faq japan

Q. Is there a restriction on luggage?

faq According to Japan Rail's official website, there is no restriction on taking luggage on board the Shinkansen (Bullet train). But in practice, these trains are designed with quite a lot less luggage space than most other train services.

If you only have one suitcase you shouldn't have too much of a problem. If it's not much bigger than aircraft "hand-luggage" size, it should fit on the storage rack above the seats. If you can get a seat at the end of the carriage, there is a little space behind the last row of seats where a suitcase will fit.

If you have a reserved seat, it's quite possible that the carriage won't be too full, and you can fit your suitcase on a spare seat next to you or nearby. (Non-reserved ordinary-class carriages are usually too full for you to be able to do this). If you use the Japan Rail Pass, it is very easy to get a reserved seat: just go to the ticket counter and ask for seat reservation.

If you travel in Green car (First class), there should be space between you and the seat in front for your suitacase to stand on the floor.

Because of the recognised difficulty of taking full-size suitcases on the Bullet train, there is a well-developed and efficient Baggage Delivery Service in Japan. You can arrange this at Narita airport (see link on left), or from/to major hotels. It seems amazing, but your suitcase does turn up efficiently at your chosen destination address. If going from a hotel in one city to a hotel in another city, you might send your case off in advance, because it travels by road and doesn't go as fast as you will in the Bullet train!