JR East and JR Hokkaido have jointly confirmed operations for Hokkaido's bullet train (shinkansen) connection will commence on March 26th, 2016, which will connect Hokkaido to the rest of Japan by high-speed rail for the first time ever.
The Hokkaido Shinkansen Line will launch with a total of 13 round-trips per day, taking passengers from Shin-Aomori in Aomori prefecture through north Honshu and up to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto in Hokkaido.
Passengers departing from Tokyo will be able to reach Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto in around 4 hours, along a route combining both the Tohoku Shinkansen Line and the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line. By 2030, it is expected the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line extension to Sapporo, the final terminus, will be completed.
Ten of the 13 journeys will employ Hayabusa bullet trains connecting Hokkaido (Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto) and Tokyo, with a further one Hayabusa servicing a Hokkaido and Sendai connection, and the remaining two services using Hayate trains to connect Hokkaido with Shin-Aomori and Morioka, Iwate prefecture.