Tōkaidō Shinkansen

Tōkaidō Shinkansen
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
Depot(s) Tokyo, Mishima, Nagoya, Osaka
Rolling stock 300/700/N700 series
Line length 515.4 km
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 25 kV AC, 60 Hz, overhead catenary
Operating speed 270 km/h (170 mph)
Route map

Tokaido Shinkansen map.png

Tōkaidō Shinkansen route map
Continuation backward
Aomori ( Tōhoku Shinkansen )
Right side head station of cross-platform interchange Left side end station of cross-platform interchange
0.0 km Tokyo 東京
Station on track
6.8 km Shinagawa 品川
Small bridge over water
Tama River
Station on track
25.5 km Shin-Yokohama 新横浜
Small bridge over water
Sagami River
Station on track
76.7 km Odawara 小田原
Station on track
95.4 km Atami 熱海
Station on track
111.3 km Mishima 三島
Station on track
135.0 km Shin-Fuji 新富士
Small bridge over water
Fuji River
Station on track
167.4 km Shizuoka 静岡
Small bridge over water
Abe River
Small bridge over water
Ooi River
Station on track
211.3 km Kakegawa 掛川
Small bridge over water
Tenryu River
Station on track
238.9 km Hamamatsu 浜松
Small bridge over water
Lake Hamana
Station on track
274.2 km Toyohashi 豊橋
Station on track
312.8 km Mikawa-Anjō 三河安城
Station on track
342.0 km Nagoya 名古屋
Station on track
367.1 km Gifu-Hashima 岐阜羽島
Station on track
408.2 km Maibara 米原
Station on track
476.3 km Kyoto 京都
Station on track
515.4 km Shin-Ōsaka 新大阪
Continuation forward
Hakata ( Sanyō Shinkansen )

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 by far; its cumulative ridership of 4.9 billion passengers dwarfs all other systems and lines worldwide.[1]

The line was named a joint Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark and IEEE Milestone by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2000.[2][3]



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 Sogo 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 at 210 km/h. 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. Speeds have been increased to 270 km/h today.

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 to allow a transfer to the Kusatsu Line. 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.[4]


Since 1964 to 2010, the Tokaido Shinkansen line alone has carried some 4.9 billion passengers,[1] making it by far the most heavily used HSR line in the world.

Tokaido Line Cumulative Ridership figures (millions of passengers)
Year 1967 1976 2004 Mar-2007 Nov-2010
Ridership (Cumulative) 100 1,000 4,160 [5] 4,500 [6] 4,900 [1]

Future developments

An ultra-fast (500 km/h plus) maglev system – the Chuo Shinkansen – has been committed to construction, with a target date of 2020 for the line to start partial operation, and 2025 to connect with Nagoya.[7]

It was announced in June 2010 that a new shinkansen station in Samukawa, Kanagawa Prefecture was under consideration by JR Central. If constructed, the station would open after the new maglev service begins operations.[8]


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.

The 300 series, 700 series and N700 series train sets operate on the line in any of the three service patterns.

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

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


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

Station Japanese Ward / City Distance (km)
(from Tokyo)
Tokyo 東京 Chiyoda, Tokyo 0.0 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 Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Tōkaidō Main Line, Yokosuka Line
Keikyū Main Line
Shin-Yokohama 新横浜 Kōhoku-ku, Yokohama 25.5 Yokohama Line
Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line (No. 3 Line)
Odawara 小田原 Odawara, Kanagawa 76.7 Tōkaidō Main Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line
Odakyu Odawara Line, Izu-Hakone Railway Daiyuzan Line, Hakone Tozan Line
Atami 熱海 Atami, Shizuoka 95.4 Tōkaidō Main Line, Ito Line
Mishima 三島 Mishima, Shizuoka 111.3 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 Tōkaidō Main Line
Shizuoka Railway Shizuoka-Shimizu Line (Shin-Shizuoka Station)
Kakegawa 掛川 Kakegawa, Shizuoka 211.3 Tōkaidō Main Line
Tenryū Hamanako Line
Hamamatsu 浜松 Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 238.9 Tōkaidō Main Line
Enshu Railway Line (Shin-Hamamatsu Station)
Toyohashi 豊橋 Toyohashi, Aichi 274.2 Tōkaidō Main Line, Iida Line
Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line, Toyohashi Atsumi Line (Shin-Toyohashi Station), Toyohashi Tramway (Ekimae Station)
Mikawa-Anjō 三河安城 Anjō, Aichi 312.8 Tōkaidō Main Line
Nagoya 名古屋 Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 342.0 Tōkaidō Main Line, Chūō Main Line, Kansai Main Line, Takayama Main Line
Nagoya Subway: Higashiyama Line (H08), Sakura-dori Line (S02), Nagoya Main Line (Meitetsu Nagoya Station), Kintetsu Nagoya Line (Kintetsu Nagoya Station), Aonami Line (AN01)
Gifu-Hashima 岐阜羽島 Hashima, Gifu 367.1 Meitetsu Hashima Line (Shin-Hashima Station)
Maibara 米原 Maibara, Shiga 408.2 Tōkaidō Main Line, Biwako Line (part of Tōkaidō Main Line, for Kyoto), Hokuriku Main Line
Ohmi Railway Main Line
Kyoto 京都 Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 476.3 Biwako Line (for Maibara), JR Kyoto Line (part of Tōkaidō Main Line, for Osaka) Sagano Line (part of Sanin Main Line), Nara Line
Kintetsu Kyoto Line, Kyoto Municipal Subway: Karasuma Line (K11)
Shin-Ōsaka 新大阪 Yodogawa-ku, Osaka 515.4 Sanyō Shinkansen (runs through to Hakata Station), JR Kyoto Line
Osaka Municipal Subway: Midōsuji Line (M13)


  1. ^ a b c "Bullet Train & Maglev System to Cross the Pacific", Saturday, 04 September 2010 09:55, by Yoshiyuki Kasai, Chairman of JRC
  2. ^ "Tokaido Shinkansen (1964)". Landmarks. American Society of Mechanical Engineers. http://www.asme.org/Communities/History/Landmarks/Tokaido_Shinkansen_1964.cfm. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "Milestones:Tokaido Shinkansen (Bullet Train), 1964". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Milestones:Tokaido_Shinkansen_%28Bullet_Train%29,_1964. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Shinkansen station in Shiga canceled". The Japan Times. 29 October 2007. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20071029a9.html. Retrieved 29 October 2007. 
  5. ^ http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20041002a1.html Japan Times Tokaido Shinkansen Line fetes 40 years Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004
  6. ^ Central Japan Railway Company Annual Report 2007. Retrieved on 28 April 2009. (English)
  7. ^ http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T101124004175.htm Yomiuri Online:JR Tokai plans to start partial maglev service in 2020
  8. ^ "New Shinkansen station considered for Kanagawa". Japan Today. 7 June 2010. http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/new-shinkansen-station-considered-for-kanagawa. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 

External links

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