Starting from May 2020, luggages 160cm – 250cm in size will have to make reservations to reserve storage space. Luggages bigger than 251cm will not be allowed on Shinkansen trains. Failure to do so will result in a penalty fee of 1,000 yen (about RM 39). Here’s everything you need to know about this new baggage policy, including how to make a reservation and how much it costs.
Reason behind the new policy
If you’ve ever rode on Japan’s high speed trains, you’ll know that despite its speed, cleanliness, and excellent service, it doesn’t have much luggage space. Most people either place their luggages at the luggage storage space (if it isn’t full), sit with them, or place them along the aisle.
In light of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, the railway operators have decided to prepare for the influx of tourists by implementing a new luggage policy. They hope that this will help prevent carriages from overcrowding, making the ride safer and more comfortable for passengers. So failure to make a reservation will result in a fine of 1,000 yen (about RM 39) in cash when you board the bullet train.
This policy will come into effect late May 2020. All passengers boarding the JR Tokaido, JR Kyushu, and JR Sanyo Shinkansen will need to make a reservation in advance for larger baggages. Passengers are advised to make reservations as early as possible to avoid any hassle.
What is considered as an “extra-large luggage”?
Any baggage or item that has a length, width, and height totalling to 160cm – 250cm is considered “extra-large luggage”. Fortunately, there is no weight limit!
If you are unsure about whether your luggage is considered as an extra large luggage, measuring devices will be placed near Shinkansen gates. This will allow you to double-check if your luggage requires a reservation to be brought on board.
Which train lines will be affected?
You will have to make a baggage reservation if you are taking any of these routes:
- Tokaido Shinkansen – train services run between Tokyo and Shin Osaka
- Sanyo Shinkansen – train services run from Shin Osaka to Hakata, Fukuoka
- Kyushu Shinkansen – train services run from Hakata to Kagoshima Chuo
How can I make a reservation for my luggage?
This is easy! When you reserve your Shinkansen seat, it will automatically include reserved space for your luggage. Therefore no extra steps needed! This means you can do it online, through the Shinkansen ticketing machines at local train stations, and JR Ticket Offices. All Shinkansen seats do not come with extra-large baggage space, so we recommend you to make reservations as early as possible. Book your Shinkansen ticket on Travel Recommends to avoid any hassle when you travel.
Where will my luggage be stored?
Extra-large luggages will be stored at the last row of each carriage. By 2023, some toilets and sinks on the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen will be renovated into storage spaces. These spaces can also be used to store other large items like wheelchairs, strollers, and equipment.
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