Train to Matsumoto, Kofu and Hakuba from Shinjuku, Limited Express Azusa, Super Azusa and Kaiji

E351 series is the primary fleet for Super Azusa.
E351 series is the primary fleet for Super Azusa.

These trains connect Shinjuku with Kofu (甲府) in Yamanashi Pref, Matsumoto (松本) and Minami-Otari (南小谷) in Nagano Pref. These trains go through the mountain area. You can use these trains to access to Lake Kawaguchi area in Mt. Fuji, Akaishi Moutains (a.k.a. Southern Alps), southern part of Nagano pref. and Hida Mountains (a.k.a. Norther Alps). Especially Hida Mountains are very popular to ski and snowboard. Since Nagano held Winter Olympic Games, this area has been getting well known. And also it is very popular area for climbing and hiking in Japan too! Hida Mountains are located in Nagano pref. So you may think about using Nagano Shinkansen. But Nagano Shinkansen takes you to city of Nagano and northern part of Nagano pref. If you access there, you need to access from Matsumoto in south part of Nagano pref.

There is no restriction with using Japan Rail Pass. Let’s learn about route, schedule and accommodations of these trains.

Route, schedule and trip time

Basically Azusa or Super Azusa depart from Shinjuku station every 30 minutes on 0 and 30. Kaiji is operated once every hour.
The number of trips are the following:
Super Azusa: 8 round trips between Shinjuku and Matsumoto
Azusa: 9 trips from Shinjuku to Matsumoto, 7 trips from Matsumoto to Shinjuku, 1 trip from Matsumoto to Tokyo, 1 trip from Matsumoto to Chiba, 1 tirp from Minami-Otari to Shinjuku and 1 trip from Chiba to Minami-Otari
Kaiji: 12 round trips between Shinjuku and Kofu. Some of Kaiji are extended to operate to Tokyo and Ryuo (one station away from Kofu)
Super Azusa is faster than Azusa. The fastest Super Azusa connects Shinjuku with Matsumoto in 2 hours 30 minutes. The slowest Azusa connects Shinjuku with Matsumoto in 3 hours 10 minutes. Kaiji stops many more stations than Azusa and Super Azusa. But time required between Kofu and Shinjuku is not so different than Azusa and Super Azusa. It takes 1 hour 40 minutes to 2 hours.

Stations/Trains Super Azusa Azusa Kaiji
Chiba (千葉) =
Funabashi (船橋) =
Kinshicho (錦糸町) =
Tokyo (東京) = =
Yotsuya (四ツ谷) =
Shinjuku (新宿) x x x
Mitaka (三鷹) = *
Tachikawa (立川) = x x
Hachioji (八王子) x x x
Uenohara (上野原) x =
Otsuki (大月) = * x
Enzan (塩山) = x
Yamanashishi (山梨市) = x
Ishiwa-Onsen (石和温泉) = * x
Kofu (甲府) x x x
Ryuo (竜王) x =
Nirasaki (韮崎) = =
Nagasaka (長坂) =
Kobuchizawa (小淵沢) = =
Fujimi (富士見) =
Chino (茅野) x x
Kamisuwa (上諏訪) x x
Shimosuwa (下諏訪) = *
Okaya (岡谷) = x
Shiojiri (塩尻) * x
Matsumoto (松本) x x
Toyoshina (豊科) =
Hotaka (穂高) =
Shinano-Omachi (信濃大町) = x
Kamishiro (神城) =
Hakuba (白馬) =
Minami-Otari南小谷 =

x:All train stop *:Most of trains stop =:Some of trains stop


View Limited Express Azusa/Kaiji in a larger map

Accommodation and train formations

Kaiji and Azusa are operated by E257 series. Super Azusa is operated by E351 series. E257 is a bit newer than E351. But both E257 and E351 are not old type of tirans.

Super Azusa E351 series

The seat configurations are 2+2. It is same configuration on both Green seat and ordinary seat. It is no difference between reserved ordinary and non reserved.

Images
Green seat Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa

Ordinary seat Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa

Sanitary space Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa Ltd Exp Super Azusa

Train formation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
R R NR NR NR NR R R G R R R

NR=Non reserved ordinary seat R=Reserved ordinary seat G=Green seat

Azusa/Kaiji E257 series

E257 series is used for Kaiji and Azusa (C) Sonic Rail Garden
E257 series is used for Kaiji and Azusa (C) Sonic Rail Garden

The seat configurations are 2+2. It is same configuration on both Green seat and ordinary seat. It is no difference between reserved ordinary and non reserved.

Images
Green seat Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji

Ordinary seat Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji

Sanitary space Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji Ltd Exp Azusa and Kaiji

Train formation
Azusa

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
R R NR NR NR R R G/R R R R

Kaiji

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
R R NR NR NR NR R G/R R R R

NR=Non reserved ordinary seat R=Reserved ordinary seat G=Green seat

74 thoughts on “Train to Matsumoto, Kofu and Hakuba from Shinjuku, Limited Express Azusa, Super Azusa and Kaiji”

  1. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’m looking to reserve a seat on the Chuo Limited Express (Shinjuku-Matsumoto) from eki-net.com for my trip next month, May 6 2017. I’m travelling alone and I’ve not yet bought a pass,

    Just for trial purposes, I’m attempting to reserve a 09:00 departure from Shinjuku (both as a “pass holder” and as a “traveller without a pass”), but there’s only always ever one option available for reservation – which is the Azusa 25 departing at 16:45. Of course, the timing is not what I’m looking at.

    Do you know if there is a reason for this? Have all other timings been snapped up because of the Golden Week holidays?

    Also, because I’m travelling alone, would you say it’s crucial that I reserve a seat on the Chuo Limited Express?

    Thanks, looking forward to your reply!

    1. Hi Lee san,

      I could find many trains. Just try to find earlier trains. I put 6:00 am for departure time and I could find 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30 and 9:00. There are still lots of seat left.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Excellent site. Thank you for posting and helping us gaijin. Do you know what time the first train leaves from Shinjuku for Matsumoto? And when is the last train back.

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    I’ve just realised that seat reservation can be made online. However, the trips I’ll make are likely to depend on the weather.

    So, do I need to have a non reserved seat ticket if I’ll be travelling with Tokyo Wide Pass? Or I can just enter any JR East stations by showing the Pass.

    Kindly advise.

    Thank you.

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