Sanyo Shinkansen 山陽新幹線
The Sanyo Shinkansen, operated by JR West, is part of the Japanese shinkansen high speed bullet train network and runs from Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka to Hakata Station in Fukuoka mainly along the Pacific coastline. The Sanyo Shinkansen was the second shinkansen line constructed and opened in 1975.
From Shin-Osaka to Hakata on the fastest Nozomi shinkansen takes 2 hours and 28 minutes.
Sanyo Shinkansen Trains
There are five types of train running on the Sanyo Shinkansen: Nozomi, Mizuho, Hikari and Kodama.
The quickest Nozomi shinkansen usually runs on the Tokyo-Hakata-Tokyo route.
The Mizuho shinkansen runs between Shin-Osaka and Kagoshima. The Mizuho is equivalent to the Nozomi shinkansen and is the fastest train on the Sanyo Shinkansen.
The Japan Rail Pass is neither valid on the Nozomi nor Mizuho but the JR Sanyo Sanin Area Pass and JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass do allow travel on those types of train.
The Sakura shinkansen also runs between Osaka and Kagoshima and is similar to the Hikari shinkansen which runs from Tokyo to Okayama Station.
The Kodama shinkansen is the slowest of the trains and stops at all stations and takes around 4 hours, 40 minutes to reach Hakata from Shin-Osaka.
The Kyushu Rail Pass is valid on Sakura and Mizuho trains.
Sanyo Shinkansen Stations
The 553.7 km Sanyo Shinkansen has the following stations: Shin-Osaka, Shin-Kobe, Nishi-Akashi, Himeji, Aioi, Okayama, Shin-Kurashiki, Fukuyama, Shin-Onomichi, Mihara, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Shin-Iwakuni, Tokuyama, Shin-Yamaguchi, Asa, Shin-Shimonoseki, Kokura and Hakata.
Shin-Osaka Station has connections to the Midosuji Line of the Osaka subway system. Shin-Kaisoku (新快速) express trains run from Shin-Osaka Station to Kyoto Station via Ibaraki and Tatatsuki in around 35 minutes. Trains from Kyoto go via Shin-Osaka to Osaka Station in the Osaka Station City complex.
Shin-Kobe Station is connected to Sannomiya Station by the Seishin-Yamate Line of Kobe subway or by local bus. Shin-Kobe is also on the Hokushin Line, one stop from Tanigami Station in the Mt. Rokko hills to the north of Kobe.
Nishi-Akashi Station is on the JR Kobe Line between Osaka Station and Himeji Station.
Himeji Station is on the following lines: Sanyo Main Line between Kobe Station and Moji Station, the Bantan Line from Himeji to Wadayama Station in Hyogo Prefecture, the Kishin Line from Himeji, to Niimi in Okayama Prefecture and Sanyo Electric Railway Main Line from Kobe to Himeji.
Aioi Station is on both the Sanyo Main Line and the Ako Line to Okayama.
Okayama Station is on the Sanyo Main Line connecting Kobe Station and Moji Station in Fukuoka Prefecture, the Uno Line (Seto-Ohashi Line) to Uno in Okayama, the Kibi Line to Soja and the Tsuyama Line to Tsuyama.
Shin-Kurashiki Station is also on the Sanyo Main Line.
Fukuyama Station is on the Sanyo Main Line and Fukuen Line from Fukuyama to Miyoshi.
There are buses from Shin-Onomichi Station into Onomichi town.
Mihara Station connects with the Sanyo Main Line and the Kure Line to Kure and Kaitaichi Station.
Hiroshima Station in Hiroshima is on the Sanyo Main Line for Miyajimaguchi, the historic town of Iwakuni and Tokuyama, the Geibi Line for Shiwaguchi and Miyoshi, the commuter Kabe Line for Omachi, Midorii and Kabe and the Kure Line for the port city of Kure, Hiro, and Takehara.
Shin-Iwakuni Station connects to the Nishikigawa Seiryu Line from nearby Iwakuni Station. The station is about 5km from Kintai Bridge, one of the major attractions in Iwakuni along with Iwakuni Castle.
Tokuyama Station is on both the Sanyo Main Line and Gantoku Line from Iwakuni Station to Kushigahama Station.
Asa Station connects with the Sanyo Main Line and Mine Line from Asa to Nagatoshi.
Shin-Shimonoseki Station in Shimonoseki is also on the Sanyo Main Line.
Kokura Station in Kokura is on the Kagoshima Main Line to Kurume, Kumamoto, Yatsuhiro and Kagoshima, the Nippo Main Line to Beppu, Oita, Nobeoka, Miyazaki and Kagoshima, the Hita-Hikosan Line and the Kitakyushu Monorail.
Hakata Station in Fukuoka is on the Kagoshima Main Line services to Kokura (with connections to Oita, Beppu, Nobeoka, Miyazaki and Kagoshima on the Nippo Main Line along Kyushu's east coast), Dazaifu, Tosu, Kurume, Kumamoto, Yatsushiro, and Kagoshima; the Fukuhoku Yutaka Line to Kurosaki; the short Hakata-Minami Line 8.5km to Hakata-Minami Station and the Kuko Line of the Fukuoka city subway, which links Hakata Station to Fukuoka Airport and Tenjin Station, where many of Fukuoka's attractions can be found such as Canal City, Kushida Shrine and the many yatai for which the city is famous.