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Tokyo to Osaka Train – The Tokaido Shinkansen

Tokyo to Osaka Train, The Tokaido Shinkansen

The Tokaido Shinkansen is a high-speed train line connecting the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka. It’s without a doubt the most exciting and efficient way of travelling between these thriving cities, with trains taking just 2 hours, 24 minutes to travel 397km – reaching speeds of 285km/h. Three types of trains operate along the route, the super-fast Nozomi (2 hours, 24 minutes), and the slower Hikari (3 hours) and Kodama (4 hours).

For travellers to Japan it’s a no brainer to factor this journey into your itinerary, allowing you to see two of Japan’s greatest cities and also experience riding on a famous bullet train. As the world’s oldest and most used high-speed rail network, departures on the Tokaido Shinkanse take place every few minutes – so no need for planning or booking way in advance. However, it’s worth investing in a Japan Rail Pass, as tickets can be quite pricey. 

Prices from: JPY13,500 
Departing from: Tokyo, Japan
Journey length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Tokaido Shinkansen Tokyo to Osaka route

The Tokaido Shinkansen connects Japan’s three largest metropolitan areas, (Tokyo/Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto), with the line beginning in Tokyo and terminating in Shin-Osaka railway station, 397 kilometres away. While the train is all about efficiency, the journey itself is pretty spectacular, and guests will be treated to the famous bullet train side view of Mount Fuji, along with stops at Nagoya and Kyoto before arriving in Osaka. The Kodoma train stops at all stations while the Nozomi and Hikari have various stopping patterns. All trains stop at Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka, but only the Hikari and Kodoma trains can be used with a Japan Rail Pass. 

Tokaido Shinkansen train

The trains that operate along this line look like something out of a sci-fi movie – sleek, modern and streamlined. All three trains are clean and comfortable, with the Nozomi having first and ordinary class carriages and outlets to charge mobile devices. Hikari and Kodoma trains only have standard class and have a mix between reserved and non-reserved seating cars. Modern amenities like toilets and charging sockets are available on all trains. 

What we love

The excitement of ticking the bullet train off your bucket list (along with view of Mount Fuji), but also being able to travel so quickly between two of Japan’s most exciting cities. Arrive in Osaka hungry and embrace the city’s motto of kuidaore (‘eat until you drop’). Hikari and Kodoma trains are also included in the Japan Rail Pass. 

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