The E1 Series Shinkansen, introduced in 1994, were the first double-deck trains built for Japan's Shinkansen dedicated high-speed rail lines. They are generally, along with their fellow double-deck class the E4 Series Shinkansen known by the marketing name "MAX" (Multi-Amenity eXpress).

They were introduced specifically to relieve overcrowding on services used by commuters on the Tohoku Shinkansen and Joetsu Shinkansen, but as of 1999 all six trainsets were transferred to the Joetsu Shinkansen. At busy times, the trains are 200% loaded (as many standing as seated).