When riding the Shinkansen (bullet train) you need to follow the luggage rules and regulations to avoid any issues while onboard.
The following rules apply to all passengers, including JR Pass holders:
- You can bring up to 2 pieces of luggage on board free of charge.
- For each bag the total length, width and height must not exceed 250 cm, the length mustn’t be over 2 metres and the weight must be no more than 30kg.
An item of luggage under 160cm (total height x length x width) can be brought on board without a reservation. For luggage between 160-250 cm, a prior reservation is required, which can be made for free at a JR ticket machine or in person at a ticket counter. With a JR Pass you can easily make a luggage reservation at the same time as your seat reservation.
If no reservation is made, then a 1,000 yen fine will be charged and your luggage may be moved by the train conductor. Please note that for standard size luggage there is space within your seat area to bring it with you in addition to overhead storage for small cases and rucksacks.
Luggage over 250 cm cannot be brought on the train, and you should consider a delivery service instead.
Remember to always be mindful of Japanese rules and customs, we have more information about bulky luggage in our article: New Luggage Rules