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Shinkansen Travel Tips: Choosing the Right Seats

September 22, 2023

Shinkansen Travel Tips: Choosing the Right Seats

The choice of the best seat on a Shinkansen train varies depending on what you prioritize and how you intend to spend your journey.
We'll introduce recommended seats based on different preferences, such as those who want to work, relax and sleep, or seek a quiet space.

For Productive Work: Front Row or Window Seat

Many of you might want to be productive during your journey. If you plan to work on your laptop or documents, the front row seats are recommended. They often feature slightly larger tables compared to other seats, making them ideal for tasks that require workspace. Alternatively, window seats, which allow you to work without constantly adjusting for passing passengers, can also be a comfortable choice.

For Sleeping: Window Seat or Last Row

If you're planning to sleep during the journey, opt for window seats where other passengers won't disturb you.
For those who prefer reclining their seats while sleeping, the last row seats offer more comfort, as you won't worry about inconveniencing passengers behind you.

For Charging Devices: Window Seat

One of the inconveniences during a full day of traveling is running out of battery on your smartphone or laptop. While on the move during your journey, riding the Shinkansen provides a moment of relaxation.
Why not take advantage of this time to charge up your devices by selecting a window seat with a power outlet?
Most modern Shinkansen trains are equipped with power outlets at window seats (Seat A and E, or Seat A and D in Green cabins) although their presence and locations may vary depending on the train type

For a Quiet and Relaxing Journey: Seats Closer to the Center

Seats in the middle of the carriage tend to be quieter compared to those closer to the front or back. The latter are nearer to the deck, resulting in frequent passenger movement during stops.
Additionally, the B seats in the center of the 3-seat rows in "Nozomi" and "Hikari" trains are slightly wider, offering extra comfort for those who value space.

To Avoid Oversleeping: Seats Near the Deck Entrance

If you're concerned about oversleeping and missing your stop, seats closer to the front or back deck entrance are recommended.
However, if you seek a peaceful journey without constant passenger movement, these seats might not be ideal due to frequent foot traffic. Aisle seats also tend to have passenger movement, so if you prefer a calmer experience, consider other options.


Remember, choosing the right seat can significantly enhance your Shinkansen journey. Consider your preferences and activities, and select a seat that aligns with how you want to spend your time on the train.

How to Specify Your Seat on Our Website

If you are booking a train through our website and have specific seat preferences, please mention them in the comments section during the ordering process. Or, simply send us an email with your order number after placing a new order.
Our staff will do their utmost to accommodate your requests and make your journey as comfortable as possible.

Seat guide

Shinkansen seats are available in four levels depending on the comfort and services your require.

Ordinary Seat

Regular seats used on Reserved cars and Unreserved cars of Shinkansen. Consider it as "economy class" seat.

Green Seat

Better seats with more space than ordinary seats. All Green Seats are reserved only. Consider it as "business class" seats.

Reserved Seat (Ordinary Reserved Seat)

Your seat is reserved and secured when you book your tickets. Head to the station with a peace of mind.
Seats are the same as Ordinary Seat.

Green Reserved Seat

Better seats and free blankets. Popular among Japanese business persons, executives and people who values comfortable travel. Consider it as "business class" seats.

GranClass Seat

Know as "First Class" of Shinkansen seats. Only available on Hokuriku and Tohoku Shinkansen lines. Gran Class seats comes with airline-like amenities and meals.The most expensive of all.

Unreserved Seat

You can take any open seats in unreserved cars of any train on the departure date. (No departure time will be indicated on your tickets.)
The best seat type if your priority is the cost and are traveling during less-crowded season/time.



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