MUST Do in Shinkansen (Bullet Train)

Shinkansen Mt. Fuji Transportation

When you travel Japan between Tokyo and Kyoto or Osaka, we recommend you to take a Shinkansen. Not only because it is fast and you probably have a JR Rail Pass that included these trains, but also because it is a great, relaxing experience and you can see many things on the way.

You have probably heard about the Shinkansen, also known as the Bullet Train, but what makes is so special?

The train moves like a bullet – hence the nickname, so fast. The shinkansen high-speed trains are the fastest way to discover all of Japan, reaching a speed of 320 km/h (199 mph)! You can travel to Kyoto from Tokyo in about 2,5 hrs!

The train is very quiet and comfortable, so you can relax while you take in the beautiful surroundings. Also, free Wi-Fi is available on Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu line. The speed is not enough to stream movies, but will get you online.

Stunning scenery
The Shinkansen rides through the center of Japan and many beautiful, tipical Japanese things can be seen during the journey like Mt. Fuji, tea cropping, small local towns etc.

Here are our “not to miss” while riding the Shinkansen tips!
1. Spot Mt. Fuji
2. Enjoy Ekiben
3. Find secret power spot!

1. Spot Mt. Fuji

Mount Fuji is one of the most famous places in the whole of Japan. If you don’t go to visit the mountain, you should still be able to see it in the far distance during your travels. When you travel between Tokyo and Kyoto by Shinkansen, don’t miss it!

Reserve the Mt.Fuji side seat
When travelling to Kyoto, Mt.Fuji is located on the right side and travelling to Tokyo, it’s visible on the left side. For the best view, reserve the E seat (if you are a group of two, please book D & E)

Watch the time!
Travelling with the Bullet Train is very relaxing and you might become sleepy, but don’t fall asleep. (Or set the alarm, just to be sure ;))
You will get to see the view of Mt. Fuji after 40 minutes from Tokyo station, and it will be visible for about 10 minutes!
On the way to Tokyo, the mountain will be visible about 85 minutes from Kyoto station. Pay attention thought, you can only see it for 3 minutes!

When time permits, you can make one or more stops on the way. There are many fun things to do and see in around Mt. Fuji, read 5 things to do near Mt.Fuji area while going to Kyoto from Tokyo by bullet train

When you do fall asleep or you want to see more of Mount Fuji, there are many great vieiwing spots. Read our top spots:12 viewing spots to see Mt. Fuji

2. Enjoy Ekiben

Have you heard of Bento box? It’s lunch box for Japanese people. Ekiben means Eki (station) + Ben (Bento= lunch box). It’s fun to bring and eat Ekiben on the train.

At Tokyo Station you can buy all types of Ekiben. Especially near the ticket gate of Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen, there are many Ekiben shops! For example, Ekiben Matsuri, Ekibenya Odori, Ekibenya.

3. Find secret spot

My neighbor Totoro Ghibli statueHave you seen the Ghibli movie “My neighbor Totoro”? If you can, spot Totoro in the forest during your travel, you are very lucky!

When travelling to Kyoto, Totoro will appear on your left side a few minutes before Maibara station. It is easier to spot Totoro when you travel back to Tokyo, Totoro will be visible on your right side a few minutes after Maibara station.

When you are a Ghibli fan and are interested in going to the museum, read our article about how to get tickets! Despite the fact it is difficult to get the tickets, we’re positive you will succeed when you are on time.

6 Ways to Get Tickets for GHIBLI MUSEUM 

We hope you have a wonderful time!

Japan Wonder Travel will help you to make your trip better! If you are interested in exploring Japan with a friendly tour guide, please contact us.

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  1. Amy says:

    Hi there, thanks for the tips, great article. Question about the bullet train seats, are you saying we should book D & E seats, regardless going to Tokyo or Kyoto? We are doing the Tokyo to Kyoto, should we book D & E as well? Thanks

    • Japan Wonder Travel says:

      Thank you for your comment. The answer is Yes. To both Tokyo and Kyoto, D&E is recommended to see Mt.Fuji.
      Hope the weather is good and you could see a great view!!

  2. Telly Gabriel says:

    You said it does not matter whether you are going Tokyo to Kyoto or Kyoto to Tokyo, just reserve seats D & E. I thought you take right seat going from Tokyo to Kyoto and take left seat going Kyoto to Tokyo. So are seats D & E changes as well? Please explain. Thank you.

    • Japan Wonder Travel says:

      Hi Telly,
      That’s correct, they change the seats so you’ll want to reserve the D&E seats for the Fuji views :)

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