I needed to get from Tokyo to Osaka on my Japan Trip, and what better way than taking the famous bullet trains that Japan is known for! There are so many trains running daily from Tokyo to Osaka, that I just popped up at the train station and chose the one that fit my schedule and was the fastest. Behold, the Nozomi!

Booking + Train Options:

The journey time from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka is quite quick, with the shortest being 2 hours and 30 minutes with no transfers needed. The route is on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen line, and the fastest service is the Nozomi. The Nozomi Bullet Train can reach speeds of up to 186mph.

If you have the Japan Rail Pass, which could be economical if you’re taking other trains (or this route roundtrip), you aren’t able to take the fastest Nozomi, but rather a different train, the Hikari. The Hikari is about 30 minutes slower than the Nozomi.

Since I wasn’t taking many trains on this trip to Japan, I didn’t opt for a rail pass. And because single ticket prices between Nozomi and Hikari are practically the same, I opted for the faster Nozomi train. I paid JPY 14,720 for my standard Ordinary Class ticket (approx $110 USD) which came with a seat assignment. If you want to save $5 USD, you could opt for a non-reserved seat, but you might be standing if the train is crowded. I took the train on a Friday at 1PM, and there were plenty of seats to choose from when I got my ticket an hour before departure.

There are also “Green Class” cars, which are first class cars, on the Nozomi, and the upgrade cost for that is about JPY 5000 ($38 USD). Green Class cars have a 2-2 configuration, versus the 3-2 configuration in the Ordinary Class.

Leaving Tokyo Station on Nozomi Bullet Train:

Tokyo Station is practically a shopping mall and food haven. There were so many places to check out, I actually moved my train ticket to spend some more time here. The train system is amazing in Japan, and much cooler, cleaner and reliable than in the US.

At the platform of the train, there’s a few little convenience marts to grab a drink or a snack, but I recommend you grab a nice bento box from the main station before heading to the platform.

a group of people standing in a train station with Lone Star Flight Museum in the background

Tokyo Station

Nozomi Shinkansen:

The train arrived to the station before the departure schedule time. At this point, everyone got off the train and a cleaning crew went in to clean the train and turn the seats to face the direction of travel.

Nozomi Bullet Train

Train Arrived!

Once cleaning was completed, it was time to board!

We were in car 13, and the first thing I noticed was that the legroom was very good! You could even fit a carry-on luggage in front of you and still have enough space. There is also overhead space. And, for larger bags, there are racks at the entrances of each car.

Nozomi Bullet Train

Ordinary Class 3-2 Configuration

a person's feet in a chair

Great Legroom!

The train departed right on time, and we were off! The train only had a few short stops (including Nagoya and Kyoto). During the ride, a snack cart came by, but they didn’t have matcha ice cream which I was craving at the time, so I didn’t grab anything from it.

Nozomi Bullet Train

Snack Cart

The ride was quite comfortable, and there were bathrooms located in our car. The ride was so fast that I actually did not have to use the bathroom during my trip.

Thankfully, there was a power plug below my seat, so I could charge my phone. And the US chargers work. (no converter needed in Japan!)

a close up of a device

Power Plug

I thought it was a great ride, although the decor a bit less bougie that what I was picturing with Japan’s famous bullet trains. Perhaps I’ll have to try the first class “Green Car” next time, to better compare with say the First Class experience and Business class experience I had on Railjet in Austria.

The Verdict:

Overall, taking the Nozomi Bullet Train from Tokyo to Osaka was a great way to get between the two cities. The train was punctual, very clean, and the seats were quite roomy. If my travels take me back, I would definitely take the train over flying.


Have you been on the Nozomi Bullet Train, or other trains in Japan? Comment below!




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