I took Hikari Rail Star from Okayama to Hiroshima on the way to Miyajima. This Hikari has a different paint from the regular Hikari. It is gray and orange.
*Most of Hikari Railstar have been replaced by Sakura and Mizuho of Kyushu Shinkansen N700 series. Please find the link below to learn more:
Hikari Rail Star is operated only from Shin-Osaka to Hakata every one hour. The departure time at Shin-Osaka is every one hour on the 59th. The departure time at Hakata is every one hour on the 4th. This Hikari does not have any Green car (First class car). But the reserved ordinary seat provide you same type of seat. I will show you how much difference between a reserved ordinary and a non-reserved ordinary.
Most of Hikari Railstar was replaced by Kyushu Shinkansen Sakura. Now Sakura is operated by newer N700 series. Please find the images of Kyushu Shinkansen at the post, Kyushu Shinkansen N700 series for Mizuho, Sakura and Tsubame image gallery.
All ordinary seat of regular Hikari and a non-reserved seat of Hikari Rail Star offer 3+2 seating. It is not very tight. It is much more spacious than an economy class seat on the flight.
The reserved ordinary seat of Hikari Rail Star offer 2+2 seating. It is so spacious. If you travel between Shin-Osaka and Hakata, I strongly recommend to take Hikari Rail Star. Please be sure that you Hikari is Rail Star or not when you reserve your ticket!!!
The reason the Rail Star 700s were gray and the regular 700s are white is that the Rail Star is JR West and the regular Hikari is JR Central. And with the Sakura replacement service (equivalent to the Hikari from JR Central) they have kept the 2+2 luxury seating that the Rail Star had in the reserved cars. Very nice.
Hello, does the JR Sanyo Shinkansen still have compartment trains akin to that of the Hikari Railstar? We want to see if we can experience a compartment car while we will be in Japan.
Compartment is no longer available in any Shinkansen trains.
Takeshi / JPRail.com
May I ask if JR pass can be used on Hikari Railstar? Thanks.
Yes, you can. But most of Hikari Railstar now run as “Sakura”.
Takeshi / JP Rail