Express and bullet trains (shinkansen) allow you to travel long distances in a short time period. Unlike ordinary cars, they charge a fee in addition to the base fare. These trains may carry first class (“Green”) cars with more spacious seats. Seats are either jiyu-seki (自由席, Non-Reserved) or shitei-seki (指定席, Reserved). Seat reservation fees vary by season and by type of train, but are free with certain tourist passes. Limited express trains are often referred to by special names (“Azusa” or “Cassiopeia,” for example).
In Tokyo, Shinkansen heading to northern Japan, including Nagano, Niigata, Yamagata, Akita and Hokkaido, depart from Tokyo Station and Ueno Station. Shinkansen heading south and west towards Kansai depart from Tokyo Station and Shinagawa Station.See also: Railway System for details about train categories.
Passes for Tourists
The following passes are convenient for temporary visitors to Tokyo, and are sold at airports.
Price: : Adults 22,000 Yen / Children 11,000 Yen for flexible 5 days
Price: : Adults 8,000 Yen/3 days, Children 4,000 Yen/3 days
Price: : 11,850 yen (five days worth of travel for only 2,370 yen per day)