Sunday, August 13, 2017

Japan 2017: The Shinkansen Experience

Japan is famous for its wonderful technologies that make life a whole lot easier.  One of these technologies is the bullet train – which makes traveling more faster (more na, faster pa! ganoon kabilis! hahaha).  Shinkansen is one of Japan’s famous bullet trains.  It is operated by Japan Railways (JR). 

My little boy is fascinated by trains (as evident by his love for Thomas, the tank engine), so riding the famous Shinkansen is a must in our list of to-do things in Japan. 



Most of the people who traveled to Japan suggested that if we are traveling from Kansai to Kanto (Osaka to Tokyo), we should use the Shinkansen for faster travel.  It will only take three hours.  The cost of this is travel is JPY14450 per person.  Since we didn’t avail of the JR Nationwide Pass, spending almost JPY15000 for one person is too much for me. 

So we searched for a way on how we could enjoy riding the Shinkansen with a minimal cost.  We found out that Shinkansen also operates intra-region.  Thus, we rode the Shinkansen from Osaka to Kyoto.




You can travel to Kyoto from Osaka through train or bus.  Traveling by bus will be a little bit longer.  Traveling by train will be a little bit faster.  There are a lot of train lines that you can choose from when you travel from Osaka to Kyoto: the Keihan Line, Hankyu Line, JR Rapid Service, and the Shinkansen. 




Shinkansen fare from Osaka to Kyoto is JPY560 one-way.  Children below 6 years old are free to ride.  Shinkansen is longer than your usual train.  It has several coaches and you have to pay for your seat.  There are three seat classes: The Green Seat, which is the first class, cost JPY3220; Reserved Seat cost JPY2460; and Unreserved seat cost JPY860.  We paid for the Unreserved seat and our total fare of Shinkansen from Osaka to Kyoto is JPY1420 per person.


Don’t be confused of the tickets.  We came from Fukushima Station and we traveled to Osaka with a fare of JPY160.


The Unreserved Seat is the end coach.  We arrived minutes before the Shinkansen is scheduled to leave so we ran to the Unreserved Seat coach since we don’t want to wait another hour for the next Shinkansen train schedule.  After running and locating our coach, we found out that, we could enter any coach and just walk inside the Shinkansen as all coaches are linked.




We were lucky that the Shinkansen scheduled when we traveled was the Nozomi – the fastest Shinkansen at Tokaido/Sanyo Line.  It has individual seats and tray tables.  The seats remind me that of an airplane. 





If you have a luggage with you, do put it at the end of the coach where there is enough space for luggage. 




Riding the Shinkansen from Osaka to Kyoto takes about 18 minutes (Osaka to Shin-Osaka: 4mins, Shin-Osaka to Kyoto: 14mins).  The JR Rapid line will take 27 minutes from Osaka Station to Kyoto Station.  You don’t save so much time, but you get to experience riding the Shinkansen.

Riding the Shinkansen is an experience in itself, so make sure to try it.  Now, let me end this blog post by a video of our Shinkansen experience with my little boy saying “Hi” all the time. J


video




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