido Shinkansen - The Bullet Train Connecting Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka

The bullet train going from Tokyo to Osaka has three different lines. What's the difference? Read more to find out.

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Mount Fuji and Hakone Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo

Shinkansen Passing Mount Fuji

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  • Important Details

Our Mount Fuji & Hakone Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo is an unforgettable way to experience two of Japan’s iconic destinations. Begin your adventure by ascending the Subaru Line to Mount Fuji’s 5th Station. At 2,300 meters high, take in breathtaking sights overlooking forests and lakes. Reach Hakone and journey to Owakudani – ancient volcanic grounds with a rich history. Take in magnificent views of Lake Ashi from your boat cruise, gliding across the beautiful open waters. Head back to Tokyo by bullet train for a smooth and hassle-free return.

Nature lovers will enjoy our Mount Fuji & Hakone Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo , a jam-packed day of adventures. Experience Japan’s natural wonders – from Mount Fuji to Lake Ashi – without breaking a sweat. Book your Mount Fuji & Hakone tour today!

Mount Fuji and Hakone Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo Highlights

  • Ride the Subaru Line to 5th Station and take in stunning Mount Fuji views
  • Take unbelievable photos of Owakudani’s volcanic valleys and hot springs
  • Be led by an experienced guide to get the most out of your day trip
  • Enjoy the beauty of Lake Ashi as you glide across it on a boat cruise

Mount Fuji and Hakone Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo Itinerary

If you have any questions about our Mount Fuji and Hakone Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo, please contact us. Our team is standing by and will be happy to help

Available dates are shown in green along with the starting price for that date based on recent searches. Click on a date to move to the next step.

Customize Mount Fuji and Hakone Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo and create a private experience for yourself, your family or a group of any size.

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Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo

  • Mt Fuji , Rental Bikes , Tokyo , Tour Reviews

Set out on a breathtaking journey through Japan’s iconic landscapes with the Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo. This full-day guided tour offers a unique opportunity to explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mt Fuji, as well as the picturesque Lake Ashi and Mt Komagatake.

Sit back and relax as you are transported from Tokyo to these stunning natural wonders, accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. Don’t miss the chance to experience the beauty and cultural significance of Japan’s most iconic landmarks on this unforgettable day trip.

Great News! You can reserve your spot for free with Viator. You can easliy cancel any time up to 1 day before without paying anything.

Quick Takeaways

Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo - Quick Takeaways

  • The tour includes visits to Mt Fuji, Lake Ashi, and Mt Komagatake, which are iconic highlights of Japan.
  • The tour provides convenient transportation throughout the day, with rides on a bus and bullet train included.
  • A knowledgeable guide is present throughout the tour to provide information about the history and significance of the sights visited.
  • The tour offers the opportunity to learn about the sights and enjoy comfortable transportation, making it a popular choice for travelers.

Not for you? Here's a few more great tours and experiences nearby.

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The Beauty of Mt Fuji

Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo - The Beauty of Mt Fuji

The knowledgeable guide on the full-day guided tour from Tokyo highlights the beauty of Mt Fuji, allowing travelers to appreciate its majestic presence.

As part of the tour, visitors have the opportunity to explore the various hiking trails and discover the breathtaking views that Mt Fuji has to offer. These trails cater to different skill levels, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the experience.

Plus, the guide will point out the best photography spots, ensuring that travelers can capture the awe-inspiring beauty of Mt Fuji in all its glory. Whether it’s the iconic view from the 5th Station or the panoramic vistas from higher altitudes, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to snap unforgettable photos.

The guide will share interesting facts and stories about Mt Fuji, enhancing the overall experience and leaving travelers with a deep appreciation for this magnificent natural wonder.

Exploring Hakone: Lake Ashi Cruise

Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo - Exploring Hakone: Lake Ashi Cruise

An exciting part of the guided tour is exploring Hakone through a Lake Ashi cruise, where travelers can enjoy the stunning scenery and serene atmosphere. Hakone is a popular destination for sightseeing, known for its natural beauty and hot springs.

Lake Ashi, also known as Ashinoko, is a picturesque crater lake formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. The lake offers breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding mountains. During the cruise, visitors can take in the panoramic vistas while feeling the gentle breeze on their faces.

The cruise also provides an opportunity to see some of the famous attractions of Lake Ashi, such as the iconic red Torii gate of Hakone Shrine and the pirate ship-inspired sightseeing boats. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to enjoy the tranquility of nature and experience the charm of Hakone.

The Thrill of the Bullet Train

Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo - The Thrill of the Bullet Train

Travelers can feel the exhilarating speed of Japan’s bullet train as they race through the countryside. The bullet train, also known as the Shinkansen, is renowned for its efficiency and punctuality, making it a popular choice for transportation in Japan.

With speeds reaching up to 320 kilometers per hour, passengers can experience a smooth and efficient journey to their destinations. The bullet train offers various transportation options, including both reserved and non-reserved seating, as well as different classes to suit different budgets.

Travelers can enjoy spacious and comfortable seating, onboard amenities, and stunning views of the Japanese landscape as they whiz by. The bullet train experience isn’t only a convenient way to travel but also a thrilling adventure that adds to the overall excitement of exploring Japan.

A Day Trip From Tokyo: Mt Fuji and Hakone

Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo - A Day Trip From Tokyo: Mt Fuji and Hakone

Visitors can explore the breathtaking beauty of Mt Fuji and Hakone on a day trip from Tokyo. This excursion offers a chance to witness the majestic splendor of Mt Fuji, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and take in the natural wonders of Hakone.

The tour includes a visit to Lake Ashi, where travelers can take a short boat cruise and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Plus, the Mt Komagatake Ropeway provides an opportunity to witness stunning vistas from the top. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are hiking trails that offer a closer look at the region’s scenic landscapes.

As for food lovers, the trip also offers a taste of local cuisine, allowing visitors to savor the flavors of the region.

With its captivating sights and culinary delights, this day trip is a perfect way to experience the best of Mt Fuji and Hakone.

Captivating Views: Mt Komagatake Ropeway

Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo - Captivating Views: Mt Komagatake Ropeway

The Mt Komagatake Ropeway offers visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, captivating their senses with its beauty. This ropeway experience takes passengers on a scenic journey up the mountainside, providing stunning panoramic views of Lake Ashi and the iconic Mt Fuji.

As the cable car ascends, travelers are treated to a bird’s-eye view of the lush forests, shimmering waters, and majestic peaks that make up the Hakone region. The captivating views from the ropeway offer a unique perspective of the natural beauty that Japan has to offer.

Whether it’s the vibrant colors of the changing seasons or the misty atmosphere that envelops the mountains, the Mt Komagatake Ropeway ensures an unforgettable experience for all who embark on this adventure.

Don’t miss the chance to witness the captivating views from this remarkable vantage point.

Travel Tips for a Mt Fuji Adventure

Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo - Travel Tips for a Mt Fuji Adventure

He recommends packing sunscreen for a Mt Fuji adventure to protect the skin from the strong sun at high altitudes.

Mt Fuji, located in Japan, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. It offers a range of hiking trails that cater to different skill levels, allowing visitors to experience the majestic beauty of the mountain up close.

Plus, the area surrounding Mt Fuji is known as the Fuji Five Lakes region, which boasts stunning attractions such as Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, and Lake Saiko. These lakes provide breathtaking views of the mountain and offer various recreational activities like boating and fishing.

Travelers can also explore the charming villages and hot springs in the area.

Whether it’s hiking the trails or exploring the Fuji Five Lakes attractions, a Mt Fuji adventure promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of nature.

Making Memories: Tokyo to Mt Fuji Day Trip Itinerary

Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo - Making Memories: Tokyo to Mt Fuji Day Trip Itinerary

Travelers can create unforgettable memories on a Tokyo to Mt Fuji day trip itinerary, experiencing the beauty of the mountain and the charm of the surrounding villages.

One of the highlights of the trip is the opportunity for Mt Fuji hiking, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with this iconic volcano.

The tour also includes a visit to the Fuji Five Lakes, where travelers can explore the picturesque lakeside villages and enjoy stunning views of Mt Fuji reflected in the calm waters.

Plus, the itinerary includes a boat cruise on Lake Ashi and a ride on the Mt Komagatake Ropeway, providing panoramic views of the surrounding area.

With comfortable transportation throughout the day and a knowledgeable guide to share insights about the sights visited, this day trip offers an ideal way to experience the natural beauty and cultural significance of Mt Fuji and its surroundings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo - Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Maximum Number of Participants Allowed on the Tour?

The maximum number of participants allowed on the tour is not specified. However, the transportation provided may vary depending on the number of participants, ensuring comfortable transportation throughout the day.

Is There a Minimum Age Requirement for the Tour?

Yes, there is a minimum age requirement for the tour. Please note that due to tour restrictions, infants must sit on laps and a moderate physical fitness level is recommended for participants.

Are There Any Restrictions on What Can Be Brought on the Tour?

There are certain tour restrictions regarding prohibited items that travelers should be aware of. It is important to check the guidelines provided by the tour operator to ensure compliance and a smooth experience.

Can I Bring My Own Lunch Instead of Selecting the ‘With Lunch’ Option?

Yes, travelers have the option to bring their own lunch instead of selecting the ‘With Lunch’ option. This allows flexibility for dietary restrictions and preferences.

Is There a Restroom on the Bus and Bullet Train?

Yes, restrooms are available on both the bus and bullet train, ensuring comfort during travel. Passengers can use the facilities as needed throughout the day trip from Tokyo.

To sum it up, the Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo offers travelers an unforgettable opportunity to explore the stunning landscapes of Japan.

From the majestic Mt Fuji to the picturesque Lake Ashi and the thrilling bullet train ride, this guided tour provides a convenient and immersive experience.

With a knowledgeable guide and breathtaking views, this day trip promises to create lasting memories for all who embark on this adventure.

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Bullet Train (Shinkansen) and Mt. Fuji Famous Food Tour

Cherry blossoms and a traditional Japanese building with Mt Fuji in the background

Day Trip from Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto Via Bullet Train and then Travel through the streets of this stunning town at the base of Mt. Fuji.

Our Mt. Fuji Food tour takes place in the lovely town of Fujinomiya, just at the base of the most famous mountain in Japan. With deep clear mountain spring water- Fujinomiya is a great place for delicious food, sake, soba noodles, and green tea. Get off the beaten track of the Tokyo-Kyoto corridor and discover true local furusato (home town) spirit. Fujinomiya is an easy day trip from Tokyo (or an overnight visit that will give you more time to explore!)

Our guide will journey with you by Bullet Train and Local trains from Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto. This will be a 6-7 hour tour. We can also arrange travel by private van upon request. Prices will vary.

Upon arriving in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka — The brand new Mt Fuji World Heritage Cultural Center is our starting point to explore this special place. Hop on the super-fast Shinkansen (bullet train) enjoy a classic train bento and snacks, and discover this hidden gem! This tour features 5 specialty food stops and a traditional local lunch!

Tour Highlights:

  • Bento Lunch and snacks on the train.
  • 3-hour tour of Fujinomiya in Shizuoka Prefecture with a local guide.
  • Visit 6 local shops and restaurants to try the regional specialties.
  • Lunch in an 80-year-old restaurant using local ingredients.
  • Try Local Wagashi” traditional sweets from a confectionery master.
  • Visit a famous local shrine and see the new Mt. Fuji Cultural center.

• Travel arrangements and guided bullet train trip from Tokyo, Kyoto, Or Osaka custom for your travel plans • Try local dishes at 6 food stops • Walking Level Intermediate • Local Shops and Sightseeing • Return travel to your starting city

• Hotel pick up not included (can be arranged for an additional charge)  • Gratuity          • Transportation costs  • Additional drinks or food (not included but possible to purchase at guest expense)

Days offered: Thursday to Sunday Minimum number of participants: 2 Maximum number of participants: 10

If you are interested in booking this tour, please use the following link:

Book this Tour on Arigato Japan

Disclaimer: While we have partnered with some of these tour operators to help create tours, not all have been checked in person and should just be considered a starting point. Accessible Japan does not handle the booking, transactions, or coordination of the tour itself. It is essential that you discuss your disability with the tour operator to ensure your needs are properly accommodated.

Some of these tours are affiliate links and Accessible Japan may receive a small fee for any sales generated from purchases made with these links. This helps Accessible Japan continue to provide information to travelers with disabilities.

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Farewell, 'Doctor Yellow': Japan's track-testing bullet train to retire

Trainspotters lament as beloved diagnostic vehicle begins final tour

TOKYO -- Central Japan Railway kicked off a farewell tour for the "Doctor Yellow" diagnostic shinkansen bullet train on Friday at Tokyo Station, where enthusiasts gathered to pay their respects to the perennial favorite.

Doctor Yellow made a 10-minute stop at the station around noon. The crowd gathered despite not much notice from the railway that the train would only be on the tracks for six more months.

Japan bullet trains to offer luxe private rooms

Japan's bullet train network just became bigger with new stops, japan rail operator gives up plan to launch maglev train in 2027, tokyo-osaka bullet train to end food cart sales in october, japan's bullet trains to start delivering cargo in 2024, latest on transportation, korean air names air incheon preferred bidder for asiana cargo arm, australia's qantas drops sapporo flight idea over labor shortages, ana taps marubeni for cheaper sustainable aviation fuel at narita airport, sponsored content, about sponsored content this content was commissioned by nikkei's global business bureau..

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More From Forbes

An underwater rail tunnel may link europe with africa by 2030.

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Hassan II mosque at sunset, Casablanca, Morocco

In just over five years, there’s a good chance that you will be able to board a high-speed train in Madrid and travel from Spain to the Moroccan city of Casablanca in five and a half hours, hurtling through a new tunnel under the Strait of Gibraltar. This may sound like something from a Jules Verne novel, but it was first discussed by Spain and Morocco in 1979. They even did feasibility studies through 1981, but the project failed to progress beyond that point.

Spain and Morocco are now reconsidering this ambitious undertaking, spurred in large part by the approaching 2030 FIFA World Cup. It will mark the centennial World Cup competition, and for the first time, three countries from two continents will host the competition: Spain, Morocco, and Portugal. Fans will want to travel between these countries for matches as quickly and efficiently as possible. They might as well do so on a 21st century engineering marvel.

The Moroccan National Company for Strait Studies (SNED) has announced that it has begun researching the project's viability, called the Euro Africa Gibraltar Straight Fixed Link. Spain commenced such studies in 2023 under the aegis of the Spanish Society for Fixed Communication Studies across the Strait of Gibraltar (SECEGSA).

Two high speed trains "Al Boraq" operated by the ONCF at Tanger-Ville Railway Station

Some of the impetus for rethinking this project came after Morocco completed its first high-speed rail project, a train that connects Casablanca with Tangier, in 2023. It’s now not only the fastest train on the African continent, but it demonstrated that the country was ready for another significant rail challenge.

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Gibraltar Rock and La Linea de la Conception, with Morocco in the background.

The Strait of Gibraltar, at its narrowest point, is just a nine-mile gap between the European and African continents. Now, imagine the convenience of a high-speed underwater rail tunnel connecting Spain and Morocco. It’s projected that this tunnel could reduce travel time from Madrid to Casablanca to just five and a half hours, a significant improvement from the current 12-hour journey by car and ferry or the two-hour flight, the latter much longer when you factor in travel time to and from airports.

Departing Madrid, there would be a stop in the Spanish city of Algeciras, at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, near the Strait of Gibraltar. The train would then head into a tunnel under the Strait of Gibraltar, running between Punta Paloma in Spain and Punta Malabata in Morocco. Its next stop would be the city of Tangier in Morocco before reaching its final destination, Casablanca. Between Algeciras and Tangier, the distance would be about 26 miles, with 17 miles of track in the undersea tunnel. At its lowest point, the tunnel would lie about 985 feet below sea level, with a maximum gradient of about 3%.

Madrid, Spain cityscape at Calle de Alcala and Gran Via.

This would be the first-ever rail link between the two continents, and the primacy of the World Cup aside, it would connect and open up existing rail routes in both countries and far beyond. SECEGSA suggests it could carry up to 12.8 million passengers between continents annually. The construction costs are unknown, but estimates are between $7 and $8 billion.

There is currently no deadline or project start date. Financing will presumably come from the host countries, Spain and Morocco, with additional support from sources such as the European Union. Yet, at a time when high-speed rail has become more popular than ever across Europe, it’s an inventive, imaginative, and exciting project that appears to have a decent chance of succeeding.

Everett Potter

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Euro 2024: Deutsche Bahn's onboard beer sales double

G ermany's national rail operator says 3 million people used its trains in the first few days of the soccer tournament. A boom in sales of onboard beer and snacks is also boosting the troubled firm's coffers.Deutsche Bahn doubled its beer sales in the first six days of Euro 2024, the country's national rail operator said on Sunday.

The European soccer championships are being held at stadiums in 10 cities across Germany, until July 14.

Bahn said in a statement that fans had necked 44,588 liters of beer -- twice the usual volume -- that were bought on board between June 14 and 19. That's in addition to alcohol carried on board from outside vendors.

Snack and beverage sales have also been boosted by the tournament, with a 63% increase in demand for Bratwurst sausage in rolls.

Creeking rail network copes with fan influx

One of the sponsors of Euro 2024, Deutsche Bahn said more than 3 million people used its high-speed ICE and intercity trains during the first six days of the tournament, including thousands of football fans.

The company said it had so far sold 182,000 fan tickets, around 60,000 Fan BahnCards (railcards) and around 7,000 Interrail passes, which include travel to and from other European countries.

Bahn has laid on an additional 10,000 seats per day around match days and is offering discounted fares for match ticket holders.

The cities that saw the most fans arriving were Germany's capital, Berlin, in 1st place, followed by Frankfurt and Munich.

Dozens of cities have also set up 'fan zone' viewing areas with giant TV screens, which have seen large crowds, many of whom traveled by train.

German rail network still beset by delays

Bahn admitted that despite running more and longer-length trains, the rail network continued to see disruptions on key routes during the first few days of the tournament.

Delayed train journeys have become a major bugbear for German commuters in recent years.

Once seen as a symbol of German efficiency and punctuality, the country's rail network has been increasingly beset by what observers say is chronic underinvestment and strikes by workers.

The operator plans an extensive overhaul of the railways by 2030, although major work will only commence once the Euros wrap up.

Swiss, Romanian teams pick train over plane

Several national teams are traveling to their group-phase matches by rail, Deutsche Bahn said, including Switzerland and Romania.

Germany's national team is traveling by bus to and from their games.

Germany beat off competition from Turkey to host the Euro 2024 tournament, which began on June 14.

The tournament is in the last few days of the group stage, with 24 teams currently vying for a place in the last 16.

The first Round of 16 match takes place next Saturday (June 29), with the final played in Berlin on July 14.

With material from DPA news agency

Edited by: Roshni Majumdar

Copyright 2024 DW.COM, Deutsche Welle. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Millions of soccer fans have converged on Germany for the Euro 2024 soccer tournament

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COMMENTS

  1. Bullet Train

    In addition to the speed, the shinkansen depart every 10 minutes. The Shinkansen, like the rest of Japan's infrastructure, runs on a punctual, reliable schedule. Enjoy riding a shinkansen as standard on all tours between Tokyo & Kyoto with Japan Deluxe Tours fully-guided vacation packages. The Shinkansen, or bullet train, made history in 1964 ...

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  5. The Shinkansen Tour (FLEX JAPAN)

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  6. The Shinkansen bullet train

    The Shinkansen bullet train . Travelling in comfort at speeds of up to 320 km/h; train travel doesn't get better than this! Since it first opened in 1964, the Shinkansen has become just as synonymous with Japan as Mount Fuji, sumo and sushi.

  7. Japan Rail Journeys

    Japan Rail Journeys. View All 61 Rail Journeys. Sit back and enjoy being whisked from neon-lit cityscapes to the tranquil shrine-dotted countryside of Japan by bullet train. Watch breathtaking landscapes zip by your window, from the mist shrouded peak of Mt. Fuji to forests dusted in seasonal hues and framed by traditional torii gates on one of ...

  8. Shinkansen Guide: Tickets, Seat Reservations & Tips

    For example: A single ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto costs approximately US$88.00 *. without a seat reservation (more about that below). Round-trip, that comes to US$176.01 *. Meanwhile, a 7-day Japan Rail Pass costs US$330.35 *. You'll need to make a least one more long-distance trip before you start to see savings.

  9. Mt. Fuji, Lake Ashi and Bullet Train Day Tour from Tokyo 2024

    Return to Tokyo by bullet train in the evening after taking in some of Japan's iconic highlights. Explore Mt Fuji, Lake Ashi, Mt Komagatake and Hakone National Park and return by bullet train to Tokyo. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mt Fuji. Cruise the waters of beautiful Lake Ashi in a boat. Ride the Mt Komagatake Ropeway for ...

  10. Riding the Shinkansen

    Shinkansen - also known as the bullet train - are operated by Japan Railways (JR). Valued for its speed, accuracy on time, comfort, safety and efficiency, the shinkansen can run at speeds of up to 320 km/h, carrying thousands of people across Japan daily. This article will guide you through what you need to know about the shinkansen.

  11. Shinkansen (Japanese Bullet Train)

    Japan's main islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido are served by a network of high speed train lines that connect Tokyo with most of the country's major cities.Japan's high speed trains (bullet trains) are called shinkansen (新幹線) and are operated by Japan Railways (JR).. Running at speeds of up to 320 km/h, the shinkansen is known for punctuality (most trains depart on time to the ...

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    About. Navigating Japan's public transport system can often be a daunting task. Let a guide do the work for you on this tour of Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi by coach and bullet train, which saves you hours in travel time. Ascend to the Mt. Fuji's 5th Station; ride on the Komagatake Ropeway, one of Japan's highest aerial tramways; and take a ...

  21. Mt Fuji, Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise Bullet Train Day Trip From Tokyo

    The tour includes visits to Mt Fuji, Lake Ashi, and Mt Komagatake, which are iconic highlights of Japan. The tour provides convenient transportation throughout the day, with rides on a bus and bullet train included. A knowledgeable guide is present throughout the tour to provide information about the history and significance of the sights visited.

  22. Mt Fuji, Kyoto and Nara 3-Day Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo 2024

    3-day tour to Mt Fuji, Kyoto, and Nara with guide, from Tokyo. Visit UNESCO World Heritage-listed highlights such as Kinkakuji Temple, Todai-ji Temple, and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Travel by bullet train (Shinkasen) to Kyoto with optional return to Tokyo. Enjoy the ease of included tours with expert guide, transportation, lunch, and accommodations.

  23. Bullet Train (Shinkansen) and Mt. Fuji Famous Food Tour

    Visit a famous local shrine and see the new Mt. Fuji Cultural center. Departure Point: Guide will travel with the guests, coordinate in advance. Start Time (s): 9:30. Duration: 7 hours. Return Details: Return travel to starting city. Included: • Travel arrangements and guided bullet train trip from Tokyo, Kyoto, Or Osaka custom for your ...

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    TOKYO -- Central Japan Railway kicked off a farewell tour for the "Doctor Yellow" diagnostic shinkansen bullet train on Friday at Tokyo Station, where enthusiasts gathered to pay their respects to ...

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  28. An Underwater Rail Tunnel May Link Europe With Africa By 2030

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  29. Euro 2024: Deutsche Bahn's onboard beer sales double

    The company said it had so far sold 182,000 fan tickets, around 60,000 Fan BahnCards (railcards) and around 7,000 Interrail passes, which include travel to and from other European countries.