Access to Nagano from Nagoya and Osaka. Limited Express Shinano

Limited Express "Shinano"
Limited Express Shinano runs 13 round trips a day.

Limited express train “Shinano” takes you to 1998 Winter Olympic host city, Nagano (長野) from Nagoya (名古屋). And also one of 13 round trips is extended to operate to Osaka (大阪). If you go to Hida Mountains (a.k.a. Norther Alps), you can use this train to Matsumoto (松本), and transfer to local train Oito line bound for Shinano-Omachi (信濃大町), Hakuba (白馬) and Minami-Otari (南小谷). And also there are some preserved small town in Kiso Valley (木曽谷) along Chuo line where this train goes through. These towns are getting popular for the tourist from overseas these days.

This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction. Let’s see the details.

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

*Trip from Osaka to Nagano was discontinued in March, 2016. Limited Express Shinano runs between Nagoya and Nagano only since then.

Route, schedule and time required

It takes 2 hours 55 minutes to get Nagano from Nagoya. Most of Shinano depart from both side Nagoya and Nagano once every hour.

View Limited Express Shinano in a larger map


Nagoya (名古屋) x
Kanayama (金山駅) *
Chigusa (千種) x
Tajimi(多治見) x
Ena (恵那) *
Nakatsugawa (中津川) x
Nagiso (南木曽) *
Agetsu (上松) *
Kiso-Fukushima (木曽福島) x
Shiojiri (塩尻) x
Matsumoto (松本) x
Akashina (明科) *
Hijirikogen (聖高原) *
Shinonoi (篠ノ井) x
Nagano (長野) x

x:All trains stop *:some trains stop


Green class at Car #1 gives you a spectacular panoramic view. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Green class at Car #1 gives you a spectacular panoramic view. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Shinano is serviced by 383 series. The seat configuration is 2+2 for both Green and Ordinary. Green car is car#1. It has a huge glass window at the cockpit. If you get the front row seat when you go to Nagano, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery. The seat pitch is 1160mm in Green class and 1000mm in Ordinary class. 1000mm in Ordinary is bigger than the standard.

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

Train formation

1 2 3 4 5 6

*2 or 4 more cars are added during the peak season.

*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat
Smoking is not allowed on this train.

Green seat Shinano 383 series Green seat Shinano 383 series Green seat Shinano 383 series Green seat Shinano 383 series Green seat Shinano 383 series Green seat Shinano 383 series Green seat Shinano 383 series Green seat

Ordinary seat Shinano 383 series Ordinary seat Shinano 383 series Ordinary seat Shinano 383 series Ordinary seat Shinano 383 series Ordinary seat Shinano 383 series Ordinary seat

Sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space

18 thoughts on “Access to Nagano from Nagoya and Osaka. Limited Express Shinano”

  1. Hi good evening.

    We are planning to travel to Japan from August 9-24. And we have purchased a JR Pass already. On August 14, we will be travelling from Osaka to Nagano. From the map I have seen, and from previous discussions here, it looks like we can take the Shinano Limited Express train. Is that covered by our JR Pass?

    1. Hi Amai,

      Actually Shinano is no longer run between Osaka and Nagano. It was discontinued in this past March. It runs between Nagoya and Nagano only, so you need to transfer at Nagoya now.

      Sorry for your inconvenience. I will update this article later.


      Takeshi /

  2. Hi
    Pls advise how to go from Nagoya airport to Nagano? We will be arriving into Nagoya at 0815hrs on 16 Dec 2016. Do we need to buy our tickets in advance? If yes, how much? Where can we buy them? Does it operate hourly?

    1. Hi Valerie,

      There is no direct way to get Nagano from Nagoya airport. You have to go to Nagoya station from the airport at first. Please see the link below to find the info about access to Nagoya station from the airport:

      And then take Limited Express Shinano from Nagoya to Nagano. You can find the timetable and the fare at hyperdia.

      You cannot purchase a ticket for Limited Express Shinano at either online or airport. After arrival JR Nagoya station, you can purchase it at the ticket window.


      Takeshi /

  3. Hello,
    Am planning a trip to Kyoto, Kanazawa and tateyama-kurobe-alpine-route in Apr 2016. We plan to make use of the Kansai Hokuriku Area JR Pass but wondering if it covers all the routing below:
    Day 1 – Kyoto – Yoshinoyama (Kintetsu)
    Day 2 – Kyoto – Kagaonsen (Ltd. Express Shirasagi)
    Day 3 – Kanazawa – Toyama, to start the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine tour.
    Day 4 – Tour drop off at 17:00 at Matsumoto, looking to travel all the way back to Kyoto. Wondering if the Ltd. Exp Shinano and Shinkansen Hikari are covered by the Pass.
    Day 5 & 6 – Kyoto – city center and Airport.

    Appreciate your help!

    1. Hi Lotus,

      Unfortunately Kansai Hokuriku Pass does not cover Matsumoto to Kyoto by Shinano and Hikari, and trip to Yoshino by Kintetsu either.
      The best option is single ticket.

      But you may use Kyoto city deal for staying in Kyoto and use Haruka discount ticket from Kyoto to KIX.


      Takeshi /

  4. Trying to get to Nagoya airport to Shiga Grand Hotel
    〒381-0401 Nagano-ken Shimotakai-gun Yamanouchi-machi Hirao 7149-16 Shiga Kogen Ichinose. What is the best and fastest route.

  5. Hello.

    We are hoping to catch the shinano #16 from Matsumoto to Osaka on Thursday 14th of January. Would you be able to tell us the cost of a standard seat.

    Thank you very much.

  6. Hi,
    Would you mind provide me the timetable and fee table of JR Wide View Shinano Limited Express from Nagoya to Matsumoto and JR Otto Line from Matsumoto to Hakuba Valley? Thanks a lot!

  7. Hello, we would like to take our family from Osaka to Nagano on the Wide View. It’s a long trip but that’s okay. Is there a meal service on the train or just snack foods? Also, we will have suitcases. Where do we put those on this train? Thank you.

    1. Hi Jon,

      Actually there is no meal service and no cart on board service either. You must get something to eat and drink before on board.
      Luggage is always issue when you travel in Japan by train. You have to keep it in your space. Please find more info at the link below:


      Takeshi /

  8. Hello Tak San,

    ON June 15th I arrive back from Koyasan to Osaka.
    June 16th-17th I want to take the kids to see Togakushi and JIgokudani for (ninja museum and monkey onsen view)

    Can you suggest possibilities if we leave early from Osaka on 16th and stay overnight in Nagano area somewhere or even in Togakushi village.

    DO you suggest to do this or visit another Ninja museum 2 hours from Kyoto in a day trip. The advantage of Nagano is to see Jigokudani as well.

    The plan is then to goto Sapporo from Osaka on 17th or 18th. We can adjust based on your suggestion.


    1. Hi BSan,
      I think you can take your kids to Togakushi. But it will be a long trip from Osaka. It takes about 4 hours from Osaka to Nagano by Shinkansen and Ltd Exp Shinago (Nagoya-Nagano). And then take a bus from Nagano to Togakushi for another one hour. So you will spend 5 hours to get there. If you leave Osaka around 7 am, you will be there around noon. You still have half day to enjoy Togakushi.
      I cannot compare Kyoto Ninja village and Togakushi Ninja village because I have never been both of those.
      If you and your kids are okay to take 5 hours trip, you can go for it.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your blog. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?

    1. Hello,
      I have never seen the blog that tells us about Limited express Shinano in English. But if you need some info about the rail travel in Japan, this blog shows you some info.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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