Joetsu Shinkansen

Joetsu Shinkansen

Joetsu Shinkansen 上越新幹線

The Joetsu Shinkansen connects Tokyo Station in Tokyo to Niigata in Niigata Prefecture. The early part of the line follows the Tohoku Shinkansen to Omiya in Saitama Prefecture.

The Gala-Yuzawa Line is a short 1.8 km shinkansen branch from Echigo-Yuzawa to Gala-Yuzawa Station. The line serves the ski resort of Gala Yuzawa in the winter months only.

The Joetsu Shinkansen was the pet project of prime minister Tanaka Kakuei who was born in Niigata and wanted to connect his hometown with the capital. The Joetsu Shinkansen was constructed during the 1970's and opened in 1982.

The Joetsu Shinkansen connects with the Nagano Shinkansen in Takasaki with trains to Karuizawa and Nagano. The Nagano line is in the process of being expanded, to become the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa, Tsuruga and Osaka.

Joetsu Shinkansen at Tokyo Station.
The Max Toki Joetsu Shinkansen at Tokyo Station.
Joetsu Shinkansen seats.
Joetsu Shinkansen Shinkansen at Tokyo Station.

Joetsu Connections & Japan Rail Passes

The Japan Rail Pass is valid on all Joetsu Shinkansen trains. The JR East Pass is also valid for all Joetsu Shinkansen trains.

The complete list of stops on the Joetsu Shinkansen is: Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, Omiya, Kumagaya, Honjo-Waseda, Takasaki, Jomo-Kogen, Echigo-Yuzawa, Urasa, Nagaoka, Tsubame-Sanjo and Niigata.

There are 2 services operating on the Joetsu Shinkansen.

Toki - named after the Japanese Crested Ibis - this is the faster of the two shinkansen services from Tokyo to Niigata. The Max Toki is a double decker, two story version of the Toki.

Tanigawa - the Tanigawa is the slower of the two services and runs between Tokyo and Echigo Yuzawa. In winter some Tanigawa trains continue on the Gala Yuzawa Station, from where there are ski lifts from the station to the resort. The Max Tanigawa is a double decker, two story version of the Tanigawa.

Komachi Shinkansen at Tokyo Station.
Joetsu Shinkansen at Tokyo Station.

Shinkansen Video

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