For peace of mind seat reservations are always recommended, especially when traveling in groups and preferring to sit together. You can easily buy Shinkansen train tickets from Voyagin and travel safely and rapidly to your destination in Japan! Other displays and/or signs mark the location of doors, indicating car numbers and whether the car is reserved, non-reserved or green. Tokyo – Aomori (675 km): The fastest Shinkansen service between these cities is 3 hours. Class 395 EMUs were built by Hitachi based on Shinkansen technology for use on high-speed commuter services in Britain on the High Speed 1 line. [18] As of 2014, the train's 50th anniversary, daily passenger traffic rose to 391,000 which, spread over its 18-hour schedule, represented an average of just under 22,000 passengers per hour. [78] In January 2009, the then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad rode a bullet train travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto.[79]. Snow-dispersing sprinkler systems have been installed, but delays of 10–20 minutes still occur during snowy weather. Free Wi-Fi is also available at many shinkansen train stations. The railway high-speed railway lines in Japan are called Shinkansen (新幹線) connecting the major cities on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu. Without discounts, a one-way ticket with reserved … A test facility for rolling stock, now part of the line, opened in Odawara in 1962. Hikari) and train number or departure time. [21], Since 1970, development has also been underway for the Chūō Shinkansen, a planned maglev line from Tokyo to Osaka. The Shinkansen takes about two and a half hours by. On the Akita line between Omagari and Akita, one of the two narrow gauge lines was regauged, and a section of the remaining narrow gauge line is dual gauge, providing the opportunity for Shinkansen services to pass each other without stopping. More substantial savings are provided by travel packages which have to be purchased in advance at travel agencies. The Shinkansen bullet train is Japan's pride, being the first high-speed train in the world. Other significant people responsible for its technical development were Tadanao Miki, Tadashi Matsudaira, and Hajime Kawanabe based at the Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI), part of JNR. Comparable to first class on airplanes, Gran Class offers seats that are even more spacious and comfortable than Green Car seats (in rows of 2+1 seats) and additional amenities and services. Although in some cases regional extension was frustrated by protracted land acquisition issues (sometimes influenced by the cancellation of the Narita Shinkansen following fierce protests by locals), over time Shinkansen lines were built to relatively sparsely populated areas with the intent the network would disperse the population away from the capital. Comparable to first class on airplanes, Gran Class offers seats that are even more spacious and comfortable than Green Car seats (in rows of 2+1 seats) and additional amenities and services. A driving car from one of the 0 series trains was donated by JR West to the National Railway Museum in York, United Kingdom in 2001.[20]. Construction of the Shinagawa to Nagoya section began in 2014, with 86% of the 286 km route to be in tunnels. However, the smaller diameter of Shinkansen tunnels, compared to some other high-speed lines, has resulted in the issue of tunnel boom becoming a concern for residents living close to tunnel portals. The line is expected to be operational by 2023. Seats can be reclined and have tables, pockets for magazines and open overhead shelves. With the completion of excavation of the 1351m Enogushi tunnel, being the sixth tunnel completed in this section, approximately 25% of the 40.7 km of tunnel excavation work on the Takeo Onsen – Nagasaki section has been finished. A combination of ballasted and slab track is used, with slab track exclusively employed on concrete bed sections such as viaducts and tunnels. 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. They were responsible for much of the technical development of the first line, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen. The trains are proposed to operate at over 320 km/h (200 mph). A fee of a few hundred yen applies for making seat reservations. ''new trunk line''), colloquially known in English as the bullet train, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan. [5] The network presently links most major cities on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu, and Hakodate on northern island of Hokkaido, with an extension to Sapporo under construction and scheduled to commence in March 2031. Government approval came in December 1958, and construction of the first segment of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka started in April 1959. The lines have been built without road crossings at grade. The China Railways CRH2, built by CSR Sifang Loco & Rolling stocks corporation, with the license purchased from a consortium formed of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and Hitachi, is based on the E2-1000 series design. On both the Yamagata/Shinjo and Akita lines, the narrow gauge lines were regauged, resulting in the local services being operated by standard gauge versions of 1,067 mm gauge suburban/interurban rolling stock. The term bullet train (弾丸列車, dangan ressha) originates from 1939, and was the initial name given to the Shinkansen project in its earliest planning stages. [7] Test runs have reached 443 km/h (275 mph) for conventional rail in 1996, and up to a world record 603 km/h (375 mph) for SCMaglev trains in April 2015.[8]. [25]) In Japan, significant engineering desirability exists for the electric multiple unit configuration. Consequently, the shinkansen is not affected by slower local or freight trains (except for Hokkaido Shinkansen while traveling through the Seikan Tunnel), and has the capacity to operate many high-speed trains punctually. While the plan may become more feasible after the opening the Chuo Shinkansen (sometimes referred to as a bypass to the Tokaido Shinkansen) frees up capacity, construction is already underway for other rail improvements between Haneda and Tokyo station expected to be completed prior to the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, so any potential Shinkansen service would likely offer only marginal benefit beyond that. Japanese Rail Pass. -Starting March 26, 2016, you’ll be able to take the bullet train from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto in Hokkaido in just over 4 hours. Parts of its planned right-of-way were used by the Narita Sky Access Line which opened in 2010. It enables automatic braking of Shinkansen trains in the event of large earthquakes. About the Linear Chuo Shinkansen Project (Maglev). Japan Rail Pass holders can make seat reservations for free. The Japan Rail (JR) network is extensive and the trains reach a top speed of 320 km/h (199mp/h). The Shinkansen , colloquially known in English as the bullet train, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan. The Hokuriku Shinkansen is being extended from Kanazawa to Tsuruga (proposed for completion by fiscal year 2022) at an estimated cost of 3.04 trillion yen (in 2012 currency).[45]. Alternatively, IC cards can be used on selected shinkansen lines. 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. Bilingual signs indicate whether a shinkansen car carries reserved or non-reserved seats. Over the Shinkansen's 50-plus year history, carrying over 10 billion passengers, there have been no passenger fatalities due to train accidents such as derailments or collisions,[3] despite frequent earthquakes and typhoons. Such expansion had a significant cost. In practice, the Tokaido, San'yō, and Kyushu lines form a contiguous west/southbound line from Tokyo, as train services run between the Tokaido and San'yō lines and between the San'yō and Kyushu lines, though the lines are operated by different companies. [23] Shinkansen bullet trains are the fastest and most convenient way of discovering Japan. [44] To achieve the full benefit of Shinkansen trains travelling on the dual gauge section at 260 km/h (160 mph), alternatives are being considered, such as a system to automatically slow Shinkansen trains to 200 km/h (125 mph) when passing narrow-gauge trains, and loading freight trains onto special "Train on Train" standard-gauge trains (akin to a covered piggyback flatcar train) built to withstand the shock wave of oncoming Shinkansen trains traveling at full speed. This would enable a travel time from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto of 3 hours and 45 minutes, a saving of 17 minutes on the current timetable. The route consists of approximately 477 km (296 mi) elevated viaduct through 11 districts of Gujarat and four districts of Maharashtra, a 21 km (13 mi) deep-sea tunnel starting from BKC in Mumbai, and approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) of at-grade alignment near the other terminus at Sabarmati, near Ahmedabad. [29], There have been two derailments of Shinkansen trains in passenger service. The few overnight trains that still run in Japan run on the older narrow gauge network that the Shinkansen parallels. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen often experiences heavy snow in the area around Maibara Station in winter, requiring trains to reduce speed and disrupting the timetable. * The sum of the ridership of individual lines does not equal the ridership of the system because a single rider may be counted multiple times when using multiple lines, to get proper ridership figures for a system, in the above case, is only counted once. Other railway manufacturers were traditionally reluctant or unable to use distributed traction configurations (Talgo, the German ICE 2 and the French (and subsequently South Korean) TGV (and KTX-I and KTX-II) use the locomotive (also known as power car) configuration with the AVE Class 102 and continues with it for the Talgo AVRIL because it is not possible to use powered bogies as part of Talgo's bogie design, which uses a modified Jacobs bogie with a single axle instead of two and allows the wheels to rotate independently of each other, on the ICE 2, TGV and KTX it is because it easily allows for a high ride quality and less electrical equipment. [88][89], Vietnam Railways was considering the use of Shinkansen technology for high-speed rail between the capital Hanoi and the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, citing an interview with Chief Executive Officer Nguyen Huu Bang. 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. It attracts travellers with its high levels of safety, speeds over 200 km per hour, and frequent departures - every 3-5 minutes. Other potential joint ventures are being explored under the patronage of NHSRC. Japan's high speed trains (bullet trains) are called shinkansen (新幹線) and are operated by Japan Railways (JR). Copyright © 1996-2020 japan-guide.com All Rights Reserved. It is operated by five Japan Railways Group companies. Nagano. [1][2] It is operated by five Japan Railways Group companies. Stations are similarly long to accommodate these trains. Outside the toilets are wash corners with sinks and large mirrors. In order to purchase a ticket, the following information is needed: For a seat reservation, the following additional information is required: 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. [57] JR Central has confirmed it will construct the line through Kanagawa Prefecture, and terminate at Shinagawa Station. All shinkansen lines (except the Akita and Yamagata Shinkansen) run on tracks that are exclusively built for and used by shinkansen trains. Shinkansen uses a 25 kV AC overhead power supply (20 kV AC on Mini-shinkansen lines), to overcome the limitations of the 1,500 V direct current used on the existing electrified narrow-gauge system. Track maintenance vehicles stabled along sidings outside Kyoto station. The tour includes an English speaking guide and a round-trip train ticket for the Shinkansen bullet train. [73], In December 2015, India and Japan signed an agreement for the construction of India's first high speed rail link connecting Mumbai to Ahmedabad. By 2018, it was proposed to allow one Shinkansen service each day to travel at 260 km/h (160 mph) (the maximum speed proposed for the tunnel) by ensuring no freight trains are scheduled to travel on the dual gauge section at that time. A new rule for oversized luggage came into effect on May 20, 2020 along the Tokaido/Sanyo/Kyushu Shinkansen (see map below). If the project is realized, it would mark the fifth time Shinkansen technology has been exported.[81]. Follow the bilingual signs to the shinkansen platforms. E5 series trains, capable of up to 320 km/h (200 mph) (initially limited to 300 km/h), were introduced on the Tōhoku Shinkansen in March 2011. Improvement and reduction of the pantograph, weight saving of cars, and construction of noise barriers and other measures have been implemented. Home Things to do in Japan. We’re taking the Shinkansen Bullet Train from Tokyo to Kyoto in standard cars. JR Central called the plan "unrealistic" due to tight train schedules on the existing line, but reports said that Maehara wished to continue discussions on the idea. The popular English name bullet train is a literal translation of the Japanese term dangan ressha (弾丸列車), a nickname given to the project while it was initially discussed in the 1930s. Japan Railway & Transport Review, 15, 38–45, 1998, Mumbai–Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, "What 50 Years of Bullet Trains Have Done for Japan", "How the Shinkansen bullet train made Tokyo into the monster it is today", "JR-East: Fact Sheet Service Areas and Business Contents", "Hokkaido Shinkansen prepares for launch", "Tohoku Shinkansen Speed Increase: Phased speed increase after the extension to Shin-Aomori Station", "Japan's maglev train breaks world speed record with 600 km/h test run", Central Japan Railway Company Annual Report 2017, "Features and Economic and Social Effects of The Shinkansen", "Half century on the shinkansen - The Japan Times", "Development of Slab Tracks for Hokuriku Shinkansen Line", http://www.ejrcf.or.jp/jrtr/jrtr17/pdf/f40_technology.pdf, "Central Japan Railway Company Annual Report 2016", "Railway to pay for 1995 fatality; Shinkansen victim's parents win 49 million yen in damages", "Shinkansen (Japanese Bullet Trains) and Maglev Magnetic Trains", "Japan bullet train passenger starts fire injuring eight", "High-speed bullet train derails in Japan: Media", "Crack found in Shinkansen trainset bogie", "Sensible Politics and Transport Theories? Class 802 Bi-Mode trains were built by Hitachi for Great Western Railway, TransPennine Express and Hull Trains. "Shinkansen share(%)" refers to percent of Shinkansen ridership (including fully assembled exported trainsets) as a percent of "World" total. Tokyo Central Railway Station: Bullet Train - See 4,228 traveler reviews, 2,957 candid photos, and great deals for Marunouchi, Japan, at Tripadvisor. [48][49], To extend the benefits of the Hokuriku Shinkansen to stations west of Tsuruga before the line to Osaka is completed, JR West was working in partnership with Talgo on the development of a Gauge Change Train (CGT) capable of operating under both the 25 kV AC electrification used on the Shinkansen and the 1.5 kV DC system employed on conventional lines. Japan was the first country to build dedicated railway lines for high-speed travel. BHEL of India and Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan have entered into a technology collaboration agreement to build and assemble the rolling stock (of E5 series) in India. Japan's high-speed line between Tokyo and Osaka was inaugurated in 1964; the famous Shinkansen 'bullet train' (named for its shape) could reach a speed of 210 kmph. The cost of a round-trip from Tokyo to Kyoto costs 26,160 yen by Shinkansen train. [43] The new section takes 61 minutes from Shin-Aomori to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto on the fastest services.[43]. Travel packages for the Tokaido Shinkansen can be purchased at JR Tokai Tours travel agencies. Note that these systems (except the one for the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen) do not issue e-tickets. Smoking is not allowed on most shinkansen trains. Power is distributed along the train's axles to reduce the heavy axle loads under single power cars. Instead, actual tickets need to be picked up from ticket machines before boarding the train. The coaches are air-sealed to ensure stable air pressure when entering tunnels at high speed. Its noise is now limited to less than 70 dB in residential areas. Pass holders will receive a seat reservation ticket that indicates the reserved seat. Selected ticket machines can be used to buy shinkansen tickets. As part of the Ireland 2040 infrastructural upgrade scheme, a high-speed rail network using Shinkansen technology is being investigated along the Cork-Dublin-Belfast axis, spanning the island of Ireland from north to south. Therefore, you don’t have to do much traveling to make big savings with the JR Pass. Tokyo – Fukuoka (1,069 km): The Shinkansen takes about five hours on the fastest, Osaka – Fukuoka (554 km): One of the most competitive sections. A subsequent extension to Osaka is planned to be completed by 2037. GCTs were proposed to provide the Shinkansen service from the line's scheduled opening in fiscal 2022, however with the GCT now being cancelled, JR Kyushu has announced it will provide an interim 'relay' service.[52]. Displays of upcoming departures will indicate from which platform your train will depart, while signs clearly indicate the way to each platform. [6] There are approximately 50 freight trains using the dual gauge section each day, so limiting the travel of such trains to times outside of Shinkansen services is not an option. The name Shinkansen (新幹線) means "new trunk line" in Japanese. [85], Japan has promoted its Shinkansen technology to the Government of Brazil for use on the planned high-speed rail set to link Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Campinas. A video has been viewed thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim it shows a Japanese bullet train travelling from Osaka to Tokyo in ten minutes. Because of the mountainous terrain, the existing network consisted of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow-gauge lines, which generally took indirect routes and could not be adapted to higher speeds. Train name (e.g. There are further plans to extend the line from Tsuruga to Osaka, with the 'Obama-Kyoto' route chosen by the government on 20 December 2016,[46] after a government committee investigated the five nominated routes. This is the name for the concept of using a single train that is specially designed to travel on both 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge railway lines and the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge used by Shinkansen train services in Japan. Tōhoku, Hokkaido, Yamagata and Akita Shinkansen, Miura, S., Takai, H., Uchida, M., and Fukada, Y. 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. Under its management, a High Speed Rail Training Institute is being developed with Japanese assistance in Vadodara, Gujarat. On particularly busy travel days (e.g. In December 2013 a Japanese consortium was appointed to undertake a feasibility study of a ~500 km high-speed line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad by July 2015. What is your preferred length for a travel report video on YouTube? [80] A total of 7 high-speed lines are in planning stages in India, and Japanese firms have now succeeded in winning contracts to prepare feasibility studies for three of the lines. Online reservations for the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinansen. The claim is false: the footage is actually a timelapse video of a 150-minute bullet train journey between Osaka and Tokyo. Shinkansen routes are completely separate from conventional rail lines (except Mini-shinkansen which goes through to conventional lines). 25 train derailed in blizzard conditions in Daisen, Akita. Similar to the nationwide Japan Rail Pass, there are numerous regional passes that also cover some shinkansen trains. In the event of an earthquake, an earthquake detection system can bring the train to a stop very quickly; newer trainsets are lighter and have stronger braking systems, allowing for quicker stopping. The video is a collection of clips shot between Tokyo - Kyoto - ... • NOZOMI is the fastest of the three types of bullet trains ( Shinkansen ) running in Japan. Two further lines, known as Mini-shinkansen, have also been constructed by re-gauging and upgrading existing sections of line: There are two standard-gauge lines not technically classified as Shinkansen lines but with Shinkansen services: Many Shinkansen lines were proposed during the boom of the early 1970s but have yet to be constructed. Book your Japan Rail Pass now The slower option, the Hikari, takes about 20 minutes longer. Search Shinkansen Tickets. Tokyo to Kyoto Buy Shinkansen Bullet Train Tickets. ", "新幹線鉄道騒音に係る環境基準について(昭和50年環境庁告示) The Environmental Regulation of Shinkansen Noise Pollution (1975, Environmental Agency) (Japanese)", http://www.mlit.go.jp/common/000232384.pdf, "Taiwan HSR operator pitches restructuring idea to shareholders|WCT", "Bullet train linking Tokyo and Hokkaido unable to hit sub 4-hour target", "Construction approved on 3 new bullet train extensions", "Japan's newest bullet train line has busy first year- Nikkei Asian Review", "Talks begin on Hokuriku Shinkansen extension", http://www.mlit.go.jp/common/000215188.pdf, https://www.railwaygazette.com/high-speed/shorter-n700s-to-serve-nagasaki/57681.article, "Promoting the Tokaido Shinkansen Bypass by the Superconducting Maglev system", "Most direct line for maglev gets panel OK", "Economy, prestige at stake in Kyoto-Nara maglev battle", "鉄道輸送統計調査(平成23年度、国土交通省) Rail Transport Statistics (2011, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport) (Japanese)", "Maehara sounds out JR Tokai over shinkansen link for Haneda airport", "FY2009 Key Measures and Capital Investment - Central Japan Railway Company", "Do Faster Trains Challenge Air Carriers? Shinkansen network covers most of the big cities across Japan with 2,764 km (1,717 miles) of train tracks, from Hokkaido to Kyushu. [47] The five routes that were under investigation are detailed in the Hokuriku Shinkansen page. They can be made at ticket offices, at ticket machines or online.