Bullet Train

Japan’s high speed bullet trains, also known as Shinkansen trains, offer visitors an experience like no other with speeds reaching up to 320 km/hr! The main Shinkansen lines with bullet trains include Tokaido, Sanyo, Tohoku, Joetsu, Nagano and Kyushu. Popular routes include Tokyo to Osaka and Tokyo to Nagano with frequent and punctual departures. Hop on and off the rails in cities like Kyoto, Nagoya and Yokohama along the way!

To travel on Japan’s bullet trains you can choose from 3 different rail passes. The Japan Rail Pass covers the entire country of Japan whereas the JR East Pass allows for travel in Eastern Japan including Tokyo, Nagano and Mount Fuji. Kyushu Rail Passes offer the flexibility of exploring the entire island of Kyushu, or only the Northern part of Japan’s third largest island. All these passes represent great value, as they include travel on Japan’s bullet trains!

Why choose to travel on bullet trains?

  • High speed travel to the destinations of your choice, as well as frequent and punctual departures.
  • Rail passes that include travel on bullet trains will save you money and time travelling through Japan.

Suggested itineraries

From Tokyo to Kyoto
Estimated travel time: 2h49

From Kyoto to Hiroshima
Estimated travel time: 1h59

From Tokyo to Shin-Osaka
Estimated travel time: 2h33

From Hiroshima to Nagasaki
Estimated travel time: 3h25

From Tokyo to Akita
Estimated travel time: 3h50

Services on bullet trains

  • Train announcements made in multiple languages
  • Catering services onboard including food carts with snacks, drinks and meals plus vending machines
  • Most trains are non-smoking

Luggage

Passengers are allowed two pieces of luggage, up to a maximum of 60kg and 250cm total in height, length and width. Delivery services are available.

Bicycles

Bicycles are permitted on bullet trains at no additional cost but must be folded or disassembled and packed.

Animals

Small pets including dogs, cats and birds are allowed onboard but must weigh less than 10kg and need to be carried in a container with a maximum total height and length of 90cm.

Accessibility

Passengers in wheelchairs have access to special seating on high speed trains but must make a request to the station they are boarding at, two days in advance. Wheelchairs must conform to maximum size requirements and those with steering wheels are generally not allowed. Elevators and escalators at stations are wheelchair-friendly. Strollers can be carried onboard at no charge, as long as they are folded and placed either in front of the seat or in the luggage compartment.

Rail passes for travel on bullet trains in Japan

Japan Rail Pass
JR East Pass
Kyushu Rail Pass

Some top attractions in Japan

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Nagano
Wildlife enthusiasts will love the opportunity to observe Japanese macaques in their natural habitat. See how the macaques, nicknamed “snow monkeys”, bathe in the hot springs and playfully interact.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima
Inaugurated in 1955, approximately 1 million annual visitors pay their respects to the exhibits displaying the effects of the atomic bomb dropped on central Hiroshima. The museum pays tribute to all of the lives lost and affected by the tragedy and seeks to convey the message of international peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto
Thousands of orange and black torii gates lining paths to the woods of the sacred Mount Inari are a dedication to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. A site not to be missed, the entire walk and climb to the mountain summit takes approximately 2-3 hours.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo
A trip to Tokyo would not be complete without seeing the wondrous display of cherry blossoms adorning this national landmark. Visitors are offered a peaceful escape from the bustling city and can take long strolls around the vast green lawns.

Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium, Osaka
Opened in 1990, the Osaka Aquarium is one of the largest public aquariums in the world. The habitats display marine life from the “Ring of Fire” volcanic belt of the Pacific Ocean and give visitors the impression of always being underwater.

Port Tower Selion, Akita
Visitors flock to this Japanese landmark because it shows off a 360-degree panorama and a startling view of the sunset. Standing at over 100m above the ground, the Port Tower Selion offers free admission to everyone.