Shinkansen is one of the best ways to get between prefectures in Japan. Long-distance travel often means long-distance packing. Baggage restrictions on Shinkansen lines will be introduced from May 2020. To ensure a smooth journey, let’s look what the new rules entail.
Baggage Restrictions on Shinkansen
Faced with ever-increasing tourism and the Olympics on the horizon, Japan Rail changed the rules about luggage on the Tokaido (running from Tokyo to Kyoto and Osaka), Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen lines.
Baggage will be split into three categories, depending on their external dimensions (height x width x depth):
Within 160cm – you may bring the luggage without any reservations. You will be expected to put it on the shelf above your seat. Luggage this size is about the same as an airline carry-on bag.
Exceeds 160cm but within 250cm – you will be required to make a booking for the special luggage area which will be introduce in bullet train cars from May 2020. No additional fee charged. Failure to book will be charged ¥1000 (Approx RM39) per bag.
Exceeds 251cm – not allowed on these three Shinkansen lines. Travellers may want to consider using Yamato Transport or Sagawa Express to deliver your luggage.
Booking Your Baggage Space
The special luggage area is located behind the last row of certain carriages. As there is limited space, it is recommended to book as early as you can.
Reservations can be made when you reserve your seat on the Skinkansen on the JR Tokai (Tokaido Line), JR WEST (Sanyo Line) or JR Kyushu (Kyushu Line) websites. The procedures can also be made at any JR ticket office (Madori no Madoguchi) in Japan.