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What are the differences between Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama?

July 16, 2019

What are the differences between Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama?

If you get to the big cities in the West of Japan such as Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka, you will usually choose the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen as your transportation.
However, there are three types of Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen trains when you try to find your train.
Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama are there.

Do you know which one is suitable for your trip?

I will explain the difference between Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama and recommendation points for each train, now.

The Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen


Tokaido Sanyo ShinkansenThe Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen is running through between Tokyo station and Hakata station. To say more strictly, Tokaido Shinkansen is running between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka and Sanyo Shinkansen is between Shin-Osaka and Hakata.  And the operation company is also different. JR Central is operating the Tokaido Shinkansen, and JR WEST is doing the Sanyo Shinkansen.
Before starting to introduce the details of Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama, I will present the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen.
Many of Tokaido Shinkansen is running into Sanyo Shinkansen routes, so they are operated as Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen by JR Central and WEST cooperation.

Three types of Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen

As you may know already, there are three types of Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen, Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama.

Stated quite simply, the difference between these trains is the number of stations they stop.

Nozomi

Nozomi is the fastest train.
Nozomi stops at the largest stations, such as Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka. For example, Nozomi runs trough from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka for about two hours and 33 minutes. And Nozomi is running in about every ten minutes. It is more often operated than Hikari and Kodama.
Sixteen cabins are there (four Green reserved (first-class) cabins, ten ordinary reserved cabins and three Unreserved cabins).

Recommended to whom in the following situation
  • passengers who need to get to Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka or Hakata as soon as possible
Note: If you use Japan Rail Pass for your trip, you cannot take this type of train with the pass.
If you want to get to your designation as soon as possible in the fastest Shinkansen train, please visit our Shinkansen-ticket.com website.

Hikari

Hikari is the second fastest train. 
Hikari stops at the big stations where Nozomi doesn’t stop, such as Odawara (not all Hikari trains), Shizuoka or Hamamatsu besides the largest stations above. For example, Hikari runs through from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka for about two hours 53 minutes (20 minutes more than Nozomi).
Sixteen cabins are there (three Green reserved (first-class) cabins, eight ordinary reserved cabins and 5 Unreserved cabins).

Recommended to whom in the following situation
  • passengers who use Japan Rail Pass for their trip
  • passengers who want to get to the big station, where Nozomi doesn’t stop earlier than Kodama

    Kodama

    Kodama is the third fastest train.
    Kodama stops at all 16 stations between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka ( in JR Central are).
    For example, Kodama runs through from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka for about four hours four minutes (one hour 30 minutes more than Nozomi).
    Sixteen cabins are there (three Green reserved (first-class) cabins, three ordinary reserved cabins and ten Unreserved cabins).

    Kodama stops at all stations (as follows) in JR Central area.
    • Tokyo (Nozomi and Hikari also stop)
    • Shinagawa (Nozomi and Hikari also stop)
    • Shin-Yokohama (Nozomi and Hikari also stop)
    • Odawara (Hikari sometimes stop)
    • Atami (Hikari sometimes stop)
    • Mishima (Hikari sometimes stop)
    • Shin-Fuji (Only Kodama)
    • Shizuoka (Hikari sometimes stop)
    • Kakegawa (Only Kodama)
    • Hamamatsu (Hikari sometimes stop)
    • Toyohashi (Hikari sometimes stop)
    • Mikawa-Anjo (Only Kodama)
    • Nagoya (Nozomi and Hikari also stop)
    • Gifu-Hashima (Hikari sometimes stop)
    • Maibara (Hikari sometimes stop)
    • Kyoto (Nozomi and Hikari also stop)
    • Shin-Osaka (Nozomi and Hikari also stop)
    Recommended to whom in the following situation
    • passengers who use Japan Rail Pass for their trip
    • passengers who want to get to the other small (but attractive) cities such as Shin-Fuji, Kakegawa, Mikawa-Anjo and Asa. 

    If you want to get to your designation slowly and in relax by Hikari or Kodama with your Japan Rail Pass, please visit our Japan Rail Pass shopping site.