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Do the Shinkansen trains have wifi? How about electrical plugs?

If it depends on the train, these are the ones I'll be taking:

  • Hikari 546 (Hiroshima->Shin-Kobe)
  • Hikari 470 (Shin-Kobe->Tokyo)
  • Max Toki 329 (Tokyo<->Niigata)

I'd also accept as an answer an online resource where I can look all this up (I failed to find one on my own).

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

There is indeed very little information about this online.

A question asked prior to 2003 on the site 'www.h2.dion.ne.jp' (no longer online):

Q: Do shinkansen trains have power outlet sockets for running laptop computers?

A: Generally, no, although the latest 700 series trains running on JR West Hikari Rail Star services do have power outlet sockets.

Wikipedia confirms that the most 700 series models have power outlets for passengers.

  • Hikari 546 is a N700 which have power outlets.
  • Hikari 470 is a 700 which most likely have power outlets.
  • Max Toki 329 seems to be an E4 series which is not likely to have power outlets.

Only the N700 trains between Tokyo and Osaka have Wifi, and you still have to pay for it before you board the train using one of the Japanese carriers like Wi2 or Hotspot

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3  
Thanks for the answer! I should add that the Wikipedia page you mention says that not all seats on the 700 series have power outlets; only the seats at the ends of their cars do. – SuperElectric Jan 20 '12 at 20:56

I can verify that the N700a trains have power sockets for the seats at the ends of the cars. Look at the bottom of the side wall under the window near your feet. Plugged in right now, actually :-)

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The E5 and E6 series used in northern Japan (Tohoku Shinkansen; Komachi, Hayabusa, some Hayate) have a pair of 100V outlets for the front row of each car, and a single outlet beneath the window on the other rows on each side. Note that since the seats rotate, there are also two outlets behind the back row of each car, although they would be inconvenient to access.

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This doesn't answer the question about western Japan; but wrote if in case someone comes here looking for info about the Tohoku trains. – Kent Nov 22 '15 at 11:26

For online resources, this Japanese page has a list. The train names might survive Google or other machine-translations.

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Sitting on a Kodama now and can't find any unfortunately, for future reference.

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"Kodama" is a service, not a physical trainset. You may be sitting in any of a 500 series, 700 series or N700 series; although odds are you're in a 500, since the others would likely have power outlets. – jpatokal May 18 at 13:00

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