Direct transfer to Yamagata and Shinjo, Yamagata Shinkansen (bullet train)


Yamagata Shinkansen
Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series.

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

Stations

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.

Station Tsubasa
Fukushima (福島) x
Yonezawa (米沢) x
Takahata (高畠) *
Akayu (赤湯) *
Kaminoyama-Onsen (かみのやま温泉) *
Yamagata (山形) x
Tendō (天童) *
Sakurambo-Higashine (さくらんぼ東根) *
Murayama (村山) *
Ōishida (大石田) *
Shinjō (新庄) x

x:All trains stop *:some trains stop

Accommodation

Logo of Toreiyu (C) James Chuang
Logo of Shinaksen cruising train, Toreiyu Tsubasa (C) James Chuang

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

11 12 13 14 15 16 17
G R R R R NR NR

Car numbers are starting from 11 because Tsubasa is operated with Max Yamabiko between Fukushima and Tokyo.

Images

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images below.

Green seat (Seat pitch 1160mm/Seat configuration 2+2)
Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Yamagata Shinkansen6E3 series Green seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Green seat

Ordinary seat (Seat pitch 980mm/Seat configuration 2+2.)
Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat

Sanitary space
Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series sanitary space Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series sanitary space Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series sanitary space Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series sanitary space Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series sanitary space

Other facilities
Door, public phone, luggage space and step between train and platform.
Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series other facilites Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series other facilites Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series other facilites Yamagata Shinkansen E3 series other facilites

8 thoughts on “Direct transfer to Yamagata and Shinjo, Yamagata Shinkansen (bullet train)”

  1. I am traveling to tokyo to yamagata on the train after arriving at Narita. ..are there people who can help u and make sure u are on the right train

  2. Hi,
    I was wondering if we are able to use the JR Pass to take the tatami Shinkansen between Fukushima to Shinjo? I can’t seemed to be able to find any info regarding this online.

    1. Hi Samantha,

      That is a sort of reserved ordinary seat. So you can use JR Pass to take this seat. But foot bath is available for the passengers who purchase package tour. JR Pass user cannot use foot bath. Even just enter the space is not be allowed.

      And I’ve heard that this train is super popular and very very difficult to book now.
      Good luck.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Ahh, I see.
        Thank you for the info, I had been trying to find relevant info about this issue online and can’t seemed to find details regarding JR pass users taking this train. Oh well…change of plans then.

        -_-

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    I have a question about going to Zao Onsen using the Yamagata Shinkansen. I notice that the buses from Zao to Yamagata all arrive at 5 minutes past the hour (eg 12:05), but the Tsubasa leaves at 6 minutes past (12:06). Is one minute enough to catch the train? Seems very difficult. Thank you!

    Aaron

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