Limited time operation. Specialized Shinkansen train 500 TYPE EVA

Hakata, Kokura
It has same shape of regular 500 series but it looks very different.
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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.

Operation dates

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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:

Seasonal Trains Schedule

The operation dates are released season by season. But this train will be operated until March 2017.

Route and schedule

(C) Hisagi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
(C) Hisagi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

This train runs on Sanyo Shinkansen between Hakata and Shin-Osaka. The train’s timetable is the following.

Kodama 730
Hataka to Shin-Osaka
Kodama 741
Shin-Osaka to Hakata


Regular fleet of 500 series
Regular fleet of 500 series

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.

It has same shape of regular 500 series but it looks very different.
It has same shape of regular 500 series but it looks very different.

This train is very popular. Whenever this train comes to the platform, many passengers want to take a photo.

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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.

Sanyo Shinkansen 500 series image gallery

Car# 3 and 4 have some decoration of Evangelion.

Door to car #4. It has "NERV" logo.
Door to car #4. It has “NERV” logo.
Smoking space in car #3. One of character, Ryoji Kaji is on the mirror. He loves to smoke too.
Smoking space in car #3. One of character, Ryoji Kaji is on the mirror. He loves to smoke too.

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.

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"NERV" logo on sunshade too.
“NERV” logo on sunshade too.

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.

Reserved seat in ordinary class. (C) W0746203-1 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] , via Wikimedia Commons
Reserved seat in ordinary class. (C) W0746203-1 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] , via Wikimedia Commons

Car #1 Special Exhibition

Fortunately I won the lottery to enter this special room.

I received the pass to enter car #1.
I received the pass to enter car #1.

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.

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I proceeded to car #1.

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There are some display items of Evangelion and Shinkansen.

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Actually there are two winning prizes, first and second. Only passengers who win the first prize can proceed to Experience section.

Experience section is behind this curtain.
Experience section is behind this curtain.

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.

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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.


  1. Nan says:

    Hi Takeshiさん。

    Next journey I’d love to try ride this train, I have JR Pass so no problem with me (except I don’t get the reserved seat / non reserved). But My friend not have JR Pass/ Sanyo, only have Kansai Area pass which is She can’t use it.
    So what if she only buy a regular price of the ticket train ( I checked on HyperDia total is 1,500円 = main fare + unreserved seat). Can she do that?
    She need buy at regular ticket machine ?
    need your advice and thank you!


    • Hi Nan san,

      As long as you has a regular ticket, she can take it. She can buy it at either window or Shinkansen ticket vending machine. Shinkansen ticket vending machine can be found Shinkansen station only.


      Takeshi /

  2. Ralph DT says:

    Hi, I will be visiting Japan in February 2017 and plan to ride this. My plan is leave Tokyo early in the morning and go t Shin-Osaka via SHINKANSEN NOZOMI 101 then wait for the KODAMA 741 to arrive in Shin-Osaka then visit Hirosima. I checked on Google maps and Hyperdia in regards to timetables but the KODAMA 741 is not showing up. Is this still operating?

    Also, I will have a 7 day national JR Pass, will the KODAMA accept JR Pass? I understand that some Bullet train lines does not accept JR passes.

    • Hi Ralph,

      Both Hyperdia and Google map do not show this train usually because it’s slow. These search engine gives most convenient and the fastest way. Kodama stops at all stations and very slow. This is not the best way to get Hiroshima from Shin-Osaka for most of travelers.

      Please check the operation dates in the link below.

      By the way, Kodama is covered by JR pass but Nozomi is not. When you go to Shin-Osaka from Tokyo, you have to take Hikari. This is very importation thing that Nozomi and Mizuho are not covered by JR pass. All Shinkansen lines are covered by JR pass but some trains on Shinkansen lines are not covered and those are Nozomi and Mizuho. Please keep it in your mind.


      Takeshi /

      • Ralph DT says:

        Thanks for that Takeshi.

        I just realised after posting that NOZOMI is not covered by JR Pass.

        So basically the best way to experience the Evangelion train coming from Tokyo is board the early morning SHINKANSEN HIKARI 503 to Shin-Osaka then wait for the SHINKANSEN KODAMA 741.

        I really just want to see and experience riding the Evangelion bullet train that is why I’m boarding the SHINKANSEN KODAMA 741 then stop at Hiroshima for like 2-3 hours then go back to Tokyo again.

        Thanks Takeshi! Your post is really helpfull as I am now able to squeeze in the Evangelion bullet train experience on my short holiday trip to Japan.

  3. joseph says:


    im going to kansai november 22-27 and would like to ride on one of those dates.

    when i checked google maps, all i see are sakura555, nozomi but no kodoma 741

    is this still in service? i just want to spend an afternoon riding this. im spending a kansai wide pass just for this.

    too bad foreingers like me cant play the game but at least we can enter car 1

  4. Michael K says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Thanks for the great informative article. I will be visiting Japan in the coming weeks and would be interested in taking some photographs of this train. What is the location you used for your photo, and what other locations would you recommend?


    • Hi Michael,

      Actually I’m not good at taking photo. I only take the photo at the station only. I downloaded some of the photo from credit free site.
      Sorry that I cannot give you any tips.


      Takeshi /

  5. Amalia says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    thank you for sharing this post with us, now I can properly plan my next trip in November to match the schedule of this train ^^
    Just a quick question, even if we get a non-reserved seat and wander around to Car #1 and #2, do you think we would disturb the passengers seated there?

  6. amonrei says:

    Whaaat? You need to win the lottery to enter car #1? Oh well thanks for sharing your experience though. I plan on riding this from Hiroshima to Hakata on 29 March. Maybe stop by the cafe as well hehe.

    • Hi Amonrei,

      Unfortunately yes.
      Anyway enjoy your trip.


      Takeshi /

      • Tat says:

        Hi Takeshi-san / amonrei-san

        I think if you select a less popular stations of the ride, your chances are higher. I had just got 2 tickets for A prize (ie with the game experience) for 27 March between Hiroshima and Shin-Iwakuni on 1st try. So no harm trying if you can navigate yourself around the japanese site!

        The only down side is that registration requires a Katakana name (and no other name), but there is no katakana name anywhere on my Identification or Passport. Not sure if they will let me through on the day, but guess I will just try my luck.

        By the way amonrei-san, I will also be travelling from Hiroshima to Hakata on 29th March! but I will be doing it early in the morning instead of waiting for the 2pm evangelion train.


  7. Cameron says:

    Hi Takeshi!

    Thanks for writing this great article about the 500-Type EVA. It is very informative!

    I do not read or speak Japanese at all, but while browsing the official website for the 500-Type EVA, I found that there is an Evangelion Shop located at Shin-Osaka Station. I am planning on taking the train from Hakata to Osaka in March, and I would love to shop at this store when I arrive in Osaka. Did you go to this shop? Is it easy to get to after leaving the platform? Do I have to worry about the store being closed during my trip, or does it have normal hours?

    Thanks again for being so helpful!

  8. Shirley Lim says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I find your website to be really useful, especially to foreigners when we are planning to travel Japan on our own.

    Just a quick question about the EVA 500 train, understand a JR pass will cover the cost but I am thinking of just hopping on to a non-reserved seat from Shin-Osaka, would you advise doing so or would you still advise making a reservation?

    My husband and I are thinking of just experiencing the train so most prob will alight the next stop or so.

    Thank you!

  9. Ana Byrd says:

    Congratulations on winning the lottery AND first prize, this is the first time I see nice pictures of Car 1.
    I’m planning a visit in May just to ride the EVA 500 Shinkansen, so this information is very helpful.
    Also want to say thank you for the excellent website, I have used it to plan Japan vacations in the past.

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