Review: Shinkansen, High Speed Train Japan

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

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.

Shinkansens kissing 🙂

Review shinkansen japan, Hayabusa

Hayabusa Train

Review shinkansen japan, Hayabusa

Boarding

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.

Review shinkansen japan, cars

Example of a car designator while boarding

Seats

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.

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, seat

Reclined seat

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, hayabusa seat

Hayabusa seat

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, Komachi seat

Komachi seat

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, seat commands

Seat commands

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, table

Main table

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, adjustable headrest

Adjustable headrest & reading lamp

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, power sockets

Power sockets

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, hook

Hook for clothes

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, seats rotated

Seats can be rotated

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, armrest table

Second table in your armrest for drinks

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.

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, menu

Food & Drinks menu

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, coffee

Coffee served on the train

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, food

More food & drinks available

Other Services

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.

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, restroom

Normal restroom

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, big restroom

Big restroom

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, lavatoey

Separate lavatory

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, Toilet

Review shinkansen high speed train japan, magazines

Japanese (in train 🙂 )magazines

Conclusion

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.

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