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Luggage space on Shinkansen

Spintriae

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28 Oct 2007
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I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience/volumes/measurements regarding storage space on the Shinkansen. I will be using them a lot (every 4 days or so) to travel from city to city, and am taking a duffle-case which is 30"x20"x15", as well as my small backpack. I understand there is a space near the rear of most carriages where you can put luggage? Is this correct?
 
yeah, there's a small amount of space in the back that you can cram your luggage into, and some overhead space your backpack might fit into. Your bag doesn't sound so large that it would be a problem.
 
It's been a long time since I've delt in inches, but I have ridden on the shinkansen quite a number of times.

If my vague sense of how big your luggage is is of any accuracy, I would say that it sounds too big for the overhead luggage rack above the seating. You could store it in between cars, but I wouldn't recommend it, especially as nowadays it might be mistaken for something dangerous.

However, if you were to buy a non-reserved ticket and put your luggage in the seat next to you, you could make it to your destination pretty well, I think. Of course, if it gets crowded, you'd be under intense pressure to move your luggage so that someone else could use that seat, but in the absolute worse case, you could find a place to stand next to your luggage.

I hope this is helpful. I've never been in your situation before!
 
According to a similar question asked in a Japanese forum, you can get a seat at the edge of the car (make reservations for such a seat in a reserved car or gamble for one in a non-reserved car) where there is space between the seat and the wall to keep your case. You can put your backpack on the overhead rack.
If that's not possible, you can ask the conductor for help. If you can't speak Japanese, use body language and the conductor can figure out what you mean. I think the conductor will keep it for you. Be sure that your baggage is put in a place where you or the conductor can keep an eye on it, because there are always thieves looking for personal belongings and valuables to pick up.

Hope it helps! 😌
 
Sounds like my fiance and I are going to be overcumbered when we are there. We are going to be taking two large suitcases apiece and her laptop, and our airplane carryons. Hopefully we can just hold our luggage instead of storing it.
 
There is a luggage area at the front/rear of some cars. Depending where you get on the space may be vacant or full. If you manage to get a seat at the front/rear of the car there is also room directly behind the chair between the seat-back and the wall, I've stuffed luggage in there before. Between those two spots and the overhead, you may be okay if you're travelling heavy.
 
That baggage forwording is something I will have to look into. I remember seeing something about it before. But we will be buying a lot of stuff in Japan thats why we will probally be travling heavy. I just hope people aren't mad at us for taking up space.
 
My last trip we took the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kanagawa (spelling). We went from Narita. Well Narita to Tokyo and then on to the Shinkansen. I had my large suitcase and my smaller carry on and my laptop. It was a pain to carry all that, but we had a change in plans that forced us into that situation. All in all in wasn't too bad. There is actually plenty of room between the rows of seats. My big suitcase I placed in front of me and it wasn't that cramped. Of course I am short so I don't need a lot of leg room. My standard sized carry on fit above me on the luggage rack. We always buy reserved tickets. It's just easier to know that we have our seats, and in the event of a problem and there is a delay it's easier to get rebooked. That has happened twice for us, once for high winds that shut down the system and the other for an earthquake.
 
I thought the station was Kanagawa...but I am not sure. We went to Tsunan and
Tokamachi! I love shopping at the Jusco in Tokamachi. Anyway, I think that is the station we end up at!! If I am wrong please let me know. :)
 
Having put this and other threads together I feel well ready for our adventure in March: just need the cherry blossoms to behave when we are there!!!
 
I don't think (or even know) if you're wrong, I just remember not being able to find bullet train service from my area to the Kansai area when I wanted to visit my family so I had to subway it over to Tokyo station. If perchance there was a secret station in the Kanagawa area (closest is Yokohama I *think*, although there may very well be one closer...) I would have been interested to know!

You're right about the reserved seats. I did the non-reserved thing once.. ended up standing on a smoking car for 2 hours. I nearly died.
 
I usually lucked out in putting my "monolith" in between the behind the rear seats and the wall.
 
Thanks for the advice, guys.

Unfortunately I really can't afford the luggage-forwarding service on my holiday budget. I'm trying to be as frugal as I can.

My bag's not that huge but it's the biggest I've ever carried on holiday (unfortunately, Winter weather tends to call for bulkier clothing) so I just wanted to make sure.
 
There is a luggage area at the front/rear of some cars. Depending where you get on the space may be vacant or full. If you manage to get a seat at the front/rear of the car there is also room directly behind the chair between the seat-back and the wall, I've stuffed luggage in there before. Between those two spots and the overhead, you may be okay if you're travelling heavy.

So it would be wise to ask for a reserved seat in the front or rear of a car???
What understanding of English do the reservation staff have: is it OK to expect to be able to ask for that, given I unfortunately have no talent for learning any language let alone Japanese (and boy have I tried, seriously): I feel bad expecting everyone to have to have English just because I'm a dunce
 
You could always consider taking less clothes; if you aren't going to be there too long, or will have access to a laundry service, you can get by on just a few days worth of clothing.
 
Yeah, but I'm not just taking my clothes. I have a couple of friends in Japan and all my other friends are loading me up with care packages to take over for them. Which is totally cool and I'm not complaining, because it means after I take them all out of my bag, there'll be plenty of room for all the souveniers I'm bringing back!
 
You can reserve and pay for your shinkansen seat on the computerized touchscreen ticket vending machines, and I think there is a button you can press to switch instructions to English if you don't know enough Japanese. So, no need to deal with an actual person to get your ticket, if you don't want to.

Last time I made a trip through, I had a 28x14x12 (somewhere around that...) duffel bag which fit pretty nicely on the overhead rack. 30x20x15 might be a bit tough to squeeze, those racks are not very wide. The backpack you can probably just fit on the floor under your legs, that's what I did.
 
You can reserve and pay for your shinkansen seat on the computerized touchscreen ticket vending machines, and I think there is a button you can press to switch instructions to English if you don't know enough Japanese. So, no need to deal with an actual person to get your ticket, if you don't want to.

Last time I made a trip through, I had a 28x14x12 (somewhere around that...) duffel bag which fit pretty nicely on the overhead rack. 30x20x15 might be a bit tough to squeeze, those racks are not very wide. The backpack you can probably just fit on the floor under your legs, that's what I did.

So my language embarrassment can be avoided by using a machine??? Does this "machine" recognize in any way that you have a JR Pass???
 
So my language embarrassment can be avoided by using a machine??? Does this "machine" recognize in any way that you have a JR Pass???

Why would you be embarassed? Most JR ticket offices have English-speaking clerks.
 
Why would you be embarassed? Most JR ticket offices have English-speaking clerks.
I just feel bad expecting everyone to speak English wherever I go, due to my seeming inability to manage other languages: glad to know know language won't be much of a problem with booking reserve seats: thats great
 
Don't know how informative this picture is, but it's the inside of a Hikari Railstar - Tokyo to Hiroshima line.

picture045hz9th-1.jpg


Gives some idea of the overhead storage space.
 
I just feel bad expecting everyone to speak English wherever I go, due to my seeming inability to manage other languages: glad to know know language won't be much of a problem with booking reserve seats: thats great

An advice just about anywhere you can go in Japan. Just learn simple, but very important words like 'where, what, when, which way, etc.' and then have a dictionary and show the Japanese word to them. That helps A LOT. I still do it and I must say I get around as much as a fluent person would. Don't be scared, Japan is a very reliable country.

Mauricio
 
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