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.
Route, schedule and time required
It takes 2 hours 55 minutes to get Nagano from Nagoya. It takes another 2 hours from Osaka. Most of Shinano depart from both side Nagoya and Nagano once every hour. As of March 2015, Shinano #9 depart from Osaka at 08:57 and arrive at Nagano at 13:53. And Shinano #16 depart from Nagano at 14:04 to Osaka and arrive at Osaka 19:18. These trips are operated between Osaka and Nagano. But if you cannot catch this, you can simply transfer to/from Shinkansen at Nagoya. Actually Shinkansen connects Shin-osaka with Nagoya for 1 hour. So Shinkansen and Shinano combination is way faster.
View Limited Express Shinano in a larger map
x:All trains stop *:some trains stop
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.
*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.