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Yamagata Shinkansen Train

© East Japan Railway Company

The East Japan Railway Company offers the Yamagata Shinkansen, a sophisticated Japanese high-speed train also known as a bullet train. The Yamagata line first came into service in 1999, and links Tokyo, the nation capital, with the city of Shinjo in north-central Yamagata Prefecture (the only exception is between Tokyo and Fukushima, which is served by the Tohoku Shinkansen line). Because the Yamagata runs on regular railway tracks, it is often goes by the nickname “mini-shinkansen”.

Currently, there are two kinds of Yamagata Shinkansen trains operating on the Tokyo to Shinjo route: the E3-1000 Series and E3-2000 Series. Each has a maximum travel speed of 130kms per hour. Most Yamagata trains offer two passenger seating classes: the “Ordinary Car” (basically a standard class coach) and the “Green Car” (similar to first or business class).

The distance between Tokyo and Shinjo is approximately 421 kilometres, and the average travel time by Yamagata is 3 hours, 30 minutes. En route, there are stops in the cities of Fukushima, Yonezawa, Kaminoyama and Yamagata.

Purchase a JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) e-ticket to get onboard the Yamagata Shinkansen train. This handy, all-encompassing pass gives you limitless travel possibilities between Tokyo and the northeastern part of Japan’s main island. The JR EAST PASS also includes travel by Akita, Joetsu, Hokuriku and Tohoku Shinkansen. Passes can be used for 5 flexible travel days over a 14-day period.

Get your pass to exceptional value and flexibility as your plan your journey through the breathtaking Tohoku region of Japan!

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

E3-1000 Series

  • First introduced: 1999
  • Maximum operating speed: 130km/h
  • Layout: 7-car trains

E3-1000 Series

  • First introduced: 2008
  • Maximum operating speed: 130km/h
  • Layout: 7-car trains
Train services and amenities
  • Spacious, comfortable seats capable of swiveling 180 degrees
  • 3x2 row seat layout in Ordinary Class; 2x2 row seat layout in Green Car 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 Shinjo
Train stations: Tokyo and Shinjo
Popular stops: Fukushima, Yonezawa, Kaminoyama, Yamagata
Estimated travel time: 3h30
Travel included with a: JR EAST PASS (Tohoku 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 Yamagata Shinkansen trains in Japan
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