Bullet trains (Shinkansen)

The Shinkansen, often referred to as the 'Bullet Trains' are a network of high-speed rail lines in Japan operated by Japan Railways. The first Shinkansen was launched in 1964, quickly impressing the world by running at an amazing 210kms an hour.

The modern day Shinkansen's have rapidly evolved over time. Though the initial speeds of 210kms were remarkable, nowadays Japanese Bullet Trains have running speeds of up to 300kms.

Another unique feature of the Shinkansens is that they use tunnels and viaducts to go through and over obstacles, rather than around them. This improved infrastructure assists in making the Shinkansen Network one of the fastest and convenient rail systems in the world.

Shinkansen Lines:

Shinkansen nameRouteDurationFrequency
Tohoku ShinkansenTokyo - Hachinohe3 hrs14
Akita ShinkansenTokyo - Akita4 hrs14
Yamagata ShinkansenTokyo - Shinjo3 hrs 5 mins10
Joetsu ShinkansenTokyo - Niigata2 hrs18
Nagano ShinkansenTokyo - Nagano1 ½ hrs18
Sanyo ShinkansenOsaka - Fukuoka2 hrs 49mins 
Kyushu ShinkansenFukuoka - Kagoshima35 minutes 
Tokaido ShinkansenOsaka - Tokyo2 ½ hrs 

Please note: The Nozomi, the fastest of several train categories on the Tokaido Shinkansen is not valid on the Japan Rail Pass. Train frequencies and durations may change without warning.

Japan bullet trains