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Shinkansen will gradually resume regular operations starting June 1

Japan’s bullet trains and long-distance buses will begin to revert to normal operations from the beginning of June

Kaila Imada
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Kaila Imada

Since the state of emergency in Japan was lifted earlier this week, the country has been on the fast-track to reopen and revive the economy. Japan’s highly efficient railways are the latest businesses to announce they’ll be resuming something closer to normal services from the beginning of June. 

Although regular commuter trains were largely unaffected by Covid-19 coronavirus, many shinkansen routes were suspended or had services reduced back in April. Now, three Japan Railways (JR) companies – JR Central, JR East and JR West – are scheduled to gradually resume regular shinkansen operations starting June 1, in anticipation of increased domestic travel

JR Central is set to fully resume its regular shinkansen timetable, although extra services will remain suspended. According to The Japan Times, there will be 30 percent fewer Nozomi trains (the fastest service) on JR Central’s Tokaido shinkansen line. 

Meanwhile, JR East and JR West are also planning to reverse some shinkansen suspensions. The Narita Express, which is run by JR East, will remain partially suspended until further notice. For a full list of suspended services, see JR East updates here, and JR West information here.

Long-distance highway buses run by Willer Express are also planned to restart on June 1. Willer Express will start with daytime services on seven routes including between Tokyo and Osaka.

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