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.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

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

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

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    I’m going tokyo from 30 Mar – 10 Apr 17. Would like to know where can I bring the kids to experience snow in Nagano without visiting ski resort? Or if there is other place that you would recommend which can be easily accessible from Shinjuku?

    Thanks.

  2. Hi there,
    I will go to kawaguchiko straight away as after I arrived at the Narita Airport terminal 1. I will take Keisei skyliner to Nippori then take the Yamanote Line Inner Tracks to Shinjuku. The problem is when I arrived in Shinjuku station, where can I buy the ticket for the Chou line limited express, do I have to go all the way out of the gate and buy one? or can I just buy it from Nippori station?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Mark,

      You can buy a base fare ticket from Nippori to Otsuki and Limited Express seat ticket for Shinjuku to Otsuki at Nippori. If you want, you can purchase it at Narita airport station too.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi,
    I would like to go to otsuki for Kawaguchiko, but I have the question about non-reserve seat.
    If I use the suica and no any JR pass, can I go with non-reserve seat? or I should buy the another ticket for get to Asuza (non-reserve seat).
    If the another ticket should buy, where can I buy the ticket (JR shinjuku)?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Thanee,

      You must have non reserved seat ticket beside Suica because Suica covers only base fare. You can purchase non reserved seat ticket at any major JR stations. Of course you can purchase it at Shinjuku station. There are a few reservation window that is called “Midori no Madoguchi” in Shinjuku station. You can purchase it there on the day of trip or in advance.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi there
    I am travelling from Shinjuku to Kamishiro on Jan 16. I wanted to go to Matsumoto first to have a look at the castle. I am assuming I will need two tickets, one for Shinjuku to Matsumoto and another for Matsumoto to Kamishiro. Is this correct? And where do I purchase the tickets? Can they be booked online or do I have to buy them at Shinjuku station? If so where in Shinjuku station is the ticket office?
    Thank you
    Andrew B

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Actually you can use one ticket for Shinjuku to Kamishiro. You can make a stopover at Matsumoto. Please see the link below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/for-non-jr-pass-travellers-guide-to-use-jr-single-ticket-basic-rules-validity-and-stopover.html

      You cannot purchase it online but you can purchase it at any major JR station in advance. You can purchase it at Shinjuku station. There are some reservation window that is called “Midori no Madoguchi”. You can find it easily. There are lots of signage.
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e866.html

      Or you can go to JR East Travel Center.
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/customer_support/service_center_shinjuku.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. hello,

    i really need this confirmation

    i will buy tokyo wide pass, and just wanna ask if asuza to to otsuki covered by the pass?i am clueless because it is limited train express but on the website said they cover limited train express but just need confirmation

      1. thank you so much for the reply,another one please, how about tokyu toyoko/minatomirai line ltd exp which run to minato mirai of yokohama?do we have to pay for it?i understand that tokyo wide pass cover until yokohama station when we use JR but how about the line i mention above?please help me,thank you so much again and again

  6. Hi Takeshi,

    Im using tokyo wide pass from saturday to monday. On monday I wish to go to matsumoto at night. Is it cover by tokyo wide pass?

    And let say I take the last train at 11pm, does the tokyo wide pass still valid because it is for 3 consecutive days and I assume that it valid from 0000 on the first day until 2359 on the last day.

    1. Hi Mama,

      Matsumoto is outside coverage area. The border station between Tokyo and Matsumot is Kobuchizawa. So you need to purchase extra ticket from Kobuchizawa to Matsumoto. If you take express trains, it costs around 3,000 yen.

      The last train depart to Matsumoto from Shijuku at 21:00. There is no train later than this.
      http://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/english/wb/common/timetable/e_lex_chuo_d/08.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi. I just want to know if LTD. EXP SUPER AZUSA 19 is covered by Japan Rail Pass?
    If a route is covered by JR East, does this mean it is automatically covered by Japan Rail pass as well?
    Thank you!

  8. Hi Takeshi, just want to confirm the LTD. EXP AZUSA is cover by JR Pass right? so i do not need to pay from Shinjuku to Otsuki right? and is it i need to show my JR pass first whenever i want to travel by train to avoid pay extra since i am not sure which subway/railway line can be use by JR pass. Or can i know which subway/railway line can use by JR pass. Please advice. Thanks

    1. Hi Yi,

      Limited Express Azusa is covered by JR pass fully.
      When you enter the station, you need to show your JR pass. Some trains go through subway line from JR. Subway line is not covered by JR pass. But this case is not very often. As long as you enter JR station, you don’t face this situation.

      I show the coverage of JR pass at the link below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html#Other_train_services

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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