The world fastest art gallery, Genbi Shinkansen

Cruising train
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Genbi Shinkansen is operated by remodeled E3 series that was used for Akita Shinkansen before.

Genbi Shinkansen (現美新幹線) is one of Shinkansen trains but it is very unique train. Many artworks are displayed in the carriages. It is like running art gallery. Exterior is also very cool. Fireworks displays are drawn on the trains.

Genbi is a short word of Gendai Bijutsu. That means Modern Art. This train offers many modern artwork on board of high speed train, Shinkansen. That is why this train is called “The World Fastest Art Gallery”.

One of my reader, Tak has taken this train and he offered me to use his brilliant photos. I would like to tell you the details of this train with his photos. Thank you very much for your support, Tak san!

Genbi Shinkansen will stop operation by the end of 2020.

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Route, schedule and trip time

The exterior is quite impressive. Fireworks display in Nagaoka city, Niigata is drawn on the carriage.

Genbi Shinkasnen runs on Joetsu Shinkansen line between Echigo-Yuzawa and Niigata on weekend, holiday and peak period. It does not run on weekdays. It is operated by the name of “Toki”. It is not operated by the name of “Genbi Shinkansen”. And also most of Joetsu Shinkansen trains depart from Tokyo station. But this train does not come to Tokyo station. When you want the experience of riding this train from Tokyo, you have to take other Joetsu Shinkansen train to get Echigo-Yuzawa.

Please see the seasonal train information in the link below. You will find the operation dates of this train.

Seasonal train information

This train makes stops at all Joetsu Shinkansen stations between Niigata and Echigo-Yuzawa. The trip time is 50 to 55 minutes.


Genbi Shinkansen stops at these stations

Echigo-Yuzawa (越後湯沢)
Urasa (浦佐)
Nagaoka (長岡)
Tsubame-Sanjo (燕三条)
Niigata (新潟)


This train will be operated by renovated E3 series. Most part of this train is gallery. This train has only one car for ordinary seat.

Train formation

This train is six cars formation. Car number starts from 11.


R=Reserved seat G=Gallery C=Cafe space K=Kids play are
*All seats are non smoking.

Reserved seat on car #11 is only regular seat. In other cars, there are sofas only. These sofas are non reserved seat. Trip time is very short. If you see all artworks, you do not have a time to sit down. You can reserve your seat but it is not required.

Interior images

All photos are given by my reader, Tak. I thank you very much for your support, Tak san!

The two following images are reserved seat. It was used as Green seat before but it is used as ordinary seat in this train.

Car #11, reserved seat
Car #11, reserved seat

The following four images are most important part of this train. Each four cars have different type of artworks.

Car #12, artwork of mirror
Car #14, artwork of photos
Car #15, artwork displayed in glass case. Those are hanging and swinging by train running.
Car #16, artwork of screens
Nice comfy sofas are places in gallery cars.

This train has cafe space and kids play area too in car #13. At cafe, you can purchase Niigata local coffee, Niigata local Japanese Sake (rice wine) and light meal.

Car #13, cafe space
Car #13, Kids play space. This is a part of gallery too.

Fares and coverage by rail pass

The fare is exactly same as other Joetsu Shinkansen trains. There is no special charge to take this train. Please use Hyperdia to find the fare:

Hyperdia perfect guide

The following rail passes covers this train fully.

This train is not covered by other rail passes, such as Tokyo Wide Pass, JR-East South Hokkaido Rail Pass, JR East Pass Tohoku, Hokuriku Arch Pass. The segment of Echigo-Yuzawa to Niigata is outside coverage area of these train passes.

Enjoy the ride on the world fastest art gallery, Genbi Shinkansen.


  1. Steve H. says:


    If I understand correctly it isn’t necessary to reserve a seat… however, is it possible that without a reservation they run out of seats? Or do they always allow “standing” passengers?
    (And if a reservation is safer, do you know where I might be able to make one from overseas? I plan on being there in July)

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Steve,

      You can reserve your seat but not required. You can take this train without reservation. As you see the post above, it’s like art gallery. You will walk through the trains and don’t have a time to sit down even if you reserve a seat.


      Takeshi /

  2. Melanie says:

    Hi Takeshi

    Just wondering if this train is usually available in the last week of December after Christmas.


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Melanie,

      I believe so. But at this point, the schedule of this train in December has not been released yet. The schedule will be released usually in late October.


      Takeshi /

  3. Joe Pan says:

    Takeshi-San , do you have timetable for this train?

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