The Shinkansen bullet train is Japan's pride, being the first high-speed train in the world. It attracts travelers with its high levels of safety, speeds of 300 km per hour on some trains, and frequent departures — every 3–5 minutes from Tokyo on the Tokaido Shinkansen! Buy Shinkansen train tickets from Rakuten Travel Experiences, and ride safely and swiftly to your destination in Japan!
Ten minutes by train from Osaka Station is the majestic Osaka Castle, offering a different view of the city from its hilltop vantage point. And don’t miss the amazing attractions at Universal Studios Japan!
From the stunning Fukuoka Tower to the serene Ohori Park, there's something for everyone in this southern city. Don't miss the historic ruins of Fukuoka Castle or the bustling Tenjin area and the city's incredible street food scene.
Experience the awe-inspiring sight of Mount Fuji with easy access from Shin-Fuji station on the Tokaido Shinkansen. This station in Fuji City also boasts the mesmerizing Sagami Bay, and the famous Shiraito Falls just a short hop away.
Prepare to be blown away by the ultimate metropolis, boasting not just one but two Disney resorts — Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea — and on a clear day, get a glimpse of Mt. Fuji from either Tokyo Tower or Tokyo Skytree: the tallest structure in Japan. For fashionistas, Tokyo is a haven for picking up the very latest fashions and trends.
The Shinkansen bullet train connects most major cities in Japan, making it extremely convenient for sightseeing and a unique experience all by itself. Be sure to try the bullet train at least once on your travels in Japan!
How to buy reserved Shinkansen tickets?
To reserve seats in advance before arriving in Japan, you can book many routes right here on Rakuten Travel Experiences. Use the “quick search” function above to get started! Request your preferred travel time and any second choices, then receive an e-voucher to exchange for your tickets at a ticket office or machine in Japan. If guaranteed seats are not required, you can try at a JR ticket office or ticket machine in a train station (Green Car seats and non-reserved seats are not sold by Rakuten Travel Experiences).
How much is a Shinkansen train ticket?
Prices vary by date and route — use the “quick search” function above to find more info for your journey! Note that for the Shinkansen, you need a “super (limited) express” ticket in addition to the basic fare ticket for that route (we sell these as a set).
Do Shinkansen tickets sell out?
Yes, especially for weekend travel and during peak seasons, Shinkansen services can be fully booked. In this case, it may be possible to ride with a non-reserved seat ticket, if you are willing to stand for the entire journey! We don't sell these, so please purchase at the station if you don't want a reserved seat.
What is a designated seat?
A "designated seat" is one reserved for a specific Shinkansen journey. This allows you to plan your day and guarantees you can board and be seated on a specific service. Your seat and car number will be specified on your ticket.
What stations should I choose for my departure and arrival stations?
The stations depend on the cities you will depart from and arrive in. Please check the "quick search" function above for the station names in the city you will depart from and the city you will arrive in.
Is there a timetable for the Shinkansen?
The Shinkansen schedule varies depending on the day, time, and route, and is subject to change. On the Tokaido Shinkansen westbound from Tokyo, departures are about every 5–15 minutes; other routes are less frequent.
Can I choose the exact Shinkansen I want for my tickets?
When you book, tell us your preferred departure time and we will arrange tickets for the closest available time within the range you give. If your first choice is sold out, we will arrange your second or third choice if possible. For the busiest times, like the new-year and “Golden Week” holidays, be sure to book well in advance as tickets may sell out for long periods of each day.
Is it possible to change the time slot after I make my booking?
You can exchange tickets for a different time, if they have not been used and are still valid, at a JR help desk in any major JR station up until your reserved departure time. Each ticket can only be changed once.
How fast is the Shinkansen?
The fastest bullet train in Japan reaches up to 320 km/h (199 mph): the Hayabusa service on the Tohoku Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori, using the E5/H5 series of trains. Other routes reach different speeds, like the Nozomi service connecting Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Fukuoka, at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).
How to ride the Shinkansen?
Where do I board the Shinkansen in Tokyo?
All bullet trains to and from the capital stop at Tokyo Station. The Shinkansen platforms are in a separate part of the station from other JR lines. If it’s more convenient, you can instead board at Shinagawa Station with any ticket from “Tokyo” on the Tokaido Shinkansen (heading west toward Kyoto and Osaka). You can also choose Ueno Station for any northbound Shinkansen lines, which is a slightly cheaper ticket but may be less convenient (depending on where you transfer or stay in Tokyo).
Is it possible to bring baggage on the Shinkansen?
There is baggage space on the train between each car, but note the space is limited. In addition, there is space overhead to put smaller items. On some routes, reservations are needed for items measuring 160–250 cm (height + width + depth), except strollers, wheelchairs, musical instruments, and leisure/sports equipment. Larger items may not be allowed. Please make your own reservation for oversized baggage if riding the Tokaido, Sanyo, Kyushu, or Nishikyushu Shinkansen.
What happens if I miss my reserved Shinkansen?
In case you miss the exact train for your ticket, your ticket is still valid for a non-reserved seat on a later train, on the same day only. Your tickets will be invalid and cannot be used the following day.
Do we need two tickets per person to ride the Shinkansen?
There are two tickets per person for each one-way journey on the Shinkansen. One is a basic fare ticket, and the other is a super (limited) express ticket. When you pass through the ticket gate at the station, you need to insert both in the machine at the same time.
Ekiben are bento lunch boxes sold at Shinkansen stations, often showcasing the area’s local cuisine or produce. They can be an excellent way in Japan to enjoy a delicious meal while watching the beautiful scenery roll by through the train window. You can often buy ekiben from the station or on the platform. Each location offers different local tastes — why not enjoy a casual meal with ekiben on your next long-distance train ride?