The journey time for the 714km trip between Tokyo and
Shin-Aomori has been reduced by 39 minutes to 3h 20min, and will fall
even further when 320km/h operation begins on the Utsonomiya - Morioka
section in 2013. From March 2011, JR East will introduce its E5
high-speed trains on Hayabusa services to Shin-Aomori. The fleet of 23
10-car trains is being manufactured by Hitachi and Kawasaki.

is underway on the next phase, which will link Aomori with the Seikan
Tunnel, and allow the extension of Shinkansen services through to
Hakodate at the southern tip of Hokkaido.

at the other end of the country, the gap between the Sanyo Shinkansen
and the isolated section of the Kyushu Shinkansen will be eliminated
with the opening of the 130km section from Hakata to Shin Yatsushiro on
March 12 2012.