Yamagata Shinkansen is operated between Fukushima and Yamagata and Shinjo. But all train services are provided to/from Tokyo and go through Tohoku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Fukushima. It is usually coupled with Tohoku Shikansen “Yamabiko” between Tokyo and Fukushima. At Fukushima station, these trains are uncoupled. Yamagata Shinkansen go toward to Yamagata and Shinjo.
Yamagata Shikansen is sometimes called Mini Shinkansen. Because technically it is not “Real” Shinkansen. It is smaller and slower than common Shinkansen because of sharing the truck with the local trains between Fukushima and Shinjo via Yamagata.
In this post, I would like to show many photos of Yamagata Shinkansen train and explain about this train.
Route, schedule and trip time
Yamagata Shinkansen takes you to Yamagata from Tokyo about 3 hours and to Shinjo from Tokyo about 3 hours and 30 minutes. Yamagata Shinkansen is usually operated 16 round trips a day. These trains are given a name, “Tsubasa” (=つばさ).
View Yamagata “Mini” Shinkansen in a larger map
The stations are same as Tohoku Shinkanse between Tokyo and Fukushima. Please refer to Tohoku Shikansen.
I would like to show you the stations on Yamagata Shinkansen segment between Fukushima and Shinjo via Yamagata.
x:All trains stop *:some trains stop
All trains are operated by E3 series. 400 series was used for this train since Yamagata Shinkansen was started to operate and it had a nice reputation because there is 2+1 seat configuration in Green class. But E3 series gives you 2+2 seat configuration for both Green and Ordinary. The seat pitch in Green seat is 1160 mm. All seats have a power outlet to charge batteries and using Laptop. The seat pitch in Ordinary seat is 980 mm. This is a standard of JR East Shinkansens (Tohoku, Joetsu, Nagano, Akita and Yamagata). But Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen give you 1040 mm seat pitch. This 60mm difference is quite big. The seats at first row and the last row have a power outlet in Ordinary class too.
On Yamagata Shinkansen, specialized fleet, “Toreiyu Tsubasa” was introduced in 2014. It has Tatami seat, bar salon and foot bath. Please see the post, Toreiyu Tsubasa. First ever Shinkansen train that has foot bath to get more information about this train.
Tsubasa train formation
Car numbers are starting from 11 because Tsubasa is operated with Max Yamabiko between Fukushima and Tokyo.