Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa can be booked online.

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

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

On Feb 5, 2011, the first Hayabusa was on sale. But the first Hayabusa train to Shin-Aomori from Tokyo was sold out in ONLY 40 seconds!!! The fisrt Hayabusa from Shin-Aomori to Tokyo was sold out in one hour and 30 minutes. I don’t talk about only Gran Class, but any class on Hayabusa. I expected it would be popular. But this is more than what I expected.

I tried to access online site, and check the possibility for the booking of Hayabusa. I made it. Yes, we can.

If you want to book online, access to JR East Shinkanse reservation. You have to be a member. You need to have a credit card to guarantee the booking (not for payment).


I read most of the major Japanese news paper. They said Hayabusa was sold out on Mar 5, 2011. But I could book it. I could make a reservation for even Gran Class. I did not click “Submit” on the last page. So I don’t know that the reservation would be completed or not.

Anyway you can make a reservation before you depart from your country. If you want to take Hayabusa, I strongly recommend to book in advance.


  1. Jen says:

    hi, if I would like to book for next year April Hayabusa Shinkansen at this moment, is it possible to book online in advance?

  2. Moritz says:

    Dear Takeshi,
    I have a question: can I book a seat from Shin-Aomori to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto on Dec 29th for Dec 30th or do you think it will be sold out? Unfortunately this section cannot be booked from abroad before arriving…

    Otherwise, is it permitted to board with a reservation between these two stations? What happens if I get on the train without a reservation. Will they check?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

  3. Jessica says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    I’m arriving on 4 Oct 2013 and my idea initially was to go to Sapporo on the same day using the JR Pass on Hayabusa. (We will be buying the Exchange Order in our country and will exchange for the JR East pass when we arrive in Japan the day itself) I just got to understand that if I want to pre-book seats, I must be there one day earlier? Do you think we can try to get on the train without reserving seats? I’m a little confused now. Will I be able to reserve seats at the travel agent when I get the Exchange Order or must I go there to reserve.? Thank you! 🙂

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      JPRail says:

      Hi Jessica,

      If you use JR East Shinkansen reservation, yes. You have to pick up 9:00 pm on the day before your trip.
      I recommend you to make a reservation because I’m not 100% sure you can make it after you arrive. And Hayabusa has only reserved seat. If you can’t make it, you have to make a big change on your schedule after you arrive in Japan.

      I am not sure your ticket agent can book JR ticket or not. Even if they can do, they charge handling fee.

      I don’t know your schedule. But if you can take trains other than Hayabusa, you may not make a booking.

      By the way, do you have enough time to transfer to Tokyo or Ueno station from your arrival airport (Narita or Haneda)? Your flight may not arrive on time. So please don’t make a tight schedule. If you give me more detail about your schedule, I may suggest you some more things.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Meryana says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    I have my Japan Rail Pass and plan to reserve a seat on the Tohoku shinkansen before I arrive in Japan via JR-East Shinkansen Reservation. My question is, after making the reservation on this website, will I be charged any additional fee when I collect my reserved seat ticket in Japan?

    I am aware that there is a cancellation fee of 300 yen for tickets not collected. But what I wish to know is, does JR charge you for making an advance reservation for a seat via JR-East Shinkansen Reservation?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance,

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      JPRail says:

      Hi Maryana,
      There is no reservation fee. If you collect the tickets at the station where you assigned, it is completely free. I’ve done many times. I have never had any problems.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. I have my Japan Rail Pass and I plan to reserve seats I soon as they will be available for the Hayabusa online at the JR-East Shinkansen Reservation web site. But what I am confused about is from which locations I will be able to pick up those tickets. When I looked at the page, it appears to me that when you are using the Japan Rail Pass, the tickets reserved online can only be picked up at locations shown in the table whose service is indicated by an orange colored star. The text at the orange colored star says: “Only when “JAPAN RAIL PASS” or “JR EAST PASS” is used, the ticket reserved on JR EAST Web site “JR-EAST Shinkansen Reservation” is a part of a possible receipt”. These orange star service locations are only at the major stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area, and I would have to go out of my way to get to one of them. Can Japan Rail Pass holders pick up the tickets that they reserved online at Narita Airport Terminal 1 or at other locations that do not have the orange colored star?

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      JPRail says:

      Hi Jim,
      You can pick up any station on the list. When I booked a ticket in this past March, I picked up at Narita airport terminal 2.
      When you book it, you can choose the station where you want to pick up.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Leroy says:

    On the 9th I walked in and got on the next Hayabusa to Shinaomori. On the 12th I got on the new Kyushu Shinkansen (from Shinosaka) to Kagoshima chuo. No problems getting a seat. Tons of train buffs though snapping pictures. Of course Kagoshima chuo had a bunch of fake dignitaries (I only recognized an Abe Lincoln among them) passing out packages of goodies for their inaugural day.
    Anyway, I guess you can forget the Hayabusa for a while because of the earthquake. Taking the JR Rapid train to Tokyo takes about 90 minutes from the Narita airport (NEX is not running).

  7. James says:

    I made booking online yesterday, and I just want to say, it’s hard to make booking for Gran class even it cost more. I am travelling on 7 April, still 1 month away yet most Gran class seats are already sold!! I finally got one by reserving the evening Tokyo to Sendai service 🙂 For all of you wanting to travel on Hayabusa, especially the Gran class of Hayabusa, please make booking early!

    For JR East booking online:

    *You need to have a credit card, they don’t need the reference number on your JR Pass or JR East Pass when booking online. Your credit card will not be charge, unless you don’t pick up the ticket!

    *You need to nominate WHICH JR East “Green window/Midori no Madoguchi ” and WHEN you will be picking up the ticket.

    *You will be ask to create a profile account with your email address, after bookings made they will email you the booking reference number.

    *After making the reservation online, they will email you the reservation is proceeding, and then in about 7-8 minutes time, they will email you and inform you if your reservation succeed or not, if you got a seat, the email will content your reservation reference number, if not they will tell you why it didn’t get through(example, fully booked or train cancelled)

    *You need to pick up the ticket no less than 24 hours before your travel.

    *You will need to print out the booking reference number, so they can find your booking when you get to the ticket office 🙂

    If you are trying to reserve a rather popular train such as Hayabusa. Do try to…

    *If you can’t get Tokyo to Shin-Aomori all the way, try Sendai to Shin-Aomori, or Morioka to Shin-Aomori. And then look for other ways to travel between Tokyo to Sendai or Morioka.(ie take another train or take ord-class or green car rather than Gran-Class)

    *Try to take the up train from Shin-Aomori to Tokyo rather than down train from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori, down trains are more popular!


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      JPRail says:

      Hi James,
      You are lucky!
      Everybody’s crazy about Glan Class. Someone paid 470000yen to get the ticket on online auction in Japan!
      I made a reservation too. But my seat will be ordinary…
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  8. James says:

    And Japan Rail Pass official page finally updated the information


  9. Damon says:

    I went to the JR East page to prebook the ticket but it says that i must collect the reservation by 9pm on the day before departure.
    We were looking to validate our pass on the day that we take the train so is it possible to collect this reservation before changing the exchange order into a rail pass??


  10. Andy says:

    If I want to use the Hayabusa in mid march, can I book now, even though I will not exchange my rail pass untill March 12. Or is this booking for non rail pass holders?

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      JPRail says:

      Hi Andy,
      As long as the date when you take the train within 1 month, I think you can do it.
      See this link.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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