In 2018, WiFi Situation On Shinkansen Will Be Changed Dramatically

Good news about Japan travel should be sent to everyone having a plan to visit Japan as soon as possible. Shinkansen, or bullet trains in Japan, will approach on our side next year.

JR East & JR West officially announced simultaneously last week that they are starting offering public wireless LAN services for free of charge on their Shinkansens.

Last month, I just published a blog post (“WiFi Accessibility On Shinkansen“), writing how Shinkansens are critically bad for places to use the internet due to the complete lack of accessibility.

This news really will be a ray of light in the darkness to change such desperate situation.

I’ve translated what they said in their press releases and compiled to make the info to be understand easily.


JR East

They will offer free WiFi service on the following trains:

Tohoku Shinkansen E5 Series (Tokyo to Aomori)

Jyoetsu Shinkansen E7 Series (Tokyo to Niigata)

Hokuriku Shinkansen E7 Series (Tokyo to Kanazawa)

Akita Shinkansen E6 Series (Mitagi to Akita)

When They Start The Free WiFi Service?

From around Summer 2018.


JR West

They will offer free WiFi service on the following train:

Hokuriku Shinkansen W7 Series (Tokyo to Kanazawa)

When They Start The Free WiFi Service?

From the last half of 2018.


Service Summary & Notes (on JR East & JR West)

You should register some info (such as e-mail address) to use the services.

The services will use frequency bands for mobile phones. And accordingly, when on the move, you can not sufficiently use the internet as Shinkansen go through lots of areas that are hard to get radio frequencies such as mountains and tunnels.

Any other details will be announced later.


As you may have noticed, we still have no such good improvement on Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo to Osaka), Sanyo Shinkansen (Osaka to Hakata), Hokkaido Shinkansen (Aomori to Hokkaido), and Yamagata Shinkansen (Fukushima to Yamagata).


But yet, this improvement is simply great.

That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for international travelers to Japan.

I can see a glimmer of hope, although little distant it may be.


The services will run around summer 2018 at the earliest.

Until then, how about eating some Ekiben?


Sourced from:

JR West Press Release (Japanese)

JR East Press Release (Japanese / PDF)