Can I ride the Nozomi & Mizuho Shinkansen with the Japan Rail Pass?
The Shinkansen bullet train is hailed as one of the most premium and efficient means of rail travel in the entire world, making it a popular choice for visitors to Japan who are engaging in travel between different destinations throughout the country.
In conjunction with these high-speed trains, many travelers often opt to buy the Japan Rail Pass, a specialized travel pass that allows unlimited access to many different transportation services, including both local train and cross-country Shinkansen bullet trains, at all at one, low price.
Riding the Nozomi & Mizuho Shinkansen
Of the most efficient and fast of these Shinkansen bullet trains is that of the Nozomi and Mizuho bullet trains that traverse between Tokyo and Hakata and a number of destinations in between, such as Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and more. This makes this set of Shinkansen bullet trains especially convenient for those traveling on the "Golden Route," an itinerary that incorporates train travel between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. However, many pass-holder ask if these specialized bullet trains are able to be ridden with the Japan Rail Pass.
The short answer is that, as of right now, NO, the Nozomi and Mizuho are NOT rideable with the Japan Rail Pass. However, this will not be the full story come October 1st of 2023.
Changes to the Japan Rail Pass in October of 2023
While the Japan Rail Pass can be purchased at its current, more affordable prices up to the end of September (and subquentially exchanged and activated up to the end of December, 2023), as many have likely heard, the Japan Rail Pass will be seeing a fairly significant price increase in October of this year.
More in-depth information on this price increase can be found here.
While this price increase may have come as an unexpected surprise to many, there are some additional changes being made that do serve as a silver lining.
While the trains aren’t 100% included with the new Japan Rail Pass price, this added flexibility will certainly serve as a plus for many travelers to Japan, especially if it’s their first time.
The additional fees for the most common routes are displayed in the table below:
- Tokyo > Kyoto: 4960 yen
- Tokyo > Shin Osaka: 4960 yen
- Tokyo > Hiroshima: 6500 yen
- Tokyo > Hakata: 8140 yen
- Shin-Osaka > Hiroshima: 4,170 yen
- Shin-Osaka > Hakata: 4,960 yen
- Hakata > Kagoshima-Chuo: 4,500 yen
The Nozomi & Mizuho Shinkansen and the Japan Rail Pass for your next trip to Japan
These upcoming changes to the Japan Rail Pass will change the dynamic of typical itineraries in Japan. Where pass-holders would navigate Japan utilizing other Shinkansen bullet trains, the additional option to utilize these premier Nozomi & Mizuho Shinkansen bullet trains adds some nice flexibility.
Of course, with their still being an additional fee needed to board the trains, travelers ought to not feel obligated to take them throughout their entire trip, but if such fits into a given itinerary or becomes more time-effective, this will be a very welcome addition.