Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know it is an experimental test track but was wondering if anyone knew how one might be able to ride the Yamanashi maglev train on one of its test runs?

share|improve this question
Somewhat related, but at the Shinkansen museum in Nagoya they have a maglev train "Experience". Basically a mock of the inside of the train with tvs in all the windows and a tv ahead of you along with shaking to simulate the difference between a normal shinkansen and the new maglev. They also have the 2nd prototype lead car there as well. – Mark Hosang Mar 6 '12 at 2:29
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Yamanashi Test Track has the experimental Maglev train. For fairly obvious reasons, they generally don't have passengers - although there's a practical section for it.

Currently it's about 18.4km long and will become part of the Chūō Shinkansen connecting Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka - but at present it's being extended to 42.8km to be finished by 2013/2014, at which point the 9 trillion Yen (!!!!) project to build the new fast Shinkansen will kick off (it got approved earlier this year).

Citizens of Yamanashi Prefecture and government officials in the area are eligible for free rides, and over 200,000 people have taken part thus far. The city has a population of around 860,000 - so that's quite an impressive number of the city.

HOWEVER, for paying customers (unless you're willing to settle in Yamanashi for a while and become a resident!) rides won't restart on the test track until they near completion of this current upgrade - likely on weekends and during the summer holiday time in 2013 or later (if it runs over schedule), according to this article.

So short answer, unless you move there or join the government, you're going to have to wait a couple of years. And now you've got me considering a trip to Japan in 2013 ;)

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the heads up about the extension; didn't know about that, and I guess I have to wait till 2013, which is better than 2025 which was my original expectation. – Mark Hosang Sep 21 '11 at 15:34

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.