Do I need to reserve a space for my suitcase when riding the Shinkansen?

Do I need to reserve a space for my suitcase when riding the Shinkansen?

JR changed the rules a few years ago, and on the Tokaido Shinkansen, Sanyo Shinkansen, and Kyushu Shinkansen (i.e. the Tokyo-Nagoya-Kyoto-Osaka-Hiroshima-Hakata-Kagoshima line), if you are traveling with an oversized suitcase, you have to leave space. I had to make a reservation for If you get on the Shinkansen without knowing this rule, it can be very troublesome. So let's take a closer look at this rule here.

What size is your suitcase?

Suitcases with a total height, width, and depth of 160 cm or more fall under this category. However, few people know how many centimeters the sum of the height, width and depth of their suitcase is.

Rest assured

In conclusion, the suitcase you have is probably less than 160 cm in total height, width and depth. A typical large suitcase is 75cm high, 48cm wide and 29cm deep. This total is 152 cm. In other words, it's okay if it's not a huge suitcase. You can put it in front of your seat, or you can put it on the luggage rack, although it's a little difficult.

If you're worried, reserve a seat at the very back of the Shinkansen.

If you have suitcases with a total length of 160 cm or more, or if you are worried about the size of the suitcase, we recommend that you reserve a seat at the back of each car at the Midori no Madoguchi. Then you can put your luggage in the space behind the seat. This is absolutely fine.

Or send it to the next destination

Alternatively, if carrying a suitcase or other large luggage is troublesome in the first place, let's send it to the next destination. Hotel-to-hotel shipping is available at most hotels. If it is between big cities, it can be reached in one day. Most hotel receptionists and concierges will be able to help you even if you don't write the address in Japanese. It is possible to send about 1500 yen to 2000 yen per suitcase. Your hotel reception will tell you how many days it will take.

This method is especially useful if you have small towns between big cities. For example, when traveling from Tokyo to Hakone to Kyoto, Tokyo to Nagano to Kanazawa, Kyoto to Naoshima to Hiroshima, etc. Carrying only a rucksack and moving lightly will make your trip easier and it's quite nice.

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