Tohoku Shinkansen Train

Tohoku Shinkansen Train

The Tohoku Shinkansen is a line of Japanese high-speed trains, commonly-known as bullet trains, run by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). Opened in 1982, the line connects Tokyo, the capital city, with Aomori, the capital of Aomori Prefecture.

Spanning a route 674 km long, the Tohoku is the longest Shinkansen line in Japan. It runs through the less populated Tohoku area of Honshu, Japan's main island. City stops along the way include Oyama, Nasushiobara, Sendai and Morioka.

There are four types of Tohoku Shinkansen trains in service on the Tokyo to Aomori route: the E2 Series, E3 Series, E5 Series and E6 Series. Two different seating classes are offered on most trains: “Ordinary” (essentially Standard Class) and “Green Car” (comparable to First or Business Class).

Travel by Tohoku Shinkansen train by purchasing a JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) e-ticket. This pass provides unlimited travel between Tokyo and the northeast region of the main island, and includes travel aboard the Akita, Yamagata, Joetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen trains. A JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) also includes travel aboard the Tohoku Shinkansen, between Tokyo and Nasushiobara. Passes are valid for 5 flexible travel days within a 14-day period.

The JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) represents great value and flexibility for your travels throughout Japan’s Tohoku area!


Why choose travel on Tohoku Shinkansen trains?

  • Tohoku Shinkansen trains are equipped with sophisticated noise suppression technologies.
  • An established record of reliable railway travel at speeds of up to 320 km/h.
  • Frequent and punctual daily departures.
  • Your JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) can save you money while offering travel flexibility not only on the Tohoku, but 4 other Shinkansen Super Express Line trains as well.

Types of Tohoku Shinkansen trains

  • E2 Series
    • first introduced: 1997
    • maximum operating speed: 275km/h
    • layout: 10-car trains
  • E3 Series
    • first introduced: 1997
    • maximum operating speed: 275km/h
    • layout: 6 to 7-car trains
  • E5 Series
    • first introduced: 2011
    • maximum operating speed: 320km/h
    • layout: 10-car trains
  • E6 Series
    • first introduced: 2013
    • maximum operating speed: 320km/h
    • layout: 7-car trains

Train services and amenities

  • Spacious, comfortable seats capable of swiveling 180 degrees
  • 3x2 row seat layout in Ordinary Class; 2x2 row seat layout in Green Car Class
  • Signs and announcements in multiple languages
  • Catering services onboard including food carts with snacks, drinks and meals plus vending machines
  • Multiple-toilet washroom facilities
  • Most trains are non-smoking

Route itinerary

From: Tokyo to Aomori
Train stations: Tokyo and Shin-Aomori
Popular stops: Nasushiobara, Koriyama, Sendai, Morioka
Estimated travel time: 3h30
Travel included with a: JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)

Luggage

Passengers are allowed two pieces of luggage, up to a maximum weight of 60 kg and having total dimensions measuring no more than 250 cm (based on height, length and width). Delivery services are available.

Bicycles

Bicycles are permitted at no extra cost but must be folded or disassembled and packed inside carrying cases.

Animals

Small pets including dogs, cats and birds are allowed onboard. However, they must travel in a cage or similar container no bigger than 90 cm (based on height and length) and must weigh less than 10 kg.

Accessibility

Passengers in wheelchairs have access to special seating on the train but must make a request at the station they are boarding from 2 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 extra charge, as long as they are folded and placed either in front of the seat or in the designated luggage compartment.

Rail passes for travel on Tohoku Shinkansen trains in Japan

JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)
JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)

Some top attractions along the Tohoku Shinkansen train route

The Imperial Palace (Tokyo)
One of Tokyo’s biggest tourist attractions is the Imperial Palace, home of the Emperor of Japan. Complementing the royal residence are lush, manicured gardens, historical museums and an archive depository.

Nippon Budokan (Tokyo)
Though known for hosting martial arts and wrestling events, the indoor arena often referred to simply as “Budokan” is perhaps most revered for the countless legendary music artists who have graced its stage over the past 5 decades. The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and KISS are just a few of the acts to visit this music mecca for concert-goers.

Sannai-Maruyama site (Aomori)
Uncovered by excavators in 1992, the Sannai-Maruyama site shows evidence of a large, long-standing settlement originating around 3900 BCE. The site was recently designated a Special National Historical Site of Japan.

Shiriyazaki Lighthouse (Aomori)
Located at the northernmost tip of Honshu, this 1876 lighthouse was one of 26 beacons built during Japan’s Meiji era. The Shiriyazaki is a national historic treasure and is listed among the “50 Lighthouses of Japan” by the Japanese Lighthouse Association.

Aoba Castle (Sendai)
The Aoba Castle was built in 1601 and served as both home and headquarters for the powerful lord Date Masamune of Sendai Domain. In 2003, the castle was registered as a national historic monument. An on-site museum honoring its history is open to visitors.

Rock-Breaking Cherry Tree (Morioka)
As the name suggests, the Rock-Breaking Cherry Tree is a cherry tree nearly 4 centuries old that has grown out of the crack of a large granite boulder in front of the Morioka Courthouse. This rare natural display is a national Japanese treasure and tourist favorite!