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:

Tohoku Shinkansen
Tokyo - Hachinohe
Duration: 3 hrs
Frequency: 14

Akita Shinkansen
Tokyo - Akita
Duration: 4 hrs
Frequency: 14

Yamagata Shinkansen
Tokyo - Shinjo
3 hrs 5 mins
Frequency: 10

Joetsu Shinkansen
Tokyo - Niigata
Duration: 2 hrs
Frequency: 18

Nagano Shinkansen
Tokyo - Nagano
Duration: 1 ½ hrs
Frequency: 18

Sanyo Shinkansen
Osaka - Fukuoka
Duration: 2 hrs 49mins

Kyushu Shinkansen
Fukuoka - Kagoshima
Duration: 35 minutes

Tokaido Shinkansen
Osaka - Tokyo
Duration: 2 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.