JR Kyushu reveals the starting date for the newest stretch of Shinkansen in southwestern Japan.

Once you’ve ridden a Shinkansen bullet train in Japan, you’ll never want to travel any other way. They’re incredibly efficient, clean, and are continually connecting more and more parts of the country for an oh-so-smooth and hassle-free ride from as far north as Hokkaido to as far south as Kyushu.

Speaking of Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, the current Kyushu Shinkansen service runs between Hakata Station in Fukuoka Prefecture and Kagoshima-Chuo Station in Kagoshima Prefecture. Since 2008, however, an extension of the line to the west has been under construction and is finally ready to open this fall.

▼ The current Kyushu Shinkansen route is marked in purple and the new West Kyushu Shinkansen route is marked in red.

JR Kyushu has finally announced that this West Kyushu (“Nishi Kyushu”) Shinkansen service will officially begin operations on September 23, 2022. The route will run between Takeo-Onsen Station in Saga Prefecture and Nagasaki Station in Nagasaki Prefecture, comprising of five total stations over approximately 66 kilometers (41 miles).

▼ Left to right: Takeo-Onsen Station, Ureshino-Onsen Station (newly named), Shin-Omura Station (newly named), Isahaya Station, Nagasaki Station

As previously revealed, the West Kyushu Shinkansen will utilize six-passenger car versions of the N700S series of rolling stock dubbed Kamome, which means “Seagull.” Kamome trains pay homage to JR Kyushu’s image color of red in their design.

▼ A Kamome train

Furthermore, the new service will utilize a simple cross-platform interchange at Hakata Station to connect to Takeo-Station via the Relay Kamome limited express train service. All in all, travel between Hakata Station and Nagasaki Station will now take 1 hour 20 minutes, which is a time reduction of 30 minutes.

▼ Hakata Station’s cross-platform interchange for Kamome and Kamome Relay trains

If you don’t currently have a need for speed, perhaps you’d prefer to visit something more nostalgia-filled such as Yusubaru Station, the oldest wooden train station building in Kyushu.

Source: PR Times via ITmedia
Images: PR Times
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