travel

Hayabusa shinkansen offers first class speed and service

46 Comments

The new high-speed train Tohoku Shinkansen E5 series, Hayabusa, which will debut on March 5, reached 300 km/h in a Sendai-Shin Aomori test run with 140 reporters onboard last week.

The test run started from Sendai Station and took only six minutes to reach the 300 km/h with almost no apparent shaking. The train used in the test run was completed less than a month ago, and its innovative interior shows Japan's newest technology and construction design novelty.

The shinkansen’s 18 first class seats, called GranClass, ease passengers into a world of comfort and relaxation. With its large sized reclining leather seats, soft indoor light, soft wool carpet and wooded ceiling, Hayabusa adopts an international business class flight design. Personal attendants, trained by Japan’s most experienced flight attendants, will tend to passengers.

The fare for a GranClass 185-minute ride from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori is 26,360 yen, and tickets are already sold out for the debut journey.

© Compiled from news reports

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


46 Comments
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26,360yen one way?

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That looks NICE! Want to go :D

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26,360yen one way?

You forgot to put an exclamation mark after the question mark.

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One of my friends from Aomori always complains that it costs here more to get home than it does to visit Korea or Guam. Domestic travel prices are crazy in this country...

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here = her.

sorry, in a rush... :(

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@flyingfish: No one is forcing you to travel Grand Class. I'm sure there will be plenty of people willing to pay.

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That isn't a totally outrageous price. I thought it would be way, way more.

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I bet the service in Grand Class will be phenomenal.

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Domestic airlines have stopped offering first class and I am sure too that many people who have the means prefer to travel in class. I don't find it that expensive either for what you get.

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26,360yen one way?

Yes, it quickly empties your wallet too.

Btw it has been overlooked that there are no Jiyuseki Cars on the new E5's and since December it's not been possible to take a Jiyuseki Car north of Sendai on the Tohoku Shinkansen. This little price gouge by JR East forcing people to take a reserved seat, even at non busy periods hasn't been mentioned anywhere.

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I've only purchased ordinary seats on the shinkansen and have always been very, very comfortable.

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Wooded ceilings?!? I'm in :0

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Actually, JR East named the service GranClass (one word, no "d"). JT's "writers" didn't bother to look for the official naming in the English language material JR East has provided. Also, while the Hayabusa is the only current series E5, there could be future lines using that series which are not called Hayabusa. So the current phrasing E5=Hayabusa is not actually correct.

Moderator: It has been corrected.

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Yes, it's called Gran Class, not Grand Class - see all the posters/signs/etc.

Looking forward to this new Hayabusa. It should have mentioned that not only are the tickets sold out, they sold out in 6 seconds a few weeks ago. Wow.

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300 km/h with almost no apparent shaking

try this on other high speed rail trains in europe (cramped trains to boot as well)

eg eurostar, tgv, etc

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Regular shinkansen/regular class from Tokyo to Aomori is just over 30,000 return. Takes about 3.5 hours. This takes off about 25 minutes and costs a bit more for regular.

Unfortunately, it will only run twice a day.

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I would ride it once, one-way, just for the experience. At least it's a relatively affordable experience--I've given up hope of ever taking the Cassiopeia to Hokkaido or one of those private-room suites on an Airbus super-jumbo from Singapore Airlines...

It's like going to Buffalo from NYC, though--what do you do when you get there?

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Hmmmmm, I think I will take a bus !!!!!

So 300km/h everything will be a blur outside the windows or will they have no windows or slow motion windows ????

The average speed will probably 200-240km/h if the train is late the onboard computers will adjust the flight time ( train timing )

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shirokuma2011: Niagara Falls!

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The E5 series is the latest addition to the Shinkansen team. It has a distinctive long nose look with the latest developments in rail comfort and safety. A major feature of the E5 series is a re-designed low-noise pantograph which is a device on top of the train connecting to the overhead electrical lines. The bogies which is the wheeled wagons have also been completely covered to reduce noise from rail contact including installation of sound absorbing materials under the floor beneath passenger seats. The full-active suspension system detects and regulates tilts and lateral movement and a pneumatic suspension tilts passengers cars as the train heads into curves, reducing centrifugal force. The Shinkansen has a superb safety record without a single passenger accident in 46 years of service and is considered the safest high-speed rail service in the world.

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I would like to try this at least once, too. I would never take the bus.

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@novenachama: Was that straight out of Wiki or th JR East website?

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It's always interesting to hear tight-fisted foreigners complaining about the cost of the shinkansen.

I sometimes get the impression that these kind of people are just happy with the slowest and shoddiest service, as long as it's cheap.

They seem to have no concept of paying a little more for a fast and comfortable journey.

I think the shinkansen is great and I always enjoy catching one in Japan.

Looking at the shoddy rail services in other countries (UK, US) the shinkansen service is something that Japan can be very proud of and is something we should learn from.

Can't wait to catch the Hayabusa some day...

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@imacat: Well said, I totally agree with you. Think you have summed that up very nicely.

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whiskeysour, never ridden a shinkansen? Everything is not a blur at 300km, because you'll be riding through the middle of nowhere. You can still enjoy looking at the plains and mountains.

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@whiskeysour. ?????????????????

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Alas! The spirit of innovation is alive and well in Japan! It is the only thing keeping this country afloat. Can you imgagine if the politicians at Clowns Inc. in Tokyo were able to have effective government? Japan would indeed be a force to reckon with instead of being a laughing stock. I've ridden the TGV in France and it doesn't even come close to Shinkansen. The Koreans and Chinese have copied the technology and have nice systems of their own... but the level of quality and innovation of Shinkansen is unmatched!!

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It's always interesting to hear tight-fisted foreigners complaining about the cost of the shinkansen.

Honestly though, don't you think prices for domestic travel are a bit high? (not just shinkansen). Sure the service may be great, but for a similar price you can take a vacation overseas including accommodation.

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I found in many countries that domestic travels and vacation can most more than international ones.

Even if I take that Shinkansen doubt I will be booked into that class.

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@ Zenny11

For the cost of hotels etc., true I guess. However many countries at least also have a budget airline such as Ryanair or Jetstar making travel for families affordable.

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Yes, and Japan has many cheaper choices, such as overnight bus services of which there are many.

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such as overnight bus services of which there are many

Actually buses are not that much cheaper than trains. I live in Okayama - it costs 30,000 yen return to go to Tokyo by shinkansen, about the same by plane. A bus costs about 20,000 return. Multiply that by 3 or 4 for a typical family and things become expensive very quickly - and I don't know many people who would want to ride an overnight bus with toddlers.

In Australia I could FLY to Melbourne or Brisbane for less than half that price. If I was in the UK I could fly to practically anywhere in Europe for about the same.

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Yeah, well. Unfortunately, we are not in the UK or Australia. But, we all probably weran 2-3 times what we could there. All relative.

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sorry..bad typing. 'we all probably earn'

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papasmurfinjapan.

If I was in the UK I could fly to practically anywhere in Europe for about the same.

Bingo. The UK does NOT cover the whole of europe which makes those flights International ones. Now if you had compared flights/trains/etc within the UK to flights/trains/etc within Japan, etc.

Australia is a big country with not much in between the big cities so air-travel is a viable option I hear some people even commute via private planes

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But, we all probably weran 2-3 times what we could there. All relative.

We, perhaps... how about the average Japanese worker though? Part time wages are way below Australia and starting salaries for skilled workers are pretty low... anyway, this is getting a bit off topics. Thanks for the input though :)

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Travelling around the UK by train is VERY expensive if you don't book way in advance. Probabaly very comparable to Japan.

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Bingo. The UK does NOT cover the whole of europe which makes those flights International ones. Now if you had compared flights/trains/etc within the UK to flights/trains/etc within Japan, etc.

okey dokey..

London - Manchester (of course rates change depending on the day. This is for 27 Feb)

Air: 56 pounds inc tax.

Train: 17 pounds.

Okayama - Tokyo

Air: 13,100 yen (for the earliest flight at 7am) After that 16,000yen or more

Train: 16,860 yen (shinkansen jiyuseki)

If you don't think Japanese domestic travel is expensive, that is fine. Everyone is in different financial circumstances. Personally I think relative to current Japanese incomes, the price is expensive for many people. But that's just my opinion. I'm not saying I'm right and everyone else is wrong. What I am saying is, I think there are few budget options for travel in this country other than the overnight bus which isn't really that cheap, nor practical for families given the distances involved.

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@ rainman1

perhaps you are right. I just quickly looked up virgin trains and they looked pretty cheap to me though.. maybe there are hidden fees or the advertised fee is misleading. Even in Australia, rail is more expensive than air travel recently. What is different is in Japan air travel and train travel costs about the same. There is no cheaper option other than buses and until recently, even driving your car on the expressway was extremely expensive.

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OK Zenny, as an example, in the UK you could fly easyJet from London to Edinburgh for around 4,000 yen one way. Also, trains can be very good value if you book in advance. I took Virgin Trains first class from Glasgow to London for a little over 6,000 yen. Both of these options are much cheaper than anything available in Japan.

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Problem is, you are all basing your fares elsewhere in the world on a Yen that is very strong, it makes everything seem cheap elsewhere - and based in your 'home' currency, expensive here. If you are in Japan, you earn Yen. 3 years ago Sterling/Yen (as an example was 230-ish. If you based all your fares elewhere on that it would seem a lot more reasonable. You live in Japan people and earn Yen - Get over it. The 'cheap' airfares within Europe are often at silly times, early morning late at night. In fact, the Times of London recently published a report that showed prices on Ryanair/Easy Jet were NO less at shoulder and peak periods than British Airways. In fact throw in the baggage charges etc and in some cases Ryanair was actually MORE expensive. If you turned up at London Euston this morning and wanted a one-way ticket to Manchester I think you all would be shocked at the cost. Buy it the day before on the Internet however, and subject to load factors you MAY be surprised. At least in Japan prices are consistent and the rail companies and airlines do not rip you off at peak times. @bogart: You are aware that you can buy Shinkansen tickets under face value in discount shops? Also, I think the Shinkansen is a little superior travelling 270-300km an hour compared to a Virgin train chugging along from London to Glasgow at 200km an hour. All the fares you have spoken about will be advertised as the 'from XXXpounds' fare. That, I am sure about.

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The Shinkansen is still no. 1 for a lot of reasons.

Cost does need to be more reasonable. As for the UK. Train travel can be cheap if you book well ahead and take certain trains, which are usally not very convienet and often not available (My brother regularily uses Virgin trains). If you have only a few days to spare or need to take a train a convient time. the London - Manchester route Standard Fair is 139.50 UKP

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Secondly someone quote Manchester - London travel with Tokyo - Okayama. ot sensible as the Manchester London distance is 300 km, whereas the Tokyo -Okayama distance is about 700km

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They need to pay the extra people at the Shinkansen offices who bow automatically when the bucho walks in the door. The hidden costs of Japanese travel are not easily understood!

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@gregoms: Whilst your comment is tinged with humour - I think it is hidden travel costs on other countries that need to be clearer. Expensive as Japan maybe for domestic travel, at least what you see is actually what you pay. I refer back to Ryan Air etc mentioned in earlier posts.

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185 € is not such a big deal for such a class!! The french TGV is almost this price in 1st class despite a much lower comfort !!

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