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A New Bullet Train Line! 5 Great Places to Visit by Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen

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The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen, the newest bullet train line opening in Japan in September 2022, operates from Takeo-Onsen Station to Nagasaki Station. The travel time between Fukuoka and Nagasaki will drastically shorten to 30 minutes! Read on to find out about the new line and places to visit!

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The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen: A New Bullet Train Line Operating from September 2022

Opening on September 23, 2022! The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen and Places to Visit

Picture courtesy of JR Kyushu Railway Company

The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen is a bullet train line running from Takeo-Onsen Station in Saga Prefecture to Nagasaki Station in Nagasaki Prefecture. The service operated by JR Kyushu was previously called the Nagasaki Shinkansen.

This route was formerly serviced by limited express trains and will shorten the travel time between Hakata and Nagasaki to 30 minutes. It is also expected to deepen the regional and economic relationship between Nagasaki and Hakata, which benefits sightseers.

Opening on September 23, 2022! The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen and Places to Visit

Picture courtesy of JR Kyushu Railway Company

Please be aware that the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen is not a direct line to Nagasaki Station from Hakata Station in Fukuoka. You will need to travel to Takeo-Onsen Station on the limited express Relay Kamome train, then transfer to the shinkansen on the opposite platform.

Shinkansen Train Cars

Opening on September 23, 2022! The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen and Places to Visit

Picture courtesy of JR Kyushu Railway Company

The latest N700S model will be used for the shinkansen train cars. Moreover, this differs from the N700S model used by the Tokaido Shinkansen. Instead, it features a white exterior with a scarlet-colored design, JR Kyushu’s main color. It has garnered praise for its sleek and sophisticated exterior design.

The bullet train is composed of six train cars: three cars each for unreserved and reserved seats.

Opening on September 23, 2022! The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen and Places to Visit

Picture courtesy of JR Kyushu Railway Company

The bullet train line is called Kamome from the Nagasaki Limited Express train of the same name. Additionally, this limited express train operating between Hakata Station and Takeo-Onsen Station was renamed the Relay Kamome.

Opening on September 23, 2022! The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen and Places to Visit

Picture courtesy of JR Kyushu Railway Company

The exterior and interior of the bullet train were designed by Mr. Eiji Mitooka, a famous Japanese industrial designer. The seat designs are noticeably different from your typical shinkansen featuring chrysanthemums, mythical shishi lions, and arabesque designs. These illustrations showcase the unique aesthetic of JR Kyushu by fusing Japanese and Western imagery.

Use the JR Kyushu Rail Pass!

Opening on September 23, 2022! The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen and Places to Visit

Picture courtesy of JR Kyushu Railway Company

You can also ride the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen with the JR Kyushu Rail Pass (Northern Kyushu/All Kyushu Area). Take advantage of your rail pass by riding the newest shinkansen!

Attractions Along the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen Line

The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen operates a route spanning 66 kilometers. There are five stations—Takeo-Onsen Station, Ureshino-Onsen Station, Shin-Omura Station, Isahaya Station, and Nagasaki Station—along this line, with each station home to several sightseeing spots.

Takeo-Onsen Station

Takeo-Onsen Station

Picture courtesy of PIXTA

Takeo Onsen is only ten minutes on foot from the station. It is famous for its tower gate and annex building designed by the notable architect Mr. Kingo Tatsuno.

The hot springs have a long-spanning history dating back to the Sengoku Period. It was used as a hot spring sanatorium where soldiers injured in battle would receive medical treatment. During the latter half of the Edo Period, it became a resting spot for many patriots, writers, and artists that visited Nagasaki. You can transfer to this station when traveling into Sasebo from Nagasaki.

Ureshino-Onsen Station

Ureshino-Onsen Station

Picture courtesy of PIXTA

Ureshino Onsen is known as a “hot spring that beautifies skin” thanks to the quality of its spring water. The Hot Spring Research Center even certified it as one of Japan’s top three hot springs for beautiful skin.

Each hot spring facility harmonizes with the natural scenery, and their respective baths have various features. This area is sure to satisfy those who love soaking in hot springs.

Shin-Omura Station

Omura Park

Picture courtesy of PIXTA

Omura Park is among the most famous locations in Omura City. It is also considered one of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots.

This park, where 2,000 cherry trees simultaneously bloom every spring, is a cherished cherry blossom spot in Nagasaki.

Isahaya Station

Isahaya Park

Picture courtesy of PIXTA

Our featured sightseeing spot for Isahaya is Isahaya Park. Inside the park is the stone arch Megane Bridge, one of the first stone bridges to be registered as an Important Cultural Property.

To access the Shimabara Peninsula, you must transfer to the Shimabara Railway Line at Isahaya Station. Additionally, Isahaya Station is the nearest station to Nagasaki Airport.

Nagasaki Station

Nagasaki Station

Picture courtesy of PIXTA

The station that has seen the most significant change over the years is Nagasaki Station. The fourth-generation station finished its run in 2020, and the fifth-generation station was reconstructed in its place.

Nagasaki Station has conducted various renovations and updates for the debut of the bullet train line. The ground level of the station is already filled with commercial tenants, with the number expected to grow until 2025.

JR Kyushu Railway Company

Picture courtesy of JR Kyushu Railway Company

The Nagasaki Kaido Kamome Market is one of the many shopping facilities inside the station. We recommend heading here to purchase Nagasaki souvenirs.

Explore Kyushu Efficiently and Comfortably by Bullet Train!

The distance and time it takes to travel from Fukuoka to Nagasaki have shortened substantially thanks to the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen line. Likewise, Nagasaki is brimming with historical and cultural sightseeing destinations that are worth a visit.

Main image by Pixta

Written by

Born in Taipei, Taiwan. I worked in the inbound tourism industry in Kyoto, writing a blog about travel in Japan. I joined MATCHA in October 2019. Hobbies: travel, watching trains, visiting stylish cafes, sweets, collecting seal stamps, watching musicals, taking photos, and others - so many, in fact, that I find it weird myself.
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