This project had been done already. 500 Type EVA is no longer available. This train was already repainted and refurbished again. And this train is now operated as “Hello Kitty Shinkansen”.
This is the collaboration of the Shinkansen and very popular Japanese Anime “New Generation Evangelion (link to Wikipedia)” as the Sanyo Shinkansen 40 years anniversary special project. This unique Shinkansen fleet has very different exterior that is painted by Evangelion color. And also it has Evangerion exhibition in car #1. There are many more Evangerion characters and designs in the trains. If you are a fan of this anime, you must be excited. Even if you are not familiar with this anime, you will be impressed by these decorations.
I just have got on this train in this early February, 2016. I would like to share the information and many photos of this train with you.
This train runs as regular scheduled train, Kodama 730 (Hakata to Shin-Osaka) and Kodama 741 (Shin-Osaka to Hakata). However sometimes these Kodama trains are not operated by 500 TYPE EVA but regular Shinkasnen 500 series. You may find the operation dates at seasonal train information article below:
The operation dates are released season by season. But this train will be operated until March 2017.
Route and schedule
This train runs on Sanyo Shinkansen between Hakata and Shin-Osaka. The train’s timetable is the following.
Hataka to Shin-Osaka
Shin-Osaka to Hakata
500 series is not updated fleet any more. But the shape of this fleet is still very cool and sharp. This is still very popular Shinkansen fleet. When JR West was planning 40 years anniversary project, one of staffs thought 500 series looks like Evangelion Unit-01. JR West has contacted the production of this anime to explain this project. They agreed to go on this project. The designer of Evangelion is a big fun of Shinkansen 500 series. He was so happy to design this Shinkansen fleet.
500 TYPE EVA is painted purple, green and black. Those are the color of Evangelion Unit-01.
This train is very popular. Whenever this train comes to the platform, many passengers want to take a photo.
This train is 8 cars formation.
SE=Special exhibition, NR=Non reserved seat, RE=Reserved seat
Car# 5 to 8 are same interior as common 500 series. Please see the image gallery of 500 series to find the photos of this fleet.
Car# 3 and 4 have some decoration of Evangelion.
Car #2 is special Evangelion interior. This is non reserved seat and the seats are first come first serve. When I rode this train, there were lots of empty seats in car #2.
Some of seats in car #2 are waiting seats for the passengers who can enter car #1, special exhibition room. If you want to enter car #1, you need to win the lottery online. However it is only Japanese site. I think this is very hard to apply the lottery through Japanese site. If you understand Japanese, please access JR West 500 TYPE EVA official site.
Adding information on March 8, 2016.
JR West has just announced that anybody can enter Car #1 exhibition space. We do not need to register or win lottery to enter car #1. But we still need to register online and win the lottery to play the game on car #1.
If you take this train by JR pass or Sanyo Sanin Area Pass, reserved seat is strongly recommended. This train does not have any Green class seat. But this train’s reserved ordinary seat is same layout of Green class seat that is 2+2 layout. If you take non reserved seat, seat layout is 2+3. Of course you can take a seat in car #2 to enjoy the world of Evangelion. Anyway the leg space of reserved seat is much bigger than non reserved seat too. You can secure your seat in reserved car and walk to car #2 to enjoy the world of Evangelion.
Car #1 Special Exhibition
Fortunately I won the lottery to enter this special room.
I was waiting for my turn at the waiting seat in car #2. As I mentioned, some of seats in car #2 are blocked for the passengers who can enter car #1.
I proceeded to car #1.
There are some display items of Evangelion and Shinkansen.
Actually there are two winning prizes, first and second. Only passengers who win the first prize can proceed to Experience section.
I won the first prize but I did not know how hard to win the first prize. It is very hard, the staff said.
In Experience section, we can play the game.
My score was terrible. LOL
Even if you cannot enter car #1, you still can enjoy the world of Evangelion. This train runs almost everyday. Please try to squeeze this train ride into your itinerary if you are interested in.