Tokyo-Hokkaido Shinkansen Travel to Take Less Than 4 Hours

Economy Guide to Japan

Sapporo, Dec. 13 (Jiji Press)--The time needed to travel between Tokyo and Hokkaido on a Shinkansen bullet train is set to fall below four hours.

Hokkaido Railway Co., or JR Hokkaido, said Wednesday that the fastest train on the Hokkaido and Tohoku Shinkansen lines will link Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto stations in three hours and 58 minutes from spring 2019, when the firm reviews its train timetable. The minimum travel time will be four minutes less than the current level.

This will be realized through an increase in the maximum travel speed in the Seikan Tunnel, the undersea tunnel that connects Hokkaido, the northernmost Japan prefecture and one of the country's four main islands, and Aomori Prefecture, on the northern tip of the Honshu main island, according to the railway operator.

JR Hokkaido operates the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line, linking Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station in the Hokkaido city of Hokuto and Shin-Aomori Station in Aomori Prefecture. The Tohoku Shinkansen Line, between Tokyo Station and Shin-Aomori, is run by East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East. The two lines are connected at Shin-Aomori, offering seamless Shinkansen travel between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. The Hokkaido line is planned to be extended to Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido.

Bullet trains on the Hokkaido line share a total of about 82 kilometers of tracks, including in the Seikan Tunnel, with freight trains.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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