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Shinkansen luggage space. What is the limit and storage area?

Posted:05/04/2019 Updated:

I use Shinkansen when I travel. Most of the time I am having large size suitcase which is bigger than carrying on luggage if it is an aeroplane. I wouldn’t want to lift it up to the overhead shelves, because it’s heavy for me, and I think it is not safe to keep something like a large suitcase over my head.

Most local trains don’t have suitcase storage, but what about Shinkansen, when you are travelling with large suitcases or sports gear? Some people said you can bring as much as you can carry, is it true?

So I have checked with Japan Rail, and I am sharing the answer on this page.


What is allowed on Shinkansen?

There is regulation for the size and number of baggage you can take on. You can bring 2 pieces of baggage up to 30 kg each. The total of its height, length and wides must be under 250 cm.

You can bring sports gear such as ski, surfboard or deconstructed road bike if they are in their bag.

But they don’t check your belonging like at the airport. Even you have more than 2 baggage, you wouldn’t be refused to get on.

You just need to remember that there are not plenty of spaces for bags on the Shinkansen. The delivery service in the country is quick and inexpensive so you may want to consider to send some stuff from the airport/accommodation to the next accommodation.

Is there luggage space in Shinkansen?

There are shelves overhead, but only a few Shinkansen have a suitcase space in the deck. (The major Shinkansen running between Tokyo to Kyoto/Osaka doesn’t have it.) The places you can keep suitcases are:

  • There is some space behind the last row of the seats. You can use the space if it’s not full.
  • Use overhead shelves if the suitcases fit. It is big enough for carry-on luggage and small suitcases.
  • Use leg space. There is about 50 cm x 43 cm space between the seats.

You can not keep your stuff in path way or the deck.


If using overhead luggage area.

The overhead luggage space is slightly different on various Shinkansen. They are normally about 30 to 35 cm in height and 40 to 45 cm in depth, it’s about the size of carry-on luggage or small suitcases.

There is no cover like an aeroplane so baggage could be bigger than carry-on luggage, but not much bigger as it could be a hazard when shinkansen shakes.

Does booking green carriage help?

Because green carriage has fewer people, you have a better chance of having available space for your stuff, and your leg space is wider, you can fit more baggage around you.

So it could help but it’s not required. All my travels I did with my large size suitcase, I always could use the empty space behind the last row seats.


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