My 5 minute guide to Japanese Bullet Trains (Shinkansen)
Articles, Blog

My 5 minute guide to Japanese Bullet Trains (Shinkansen)

September 14, 2019

Hey guys
right now i’m on a shinkansen i’m going between Hiroshima and Fukuyama
but I also just caught another shinkansen from Tokyo to Hiroshima
I’ve been catching a lot of shinkansen’s these past two days
So one of the things as a tourist that you can do when you come to Japan is use the JR
rail pass which means you have unlimited rides on JR
lines and shinkansens for a limited amount of time
so you can purchase like a week, 2 weeks, whatever
If you want to travel a lot this might be a really great option for you
if not there’s also aeroplanes which can be a lot cheaper if you’re not travelling
to so many areas But if you wanna travl on the shinkansen and
you’re gonna travel a lot- (baby) YEEAAAAHHH
ooooOoo th-
ohhh my goood I don’t even know if you guys can hear me
to be honest there’s so many sounds though
Kenji there’s so many sounds KENJII
This baby will be a part of my video I wanna tell you guys how I enjoy my shinkansens
to the fullest With shinkansens it’s kind of not common
for me to ride them, they’re a little bit expensive, they’re
kind of a special occasion. So when I do ride them I make the most of
them, it’s like they’re a holiday within themselves
So one of the things about shinkansens is you can bring as much food as you want on
them that’s one of the things that i love
In Tokyo station you can get these things called ‘Ekiben’
which is basically just a station bento box that you can take on shinkansens
So they have heaps of different options, they even have vegetable options and vegan options
In Tokyo station there’s a lot of different things to choose from
On the way here I got the most delicious bento box I have ever eaten
It was sooo good I also picked up two soy cream donuts to take
with me on the journey which you can also find in tokyo station
So just so you know, you are allowed to drink alcohol on the shinkansen
The guy sitting next to me on the last train drank two bottles of wine
I mean they were still like this big, but he was just chugging it
So if you feel like drinking a beer, having some wine, keeping it luxurious, keeping it
chill Just grab some alcohol on the way in and you
can drink it on your journey Now shinkansens can range from a lot of different
times, right now we are on one for just 20 minutes
but on the way here we rode one for 4 hours When you catch a shinkansen each of them have
different names and they go different speeds and to different places
So make sure you check up what kind of shinkansen you want to ride
what’s the most expensive, what’s the least expensive
what the ride times are, that kind of thing always good to know
For this shinkansen ride I got a donut so I’m just going to be eating that while I
talk to you guys Now if you are catching the shinkansen towards
kyoto and osaka from tokyo you will be able to see mt fuji on a good day
Luckily enough I was able to see it last night This is so good
If you do forget to bring like a bento box or some snacks or whatever
there’s a trolley that goes through the train which has some snacks and drinks and
things to choose from if you get hungry while you’re on your trip
and you forget to get something beforehand They also have toilets and some vending machines
they’re a little bit more expensive and the drinks will be quite small i think
but the options is there if you want to get a drink while you’re on the shinkansen
If you do get a shinkansen and if it’s possible I do recommend getting a window seat
because one of the best things is to look out the window and see all of the scenery
go by I love it so much Honestly it’s basically like getting a flight,
liike going on an airoplane but you don’t have to go through the whole
check in process and getting on the plane and waiting for take
off having all of that extra hassle
this one just goes super fast you have a good time
and suddenly you’re there, that’s why it’s a little more expensive than flying
so if you’re travelling to Japan on a budget I do recommend checking out flights to different
areas rather than the shinkansens Also don’t forget to bring something to
do, something to read, you could just play on your phone,
watch a movie if you have a way to do that It’s chill you can still use internet and
everything but really, it’s just nice to look out the
window so cool
So you can get a reserved seat but it’s quite a bit more expensive than a ‘choose
your own seat’ seat So if you do it the cheaper way, if its a
more empty shinkansen then it’s great you can sit wherever you want
but if you come in and it’s quite busy then you might have to stand
So that’s kind of what can happen with a – they’re called ‘jiyuu seki’
choose freely seat so just be careful with those but it should
be fine Ok so that was just a little quick introduction
to shinkansens and how i like to ride them
how do you guys like to ride shinkansens? do you have any extra things that you like
to do?or anything i missed? any tips or tricks? let me know in the comments down below
Thanks for watching, if you enjoyed this video please give it a thumbs up, leave a comment
down below, hit subscribe if you want to see more videons like this or not like this
and I’ll see you guys in the next video Jaaaaaaa ne!


  • Reply TXnine7nine September 24, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    How easy is it to take luggage on the shinkansen? Say one suitcase per person? We are planning a 2 week trip to Tokyo in March and the last 4 days we are planning on going to Kyoto/Osaka.

  • Reply Dal Adams September 24, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Fun Thanks

  • Reply Dirk Jan Swart September 24, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    I loved the Shinkansen when I was there. There is one thing that I thought was kinda big that you missed and that is that you can rotate the entire bench 180 degrees! We did that when traveling with a group so you could did face to face.

  • Reply PhattyMcdugen September 24, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Good Video. Keep at it, and know that your fan base likes you, not for gimmicks or click bait, but because you're an awesome person. ?

  • Reply Charly Ruiz September 24, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    I clicked on this video so fast hahaha

  • Reply バイパー September 24, 2018 at 10:52 pm


  • Reply J Gorter September 24, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    I really liked the option of turning the whole bench around so you could talk to your friends in a group way, it is not an option on every shinkansen but sure alot more fun iff you don't have to be backwards in your seat to talk to your friends all ride

  • Reply christinalise September 24, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Totally bought reserved seats from nagoya to tokyo bc when we went kyoto to nagoya we had to stand. Only for like 30min but still, and with a 6 year old, oi.
    Love these types of videos so much, just neat japan stuff. I'd love a "how to avoid shinjuku station" video coz damn is that place a cluster-eff of confusing.

  • Reply Daniel A.B. September 24, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    So best part of ridding the bullet train besides getting to have a dirnk, enjoy a nice meal, is most importantly knowing when you go to the bathroom at 250 MPH.

  • Reply Tokyo Ghoul September 24, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    This was cute I liked it! ❤

  • Reply Ugly Kid September 24, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    i'm hungry for more content

  • Reply Corydon Rose September 24, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    I went on one during a local holiday… it was packed; only space left was in the smokers cabin, yuck; luckily only two people where smoking.

  • Reply Ngaire Lock - All the Way from Oz September 25, 2018 at 1:06 am

    Love your videos, very informative and our aussie happy go lucky attitude! ( from one aussie to another?) Don't doubt your talents, you make great vids, just post , they are all great! We are visiting Japan in 2019 Sacura season for three wks so find your vids really helpful, and i'm travelling with my daughter so love the fresh young ideas for the more hip n young travellers!( ideas for us oldies on great things to do in Japan) We look forward to travelling to Osaka and Kyoto via Shinkansen so thanks for the information, g'day from Australia!?

  • Reply Andrea Stuart September 25, 2018 at 1:22 am

    Important to know that you can only buy JR Rail pass from outside of Japan. (Or at least this was true 4 years ago.) Which means travelers have to plan ahead!

  • Reply aneira September 25, 2018 at 1:47 am

    My favourite shinkansen trip was from Miyazki to Kagoshima. I love listening to music and watching the world zoom by. Don't recommend the hot coffee though, every time I got one I thought to myself 'I promised I wouldn't drink this stuff anymore, why didn't I listen to past me?'
    The best snack I grabbed to take with me was an Usagi cream pan, which was basically a cream pan with bunny ears and a cute face <3

  • Reply Laerckz September 25, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Last time I was in Japan I got on the wrong Shinkansen with my JR Rail Pass and got almost 3/4 of the way to Kyoto before a conductor checked on me. No big deal though, I just got off at the next station and waited ten minutes for the next (proper) Shinkansen train. Other countries would not have been so kind in my experience.

  • Reply cookiekitty22 September 25, 2018 at 1:59 am

    yay! love the shinkasens! i usually catch up on my journaling or podcasts while staring out the window. so, a tip i have is making sure to get off quickly. i’ve seen numerous tourist that think there is a lot of time at the stops to grab their stuff and slowly walk off aaaaaaaannnndddd miss it. as soon as i hear the music start to play, im up and grabbing my stuff and shuffling towards the doors. i mean, if locals are doing it….. ??‍♀️

  • Reply noein road September 25, 2018 at 2:17 am

    Vending machines on the train?! Also I didn't realize there were four hour trips. I've watched a few other videos and some how came to the conclusion that the trips were short. Sounds like it would be fun to travel in a group and have a picnic before you even get to your destination! So glad I watched this video!

  • Reply nacho fuentes September 25, 2018 at 2:22 am

    everytime she says Shinkansen you take a shot

  • Reply Shoujan September 25, 2018 at 3:21 am

    I love you!!

  • Reply Filip Sz September 25, 2018 at 3:38 am

    That was cool to know! I'm planning a trip on the future so we will probably take at least one Shinkansen ride 🙂

  • Reply vanecaptures September 25, 2018 at 3:43 am

    Loved those window shots with the scenery zooming by. I thought you weren’t allowed to talk on trains in Japan… is it different for these Shinkansens?

  • Reply Jenny O'Driscoll September 25, 2018 at 4:19 am

    Sometimes I feel jealous of babies because they are just doing whatever. We should all channel babies when we are trying to vlog in public. That baby was having a grand old time.

  • Reply Mike beats tsb September 25, 2018 at 5:16 am

    Why's it called a 'Bento Box' please Emma . ?

  • Reply Mouse A September 25, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Hello! I went to Japan last year and did use the Shinkansen a couple of times, which I absolutely loved. My favourite thing about it (about from the speed, punctuality, comfort etc.) was the ekiben part lol I made sure to get mine every time I hopped on a Shinkansen to enjoy the experience to the fullest 😉

  • Reply abluemug September 25, 2018 at 6:29 am

    Oooh B.B. you’re right about getting a window seat. I had no idea they had vending machines. I was starving on one back from Kyoto, but hey there’s always next time ?

  • Reply Marc Sweet September 25, 2018 at 6:54 am

    Hey Emma! Super video. Seeing you riding the Shinkansen and hearing your tips made me feel nostalgic about travelling around Japan during my English teaching days twenty years ago. You're motivating me to plan a return trip to Japan to see what I've been missing! Thanks for posting this, wishing you lots of fun and adventure. You rock 🙂

  • Reply christotaku B. September 25, 2018 at 7:21 am

    great video

  • Reply christotaku B. September 25, 2018 at 7:26 am

    The outro is awesome

  • Reply Seth Rader September 25, 2018 at 8:32 am


  • Reply RBard September 25, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Given that it's considered to be rude to talk on trains, don't you feel a little awkward filming a video? I'm always wondering this about Jvloggers. If I filmed in public and felt like I was being a nuisance, my anxiety would sky rocket.

  • Reply Iku Tree September 25, 2018 at 9:56 am

    I LOVED going on the Shinkansen. I was on the fence with the whole JR Pass thing but since I was going to be traveling through Japan a lot, I ended up getting it and it was the best decision ever. There's something about zooming through the Japanese countryside…
    Something worth mentioning: I travelled with a large suitcase a lot of the time (the kind that doesn't fit overhead) but I always managed to get a seat as close to the back of the car as possible where there's some room where you can leave your luggage. It's not really meant for suitcases so they will fly out if there's a turn so keep an eye out for that (happened to me more than once) but it's definitely a must if you have a suitcase and you're not at the very front or back of the train (where I think is where the real luggage storage things are).

  • Reply MrScottikiss September 25, 2018 at 10:38 am

    In regards to your last video.. I don't think any of us care. We want to see you for you. Do what you want. We will be there. Enjoying anything and everything you send our way. Trust your instincts, you've made it this far on them. Take it all the way Emma.

  • Reply Shanon Field September 25, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Take a shot everytime she says shinkansen ?

  • Reply Claïs Lemmens September 25, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    My favorite way to ride the shinkansen is falling asleep and waking up with a sleeping Japanese man on my shoulder (truly, I've found my tribe! everyone sleeps everywhere in Japan! it's amazing!)

  • Reply Nicole T. September 25, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    I rode the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto when I was in Japan in August. It was so chill, I loved it! I used the time to prepare some instagram posts of our trip ? Also just for anyone out there who might have allergies, I recommend getting to the station early (or buying a ticket to a train that gives you some time) so that you can look for food at the station. We bought a ticket for a train that was leaving in like 15 minutes and the konbini on the platform didn't have any bentos without shellfish, for example. I didn't try the cart inside the train though, I just bought some onigiris and a sandwich. ?

  • Reply Cakes with Faces September 25, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    The shinkansen's so comfortable – there's even enough legroom to put your suitcase by your knees (although I'm not very tall!). So much cleaner and more comfortable than any train I've been on in the UK. I took a book to read but spent the whole time just looking at the scenery going past! 🙂

  • Reply Justin Howard September 25, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Tourist train passes that aren't the country-wide JR Pass are also well worth a look. There's a wealth of variants (e.g. Tokyo Wide Pass) that are cheaper than a JR Pass if you're not travelling every day of your stay or going end-to-end in the country. You even get JR car hire discounts with passes, to mix it up. I used the TWP and car hire to go around Yamagata in winter (was awesome).

    Also don't forget, Suica is your friend when buying stuff. Not just at the station, but on the train too. Remember Japan Rail invented the thing (with Sony). Topping up your Suica for more than just travel in Tokyo is dead helpful, both with vending machines and fast paying at the combi.

    Other than that, PLEASE buy a condenser (lavalier) mic and the adapter for your phone. They're not expensive, and the baby will thank you.

  • Reply Helen C. September 25, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Loved this vid. Felt like I was sitting on the train next to you. Very organic. ?

  • Reply Andrew Liddle September 25, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    I'll be going on a Shinkansen for the first time in December as for the two weeks I'm in Japan i did Tokyo last year so this year I well be spending in Sendai. Pretty nervous as I have never be on or know how to get a Shinkansen I just know either to head to Ueno-Eki station or Tokyo station. Anyways this video helped me out a little Thanks Emma!

  • Reply Wandering Helen September 25, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    With the JR rail pass, can I activate it for the day after? I've bought a 2 week pass, but it only covers part of the time I'm in Japan so can I go to the station on the 9th to get it activated for the 10th onwards?

  • Reply cimajeen Vet September 25, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    If you can choose a seat, right or left would be a matter whether you can see Mt fuji from the window on the train^^

  • Reply Vance Elwood September 25, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    I want bento, now.

  • Reply mars September 25, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    So glad you are back to making regular videos again, I've missed you! Also your hair is looking fantastic after the straightening.

  • Reply Doro T September 25, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    I really really love your videos and always look forward to them when they are in my Abo box!! I'm very sorry, that you are struggling so much lately and I'd love to just give you a hug and tell you how much I enjoy your content every time!
    Lots of Love!!!

  • Reply T T September 25, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Is the background travel noise (not the passengers!) due to the high speed? Continental inter-city trains here in Europe seem a lot quieter but they are a lot slower.

  • Reply Elli-Jayne Willard September 26, 2018 at 12:34 am

    I'm so glad you seem to be feeling better! Your last video really spoke to me as i used to youtube years ago and was doing really well with views and stuff but then the pressure all got too much and i didnt know what to do for my videos and thought all my ideas were crap and one day it became a bit much and i never made a video ever again. I'm super glad you're posting again 🙂 and i LOVED this video. it made me feel all なつかしい for japan and the 7/11 donuts and the shinkansen! keep it up girl! everything you make is fun! <3 * deleted and reposted as i realised youtube posts my FULL name haha

  • Reply TheEyeofMobius September 26, 2018 at 1:29 am

    I found when I rode the Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo the upgrade to a first class seat was a very small cost compared to the whole ticket and It came with a Bento & Drink Voucher.

  • Reply Brandon Olson September 26, 2018 at 3:17 am

    Lol @ that enthusiastic kid in the back: "YEAAAHHH!!!"

  • Reply Howard Roark September 26, 2018 at 4:16 am

    Your videos are so interesting. Thanks for creating and sharing!!

  • Reply Fatma Aktaş September 26, 2018 at 5:17 am

    Yeay! I would like to see more of these informative videos.

  • Reply HelenBeee September 26, 2018 at 8:02 am

    whats that old saying never work with children and animals……so true hey? and very nicely demonstrated in your video…but despite the child in the background and the train noise this video was really enjoyable and informative too. You may not believe it Emma but Im sure Im not alone in finding you very watchable and never boring so it might surprise you to find that you dont really need to try to hard to produce watchable content. Some youtubers have to do a lot of work to get me to subscribe but you fall in the category of ytubers that are just engaging to watch and listen to. For some ideas I would love to see some parallels to Aussie life such as libraries what they are like or supermarket or market food and non food. Or I would love to see you both travelling in say a japanese campervan (that would be dependent on drivers license and budget) anyway Im not sure thats helpful but I hope you find a happy place doing this youtube thing and thanks for climbing that "mountain" to post this its appreciated. 🙂

  • Reply astroboy3507 September 26, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Gee you guys really got the wrong seats that trip!!!! ?

  • Reply Rhiannon Payze September 26, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Thanks so much for ur amazing videos I found ur channel when I watched an ep from Joey the an1me mans channel… I’m watching so many videos from different YouTubers who live in Japan so I can learn as much as I can to one day visit ?

  • Reply Fraser Lloyd September 26, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Surprisingly all seems like standard rail travel to me, in Britain the food, cart, drinking, rail pass is all very much the same, although maybe just a higher standard Haha and on time…

  • Reply mazedmarky September 27, 2018 at 4:20 am

    yummmy box

  • Reply Butterfly Elephant Books September 27, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    okay, firstly, I love that you subtitled the baby's babbling. had me giggling. and secondly – oh man, I love shinkansens. I miss them a lot – bento, looking out the window, not having to be afraid of the flying… all great. 😀

  • Reply WendysMilk September 27, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Saw you on Jetstar ad lmao

  • Reply Aiken September 27, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    LOL great slice of life video, not everything has to be just so… great video thanks Emma

    Everyone has to try the Matcha ice cream thats available between Tokyo and Kyoto – if you like Matcha

  • Reply Melissa K September 28, 2018 at 5:02 am

    I'll be on one in 6 days!!!! Thanks for the tips ?

  • Reply Mark M September 28, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Intro music is hella THHIICCCC

  • Reply Village Joker September 29, 2018 at 6:12 am

    do you know, you are awesome….

  • Reply JBS September 29, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    If you have large luggage, you can put it behind the last row in your coach if there is no luggage space. The new trains on the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa have space for large luggage at the end of the coach, but most others I found do not.

  • Reply rorz999 September 29, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    I loved getting the shinkansens when I visited Japan. I can't express enough what a great idea bento boxes are, had some delicious ones which felt like a complete, healthy meal to me, and for me would be breakfast or lunch that day. The trains were always spotlessly clean and it's a genius idea that your ticket also doubles as your seat reservation, so no danger of having to stand up on the train. Compared to UK trains it was absolute bliss, it actually made commuting to be comfortable and enjoyable! Oh and we had some great views ☺️

  • Reply nicoleffion September 30, 2018 at 3:32 pm


  • Reply abitofpaprika September 30, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    I wish they had Bento boxes in the UK

  • Reply Camila González October 1, 2018 at 1:17 am

    Thanks for the video! Very useful!

  • Reply john Snow October 3, 2018 at 2:53 am

    im a filipino and i always wanted to live in japan.

  • Reply maakudesuyo October 3, 2018 at 7:55 am

    My favorite part of the shinkansen: LEG ROOM! I didn't mind the audio, it felt like I was in a shinkansen too lol

  • Reply Gym S October 7, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Never had a baby issue in the green class

  • Reply Edwin Contreras October 19, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Lol it's okay

  • Reply A T November 3, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Ah quiet Japanese trains

  • Reply The British Baker November 16, 2018 at 12:04 am

    Awesome for you for living your dream!

  • Reply hm ata November 27, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    one of the biggest differences between riding a plan and a shinkansen is how much space you get on a shinkansen seat.

  • Reply Nan December 19, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Those gorgeous bento boxes!!!!! ???
    Love your videos, Emma!!!

  • Reply Jason Sarrafian February 23, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Soooo funny (and helpful)!

  • Reply Mae-Anne Lee March 24, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I'm sure that baby is not Asian ?

  • Leave a Reply