Train operation status

This page shows you temporary closed sections by natural disaster.

Substitute transportation service is available on most of closed section. JR Pass and JR East Pass cover these substitute service. But if you intend to take these services, please make sure when you exchange pass.

Damaged by Typhoon 10 in August 31, 2016 in Hokkaido

Some part of railway lines were damaged by this typhoon very seriously. The following segments are closed.

  • Nemuro line between Higashishikagoe and Shintoku
    The damages are very serious. This segment may not be repaired and maybe closed permanently.
  • Nemuro line between Shintoku and Memuro

    This segment opened on 22nd December, 2016.
  • Sekisho line between Tomamu and Shintoku
    This segment opened on 22nd December, 2016.

Damaged by Great Earthquake in April 14 and 16, 2016 in Kumamoto, Kyushu

Some part of railway lines were damaged by this earthquake very seriously. The following segments are closed.

  • Houhi line between Higo-Otsu and Aso

*The part of segment of Limited Express Kyushu Odan Tokkyu (Trans Kyushu limited express) and Limited Express Aso Boy! are suspended.

Currently closed

Hidaka line (Hokkaido) between Mukawa and Shizunai

It is closed due to land slide by high wind and wave. Substitute bus service on this segment is available. It will take a year or more to fix this damage. Demand is very low but cost is high. JR Hokkaido is now negotiating with government for financial support.

Yamada line between Kamiyonai and Kawauchi

Due to landslide, this segment is closed and substitute bus is available.

Damaged by Great Earthquake in 2011 along Sanriku coast in Tohoku area

Tsunami by great earthquake in 2011 hit this area. There are still many closed sections.

  • Yamada line between Miyako and Kamaishi
    Third sector railway company, Sanrinku Railway will take over this line. A few parts of this line will be open in fall 2016. All line is expected to be open in 2018.
  • Joban line between Tatsuta and Odaka
    Substitute services are available.
    This section is expected to open by spring in 2020.
  • Tadami line between Tadami and Aizu-Kawaguchi

61 thoughts on “Train operation status”

  1. Hi Takeshi san ,

    i will be visiting hokkaido this may 3 – may 7.
    im thinking to go to furano on May 5.
    may i know if takikawa to furano train still operate ?

    thank you


  2. Hi Takeshi

    I am planning to go to Hokkaido in June 2017. Part of the trip involves going to Furano/Biei from Tomamu Station. My original plan was to take a train from Tomamu to Shintoku, then from Shintoku to Furano. However, I see in your post mentioning the Nemuro line between Higashishikagoe and Shintoku is severely damaged due to the typhoon. Any updates if they are going to repair that sector? If not, can you advise me how to get to Furano from Shintoku?

    Cheers Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin,

      This segment may be closed permanently. Since the demand is very low, JR Hokkaido does not want to invest this segment. It may be opened again by government supporting. But it takes a long time and will not be repaired soon anyway.

      Your route is like following:

      Tomamu – Sapporo – Takikawa (or Asahikawa) – Furano/Biei.

      You may find the line map in the link below:


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for this article – it’s very useful. However, can you confirm whether or not the JR line between Sapporo and Kushiro is open now? I guess so, since it’s supposed to have opened by 22/12, but do you know for sure?

    I’m going to be travelling that route in early Feb 2017, but I was thinking I might book a flight instead if the repairs to the line are taking longer than expected.


  4. Hi Takeshi,
    If I want to go from Beppu to Hitoyoshi, is it still possible to take the Hohi line to Kumamoto and then to Hitoyoshi? I have noticed that they closed the line between Aso to Higo-ootsu, do you know is there any other ways to get to Hitoyoshi to Beppu and how long it’s going to take? We are planning to go on the 25/11!
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Joyce,

      You cannot get Kumamoto from Beppu via Aso. And also Mt. Aso erupted in a few days ago. There is many closure and suspension around Aso. Even many roads are closed still.
      I recommend you to take Beppu-Oita-Yufuin-Kurume route. Limited Express Yufuin no Mori runs on this route. And you can catch Kyushu Shinkansen from Kurume to Shin-Yatsushiro. And then you can catch the train to Hitoyoshi. Please see the link below to find the route and timetable:


      Takeshi /

  5. Hi Takeshi,
    I need to ask for your help again. I have just read about the disruptions in Hokkaido due to typhoon damage. Where can I get an update on this, I can’t find any contact details for JR Hokkaido on their website. Can you help please?
    In particular I need to know if the following trains will be operating. shows these trains as operating – but is this reliable?
    17.October 2016 Asahikawa to Abashiri LTD. EXP OKHOTSK 3 dep. 11.18
    19. October Abashiri to Kushiro JR Senmo Line dep. 10.30
    21. October Kushiro to MINAMI-CHITOSE (for airport) LTD. EXP SUPER OZORA 6 dep. 11.24
    Thanks once again for your help, it is much appreciated. What would we foreign tourists trying to plan a visit to Japan do without you!!

    1. Hi Keith,

      I put most updated info in the post above.
      In your trip plan, you have two issues.

      1. 17th Oct by Okhotsk
      JR Hokkaido says this segment will be open in mid October. But nobody knows the exact date. In my opinion, it’s 50:50. You may not be able to take Limited Express Okhotsk.

      2. 21st Oct by Ozora
      JR Hokkaido says this segment will not be opened until the end of November. You CANNOT take limited express Ozora to Minami-Chitose.
      Now JR Hokkaido operate tentative rapid train between Kushiro and Obihiro, substitute bus between Obihiro and Tomamu, and tentative train between Tomamu and Sapporo. You may take these trains and bus to get Minami Chitose. There are only 3 round trips available.

      Kushiro 8:23 -(tentative rapid train)- 9:57 Obihiro 10:20 -(substitute bus)- 11:50 Tomamu 12:12 (tentative express train)- 13:23 Minami Chitose
      Kushiro 10:37 -(tentative rapid train)- 12:14 Obihiro 12:40 -(substitute bus)- 14:10 Tomamu 14:32 (tentative express train)- 15:44 Minami Chitose

      There is one more trip but it’s too late for your trip. I recommend you to take the first one. These transportation are covered by rail pass, such as Hokkaido Rail Pass or JR Pass. But it will be very inconvenient for you. You have to change twice and train does not have express train interior between Kushiro and Obihiro.

      Senmo line is okay now.


      Takeshi /

  6. Hi Takeshi-san,
    My itinerary for 10 days as below:
    18/10 – 21/10 : From Haneda Airport to Kanazawa
    21/10 : Kanazawa to Toyama – Kurobe Gorge
    22/10 : Toyama – Kurobe Alpine Route
    23/10 : Toyama – Takayama – Shirakawa-go
    24/10 : Takayama
    25/10 : 27/10 : Tokyo
    I intend to buy 7 days JR Pass and Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket. Outbound from Toyama, would like to know where are the available stops for this Option Ticket in Kurobe Alpine Route?
    Thank you.

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