Japan Travel Guide - Let's go to Japan!
HOME > Transportation - Shinkansen


About Shinkansen

Map of Shinkansen networkShinkansen is the high-speed railroad of Japan.
It is very available for the travel in Japan. It is very fast, punctual and safe.

After the defeat of World War II, the engineers of National Railway planned the high-speed railway.
Railroad had already been on a decline, but they advanced development to realize their dream.
At last just before the Tokyo Olympic Game in 1964, Shinkansen opened on October 1st.

The realize of 200 km per hour during commercial service by rail surprised the world.
At that time, the route was from Tokyo to Osaka.
Today, 9 routes are in service.
Now JR owes this.

Also, it is proud that Shinkansen have never had a fatal accident for 50 years since opening.

JR Central : Company of Tokaido Shinkansen
JR West : Company of Sanyo Shinkansen
JR East : Company of all Shinkansen in eastern Japan
JR Kyushu : Company of Kyushu Shinkansen
JR Hokkaido : Company of Hokkaido Shinkansen
The Man in Seat Sixty-One... : The great website of railways in the world by an Englishman.
Of course, our Shinkansen is introduced in this website.

Network of Shinkansen

Basically, a westbound line and a northbound line from Tokyo are the all.

The westbound line passes through Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, Hiroshima, Hakata and leads to Kagoshima-chuo.

The names of line are given partly.
Tokaido Shinkansen : Tokyo to Shin-Osaka
San'yo Shinkansen : Shin-Osaka to Hakata
Kyushu Shinkansen : Hakata to Kagoshima-chuo

When we get on the train, we need not to distinguish them.

The northbound line is "Tohoku Shinkansen".
It passes through Fukushima, Sendai, and leads to Shin-Aomori.

From Shin-Aomori, "Hokkaido Shinkansen" is connected.
It passes through an undersea tunnel called Seikan tunnel, and reaches Hokkaido Island.

Some lines branches from this line.
Joetsu Shinkansen : Omiya to Niigata
Hokuriku Shinkansen : Takasaki on Joetsu Shinkansen to Nagano, Kanazawa
Yamagata Shinkansen : Fukushima to Shinjo
Akita Shinkansen : Morioka to Akita

All trains to each branch line are operated from Tokyo.

"Shin" in some station names means "new".

Tokaido, San'yo, Kyushu Shinkansen

Three types of limited express run on this line from Tokyo to Hakata.

"Nozomi" is the most rapid train.
"Hikari" is the next rapid train.
"Kodama" stops at all stations.

The train basically has 16 cars and most cars are reserved.
"Nozomi" has 3 non-reserved cars, and "Hikari" has 5 ones.
Unfortunately, Shinkansen have no dining car.

Between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka, many trains run frequently like commuter trains.
5 Nozomi, 2 Hikari and 2 Kodama depart from Tokyo per hour !

On Kyushu Shinkansen, the other trains are operated.

"Mizuho" is the most rapid train, and it is operated between Shin-Osaka and Kagoshima-chuo.
"Sakura" is the next rapid train, and some trains run to Shin-Osaka.
"Tsubame" stops at all stations.

Name Station km Nozomi Hikari Kodama Mizuho Sakura Tsubame
Tokyo 0 0h00m 0h00m 0h00m      
Shinagawa 7 0h07m 0h07m 0h08m      
Shin-Yokohama 26 0h19m 0h19m 0h20m      
Odawara 77 || || 0h41m      
Atami 95 || || 0h50m      
Mishima 111 || 0h45m 1h03m      
Shin-Fuji 135 || || 1h17m      
Shizuoka 167 || 1h03m 1h28m      
Kakegawa 211 || || 1h46m      
Hamamatsu 239 || 1h35m 2h01m      
Toyohashi 274 || || 2h20m      
Mikawa-Anjo 313 || || 2h38m      
Nagoya 342 1h41m 2h07m 2h50m      
Gifu-Hashima 367 || || 3h05m      
Maibara 408 || || 3h19m      
Kyoto 476 2h18m 2h45m 3h42m      
Shin-Osaka 515 2h33m 3h00m 3h57m 0h00m 0h00m  
Shin-Kobe 548 2h49m 3h16m
0h13m 0h14m  
Nishi-Akashi 570 || 3h29m   || ||  
Himeji 601 || 3h40m   || 0h30m  
Aioi 621 || 3h57m   || ||  
Okayama 676 3h20m 4h14m 0h00m 0h45m 0h51m  
Shin-Kurashuki 702 ||
0h14m || ||  
Fukuyama 733 ||   0h31m || 1h09m  
Shin-Onomichi 751 ||   0h51m || ||  
Mihara 761 ||   1h02m || ||  
Higashi-Hiroshima 792 ||   1h19m || ||  
Hiroshima 821 3h55m   1h31m 1h22m 1h34m  
Shin-Iwakuni 865 ||   1h50m || ||  
Tokuyama 904 ||   2h09m || ||  
Shin-Yamaguchi 945 4h27m   2h24m || ||  
Asa 969 ||   2h45m || ||  
Shin-Shimonoseki 993 ||   3h01m || ||  
Kokura 1013 ||   3h11m 2h08m 2h22m  
Hakata 1069 5h04m   3h32m 2h25m 2h40m 0h00m
Shin-Tosu 1095
|| || 0h15m
Kurume 1101       || 2h59m 0h20m
Chikugo-Funagoya 1117       || || 0h27m
Shin-Oomuta 1129       || || 0h34m
Shin-Tamana 1145       || || 0h42m
Kumamoto 1167       3h00m 3h20m 0h51m
Shin-Yatsushiro 1199       || || 1h05m
Shin-Minamata 1242       || || 1h19m
Izumi 1258       || || 1h27m
Sendai 1291       || 3h57m 1h39m
Kagoshima-chuo 1326       3h46m 4h10m 1h52m

(Some trains may stop the other stations.)

Tokaido-San'yo Shinkansen
Inside of a car Mount Fuji from the train's window

Tohoku-Yamagata-Akita Shinkansen

These Shinkansens leads to Tohoku district.
The main line is "Tohoku Shinkansen".
"Yamagata Shinkansen" branches off at Fukushima, and "Akita Shinkansen" branches off at Morioka.
Some trains are connected with two trains of different destinations and they are devided on the way.
In Yamagata Shinkansen and Akita Shinkansen, trains run on improved conventional railway.

So when you get on the train, you should be careful not to take a wrong car.

The train names basically depend on the lines.

In Tohoku Shinkansen, the fastest train is "Yamabiko".
And the second fastest trains is "Hayate", and the third is "Yamabiko".
The short range train from Tokyo is "Nasuno".

The train which runs on Yamagata Shinkansen is "Tsubasa" and the train which runs on Akita Shinkansen is "Komachi".
Additionally, if the train is all double-decker cars, a prefix "MAX" is added on the train name. (for example "MAX Yamabiko")

Name Station km Hayabusa Hayate Yamabiko Nasuno Tsubasa Komachi
Tokyo 0 0h00m 0h00m 0h00m 0h00m 0h00m 0h00m
Ueno 4 0h06m 0h06m 0h06m 0h06m 0h06m 0h06m
Omiya 31 0h26m 0h26m 0h26m 0h26m 0h26m 0h26m
Oyama 80 || || || 0h43m || ||
Utsunomiya 109 || || 0h50m 0h57m 0h57m ||
Nasu-Shiobara 152 || || || 1h15m || ||
Shin-Shirakawa 178 || || || 1h30m || ||
Koriyama 214 || || 1h17m 1h43m || ||
Fukushima 255 || || 1h31m
1h40m ||
Shiroishi-Zao 286 || || ||   V ||
Sendai 325 1h32m 1h41m 1h53m   V 1h41m
Furukawa 364 || || 2h16m   V ||
Kurikoma-kogen 386 || || 2h25m   V ||
Ichinoseki 406 || || 2h34m   V ||
Mizusawa-Esashi 431 || || 2h44m   V ||
Kitakami 449 || || 2h53m   V ||
Shin-Hanamaki 463 || || 3h01m   V ||
Morioka 497 2h13m 2h27m 3h12m   V 2h26m
Iwate-Numakunai 528 || 2h45m
  V V
Ninohe 562 || 2h58m     V V
Hachinohe 593 2h45m 3h09m     V V
Shichinohe-Towada 629 || 3h22m     V V
Shin-Aomori 675 3h10m 3h37m     V V
Oku-Tsugaru-Imabetsu 713 3h26m       V V
Kikonai 788 4h04m       V V
Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto 824 4h17m       V V
Fukushima 255         1h42m V
Yonezawa 295         2h18m V
Takahata 305         2h27m V
Akayu 311         2h33m V
Kaminoyama-onsen 330         2h46m V
Yamagata 342         2h55m V
Tendo 355         3h09m V
Sakuranbo-Higashine 363         3h15m V
Murayama 368         3h19m V
Ooishida 382         3h28m V
404         3h43m V
Morioka 497           2h28m
Shizukuishi 513           2h42m
Tazawako 537           3h07m
Kakunodate 556           3h21m
Oomagari 573           3h33m
Akita 625           4h04m

(Some trains may stop the other stations.)

Train for Tohoku Shinkansen
Photo by Railstation.net
Train for Yamagata Shinkansen
Photo by Railstation.net

Joetsu-Hokuriku Shinkansen

"Joetsu Shinkansen" branches off at Omiya on Tohoku Shinkansen and "Hokuriku Shinkansen" branches off at Takasaki on Joetsu Shinkansen.
Like Tohoku Shinkansen, the train names depend on the lines.

In Joetsu Shinkansen, main train is "Toki".
And the short range train from Tokyo is "Tanigawa".
Toki has various types of stops on the train's route.

The trains which run on Hokuriku Shinkansen are "Kagayaki", "Hakutaka", "Asama" and "Tsurugi".
"Kagayaki" is the fastest train and "Hakuraka" is the train that stops at most stations on the route.
"Asama" is the local train between Tokyo and Nagano.
"Tsurugi" is the local train for very short range between Toyama and Kanazawa.

Name Station km Toki Tanigawa Kagayaki Hakutaka
Tokyo 0 0h00m 0h00m 0h00m 0h00m 0h00m  
Ueno 4 0h06m 0h06m 0h06m 0h06m 0h06m  
Omiya 31 0h26m 0h26m 0h26m 0h26m 0h26m  
Kumagaya 68 || 0h39m || || 0h41m  
Honjo-Waseda 89 || 0h49m || || 0h48m
Takasaki 109 || 0h59m || 0h52m 0h57m  
Jomo-kogen 150 || 1h16m V V V  
Echigo-Yuzawa 183 1h11m 1h28m V V V  
Urasa 212 1h23m   V V V  
Nagaoka 245 1h36m   V V V  
Tsubame-Sanjo 269 1h46m   V V V  
Niigata 301 1h59m   V V V  
Takasaki 109     || 0h53m 0h58m  
An'naka-Haruna 127     || || 1h07m  
Karuizawa 150     || 1h08m 1h21m  
Sakudaira 168     || 1h17m 1h30m  
Ueda 193     || 1h27m 1h40m  
Nagano 226     1h28m 1h41m 1h52m  
Iiyama 256     || 1h52m    
Joetsu-Myoko 286     || 2h07m    
Itoigawa 323     || 2h21m    
Kurobe-Unazuki-onsen 362     || 2h35m    
Toyama 396     2h15m 2h49m   0h00m
Shin-Takaoka 414     || 2h57m   0h09m
Kanazawa 454     2h34m 3h11m    0h23m

(Some trains may stop the other stations.)

Train for Joetsu Shinkansen
Photo by Railstation.net
Train for Nagano Shinkansen
Photo by Railstation.net

Copyright travel-around-japan.com. All Rights Reserved.
Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links