Bullet Trains

The bullet train, or “Shinkansen”, is a type of passenger train which operates on Japan’s high-speed railway network. Capable of reaching a maximum speed of 320kms per hour, the bullet train offers riders an exceptionally unique and efficient travel experience. The list of Shinkansen train lines include the Akita, Hokuriku, Joetsu, Kyushu, and Yamagata. While some routes are especially popular among travelers – Tokyo to Nagano, Tokyo to Kyoto, Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima – all feature frequent, timely departures throughout the week.

Just pick one of three rail passes to board the bullet train. The Japan Rail Pass, encompasses all areas of Japan; the JR East Pass can be used to travel eastern Japan, where you’ll discover iconic cities like Nagano and Tokyo as well as Mount Fuji; the Kyushu Rail Pass gives you the flexibility to explore Japan’s 3rd-largest island, Kyushu, in part or in its entirety. No matter which pass you choose, each represents excellent value and service when traveling by Japanese bullet train!

Why choose to travel on bullet trains?

The pass can be used on limited express trains of the Kyushu Railway Co., in ordinary reserved and non-reserved seating, and on ordinary trains of the Kyushu Railway Co. in the designated area for the pass. The All Kyushu Area Rail Pass can also be used for Kyushu Shinkansen “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: 2h15
Travel included with a: Japan Rail Pass

From Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima
Estimated travel time: 1h20
Travel included with a: Japan Rail Pass

From Tokyo to Shin-Osaka
Estimated travel time: 2h33
Travel included with a: Japan Rail Pass

From Hiroshima to Hakata
Estimated travel time: 1h08
Travel included with a: Japan Rail Pass

From Tokyo to Akita
Estimated travel time: 3h50
Travel included with a: JR East Pass

From Hakata to Kagoshima
Estimated travel time: 1h17
Travel included with a: Kyushu Rail Pass

Popular Bullet Trains
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

Passengers are allowed two pieces of luggage, up to a maximum of 60kg and 160cm-250cm total in height, length and width. Delivery services are available.


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


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.


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 on board 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
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