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New bullet train line to start operation to Nagasaki

From September 23, 2022, the Nishikyushu Shinkansen ("West Kyushu Shinkansen"), a new bullet train line, will start running to Nagasaki, reducing travel time to the city by 30 minutes. However, the line will initially not be connected to the rest of the high-speed train network.

What will change?

Currently, Nagasaki is connected by direct limited express trains with Fukuoka's Hakata Station in about two hours. Once the Nishikyushu Shinkansen opens, travel time will be reduced to around 1.5 hours; however, the journey will newly require one transfer along the way at Takeo Onsen, albeit one that will be very easy and comfortable thanks to trains lining up on opposite tracks of the same platform. See the map below for details:

The limited express train services will be adjusted to the new shinkansen line. Direct limited express trains between Hakata and Nagasaki will cease operation. Instead, "Relay Kamome" limited express trains will run between Hakata and Takeo Onsen, providing seamless connections to the shinkansen trains.

Some limited express trains will continue to run as far as Hizen-Kashima Station along the Nagasaki Main Line, but beyond Hizen-Kashima service will be limited to local trains. JR will continue to operate these trains, which is good news for Seishun 18 Kippu users.

Will the fare increase?

Ticket prices will increase only moderately considering the reduction in travel time. For example, the cost for a regular one way ticket for unreserved seats between Hakata and Nagasaki will increase by 460 yen from 5060 to 5520 yen.

Furthermore, the 2-mai kippu discount ticket, which is currently available for 6300 yen for two tickets between Hakata and Nagasaki, will be discontinued and replaced by the following, less cost-effective discount products:

  • Kamome Netto Kippu: this online ticket for a one way trip on reserved seats is available for use between various stations. For a ride between Hakata and Nagasaki, it will cost 4200 yen.
  • Kamome Netto Hayatoku 3: this online ticket provides an even larger discount for a ride between Hakata and Nagasaki, but needs to be purchased at least three days in advance. The cost will be 3600 yen.

Will the Japan Rail Pass be valid?

Yes, the Japan Rail Pass will be valid on all trains along the Nishikyushu Shinkansen. The same is true for the Kyushu Rail Pass (All Kyushu and Northern Kyushu versions).

What trains will run on the Nishikyushu Shinkansen?

The trains will be named "Kamome" just like the limited express trains that currently connect Fukuoka to Nagasaki. They are a special version of the N700S trains used along the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen, but will be only six cars long (3 non-reserved and 3 reserved). There will be no Green Car, but reserved seats will come in rows of relatively spacious 2x2 seats, while unreserved seating will be in rows of 2x3 seats.

What tourist destinations will be affected?

Nagasaki

Takeo Onsen

Ureshino Onsen

Nagasaki Airport

Yutoku Inari Shrine