Tokaido Shinkansen - The Bullet Train Connecting Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka

  • Published on : 26/01/2024
  • by : Japan Experience

Tokaido Shinkansen: the most popular Shinkansen in Japan 

The bullet train going from Tokyo to Osaka has three different lines. What's the difference? Read more to find out.

Three train services operate on the Tokaido Shinkansen line:

  • Nozomi - The fastest trains, stopping only at major stations. Nozomi trains are not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
  • Hikari - The second fastest service, stopping at a few more stations than the Nozomi. Hikari trains can be used with the Japan Rail Pass.
  • Kodama - The slowest service that stops at all stations on the Tokaido Shinkansen line. Kodama trains can also be used with the Japan Rail Pass.

Most trains have both reserved and non-reserved seats in regular cars as well as upgraded Green Cars (first class).

Kodama Shinkansen

Kodama Shinkansen

©Tore-F, unsplash

Using the Japan Rail Pass on the Tokaido Shinkansen

The Japan Rail Pass is a cost-effective way for foreign visitors to use the Tokaido Shinkansen (and most other JR trains across the country). Pass holders can ride the Hikari and Kodama trains without any additional fees - just show your pass at the ticket gate. However, the fastest Nozomi services require paying a limited express surcharge, so if minimizing costs is the priority, stick to the Hikari or Kodama. Using a Japan Rail Pass is highly recommended if you plan to ride the Tokaido Shinkansen.



©Manuel Cosentino, unsplash

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