Shinkansen, also known as a bullet train, is the most convenient kind of transportation while traveling in Japan
. With Shinkansen travelers have access to any part of Japan, including the Honshu Island, Hokkaido, and Kyushu. The first Shinkansen was built 55 years ago in 1964. Shinkansen has been improving throughout the years and today it has become tourists' favorite traveling tool.
The first Shinkansen in the country, Tokaido Shinkansen connects Tokyo and Osaka (Shin-Osaka station). This line also allows passengers to stop by popular cities such as Yokohama
, Nagoya, and Kyoto. With a total distance of 552.6 km, this route can be completed in about 2.5 hours by the train traveling up to 285 km/hour. The second Shinkansen, Sanyo Shinkansen, was opened to the public in 1975. Sanyo Shinkansen runs from Osaka(Shin-Osaka Station) to Fukuoka (Hakata Station). Totaling 644 km, this route is traveled by train at a maximum speed of 300 km/hour per hour. Completed in 2004 and 2011 respectively, the southern and northern segments of Kyushu Shinkansen connect Fukuoka (Hakata Station) to Kagoshima (Kagoshima-Chuo Station).
Tohoku Shinkansen was initiated in 1982 and completed in 2010 at Aomori. The total distance from Tokyo to Aomori (Shin-Aomori Station) amounts to 713.7 km, and the max speed of the train is 320 km/hour. As subdivisions of Tohoku Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen and Yamagata Shinkansen were modified from regular railroad to 1435 mm Shikansen rail. Akita Shinkansen runs from Morioka to Akita, while Yamagata Shinkansen travels from Fukushima to Yamagata and lastly to Shinjo. Because of their distance, these two Shinkansens are also known as the mini shinkansens. Joetsu Shinkansen joins Tokyo and Niigata and was put into service starting 1982. Travelers often use Joetsu Shinkansen to travel to Gunma and Niigata for hot springs and skiing. Hokuriku Shinkansen runs from Kanazawa to Tokyo. The segment from Tokyo to Nagano was first added in 1997 due to demand during the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. The entire route to Kanazawa was not completed until 2015. Hokkaido Shinkansen commutes between Aomori (Shin-Aomori Station) to Hakodate (Shin-Hakodate Hokuto Station). The total distance is 148.8 km, and the highest speed of the train can reach 260 km/hour. This Shinkansen route is still in the works, and the entire route is projected to be completed in 2030.
When booking Shinkansen, passengers can choose from Ordinary, Green Car, and sometime Gran Class Car. Like airlines having different cabins, Shinkansens offer different types of seats that travelers can pay extra to get a more spacious seat. Also, passengers can choose to reserve their seat in advance with an additional fee. If you are interested in purchasing a Shinkansen (bullet train) ticket, please contact our representative for assistance.