Goodbye to Tokaido Shinkansen sales wagon – Where can I buy coffee and ice creams?

JR Central will end all in-car wagon sales on the Tokaido Shinkansen and introduce new formats of in-car hospitality service that responds to the spread of mobile devices such as smartphones.

"Caramel almond praline", a new ice cream product by Sujata, which is well known for being sold in the Tokaido Shinkansen sales wagon (Image by JR Tokai Passengers)
“Caramel Almond Praline”, a new ice cream product by Sujahta, which is well known for being sold in the Tokaido Shinkansen sales wagon (Image by JR Tokai Passengers)

Pursers wearing new uniforms will not push wagons

JR Central announced that it will stop selling wagons on the Tokaido Shinkansen on October 31, 2023 (Tue), which are circulating all train cars of “NOZOMI” and “HIKARI” now. The reason is that stores around the station have a wide range of products now, and more and more people are bringing food and drinks on board themselves. In addition, they have decided to end it because they have received requests for a quiet environment in the car, and are concerned about labor shortages in the future.

From November 1st (Wed) onwards, in-car sales will continue, limited to Green Cars, excluding “KODAMA”. However, it is an order-based service that utilizes the newly introduced “Tokaido Shinkansen Mobile Order Service” instead of the conventional wagon format. By reading the QR code installed on each seat in the Green Cars with your mobile device and ordering food and drinks, the purser will deliver them to your seat.

In this way, the pursers will be mainly responsible for green cars in the future, but from October 1 (Sun), their uniforms will be significantly renewed with a functional and high-quality design. Cutsew and pants items have been added, and it seems that they can choose the combination themself, including champagne gold and navy colors.

The renewal will be done on the occasion of launching of “JR Central Retailing Plus”, a new company that merged JR Central Passengers (Headquarters: Chuo City, Tokyo), which has been in charge of purser operations, and Tokai Kiosk (Headquarters: Nagoya City). Produced by Onward Trade (head office: Chiyoda City, Tokyo), they incorporated the opinions of the pursers and designed it to be a uniform that makes people think, “I want to wear it and work there.”

(See the chart below for details such as usage style of new in-car service to start on Tokaido Shinkansen, renewed purser uniform.)

[Chart] Usage style of new in-car service to start on Tokaido Shinkansen, renewed purser uniform

Get your food and drinks before riding Shinkansen

In-car sales on ordinary cars will be discontinued, but the provision of food and drink will be strengthened by expanding the number of vending machines, mainly at station platforms. The line-up of items such as drip coffee and ice creams, which are in high demand in wagon sales, are also available in the vending machines, creating an environment where it is easy to purchase before riding. By November 1 (Wed), when it will shift to the new service, those will be installed at each NOZOMI stop station, and it is also considering expanding to other stations.

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As a new service other than in-car sales, the “Tokaido Shinkansen Support Call Service” will start on November 1 (Wed), allowing you to call the crew from your mobile devices using the QR code displayed on each seat of the Green Cars. From the same day, the “Tokaido Shinkansen Multipurpose Room Guidance Service” will be available, which can call the crew from the QR code in the same way. So that you can use “multipurpose room” on car No.11 in a timely mannerwhen the need arises, such as for breastfeeding.

These calling functions were realized by applying the intercom service of “Omotenashi Guide powered by SoundUD” developed by Yamaha Corporation (Headquarters: Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka). There is no need to install apps, and it is designed with universal design in mind, as it supports multiple languages through automatic translation and allows text communication. They are increasing the number of applications, mainly at stations of railway companies, but this is the first time to introduce it in trains.