top of page


Train travel in

Rail passes for visitors to Japan must be secured in advance of your arrival


Japan has truly set a new standard for rail service among the 9 lines which comprise the Shinkansen train network. Passengers enjoy speeds of up to 320km/h (nearly 200mph) and can reach points throughout the main islands from the larger network.

In addition to speed, passengers can count on timely schedules and incredible comfort & cleanliness on board. There are several iterations of the Japan Rail Pass which must be secured in advance of any trip to Japan but which allows certain benefits of travel and ease of reservations.

Class of Service

Gran Class

Akin to First Class airfare, expect greater comfort, service, and even amenities where this seating is available. Seating rows feature more personal space as they are configured in a 2 x 1 row, there are also options which offer inclusive beverages & dining. Expect to have an on-call attendant in the car. There are only 18 passengers in each Gran Class car.


Typically less busy than the Standard seating, although reservations will be required for an individual seat. Expect availability to be reduced during peak holidays local to Japan. Larger personal space in 2 x 2 arranged rows of seating, this class is featured on far more train cars than the superior Gran Class.


Two options remain for Standard seating on the Shinkansen network, reserved and non-reserved seating. It can be busy, not just during peak holiday seasons but also peak transit hours around larger cities. With greater frequency you might encounter younger tourists on board the low-value non-reserved seating.

Content is intended for information and planning purposes only. While we try our best to deliver accurate and current information, some items may not be as described. Please contact your Odyssean Travel advisor for further details.

bottom of page