The 18.4-kilometer experimental line created for the development of the maglev train operates between Tsuru and Otsuki, both in Yamanashi Prefecture.  JR Tokai started test runs in 1997. In 2006, JR Tokai began offering trial runs to the public. These were held several times a year. 

In (fiscal year) 2006, eight trial runs were open to the public. Each time, 300 to 500 people were offered a trial ride. Often, as many as 100 times that number of people applied for the chance. According to media reports, on one occasion, 120,000 people applied for 300 seats, 400 times the number of places. 

The last public trial run was held April 21. Up until then, 143,732 people had been accepted. Since then, the public trial runs have been halted. In mid-April, JR Tokai informed the Yamanashi prefectural government and the promotion group that it would suspend the trial runs for the public while it focuses on developing the technology and extending the experimental line.  The railway operator also announced the end of the trial runs on its Web site that was set up to promote the service. But places on the trial runs will still be given to selected people over the next two years, company officials explained. On May 17, 2007, JR Tokai allowed several hundred people, including members of lawmakers' support organizations, to go on a trial run. 

As a result of these developments, as of 2007, mainly government officials and JR-invitees can sign up for a ride. For non-Japanese it has become especially difficult to sign up for a ride on the maglev, mostly due to cross-cultural and language barriers.