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When I set up my round the world trip using Aeroplan miles to Japan, I left an open-jaw between Tokyo and Osaka. That meant that I would have to find my own way between Tokyo and Osaka, and I have always had it on my bucket list to travel on one of the shinkansen – the Japanese bullet trains. These bullet trains go about 200 miles per hour, and I thought that it would be a fun way to go from Tokyo to Osaka. This Japanese Shinkansen Bullet Train review will talk through how to buy Shinkansen tickets, how much do Shinkansen tickets cost and what is it like to ride the Japanese bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka.

Buying Shinkansen Tickets

You can buy Shinkansen tickets in advance, and if you’re traveling during a popular season or during rush hour, you might consider buying your bullet train tickets in advance from the Japan Rail website. To ride the shinkansen bullet train, you need two kind of tickets. First is the regular passenger ticket that tells you car, seat, etc. Then you need an express ticket that allows you to ride the actual shinkansen bullet train. You can also pay extra for a reserved seat as well as for a “green car” ticket (first class).

Because we were traveling during the offseason and in the middle of the day, we just bought our tickets at the station (in our case, Shinagawa Station). It was JPY14,720 in total, or about USD$107 per person.

Waiting For The Shinkansen Bullet Train

The shinkansen trains come pretty regularly throughout the day (I think every 30 minutes during the day?), and so we had about 10 or 15 minutes after we bought our tickets before it was time to make our way through the platform. You put your ticket in the turnstile to even get access to the shinkansen section of the train station. We went down to a lower level to platform 23. We were on Nozomi 37 that departed at 13:37.

a group of people in a train station

Here’s the video of our Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen Bullet Train arriving at the station.

Shinkansen Bullet Train Tokyo to Osaka Review

There is plenty of room onboard for luggage and to stretch out. Because we had bought our tickets so close to the departure of the train, we were not able to select a window seat, so we were next to each other in the middle and aisle. At one point a conductor did come by and check our tickets, and there was also food that was available for purchase, though we just ate the lunch that we had purchased at the train station before we boarded.

There was Shinkansen bullet train wifi available for free. The speeds were fine when it worked, but it was a bit finicky and kept kicking me off and making me reconnect.

two men sitting in a plane

The total time between Tokyo and Osaka on the Shinkansen Bullet Train was about 2 hours 30 minutes. There were a few stops along the way where people got off and on.

The Bottom Line

Traveling on the Japanese Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka was a bucket list item and definitely an experience to remember. Buying tickets was easy to do in-person at the train station, though you can also buy tickets online beforehand. These bullet trains go about 200 miles per hour and take about 2.5 hours to get from Tokyo to Osaka.

Have you ever ridden the Shinkansen Japanese Bullet Train from Tokyo to Osaka? Share your experience in the comments below

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