Kyushu Shinkansen Train

Kyushu Shinkansen Train

The Kyushu Shinkansen is a line of Japanese high-speed trains, commonly-known as bullet trains run by the Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu). Opened in 2004, the line provides a link between Hakata in Fukuoka Prefecture and Kagoshima on the island of Kyushu, the third largest island in Japan.

The average travel time for the 257 km-long Kyushu Shinkansen route is 1 hour and 20 minutes. City stops along the way include Shin-Tosu, Kumamoto and Sendai near Satsumasendai.

Two types of Kyushu Shinkansen trains are currently in service on the Hakata to Kagoshima route: the 800 Series and N700 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 Kyushu Shinkansen train by purchasing a Kyushu Rail Pass e-ticket. This pass gives you the option of exploring all of Kyushu or just a selected area of Northern Kyushu. Passes are available for 3 or 5 consecutive days of travel.

The Kyushu Rail Pass represents great value and flexibility for your travels throughout Japan’s Kyushu region!

Why choose travel on Kyushu Shinkansen trains?

  • Kyushu Shinkansen trains are equipped with sophisticated noise suppression technologies.
  • An established record of reliable railway travel at speeds of up to 260 km/h.
  • Frequent and punctual daily departures.
  • Your Kyushu Rail Pass can save you money and time during your travels in the Kyushu area.

Types of Kyushu Shinkansen trains

  • 800 Series
    • first introduced: 2004
    • maximum operating speed: 260km/h
    • layout: 6-car trains
    • route: the 800 Series Kyushu Shinkansen mainly operates between Hakata and Kumamoto
  • N700 Series
    • first introduced: 2007
    • maximum operating speed: 260km/h
    • layout: 8-car trains
    • route: the N700 Series Kyushu Shinkansen mainly operates between Hakata and Kagoshima-chuo.

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: Hakata to Kagoshima
Train stations: Hakata and Kagoshima-Chuo
All stops: Hakata, Shin-Tosu, Kurume, Chikugo-Funagoya, Shin-Omuta, Shin-Tamana, Kumamoto, Shin-Yatsushiro, Shin-Minamata, Izumi, Sendai and Kagoshima-Chuo
Estimated travel time: 80mins.
Travel included with a: Kyushu Rail Pass


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


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.


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 Kyushu Shinkansen trains in Japan

Kyushu Rail Pass

Some top attractions along the Kyushu Shinkansen train route

Marine World Uminonakamichi (Fukuoka)
This public aquarium centers on the marine life of the Tsushima Strait, which separates Japan and Korea. There are 70 tanks in total for visitors to see, housing a variety of sea mammals including dolphins, sea otters, sea lions, spotted seals and 20 different species of sharks.

Tsurumaru Castle (Kagoshima)
Commonly referred to as “Kagoshima Castle”, the Tsurumaru was built in 1601. The castle is renowned for its small size and mediocre build quality, considering it was the main fortress for one of the wealthiest Japanese feudal lords of the time!

Nagashima Museum (Kagoshima)
Opened in 1989, the Nagashima Museum’s art collection consists of roughly a thousand items, all gathered by business tycoon Nagashima Kosuke. Included, are creations by Japanese painter Kuroda Seiki, French sculptor Auguste Rodin, and famed Russian-French artist Marc Chagall.

Tosu Stadium (Tosu)
Formerly the Best Amenity Stadium, this city sports arena was built in 1996 and can seat up to 24,490 spectators. The site is presently used to host the home matches for Sagan Tosu, an up and coming pro football club in Japan’s J1 League.

Tabaruzaka Park (Kumamoto)
Tabaruzaka Park is a site that commemorates an epic and violent 17-day battle that unfolded during the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, nine years after the revolutionary Meiji Restoration. Park visitors can explore a restored warehouse marred by bullet holes and receive a battle history lesson at the on-site war memorial museum.

Nitta Shrine (Satsumasendai)
Known among the Japanese as the “Good Luck Shrine”, this temple is situated near the top of Mount Shinki; approximately 70 m from ground level. Awaiting visitors to the shrine, are the two magnificent guardian dog statues who stand sentry near the entrance. The site is a tribute to Nitta Yoshioki, a famous 14th century samurai warrior.

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