San'yō Shinkansen

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San'yō Shinkansen
N700A Series Shinkansen between Nishi-Akashi and Himeji, February 2021
Native name山陽新幹線
OwnerLogo of the West Railway Company (JR West) JR West
LocaleOsaka, Hyōgo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Fukuoka Prefectures
Color on map     Blue (#24197c)
TypeHigh-speed rail (Shinkansen)
ServicesMizuho, Sakura, Nozoma, Hikari, Kodama
Operator(s)JR West
Depot(s)Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima, Hakata
Rolling stock500 series
700 series
N700 series
Daily ridership110,004 passengers per km per day (FY2014)[1]
Opened15 March 1972; 51 years ago (1972-03-15)
Line length553.7 km (344.1 mi)
Number of tracksDouble-track
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Minimum radius4,000 m (2.5 mi; 13,000 ft)
Electrification25 kV 60 Hz AC (overhead catenary)
Operating speed300 km/h (190 mph)
SignallingCab signalling
Train protection systemATC-NS
Maximum incline1.5%
Route map
Map of the San'yō Shinkansen line, from Hakata to Shin Osaka.

The San'yō Shinkansen (山陽新幹線) is a line of the Japanese Shinkansen high-speed rail network, connecting Shin-Osaka in Osaka with Hakata Station in Fukuoka, the two largest cities in western Japan. Operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West), it is a westward continuation of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and also serves other major cities in between on Honshu and Kyushu islands such as Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Hiroshima, and Kitakyushu. The Kyushu Shinkansen continues south of Hakata to Kagoshima. The San'yō Shinkansen connects Hakata with Osaka in two and a half hours, with trains operating at a maximum operating speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) for most of the journey[2] Some Nozomi trains operate continuously on San'yō and Tōkaidō Shinkansen lines, connecting Tokyo and Hakata in five hours.

Rolling stock[edit]

As of March 2020, the following types are used on San'yō Shinkansen services.

Former rolling stock[edit]


Map all coordinates in "Category:Sanyō_Shinkansen" using: OpenStreetMap

All stations on the San'yō Shinkansen are owned and operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West), with the exception of Shin-Osaka station, which is run by the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central). Kodama trains stop at all stations; other services have varying stopping patterns. All trains stop at Shin-Osaka, Shin-Kobe, Okayama, Hiroshima, Kokura, and Hakata. Nozomi or Mizuho trains cannot be used by foreign tourists traveling with a Japan Rail Pass.


All trains stop
All trains pass
Some trains stop
Station Japanese Distance from
Shin-Ōsaka (km)
Distance from
Tokyo (km)
Mizuho Sakura Nozomi Hikari Kodama Transfers Location
Through services towards Tokyo via the Tōkaidō Shinkansen[3]
Shin-Ōsaka 新大阪 0.0 515.4 Tōkaidō Shinkansen (through service)
JR Kyoto Line (JR-A46)
Osaka Higashi Line (JR-F02)
Midosuji Line (M13)
Yodogawa-ku, Osaka Osaka Prefecture
Shin-Kobe 新神戸 32.6 548.0 Hokushin Line and Seishin-Yamate Line (S02) Chūō-ku, Kobe Hyōgo Prefecture
Nishi-Akashi 西明石 54.8 570.2 JR Kobe Line (JR-A74) Akashi
Himeji 姫路 85.9 601.3 JR Kobe Line (JR-A85)
Sanyō Main Line
Bantan Line
Kishin Line
SY Sanyo Electric Railway Main Line (SY 43: Sanyo Himeji Station)
Aioi 相生 105.9 621.3 Sanyō Main Line
Ako Line
Okayama 岡山 160.9 676.3 Sanyō Main Line
Uno Line ( Seto-Ōhashi Line)
Hakubi Line
Tsuyama Line
Kibi Line
Okayama Electric Tramway Higashiyama Main Line
Kita-ku, Okayama Okayama Prefecture
Shin-Kurashiki 新倉敷 186.7 702.1 San'yō Main Line Kurashiki
Fukuyama 福山 217.7 733.1 Sanyō Main Line
Fukuen Line
Fukuyama Hiroshima Prefecture
Shin-Onomichi 新尾道 235.1 750.5   Onomichi
Mihara 三原 245.6 761.0 Sanyō Main Line
Kure Line
Higashi-Hiroshima 東広島 276.5 791.9   Higashihiroshima
Hiroshima 広島 305.8 821.2 Sanyō Main Line
Geibi Line
Kabe Line
Kure Line
■M Hiroshima Electric Railway Main Line
Minami-ku, Hiroshima
Shin-Iwakuni 新岩国 350.0 865.4 Nishikigawa Seiryu Line (Seiryū-Shin-Iwakuni Station) Iwakuni Yamaguchi Prefecture
Tokuyama 徳山 388.1 903.5 Sanyō Main Line
Gantoku Line
Shin-Yamaguchi (formerly Ogori) 新山口 429.2 944.6 Sanyō Main Line
Yamaguchi Line
Ube Line
Asa 厚狭 453.3 968.7 Sanyō Main Line
Mine Line
Shin-Shimonoseki 新下関 477.1 992.5 Sanyō Main Line Shimonoseki
Kokura 小倉 497.8 1013.2 Kagoshima Main Line (A28)
Nippo Main Line (JF01)
Hita-Hikosan Line (JI01)
Kitakyushu Monorail
Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyūshū Fukuoka Prefecture
Hakata 博多 553.7 1069.1 Kyushu Shinkansen (through service)
Hakata-Minami Line (limited through service)
Kagoshima Main Line and Sasaguri Line (00)
Fukuoka Subway Airport Line

Logo of Line 3 (Nanakuma Line) of the Fukuoka City Subway Nanakuma Line (N18)

Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Through services towards Kagoshima-Chūō via the Kyushu Shinkansen,[4] or to Hakata-Minami via the Hakata-Minami Line[5]

As of 2012, the maximum line speed is, West-bound 285 km/h (175 mph) between Shin-Ōsaka and Shin-Kobe, 275 km/h (170 mph) between Shin-Kobe and Nishi-Akashi, and 300 km/h (185 mph) between Nishi-Akashi and Hakata. East-bound it is 300 km/h (185 mph) between Hakata and Himeji, 275 km/h (170 mph) between Himeji and Shin-Kobe and 300 km/h (185 mph) between Shin-Kobe and Shin-Ōsaka.[2]


700 series Hikari Rail Star train
700 series Hikari Rail Star train

Construction of the San'yō Shinkansen between Shin-Ōsaka and Okayama was authorized on 9 September 1965, and commenced on March 16, 1967. Construction between Okayama and Hakata commenced on 10 February 1970. The Shin-Ōsaka to Okayama segment opened on March 15, 1972; the remainder of the line opened on March 10, 1975. The first Hikari trains, using 0 series trains, made the Shin-Ōsaka to Hakata run in 3 hours 44 minutes. This was shortened to 2 hours 59 minutes in 1986 with an increase in maximum speed to 220 km/h (140 mph). 100 series trains, introduced in 1989, boosted maximum speed to 230 km/h (140 mph) and reduced travel time to 2 hours 49 minutes.

Tokyo to Hakata Nozomi services began on 18 March 1993, using 300 series trains. The Shin-Ōsaka to Hakata run was reduced to 2 hours 32 minutes, at a maximum speed of 270 km/h (170 mph). On 22 March 1997, the 500 series entered service on Nozomi services between Shin-Ōsaka and Hakata, reducing that run to 2 hours 17 minutes at a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).

The 700 series was introduced on Tokyo-Hakata Nozomi services on 13 March 1999, coinciding with the opening of Asa Station, and on 11 March 2000, 700 series trains were introduced on Hikari Rail Star services.

Ogori Station was renamed Shin-Yamaguchi Station on 1 October 2003.

The N700 series was launched on Nozomi services on 1 July 2007, with a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) (compared to 285 km/h or 177 mph for the 700 series).

From the start of the revised timetable on 12 March 2011, new Mizuho and Sakura inter-running services commenced between Shin-Ōsaka and Kagoshima on the Kyushu Shinkansen using new N700-7000 and N700-8000 series 8-car trainsets. This boosted JR West's market share in the Osaka-Kagoshima passenger market from 13% in March 2011 to 35% in March 2012. JR West began offering discounted advance purchase fares on this route in July 2013 in an effort to compete for market share with new low-cost airlines such as Peach.[6] With the launch of Mizuho and Sakura services, nearly all of the Hikari services operating solely on the San'yō Shinkansen (mostly Rail Star services) were discontinued as it was deemed redundant.

Future plans[edit]

In an announcement by JR Central, JR West, and JR Kyushu made on 17 October 2023, the companies stated that all onboard smoking rooms on the Tokaido, San'yo, and Kyushu Shinkansen trains would be abolished by Q2 2024.[7] In addition, all smoking rooms located on station platforms on the aforementioned Shinkansen lines would also be abolished.[7]


In fiscal 2005, the Sanyo Shinkansen line ridership was 58 million passengers/year, or about 159,000 daily.[8]


  1. ^ 区間別平均通過人員および旅客運輸収入(平成26年度) [Average passenger figures and revenue by line (Fiscal 2014)] (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan: West Japan Railway Company. 2015. p. 58. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-01-09. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b 300km/hのトップランナー [300 km/h Top Runners]. Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 52, no. 612. Japan: Kōyūsha Co., Ltd. April 2012. p. 14.
  3. ^ Only Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama services that run in formations of 16 car sets run through to the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.
  4. ^ Only Mizuho and Sakura services that run in formations of 8 car sets run through to the Kyushu Shinkansen.
  5. ^ Only Kodama services that run in formations of 8 car sets run through to the Hakata-Minami Line.
  6. ^ "Budget airlines challenge Shinkansen". Bloomberg. 11 July 2013. Archived from the original on 30 July 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  7. ^ a b Kinoshita, Kenji (17 October 2023). "東海道・山陽・九州新幹線の車内喫煙ルーム、2024年春にすべて廃止" [All smoking rooms on Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen trains will be abolished in spring 2024.]. MyNavi Corporation. Archived from the original on 18 October 2023. Retrieved 19 October 2023.
  8. ^ "Annual Report 2005". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2010-12-19.

External links[edit]