Harajuku Station Guide: Map, lines and attractions

Harajuku Station is located in the Shibuya area of Tokyo, Japan. It derives its name from Harajuku, a fashion and shopping district that lies to the east of the station. Harajuku district has been called “the center of Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles.” It draws youths not only from across Japan but from around the world.

Harajuku Station first opened in 1906 and the original structure offers a unique alpine facade. However, it has recently undergone renovations to include a state-of-the art new building. Today, it is the sixth-busiest station operated by JR East.

If your travels in Tokyo with the JR Pass will be taking you through Harajuku Station, you can use this handy travel guide to plan your trip to the district.

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The Tohoku Shinkansen line: Travel guide

Japan is famous for its high-speed bullet trains. The fastest of these is the Hayabusa Shinkansen, which can be found on the Tohoku Shinkansen line in Honshu. An interesting feature of several Tohoku Shinkansen trains is that they offer only reserved seating.

This is rare among the shinkansen, so if you wish to travel on this line, be sure to make your reservations early! Green cars and Gran Class cars are available on most trains, as are standing tickets when all seats are booked. Continue reading “%s”

The Shonan-Shinjuku line: From Tokyo to Yokohama and Kamakura

The Shonan-Shinjuku line, inaugurated in December 2001, is a Japanese passenger train service operated by JR East that connects multiple destinations in the Kanto region of Honshu, Japan’s largest island, with the capital city of Tokyo.

Services on the Shonan-Shinjuku line run along sections shared by the Ryōmō Line, Takasaki Line, Utsunomiya Line, Yamanote Line, Yokosuka Line, and the Tōkaidō Main Line, and most can be freely used with the JR Pass. Although the line has no dedicated track of its own, it is treated as a separate service on railway maps and station information boards.

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Driverless Shinkansen: JR East announces tests in 2021

As part of its Change 2027 program, JR East has announced that it will conduct a series of driverless Shinkansen test runs in late 2021, using a 12-car E7-series bullet train.

The 5-kilometer trial runs, which will take place in October and November in Niigata Prefecture northwest of Tokyo, are intended to collect data that can support JR East’s long-term plan to introduce driverless Shinkansen trains on its rail network.

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Hello Kitty Shinkansen: The cutest bullet train also in 2021

The Japan Railway West Co., better known as JR West, premiered a Hello Kitty bullet train service on its Sanyo Shinkansen line on June 2018. At the moment, like other special shinkansen trains before, it seems that this train will run for a limited time, for now it’s not known until when but, according to JR West, it will be announced 4-month a time.

This new must-do item has chosen Hello Kitty’s iconic red ribbon as the main theme, as a way to represent the strengthening of the ties between the Shinkansen services and the western part of the country. The best part? It’s included in your JR Pass!

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