On 5 March 2011, the new and sleek Hayabusa (はやぶさ) Series E5 Shinkansen began servicing northern Honshu’s Tohoku Shinkansen Line between Tokyo and the newly built Shin-Aomori station on the northern tip of island.
Reaching a top speed of 300km/h, the Hayabusa, literally the peregrine falcon, is the fastest shinkansen to enter into service. The trip from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori now take 3 hours and 10 minutes, which is 13 minutes faster than the existing Hayate service. It is envisaged that in 2012, the top speed will increase to 320 km/h.
The Hayabusa E5 series shinkansen consists of 1o cars. All cars are non-smoking and reservation only. Compared to its previous counterparts, Hayabusa’s ordinary car seats are wider and have increased pitch (added leg room). Also, power sockets are now available in every row and each seat now has adjustable headrests.
The destinations serviced by the Hayabusa on the Tohoku Shinkansen line include:
- Tokyo (東京)
- Omiya (大宮)
- Sendai (仙台)
- Morioka (盛岡)
- Hachinohe (八戸)
- Shin-Aomori (新青森)
The Hayabusa will service the route twice daily return and the Hayate 15-times daily. An ordinary car reserved seat ticket from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori costs ¥16,870. As the Tohoku Shinkansen line is part of JR East, the JR East and JR Japan rail pass will allow for travel on the Hayabusa and Hayate.
For more information, visit the JR East website.