Master Japan’s Shinkansen! [Hokkaido and East Japan Section]
The Shinkansen, Japan’s High-Speed Rail
There are nine Shinkansen lines, and 18 named trains run along these lines. Of these, here we will introduce nine of the named trains that run through the Hokkaido and East Japan areas. Prepare now so you don’t get lost when you actually ride the trains!
*The photographs show the main train cars operated for their corresponding named train, but sometimes different cars are used.
The Hokkaido and East Japan Shinkansen
The lines in this area are the Hokkaido Shinkansen, the Tohoku Shinkansen, the Joetsu Shinkansen, and the Hokuriku Shinkansen (Asama). All the Shinkansen take the same route from Tokyo Station to Omiya Station in Saitama Prefecture. They diverge from there to go in the Tohoku and Hokkaido direction, or in the Shinetsu direction.
The “Hayabusa” runs along the Tohoku Shinkansen line and the Hokkaido Shinkansen line.
It primarily connects Tokyo Station with Shin-Aomori Station in Aomori Prefecture, or Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station in Hokkaido.
It is Japan’s fastest Shinkansen, running at a maximum speed of 320 km/h.
It is an express train with few station stops.
The “Hayate” runs along the Tohoku Shinkansen line and the Hokkaido Shinkansen line, but only has a few trains in operation.
It connects Morioka Station in Iwate Prefecture or Shin-Aomori Station with Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station.
The “Yamabiko” runs along the Tohoku Shinkansen line.
It primarily connects Tokyo Station and Sendai Station in Miyagi Prefecture.
It stops at more stations than the “Hayabusa.”
The “Nasuno” runs along the Tohoku Shinkansen line.
It mainly connects Tokyo Station and Nasushiobara Station.
The “Komachi” runs along the Akita Shinkansen line and connects Morioka Station and Akita Station.
It runs coupled with the “Tohoku Shinkansen: Hayabusa” between Tokyo Station and Morioka Station, with coupling and uncoupling occurring at Morioka Station.
It is characterized by the red coloring of its train cars.
The “Tsubasa” runs along the Yamagata Shinkansen line and connects Fukushima Station and Shinjo Station in Yamagata Prefecture.
In many cases, it couples with the “Tohoku Shinkansen: Yamabiko” between Tokyo Station and Fukushima Station, with coupling and uncoupling occurring at Fukushima Station.
It is characterized by the purple coloring of its train cars.
The “Toki” runs along the Joetsu Shinkansen line and connects Tokyo Station and Niigata Station.
The train name derives from toki, meaning Japanese crested ibis, the prefectural bird of Niigata Prefecture.
*This photo is a double-decker “MAX Toki.”
The “Tanigawa” runs along the Joetsu Shinkansen line.
It connects Tokyo Station and Echigo-Yuzawa Station in Niigata Prefecture, and has a shorter operation section than the “Toki.”
During the winter ski season, it stops for a limited period at Gala-Yuzawa Station, where you can see the ski slopes before your eyes.
The “Asama” runs along the Hokuriku Shinkansen line.
It connects Tokyo Station and Nagano Station.
It runs through Karuizawa, a famous summer resort area.