Tips for taking Gran Class of Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa

The newest train on Tohoku Shikansen E5 series (C) sukhoi37
The newest train on Tohoku Shikansen E5 series (C) sukhoi37

JR East started to operate 2 round trips of Hayabusa after suspension by earthquake. It takes more than 4 hours between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori. Extra 1 hour is spent to get Aomori by Hayabusa. Because there is maximum speed restriction between Omiya and Morioka due to the damage by earthquake. I hope it will be restored with 100% soon.

*JR East lifted a speed limit in some area. Now it takes about 3 hours 30 minutes from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori. It is still 20 minutes more than the regular timetable.

I read the report on Nikkei Trendy. It is one of major magazine by Nihon Keizai Shinbun (Japan Economy Newspaper). There are a lot of images about accommodation, meal, drink and so on. I would like to share this report with you all here.

*When I wrote this post, I did not get any images of Gran class seat and other images of Hayabusa by E5 series. Now I received lots of images. If you are looking for the images of interior, please refer this post, Gran class and all class seat of Tohoku Shinkansen E5 series and Gran class for Hayabusa, Hayate and Yamabiko image gallery.

Shin Aomori station and some images on train

Please access the following page:
Nikkei Trendy Hayabusa report page 3

*After you access this page, you may see the ads. Click “このページをスキップする” on upper right, and you get the page. Or simply you can wait. Page will be shown in five seconds.

You see 7 images on this page. You can click every image to enlarge. The first image is “Nebuta” in “Nebuta no ie Wa-Rasse” in front of Aomori station. Nebuta is one of most famous summer festival in Japan. “Nebuta no ie Wa-Rasse” is the museum that was just opened. If you want to see this, take your time in Aomori staion. It is only 1 minute away from Aomori station. Hayabusa is departed from Shin-Aomori statoin. It is one station away from Aomori and takes 7 minutes by train.

Next two images are the Shin-Aomori station platform. The following images are :
E5 series just comes into the platform. (Usually it comes in 10 minutes prior to the departure time.)
Gran class attendant welcomes you beside the entrance.
The interior of Gran class
Gran class seat

Meals, drinks and other amenities

Please acess the following page:
Nikkei Trendy Hayabusa report page 4

You see 11 images on this page. The first image is the menu. It is in Japanese. I am not sure they have English one or not. Anyway I translate the item on the menu.

Liquor — Beer, Red wine, White wine, Sake (Japanese rice wine), Apple cidre (apple sparkling wine is made from Aomori apple)
Soft drinks (Hot) — Coffee, Tea, Green tea, Herb tea
Soft drinks (Cold) — Coffee, Green tea, Black oolong tea (chinese tea), Apple juice, Diet coke, Water

Next four images are drinks:
Iced coffee (The glass has Glan class logo. But you cannot take it.)
Red wine
Pure rice wine (Japanese Sake)
Apple cidre (made from Aomori apple)

You can order drinks anytime. But you cannot take away from the train.

The following four images are meals:
Japanese Bento (boxed meal)
The menu of Japanese Bento (Baked snapper wrapped by cherry leaves, broiled vegetables, fish cakes, omelet, Tempura, vegetable seasoned rice, etc)
The menu of Sandwich (Ham & cheese sandwich, potato salad sandwich, lemon pepper chicken, butter potato, fruits)

The menus are different between to Tokyo and to Shin-Aomori. These menus are on the train to Tokyo. But the menu may be changed. These boxed meal is not enough for the lunch. And you may order this once. I recommend you to take the extra meal. (You can buy bento or other meals on board.)

The following two images are the power outlet and newspapers. English newspaper is not seen in the image. And also Hayabusa does not have any Wifi access. You can use your laptop on board. But you cannot access the internet.

The seat

Please acess the following page:
Nikkei Trendy Hayabusa report page 5

You see 2 seat images on this page. As you see, the seat configuration is 1+2 (seat A, B and C). There is a small partition between seat B and C. If you want to enjoy the scenery, don’t take seat B. This partition may bother you.

9 thoughts on “Tips for taking Gran Class of Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa”

  1. Hello, I want to reserve a Gran Class seat for a trip from Shin-Aomori to Tokyo Station in the winter. Due to the nature of the trip, I cannot reserve the car with the JR pass until I get it the day of travel. Is it possible tor reserve before I get my JR pass? If not, how likely will it be to reserve the day of in the winter? I will make the trip the day after Christmas.

    1. This is info for upgrading to Gran class from green class with your Green* JR rail pass the fee is around $264 USD with this upgrade you also get access to the Gran class club area at Tokyo station. Recommended to reserve seats for gran class or green class as soon as you get your rail pass as they book up especially during high peak travel times.

  2. Hi Takeshi,
    I am purchasing JR Railpass and will be travelling from Aomori to Morioka, and I would love to try the Gran Class seat. Do you know how much extra should I pay to reserve the Gran Class seat with my JP Rail Pass?


    1. Hi AJ,
      Yes, it does. Only Gran Class seat is not covered 100% by the pass. You need to pay limited express surcharge and Gran class seat fee.

      Takeshi / JP Rail

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