Shinkansen Tokyo to Osaka, Fastest Bullet Train in Japan

Just when I was getting all hyped up by my newly-found appreciation for Tokyo, the time had come for us to leave and experience another part of JapanOsaka! We cruised at warp speed via the newest Japanese bullet train, the Shinkansen N700 Series!

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The Japan Railways (JR) Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo to Osaka)

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We were told to find our train car (No. 4), put our luggage in the provided cabin spaces (overhead or in front of us given our very spacious seats) and to look for our reserved seats. What we actually did was to rotate our seats so that all 6 of us face together then there's an automatic space that was created at the back of one row (so we put our luggages there haha).

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I was delighted with the whole Shinkansen experience because the boarding procedures and the inside look were almost the same as a plane (even the bullet train had the nose of a plane, the look and feel to it and the seat assignments are the same).

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At first glance inside, the differences of riding the Shinkansen from a plane included the spaciousness of the cabin, the extra legroom, the turning seats and the window size, even if you’re in standard seating (“economy”). Then, there’s the incredible silence, permission to use mobile devices and laptops and the absence of turbulence.

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It could have been such a sight if we traveled during the day because you can see Mt. Fuji in this route. Nevertheless, that was 2.5 hours of peace on my way to the Shin-Osaka Station fresh from Shinagawa Station in Tokyo.

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My Shinkansen ride last 2010 only lasted from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka (same Tokaido line, this Shinkansen route is Tokyo – Nagoya – Kyoto – Osaka)..

You’ll need to decide on a few things and have the following information ready before you purchase that Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) ticket:

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  1. Date of Departure
  2. Time of Departure
  3. From What Station
  4. To What Station
  5. Nozomi, Hikari or Kodama? - Take the Shinkansen Nozomi train to connect to major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Hakati. The Nozomi train connect you in a shorter period of time than the Hikari and Kodama trains.
  6. Number of People
  7. Ordinary (Economy) or Green Car (Business Class)
  8. Pick Your Seat (Reserved) or Random Seat (Non-reserved)
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Other details:
  • They have designated smoking areas in the train.
  • Bathrooms are available in the train between cars.
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  • There are cabin attendants who have food carts (ala Harry Potter Hogwarts Express, buy what you like). The bento only looks nice (didn't like the taste)...
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  • You can recline the seats and turn them around (180 degrees) so that you face up to five of your friends (3 front – 3 back row).
  • Mobile phones are allowed but on silent mode.
  • You pay for WIFI before boarding (if any).
  • You can bring up to two pieces of luggage (with size restrictions).
  • They have English signs and announcements for stops but better be alert if you are not going all the way to the end station.
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Some useful Shinkansen sites:




Last Note: Just Be There


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It’s amazing how the trains can go up to 300 kilometers per hour in Japan. Of course, it is up to the passengers to make sure that they get there on time because the Shinkansen will not wait for a latecomer, even if he pays around 14000 Yen for a one-way standard ticket from Tokyo to Osaka (divide by 2 for peso conversion, ~P7000 on reserved ordinary seats, Breakdown: 8510 Yen base fare + Express Charge). Our Japanese guide also bought the tickets for us a day before at the station so everything went smooth and easy. Imagine doing the task on your own. You’ll probably need more time for figuring out the Shinkansen procedure, getting lost at the station, figuring out the fees and route, going to the ticket counter or vending machine, finding the correct train platform and looking for your car number line before enjoying the rest of the trip. But it’s a different experience aboard a super fast bullet train. I bet the Shinkansen experience will still be worth it for me if I did the buying of the tickets on my own. It's a very, very fun and quiet way to travel. This smooth Shinkansen ride was the great in-between for my equally awesome Tokyo and Osaka trip with Air Asia X!

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3 comments:

  1. Will be in Tokyo & Hokkaido in a few months.. I'm getting more and more excited! Thanks for this post! :)

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  2. hi melody. thank you for writing about japan. anyway, it is now building a faster shinkansen that will travel nearly 500km/hour. maybe this is part of the prep for its hosting of the 2020 olympics.

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