5 tips while on the Bullet Trains

Bullet trains are simply incredible in Japan. They are fast, reasonably priced, and are one of the best ways to get around all of Japan (on time). Here are some tips if you choose to take one on your way out of Tokyo (for when it is safe again to travel freely around Japan).

On time: The Shinkansen are always on time, so if your ticket says it will be there at 10:10 AM, you better be lined up at the right spot before 10:10 AM, or you will miss the train. Trust me, they do not wait for anyone and will be moving out of their stations after just a few minutes. Get your ticket, figure out the time, and get lined up ahead of schedule.

Bring your own food: So what is there to eat on the trip? The answer is not a lot if you are expecting to find food on the train. There is usually a person that goes up and down the train with a cart of food, but mostly it is snacks. The best way to get some food is to get a bento box before getting on the train. There are tons of shops and food vendors both in the stations and on the platforms that are very affordable.

Know your trains & tickets: It is important to know which trains are running, what time they leave, and what platform they are on. Use Hyderpedia and other resources to learn this information the day before and plan accordingly. This will help you know when and where to be so you are not going to miss that early train to that next spot while you travel across Japan.

Have your ticket ready: Have your ticket on hand at all times. When going through the gates to the platforms, you will need the ticket. And if you have the JR Rail Pass, you will need to show the guards there (they are super nice). Also when you are on the train, you may be asked to show your ticket by the security, so have it on the ready. It just makes life a little easier and saves time.

Be ready: When it is time to get off the train at your stop, be ready. As the speaker let’s you know which stop you are approaching, get up, get your bag, and line up. The bullet train is only going to stop at each stop for a few minutes at each stop, this means if you are a sleep or late to get up, you will miss your stop. Again, these trains are on time, not your time.

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