Seat types and seat numbers in the Tokaido Shinkansen

shinkansen seats

Tokaido Shinkansen has five seats in a row and thirteen to twenty rows in one car. One train has sixteen cars for one Shinkansen.

Here you can find out types of seats like reserved and non-reserved, Green car and seat number for reservations.

Reserved and non reserverd

Actually, there are three types of seats. The non reserved seat, the reserved seat, and the Green seat. These seats are in separate cars.

Non reserved

The non reserved seat is most cheap. Tickets for the non reserved seat are valid all day. You are able to ride any train any time. Japanese people who use the non reserved seats are like students, young couples and young business people. If you are unlucky, you may have to keep standing for hours while you get to your destination. Seats for non reserved are decreasing these days.


The reserved seats are more popular for the Shinkansen. Reserved seats used to be more expensive. Because of the internet reservation systems, it’s getting cheaper.

  • Reserved 11,310yen
  • non reserved 10,560yen

Not much difference.

When you buy your reserved Shinkansen ticket, you specify information below.

  • Date to board
  • Time to board
  • Where you get on and off the Shinkansen
  • Seat number

Time you board confirms the Train number, like “Nozomi 117”. The seat number confirms the car. Finally your get a ticket like “Nozomi 117, car 6, row 8, seat E”. Here is a snap of a ticket.

Shinkansen reserved ticket
An Shinkansen reserved seat ticket

I will explain about the seat number later in this article.

Green car

Shinkansen green car
Green car seats

The Green car is a kind of a reserved seat, but costs more. It costs about 1.5 times than the reserved seat. It is quiet, seats are very comfortable and has foot rests. 2 or 3 of 16cars are green cars in the Tokaido Shinkansen.

You can find people like presidents or managers of companies, famous artists or entertainers boarding the green cars. Its like first-classes in an example of an airplane but not such service.

I believe the green car is not worth it for travelers unless you are a celebrity.

Train number

Shinkansen train number has a unique number each day. You can find it displayed on boards at station.

Shinkansen display board
Shinkansen display board at stations

Display boards on all stations are in Japanes and English.

Shinkansen train number diplayed on the train

You can find the train number displayed on the train. Don’t ride a different train!

Car number

Every Shinkansen train has 16 cars in the Tokaido Shinkansen. Facing west is car number 1, and facing east (facing Tokyo station) is car number 16.

shinkansen car no
Reserver seat ticket

If you reserve a seat, you can find your car number on the ticket.

Car numbers on platforms
Car number painted on the shinkansen body and display boards

Car numbers are painted on the side of each door. Don’t worry if you get on in a different door. All cars are connected in the train and you can walk through car number 1 to car 16.

Also you will find the car number displayed on boards at the platforms. First you should move to the car number you are about to ride.

Seat number

Seats in the Tokaido Shinkansen

Seat has a number in each cars. Seat number is like “15 A”. And this means row 15 seat “A”. “A” is the seat by the window. “B” is the center seat of the three seater. “C” is the aisle seat. “D” is the aisle seat on the two seater, and “E” seat is by the window.

You will find seat numbers printed by top of the windows.

You need to sit in the right seat number if you have a seat reserved ticket. You can sit the seat you want if you have a non reserved seat ticket. Non reserved seats are only in non reserved cars. So you make sure you are in a non reserved car.


Japanese prefer reserved seats because the Tokaido Shinkansen sometimes get realy crowded. A bit expensive but I recomend that you get a reserved ticket, especially when you ride the Shinkansen on Japan holidays, morning time and evening times.

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