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Hokuriku Shinkansen Train

© East Japan Railway Company

The Hokuriku Shinkansen is the product of a joint venture between the East Japan Railway Company and West Japan Railway Company. A type of Japanese high-speed train, or bullet train, the Hokuriku has been a staple of Japan’s high-speed rail network since 1997. It provides a link between the nation’s capital of Tokyo and Nagano, capital city of Nagano Prefecture (the only exception is between Tokyo and Takasaki, which is largely served by the Joetsu Shinkansen).

Currently, there are two kinds of Hokuriku Shinkansen trains used on the Tokyo to Nagano route: the E2 Series and E7 Series. Both are able to travel at a speed of up to 260kms per hour. Most Hokuriku trains feature three passenger seating classes: “Ordinary Car” (basically standard class), “Green Car” (similar to first or business class) and “Gran Class” (luxury travel at its finest).

From Tokyo to Nagano, the distance is approximately 226 kilometres; the travel time by Hokuriku, 1 hour and 40 minutes on average. Between the two points, the train will make a brief stop in Fukushima, Yonezawa, Kaminoyama and Yamagata.

When you purchase a JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) e-ticket, you get unlimited travel possibilities aboard the Hokuriku Shinkansen train between Tokyo and Honshu, the central main island of Japan. This pass also includes travel in select regions of the Joetsu, Tohoku and Yamagata Shinkansen lines. Purchase a JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) to include travel from Tokyo to Takasaki by Hokuriku Shinkansen. Passes can be used for 5 flexible travel days over a 14-day period.

Get your pass to exceptional value and flexibility as you plan your way across the heart of Japan!

Why choose travel on Hokuriku Shinkansen trains?
Types of Hokuriku Shinkansen trains

E2 Series

  • First introduced: 1997
  • Maximum operating speed: 260km/h
  • Layout: 8-car trains
  • Seats: 630 in total

E2 Series

  • First introduced: 2014
  • Maximum operating speed: 260km/h
  • Layout: 12-car trains
  • Seats: 934 in total
Pre-booking time
  • Spacious, comfortable seats capable of swiveling 180 degrees
  • 3x2 row seat layout in Ordinary Class; 2x2 row seat layout in Green Car Class; 2x1 seat layout in Gran Class
  • Signs and announcements in multiple languages
  • Catering services onboard including food carts with snacks, drinks and meals plus vending machines
  • Multiple-toilet washroom facilities
  • Most trains are non-smoking
Route itinerary

From: Tokyo to Nagano
Train stations: Tokyo and Nagano
Popular stops: Kumagaya, Takasaki, Karuizawa, Ueda
Estimated travel time: 1h40
Travel included with a: JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)


Passengers are allowed two pieces of luggage, up to a maximum weight of 60 kg and having total dimensions measuring no more than 250 cm (based on height, length and width). Delivery services are available.


Bicycles are permitted at no extra cost but must be folded or disassembled and packed inside carrying cases.


Small pets including dogs, cats and birds are allowed onboard. However, they must travel in a cage or similar container no bigger than 90 cm (based on height and length) and must weigh less than 10 kg.


Passengers in wheelchairs have access to special seating on the train but must make a request at the station they are boarding from 2 days in advance. Wheelchairs must conform to maximum size requirements and those with steering wheels are generally not allowed. Elevators and escalators at stations are wheelchair-friendly. Strollers can be carried onboard at no extra charge, as long as they are folded and placed either in front of the seat or in the designated luggage compartment.

Rail passes for travel on Hokuriku Shinkansen trains in Japan
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