Japan is famous for its high-speed Bullet train network commonly known as “Shinkansen”. We have always wanted to make the experience of Shinkansen as it whisks you around the country at very high velocity.
So our review is based on Tokyo-Kyoto by on Tokaido Shinkansen (Hikari Service) as it was the longest course in our itinerary.
The regular one-way fare from Tokyo to Kyoto is 13,080 yen for non-reserved seats (Hikari Service) and 13,500 yen in reserve category. We had JR Pass and hence just had to make a seat reservation.
So I guess, having a JR Pass is always beneficial.
Japanese believe in punctuality and so do their trains. Yes, the train arrived sharp on time and left the station on time. Therefore, it’s always better to reach before the time at the Station.
You can check train schedule on Hyperdia
Hikari Shinkansen is available in every 30 minutes of interval time. So even if you miss your desired train then there is no reason to panic as next train will arrive in 30 minutes.
The way they look modern from outside, they are extremely comfortable and spacious from inside. The Shinkansen felt like an airplane, as it had recliner seats with food trays and ample of leg room. The comfort level added by Shinkansen is the best experience we had.
There were no free meals on our train, but you can buy snacks from snack cart which passed by once during our 2-hour 40-minute journey. We preferred to buy our meal before boarding the Shinkansen.
There were onboard clean washrooms available on both ends of our coach and also smoking zones.
The WI-FI service was available, but it was not free either it has to be pre registered. Since we were carrying our own portable wifi, we didn’t much inquire about it.
Storage for luggage is very well managed inside Shinkansen. There is ample of overhead space for any large size or medium size bag. There are also secured luggage sections on both ends of the coach which will manage your additional baggage.
Hence, our overall experience with Shinkansen was quite an easy and comfortable journey, and it’s highly recommended to anyone traveling to Japan.
Note: Reserving seats well In advance is extremely recommended, Since you may not find a seat in Non-reserved coach as Shinkansen is highly used in Japan for commuting.