Private rooms coming to some of Japan’s bullet trains

Japan’s beloved Shinkansen trains are getting another upgrade.

From 2026, some trains on the Tokaido line – the country’s busiest line, as it connects Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka – will have private rooms with doors in the upper class section.

According to a release from Japan Rail, the rooms are being added “in order to meet the diversifying needs of customers due to changes in lifestyles and work styles.” A range of potential reasons for booking the rooms include “businesspeople who want to hold meetings online, customers who value privacy, and customers who want to relax without worrying about their surroundings.”

In addition to private space, these rooms will have Wi-Fi (useful for those Zoom calls), air-conditioning, reclining seats and adjustable lighting.

There will be two rooms per train when the new models roll out. Not every high-speed train on the Tokaido line will have them available.

This photo illustration shows what the private rooms will look like. - Japan Railways
This photo illustration shows what the private rooms will look like. - Japan Railways

They will be located in the green cars, which are the first-class, more expensive cars on Shinkansen trains. Travelers who have purchased a JR Rail pass will still need to pay extra to use the private rooms.

The Tokaido line was Japan’s first-ever high speed rail line, making its debut in 1964. To this day, it is the most actively used line in the country, with multiple departures per hour. These trains can reach speeds of 285 km/hr (177 mph).

Pricing and reservation information is not yet available.

Japan’s high-speed trains have long been popular with locals and visitors alike. However, they have been through periods of change since their initial launch.

Last year, news that snack service on the Tokyo - Osaka line would end was met with mixed opinions online.

And their famously on-time schedule met with a rare exception earlier this month when a snake found on an Osaka-bound bullet train caused the Shinkansn’s departure to be delayed by a whopping 17 minutes.

Editor’s Note: CNN’s Junko Ogura contributed reporting.

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