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Tōkaidō Shinkansen

700 series passes the tea fields between Shizuoka and Kakegawa, January 2008
Type Shinkansen
Locale Japan
Termini Tokyo
Stations 17
Opened 1 October 1964
Owner JR Central
Operator(s) JR Central / JR West
Depot(s) Tokyo, Mishima, Nagoya, Osaka
Rolling stock 300/500/700/N700 series
Line length 515.4 km
Track gauge 1,435 mm
Electrification 25 kV AC, 60 Hz, overhead catenary
Operating speed 270 km/h
Route map


The Tōkaidō Shinkansen (東海道新幹線 ?) is a Japanese high-speed Shinkansen line, opened in 1964 between Tokyo and Shin-Ōsaka. It is operated by the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central), and formerly by Japan National Railways (JNR). It is the most heavily travelled high-speed rail route in the world, with 4.5 billion cumulative passengers recorded by March 2007.[1]

The line was named a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2000.[2]



The Tōkaidō Shinkansen line was originally conceived in 1940 as a 150 km/h (93 mph) dedicated railway between Tokyo and Shimonoseki, which would have been 50% faster than the fastest express train of the time. The beginning of World War II stalled the project in its early planning stages, although a few tunnels were dug that were later used in the Shinkansen route. Since the line goes through Japan's three largest metropolitan areas, it is the most heavily travelled of all Shinkansen routes.

Construction of the line began on 20 April 1959 under JNR president Shinji Sogō and chief engineer Hideo Shima. It was completed in 1964, with the first train travelling from Tokyo to Shin-Ōsaka on 1 October of that year. The opening was timed to coincide with the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which had already brought international attention to the country. Originally the line was referred to in English as the New Tōkaidō Line. It is named after the Tōkaidō route of Japan used for centuries.

The line carried its 100 millionth passenger in 1967, and its billionth in 1976. By its 40th anniversary in 2004, the line had carried 4.16 billion passengers.

A new Shinkansen stop at Shinagawa Station opened in October 2003, accompanied by a major timetable change which increased the number of daily Nozomi services.

All Tōkaidō Shinkansen trains to and from Tokyo make station stops at Shinagawa and Shin-Yokohama. (Before March 2008, alternating Nozomi and Hikari services stopped at either or both of these stations.)

A new station, Minami-Biwako, was planned to open in 2012 between Maibara and Kyoto. Construction started in May 2006, but in September 2006, the Otsu district court ruled that the ¥4.35 billion bond that Ritto city had issued to fund construction was illegal under the local finance law and had to be cancelled. The project was officially cancelled in October 2007.[3]


Mt.Ibuki & Tōkaidō Shinkansen

There are three types of trains on the line: from fastest to slowest, they are the Nozomi, Hikari, and Kodama. Many Nozomi and Hikari trains continue onward to the Sanyō Shinkansen, going as far as Fukuoka's Hakata Station.

Nozomi trains cannot be used by tourists using the Japan Rail Pass.

The following train sets are used on the line.

The Hikari run from Tokyo to Osaka took four hours in 1964; this was shortened to 3 hr. 10 min. in 1965. With the introduction of high-speed Nozomi service in 1992, the travel time was shortened to 2 hr. 30 min. The introduction of N700 series trains in 2007 further reduced the Nozomi travel time to 2 hours, 25 minutes.

As of March 2008, Hikari services travel from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka in approximately 3 hours, with all-stopping Kodama services making the same run in about 4 hours.


Kodama trains stop at all stations. Nozomi and Hikari trains have varying stopping patterns.

Station in Japanese Ward / City Distance (km)
(from Tokyo)
Transfers Remarks
Tokyo 東京 Chiyoda, Tokyo 0.0 JR East: Tōhoku Shinkansen, Jōetsu Shinkansen, Nagano Shinkansen, Yamanote Line, Chūō Main Line, Sōbu Main Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Tōkaidō Main Line, Keiyō Line, Yokosuka Line
Tokyo Metro: Marunouchi Line (M-17)
Shinagawa 品川 Minato, Tokyo 6.8 JR East: Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Tōkaidō Main Line, Yokosuka Line
Keihin Electric Express Railway: Main Line
Shin-Yokohama 新横浜 Kōhoku-ku, Yokohama 25.5 JR East: Yokohama Line
Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line (No. 3 Line)
Odawara 小田原 Odawara, Kanagawa 76.7 JR East: Tōkaidō Main Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line
Odakyū Electric Railway: Odawara Line, Izu-Hakone Railway: Daiyuzan Line, Hakone Tozan Railway: Hakone Tozan Line
Atami 熱海 Atami, Shizuoka 95.4 JR East: Tōkaidō Main Line (for Tokyo), Ito Line, JR Central: Tōkaidō Main Line (for Maibara)
Mishima 三島 Mishima, Shizuoka 111.3 JR Central: Tōkaidō Main Line
Izu-Hakone Railway: Sunzu Line
Shin-Fuji 新富士 Fuji, Shizuoka 135.0 (no railway)
Shizuoka 静岡 Aoi-ku, Shizuoka 167.4 JR Central: Tōkaidō Main Line
Shizuoka Railway: Shizuoka-Shimizu Line (Shin-Shizuoka Station)
Kakegawa 掛川 Kakegawa, Shizuoka 211.3 Central JR: Tōkaidō Main Line
Tenryū-Hamanako Railway: Tenryū Hamanako Line
Hamamatsu 浜松 Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 238.9 JR Central: Tōkaidō Main Line
Enshu Railway: Enshu Railway Line (Shin-Hamamatsu Station)
Toyohashi 豊橋 Toyohashi, Aichi 274.2 JR Central: Tōkaidō Main Line, Iida Line
Nagoya Railroad (Meitetsu): Nagoya Main Line, Toyohashi Railroad: Atsumi Line (Shin-Toyohashi Station), Azumada Main Line (tramway, Ekimae Station)
Mikawa-Anjō 三河安城 Anjō, Aichi 312.8 JR Central: Tōkaidō Main Line
Nagoya 名古屋 Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 342.0 JR Central: Tōkaidō Main Line, Chūō Main Line, Kansai Main Line, Takayama Main Line
Nagoya Subway: Higashiyama Line (H08), Sakura-dori Line (S02), Nagoya Railroad (Meitetsu): Nagoya Main Line (Meitetsu Nagoya Station), Kintetsu: Nagoya Line (Kintetsu Nagoya Station), Nagoya Seaside Rapid Railway: Aonami Line (AN01)
Gifu-Hashima 岐阜羽島 Hashima, Gifu 367.1 Nagoya Railroad (Meitetsu): Meitetsu Hashima Line (Shin-Hashima Station)
Maibara 米原 Maibara, Shiga 408.2 JR Central: Tōkaidō Main Line (for Atami), JR West: Biwako Line (a part of Tōkaidō Main Line, for Kyoto), Hokuriku Main Line
Ohmi Railway: Main Line
Kyoto 京都 Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 476.3 JR West: Biwako Line (for Maibara), JR Kyoto Line (a part of Tōkaidō Main Line, for Osaka) Sagano Line (a part of San'in Main Line), Nara Line
Kintetsu: Kyoto Line, Kyoto Municipal Subway: Karasuma Line (K11)
Shin-Ōsaka 新大阪 Yodogawa-ku, Osaka 515.4 JR West: Sanyō Shinkansen (runs through to Hakata Station), JR Kyoto Line
Osaka Municipal Subway: Midōsuji Line (M13)

See also


  1. ^ Central Japan Railway Company Annual Report 2007. Retrieved on 28 April 2009. (English)
  2. ^ "Tokaido Shinkansen (1964)". Landmarks. American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Retrieved 18 January 2009.  
  3. ^ "Shinkansen station in Shiga canceled". The Japan Times. 29 October 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2007.  

External links


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