Japan’s bullet trains begin asking passengers with large bags to reserve luggage space

New rules requiring passengers to reserve space free of charge for their extra-large luggage on some shinkansen lines took effect Wednesday, in response to an increase in foreign tourists in recent years.

The step introduced on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu shinkansen lines, which connect popular tourist destinations such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Fukuoka, came in response to an anticipated increase of visitors to the country due to the Tokyo Games, which were scheduled for this summer before being postponed to 2021.

The new rules came into force despite the games’ postponement and a sharp decline in passengers due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The new rules will put the oversized luggage in the empty spaces directly behind the last row of seats, and there will be no extra charge when booking tickets for bullet train rides, according to operators of the shinkansen lines.

The new policy is aimed at ensuring travelers with large luggage do not block the aisle.


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