Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen Kamome 25 from Takeo-Onsen to Nagasaki Train Review
The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen is the shortest high-speed rail line in Japan at only 66km long. At Takeo-Onsen, the proper Kamome 25 is on the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen as a high-speed train. I connected to the actual Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen Kamome 25 from my Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 with a cross-platform transfer at Takeo-Onsen, from Platform 10 to Platform 11, with the transfer between the 2 trains at just 3 minutes.
The island platform between the Limited Express Relay Kamome and Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen Kamome at Takeo-Onsen Station.
The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen is formed of 6-car N700S-8000 series trains. 4 sets are in operation on the whole line.
The livery on the side of the N700S-8000 series Shinkansen. Due to the very tight connection time, I hopped on board via the nearest door.
Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S Series Reserved Seat Car
The reserved seats on board the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S Series trains are in a very comfortable 2+2 configuration facing the direction of travel.
Single seats are also available for reservations by passengers in wheelchairs.
The legroom on board the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S Series reserved seat.
Car information and neighbouring facilities are displayed on the seat back in front.
A flip-out table is available in the middle armrest.
Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S Series Non-Reserved Seat Car
The non-reserved seats on board the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S Series trains are in a 2+3 configuration facing the direction of travel.
The 2+3 configuration is a standard Ordinary Car configuration on most Shinkansen trains. The 2+2 seating on the reserved seat cars is like a “free upgrade”, hence it was very full as compared to the very empty non-reserved seat cars.
The legroom on board the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S Series non-reserved seat.
Car information and neighbouring facilities are displayed on the tray table on the seat back in front.
Toilets and washing areas are available on board the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S Series train.
The dynamic route information displays at the ends of the train cars offers clear and concise information on the train journey.
Arriving at Shin-Ōmura.
Making a brief stop at Shin-Ōmura Station.
Arriving at Isahaya.
Isahaya Station is an interchange station with the Nagasaki Line, Ōmura Line, and Shimabara Railway Line.
Much of the scenery here is just tunnel walls and sound barriers.
Making a brief stop at Isahaya Station.
The next and final stop is Nagasaki.
Some useful reminders especially for tourists.
Arriving at Nagasaki while still in the tunnel.
Exiting the tunnel at Nagasaki.
Meeting the Nagasaki Line at Nagasaki.
My Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen Kamome 25 arrived at Nagasaki on time at 1.24pm, making this journey just 28 minutes from Takeo-Onsen. If counting from my Relay Kamome 25 from Hakata, the journey from Hakata to Nagasaki took me 1 hour and 32 minutes.
With the crowd disembarked, I could get a better picture of the interior.
A nifty feature on the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S Series reserved seat are the 2-pin power sockets located on the middle armrest, allowing both seats the use of a power socket, and with easy access for both seats too.
The Kamome branding on the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S Series train.
As the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen is the newest high-speed rail line in Japan, and the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S Series train is also the newest Shinkansen train in Japan, both locals and tourists alike flock to the front of the train to take a picture. Nagasaki is also the westernmost Shinkansen station in Japan.
The end of the line at Nagasaki Station.
The local lines platforms are just beside the Shinkansen platforms, located on a slightly lower level.
Heading down the stairs to exit from the platform.
The Shinkansen concourse of Nagasaki Station.
A LEGO® diorama of Gunkanjima or Hashima Island is on display as part of the PIECE OF PEACE World Heritage Exhibit.
Oura Cathedral is also featured as a LEGO® diorama here.
Heading out of the ticket gates.
The main concourse of Nagasaki Station.
The main exit out of Nagasaki Station seems to be undergoing some major renovations.
A temporary walkway is at the side.
Heading out of Nagasaki Station via the temporary walkway.
Not the most ideal welcome to Nagasaki, but still a way to get out of the station nonetheless. The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen can be seen behind the scaffolding.
The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen line out of Nagasaki.
Signs and maps can be found in the temporary walkway for wayfinding purposes.
The façade of Nagasaki Station.
From here, the Nagasaki Electric Tramway Nagasakiekimae Station is just ahead, along with bus stops for passing through services. The station is also at the foot of Nishizaka Hill where the Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum and Monument are located.
The Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen is an interesting line with many firsts, though the current fragmented operation does not do the technology and speeds justice.
My combined travel time of 1 hour and 32 minutes from Hakata to Nagasaki is just about an 18-minute improvement of the previous Limited Express Kamome through train service (pre-Shinkansen) at about 1 hour and 50 minutes on the fastest train. The extra 18 minutes, however, offers better views on the conventional line, and more importantly, a one-seat ride with no need to transfer trains in the middle of the journey.
As a tourist, the extra 18 minutes may be negligible for a more scenic and comfortable train ride, but perhaps this speed-up is welcome by the locals in West Kyushu.
Politics seem to be in the way of connecting the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen with the rest of the Shinkansen network, somewhere south of Hakata, so looks like this arrangement is to stay in the near future.