Shinkansen (Japanese Bullet Train)

February 2, 2015

It has been a dream of mine to go to Japan and ride the high speed bullet train. Well, it finally came true and it was amazing! 

I took the high speed train before in Europe - from Germany to Paris! But the Japanese bullet train is much better and much cooler! And I think much much faster!? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Most people talk about purchasing the JR pass but it didn't make sense for us to do it. I calculated the cost per ticket in comparison to the JR pass and it just didn't add up for us. For our trip and itinerary, it was much better to purchase individual tickets as we were not looping back to Tokyo. 

We purchased our ticket the day of departure at Tokyo station. We lined up at the counter to get our ticket and was surprised that they actually sell out of tickets but don't worry, the train departs almost every 15 minutes so we just took another time slot. We couldn't get the mountain view seat (to see Mt. Fuji) but we were happy to get the sea view. 

We paid approximately $110 CDN per person for a way ticket from Tokyo to Nagoya. 

Train stations in Japan are fantastic! It's filled with shops for clothes, food, souvenirs and restaurants. It's heaven! It was so hard for us to choose what food to bring on our journey. I had to walk around a couple of times because there was too many choices but I settled on a chirashi bento and we got drinks from the vending machine. We used our Suica card to purchase our food and drinks. We originally bought the suica card for riding the subway and later on we realized we can also use it at different stores to pay for food/drinks. We just had to reload it with money. 

Back to the train, we gave ourselves ample time to shop for food and to find our platform. Let me tell you that Japanese trains run on a clockwork and it is never late! So be prompt and hurry. We lined up on our designated platform number and you have to be super quick to board. It literally just takes minutes and off you go! 

We found our assigned seat number and settled in. I loved watching the scenery outside and the buildings we were passing by. It was super quick. I didn't even get to nap because I was way too excited to be taking the train. I just ended up eating my meal and snacks.

Here's a video I took of the shinkansen.

Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) from Christine loves to Travel on Vimeo.


  1. this post is so helpful. when we were planning our trip to japan (which didn't happen because we ended up buying a house instead) we were going back and forth on whether to buy a pass or not and eventually decided to. but if we ever plan again i'd like to definitely see and calculate if it's worth it for us.

  2. every blog i walk across they're either travelling to japan or taiwan it makes me want to visit these two places so badly

    1. You have to go. I wanted to go to Taiwan as well but we didn't have time.

  3. My husband would love this train! So cool that you got to experience it.

  4. I really love the shinkansen! I have yet to buy the JR-pass since we also calculated the costs to be greater if we did.
    Now I'm going to look through you "Tokyo"-category! (found my way here from Vivians blog)

    1. It does not always make sense to buy the JR Pass although it's always highly recommended. Let me know if you have any questions.


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