Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen

How to Get from Tokyo to Osaka by Shinkansen: Your Fastest Route

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By Leona

Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen

Source: Wikipedia

The Shinkansen, also known as the bullet train, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan. When you want to get from Tokyo to Osaka, or from Osaka to Tokyo, the Tokaido Shinkansen is a great choice, which connects most of Japan's major cities. Besides, the Hikari and Kodama trains on the Tokaido Shinkansen lines are covered by the Japan Rail Pass, and they can take you from Tokyo to Osaka in a few hours. This guide summarises the Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen information. Learn how you can get from Tokyo to Osaka in the best way.
Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen
Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen
Departs from Osaka
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From S$205.31
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😉Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen price

Unreserved Seating- Ordinary Car (Second Class)S$205.31
Reserved Seating- Coach (Second Class)S$224.04
Designated Seating- Green Car (First Class)S$296.35

Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka

Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen Map

Source: Wikipedia

The Shinkansen is easily the best way to travel between Tokyo and Osaka. It takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes between Tokyo and Osaka. In Tokyo, you can catch the Shinkansen at Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station.

JR Pass for the Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen

The JR Pass is a cost-effective travel pass offered by Japan Railways (JR). It is available exclusively for foreign tourists and offers unlimited travel on the JR Group, famous Shinkansen including the route between Tokyo and Osaka.

Seat types available on the Tokyo and Osaka Shinkansen

  • Ordinary Seats: Standard seating with basic amenities suitable for most travellers, including two seat types - Reserved seating & Unreserved seating
  • Green Car Seats: Premium seating with extra legroom and enhanced amenities for a more comfortable journey.

Where to buy Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen tickets?

Buy Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen tickets online

  • Buying tickets online on Trip.com: Trip.com offers Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen tickets, including unreserved seating, reserved seating and designated seating.
  • Buying tickets online from JR: Since some JR Passes can cover the route from Tokyo to Osaka, you can also buy tickets from JR Central officials or buy All Japan Rail Pass.

Buy Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen tickets on-site

You can buy one-way or round-trip bullet train tickets at any Midori no Madoguchi ticket office, as well as at ticket machines (available at certain stations). You will be able to make your seat reservation at the same time.

Here’s the steps of how to buy it on the ticket machine:

  1. Switch to English and pick from three options
  2. Select your departure station
  3. Pick your date, time, number of people, and seat type
  4. Remember to choose a seat with luggage space if you have a lot of baggage
  5. Choose your seats
  6. Opt for the basic fare ticket
  7. Confirm and pay: There will be machines that accept both cash and credit cards
Shinkansen ticket vending machine

Source: JR Central official

You can also buy a JR Pass on-site. Simply go into a Midori no Madoguchi (“Green Counter”) office at a major JR station, or a designated JR Travel Service Center (like the one at Narita). The staff will take care of the rest for you.

Buy Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen

Source: JR Central official


  • Book in advance: It's recommended to book your tickets one month in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Arrange your time: On-site purchase is available, but be sure to arrange your time for a last-minute train.

How to take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka?

After purchasing your Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen tickets or a JR Pass, let’s find out how to use it!

Step 1: Redeem your Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen tickets or JR Pass

Please redeem a physical boarding pass before riding.

  • If you buy the tickets or the pass on-site, you can directly redeem them by following the instructions of the counter staff.
  • If you buy tickets online, you will receive a QR Code. Please scan your QR code at the Counter or ticket vending machine to get the boarding pass.
Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen ticket

Source: Wikimedia

Step 2: Reserve your seats

Seats can be reserved free of charge at station Midori no Mado Guchi ticket offices, recognisable by the green sign or at Travel Service Centres and JR-associated Travel Agencies.

Buy Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen

Source: Wikipedia

Step 3: Get your tickets and have a ticket inspection

  • If you buy one-way or round-trip bullet train tickets. Hand over your physical tickets to the station staff for validation. Your tickets will be inspected before boarding.
  • If you buy a JR Pass. The JR Pass is your ticket and you can now use your JR Pass at the automatic gates. The only other ticket you’ll need is a reservation ticket if you have reserved a seat in advance. Remember, it doesn’t cost you anything to reserve a seat if you’re a JR Pass holder.
Board Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen

Source: Wikimedia

Step 4: Board the Shinkansen

After the inspection, you should find the proper platform, carriage and seats. You can find the platform number on the electronic information screen and board the train based on the carriage and seat number on the ticket. Then board the Shinkansen on time avoiding missing the last train.

Board Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen

Source: Wkipedia

Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen route

Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen route is the first route, called the Tokaido Shinkansen, which connects Tokyo and Osaka and was opened for operation on October 1, 1964, before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. After years of expansion, there are currently 10 lines, including 2 shorter "mini Shinkansen" lines, connecting most of Japan's major cities.

Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen

Source: Wikipedia

Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen timetable

Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen has three different types of trains that run along the route. All three lines start in Tokyo and finish at Shin-Osaka Station, but they are different in terms of speed and stopping patterns.

Departure timeEarliest: 6 a.m.
Latest: 9:24 p.m.
StopsMajor stops onlyMost stations between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka, but exact stopping patterns alternateAll stations
TimeAbout 2 hrs 20 minAbout 2 hrs 40 minAbout 4 hrs
Frequency4-6 per hour1-2 per hour2-3 per hour

Why choose the Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen?

Osaka to Tokyo Shinkansen

Source: Wikipedia

Safety & Convenience

The Shinkansen is more comfortable than taking a bus or flying economy class, as well as more convenient as it doesn’t require schlepping to any airports. It also sometimes works out cheaper, if you take advantage of a Japan Rail Pass.

Punctuality & High speed

The Shinkansen is famous for its high speed. The maximum design speed of the train is 320 kilometres per hour, but the actual operating speed of some new trunk lines can reach over 300 kilometres per hour. This high speed allows passengers to travel across various parts of Japan in a short amount of time, bringing great convenience to people. Besides, punctuality has always been a creed of Shinkansen, and it is also one of the important reasons why passengers highly recognise and rely on it.

Amenities & Service

The Shinkansen service is easy to use, with helpful staff to assist you along the way. You can enjoy comfortable seating, complimentary Wi-Fi and baggage storage onboard. The friendly staff is available to assist with loading and unloading baggage as needed.

Other transportation between Tokyo and Osaka

TransportTimePriceCheck Details
Flights90 minutes (flight time) + travel time to/from the airportFrom S$104Check Now!
DrivingAbout 5 hrs 30 min (more with traffic)From S$80Check Now!
BusesAbout 8 hrsFrom S$22.60-
Regular trainsAt least 9 hrsFrom S$77.44 (or about S$20.95 with the Seishun 18 Pass)-

Popular attractions in Tokyo and Osaka

Osaka to Tokyo Shinkansen
  • Odawara: The biggest attraction and one of the most prominent landmarks in the city is Odawara Castle — a reinforced concrete reproduction of the feudal era castle which stood on the same spot until 1872.
  • Atami: A seaside onsen town built on the hills facing Sagami Bay.
  • Ghibli Park: The theme park for Studio Ghibli fans.
  • Osaka Castle Park: A large park in the Osaka downtown area which features the famous Osaka Castle within
  • Universal Studios Japan: Immerse yourself in a heart-pounding amusement rides themed after Hollywood's super blockbuster movies in USJ.

FAQ about Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen

  • Can you use the JR Pass on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen?

    Yes. You can use the All Japan Rail Pass, but it doesn’t cover travel on Nozomi service trains, you’ll need to buy a separate, supplementary ticket for that.
  • Is it possible to do a day trip to Tokyo from Osaka?

    Yes. The Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen starts running around 6 a.m. and the last return train from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka is around 9 p.m, getting you back just before pumpkin hour. A night bus gives you slightly more time, departing around 11 p.m. This gives you a whole day in Tokyo; however, given how big Tokyo is, one day isn’t nearly enough to see the whole city.
  • Is there a cart service on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen?

    Cart services on this Shinkansen route ended in 2023. This was because of both staff shortages and declining sales. But you can take snacks, drinks and meals because it’s allowed to eat on the Shinkansen.
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