Very popular train to Yufuin from Hakata and Oita. Limited Express Yufuin no Mori / Yufu

The newer fleet KIHA 72 series is used for two round trips of Yufuin no Mori. As of July, 2015, one more car was added to this train set. Not it is five cars formation.
The newer fleet KIHA 72 series is used for two round trips of Yufuin no Mori. As of July, 2015, one more car was added to this train set. Not it is five cars formation.

These trains connect Hakata (博多) with Yufuin (由布院) and Oita (大分) or Beppu (別府). Yufuin is one of the most popular hot springs resort in Kyushu. This is the train that you need to take when you go to Yufuin. Of course these train’s name are named from Yufuin. “Yufuin no Mori” means Yufuin’s forest. These two trains are operated on same route and can be used by Japan Rail Pass. But Yufuin no Mori is operated by the specialized car, KIHA71 or 72 series. This express train is one of the best in JR Kyushu train. So I strongly recommend to take Yufuin no Mori, not Yufu.

So 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 time required

The number of trips are the following:
Yufuin no Mori (ゆふいんの森): 2 round trips between Hakata and Yufuin, and 1 round trip between Hakata and Oita
Yufu (ゆふ): 2 round trips between Hakata and Beppu, and one round trip between Hakata and Oita
These trains connect Hakata with Yufuin in 2 hours 10-15 minutes, and with Oita in 3 hours. There is no difference for the time required between Yufuin no Mori and Yufu. But the accommodation is completely different.

You can check the timetable at JR Kyushu website (English).

Stations
Hakata (博多) x
Futsukachi (二日市) x
Tosu (鳥栖) x
Kurume (久留米) x
Kurume Daigakumae (久留米大学前) *
Tanushimaru (田主丸) *
Chikugo-Yoshii (筑後吉井) x
Ukiha (うきは) *
Hita (日田) x
Amagase (天ヶ瀬) x
Bungomori (豊後森) x
Bungo-Nakamura (豊後中村) x
Yufuin (由布院) x
Yunohira (湯平) x
Mukainoharu (向之原) x
Oita (大分) x
Beppu (別府) *

x:All train stop *:Some of trains stop


View Yufuin no Mori in a larger map

Limited Express Yufuin no Mori is operated by KIHA-71 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
One round trip of Limited Express Yufuin no Mori is operated by KIHA-71 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Accommodation and train formations

Both Yufuin no Mori and Yufu do not have any green car.
Yufuin no Mori is operated by KIHA 71 or KIHA 72 series. KIHA 72 is newer than KIHA 71. Those trains are produced for the resort express train to Yufuin hot springs resort. Even though these trains have no green car, those give you a higher passengers deck and great view through the huge windows. Those trains have same concept and same shape. Either 71 or 72 give you very high satisfaction.
Yufu is operated by KIHA 185 series. This is not bad, but it is nothing special.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.

You may see lots of this logo inside and outside of this train. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
You may see lots of this logo inside and outside of this train. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Yufuin no Mori KIHA-71 series

The seat configurations are 2+2 and the seat pitch is 960mm. There are “Buffet” (Cafeteria) and salon space. Usually this series is used for Yufuin no Mori #3 and #4.

Images

Ordinary seat
Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat

Buffet (Cafeteria and kiosk)
Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria)

Salon space
Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space

Sanitary space
Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Sanitary space

Passenger’s deck and common space
Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space

Train formation

1 2 3 4
R R/B S/R R

R=Reserved ordinary seat B=Buffet (cafeteria and kiosk) S=Salon space

Yufuin no Mori KIHA-72 series

This is newer than KIHA-71 series. But it looks very similar. The concept of this series is almost same as KIHA-71, like higher passenger’s deck and buffet. But this series does not have any salon space. The seat configurations are 2+2 and the seat pitch is 1000mm. These cars give you a bigger leg space. There are “Buffet” (Cafeteria) too. And this series has semi compartment on car #3. Usually this series is used for Yufuin no Mori #1, #2, #5 and #6.

Images

Ordinary seat
Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat

Semi compartment on Car #3
Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment

Buffet (Cafeteria and kiosk)
Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria), The menu shows you that Bento is 750 yen, Fried noodle is 700 yen, soft drinks are 100 to 350 yen. Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria), This menu shows you that snacks and dessert are 200 to 850 yen. Original goods are 300 to 2000 yen.

Sanitary space
Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space

Passenger’s deck and common space
Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Common space

Train formation

1 2 3 4
R R B/R R

R=Reserved ordinary seat B=Buffet (cafeteria and kiosk)

KIHA 185 series is the standard car for Yufu. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
KIHA 185 series is the standard car for Yufu. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Yufu KIHA-185 series

This train is the standard train. This is okay. But Yufuin no Mori is way better than this train. The seat configuration is 2+2. This series has been restored several times. So the seat pitch is 940 mm and some cars give you more space, 1020 mm. Yufu does not have any dining facilities and on board sales. So please buy something to eat and drink before boarding.

*Be careful!!! When KIHA 71 or 72 series for Yufuin no Mori is in maintenance, this 185 series is replaced.

Images

Ordinary seat
Yufu KIHA185 series ordinary seat Yufu KIHA185 series ordinary seat Yufu KIHA185 series ordinary seat Yufu KIHA185 series ordinary seat

Sanitary space
Yufu KIHA185 series sanitary space

Train formation

1 2 3
R R/NR R

R=Reserved ordinary seat NR=Non reserved ordinary seat

103 thoughts on “Very popular train to Yufuin from Hakata and Oita. Limited Express Yufuin no Mori / Yufu”

  1. Hi,
    My fight will arrive fukuoka airport at 8.30 and I want to take a train to yufuin on the same day. Is it possible to get a seat on yufuin no Mori without booking in advance.?
    The first one is depart at 09.24. I wonderif wecan manage to get this train. ( i also needto exchange the jr pass)
    Where is the coin locker located in hakata station? Do there have large locker enough for traveller? I read there is small amount for the large locker. What should I do if the lockers are full?
    thank you,
    Sue

    1. Hi Sue,

      It’s hard to say but I guess it’s very challenging to book this train. You cannot book in advance but you can check the availability.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/how-to-find-seat-availability-of-trains-jr-cyber-station-guide.html

      As you said, large size locker is very hard to find. If you cannot find it, you have to carry it unfortunately. Therefore I recommend backpack. Please find some more info about luggage at the link below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/baggage/managing-luggage-how-to-carry-your-baggage-on-board-and-how-to-store-your-baggage-at-the-station.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi san,

    We would like to buy Northern Kyushu rail pass but it can be use only 5 days. We have plan to start from Hakata, Kumamoto, Beppu, Yufuin and then back to Hakata on 6th day morning which our Northern Kyushu rail pass has expired.
    Could you please advice ? We should start using the rail pass on second day and buy Shinkansen ticket to Kumamoto? or using the rail pass on first day and buy Limited express from Yufuin to Hakata on the 6th day morning? How much for the ticket each Shinkansen and Limited express? or please advice the way which save our money.

    Thank you so much

    Thanadeth K.

  3. Hi Takeshi,
    I would like to seek your advice please.
    I plan to travel to Kyushu during Golden Week.
    My flight arrived on 25 April, and I want to make a reservation for Yuin no Mori on 29 April.
    Is it possible to make that reservation, will it be full?

    Thank you in advance.

    Win

      1. Ah ; ( thank you Takeshi.
        And how you think about trains of the southern such as SL Hitoyoshi, Hayato no Kaze, and Ibusuki no Tabatebako?
        Are they popular like Yufuin no Mori?

        Thank you again : )

        Win

        1. Hi Win,

          These trains are very popular too but it’s easier to book than Yufuin no Mori. Hayato no Kaze has non reserved seat. In worst case, you can take this train without reservation. But Yufuin no Mori and SL Hitoyoshi do not have non reserved seat and you cannot take it without reservation.

  4. Hi Takeshi san,

    I would like to confirm if this is the right procedure to booking my trip Hakata to Yufuin / Yufuin to Hakata (Round trip) on 14 April 2016, taking the Yufuin No Mori train:

    1) I can reserve my seats at any JR ticketing offices (Midori-no-madoguchi) after I arrived at Japan
    – Is there a JR ticketing office at Kyoto Station?

    2) I will inform the following details to book my tickets:

    From Hakata to Yufuin-
    Departure date / Destination: 14/April / Yufuin
    Date/Time of departure: 14 April/9.24am
    Number of tickets required: 5 adults
    Type of train: Limited Express Yufuin No Mori
    Type of Seating: Reserved

    From Yufuin to Hakata-
    Departure date / Destination: 14/April / Hakata
    Date/Time of departure: 14 April/17.06pm
    Number of tickets required: 5 adults
    Type of train: Limited Express Yufuin No Mori
    Type of Seating: Reserved

    For your further understanding, I will be traveling Kansai region (Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe/Nara) before going to Kyushu (Fukuoka/Yufuin).

    So I would like to reserve the Yufuin no Mori tickets at Kansai region as soon as possible to secure seats during this peak season.

    Kindly advise how much would the train tickets cost.

    I will not be having any JR rail passes.

    Thank you and Best Regards,
    Esther Teo (From Singapore)

    1. Hi Eather san,

      All information that you have made are completely right. Reservation staff can understand what you need to book very easily.
      You can book a ticket at Kyoto station. In Kansai area, most of JR stations have Midori no Madoguchi, like Kansai airport station. So if you want to book as early as possible, please go ahead to book right after you arrive in Japan.

      As you think, Yufuin no Mori is very popular.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi san,

        Thank you very much for your advice and well-noted!

        If there are no more seats on Yufuin no Mori, kindly advice are there other trains that I can take to visit Yufuin?

        Also, I would like to know how much are the tickets for Yufurin no Mori trains.

        Thank you very much in advance!

        Best Regards,
        Esther

          1. Hi Takeshi san,

            Thank you for the information.

            Kindly advise if I should buy the JR Northern Kyushu Rail Pass if I choose to travel from Hakata to Yufuin and Kumamoto?

            If I am not able to reserve tickets for Yufuin no Mori, I would like to go to Yufuin and Kumamoto (From Hakata) by Shinkansen.

            But I understand that Kyushu Rail Pass cannot be used on Sanyo Shinkansen. So this is where I am confused.

            Does the 800 Series Shinkansen and N700 Series Shinkansen belong to JR West Sanyo Shinkansen?

            If not, kindly advise if 800 Series and N700 Series can also be referred on this link under (1) Shin-Osaka -> Hakata -> Kumamoto -> Kagoshima-Chuo;
            http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/pdf/2016.3.26_2017.2.28.pdf

          2. Hi Esther san,

            You can take any trains between Hakata and Kumamoto on Shinkansen line. It doesn’t matter where train come from, like Shin-Osaka, Hiroshima. As long as you travel between Hakata and Kumamoto, it’s covered fully.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    Would like to seek your advice please – we plan to travel to Fukuoka on 6 May and then to Yufuin on 9 May. Can we make advance reservation for the Yufuin-no-mori at Hakata JR station before we set off to Yufuin?
    Can we use the Kyushu Northern Area JR pass for this ride? By the way, can we activate the JR pass now for a later start date ?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Aligato!

    Didi

    1. Hi Didi,

      You can make a booking in advance. Ticket is on sale one month prior to departure date. You can use Northern Kyushu rail pass for taking this train.
      When you exchange your pass, you can pick up the date when you start using the pass. So you can exchange it in advance. Once you exchange the pass (even if you don’t start using the pass), you can start the booking.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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