This review is of 3 shinkansen rides in the Green Class (can be compared to 1st class in Europe) with the Hayabusa line and the Komachi line in Summer 2018
Shinkansen is Japan's high-speed train. All major islands are connected by the shinkansen and the network covers every major city of Japan, up to Hakodate in the Nord. The train can reach speeds of up to 320 km/h. As a tourist you can buy a Japan Rail pass in advance which gives you access to all trains operated by Japan's major railway company “JR” for the selected number of days.
All passengers in the Green Class need a reserved seat, even with a Japan Rail pass. You can reserve your seats for free at any JR station. You have to find the spot for your car before entering the train. Usually they are clearly marked at the corresponding track.
The seats are exceptionally comfortable, maybe similar to US domestic first class seats. They recline fairly far and a foot/leg rest is available. Furthermore every seat has a reading lamp, adjustable head rest, a small and a larger table, a power outlet and some hooks for your clothes.
You can even rotate each pair of seats by 180 degrees in case you a travelling with a larger group and want to sit face to face.
Food & Drinks
In green class you have a selection of drinks and food which you can pay for. A member of the staff will regularly pass through the cabin to ask if you want to buy anything available.
WiFi was not available on our rides. You have a couple of toilets in each car and a nice separate sink. Smoking cabins are available in a couple of cars only.
If you ever have the opportunity to travel in the green class of a shinkansen you should definitely go for it. Comparing to travelling with the train in Europe, it is pure luxury and really enjoyable.