Guide to plan your trip. How to find Japan Railway’s timetables


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If you are looking for the timetable of Shinknasen or major limited express trains, try to find it on JR Groups websites. Otherwise you can check the timetables on the following site, Hyperdia.

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

Hyperdia

Hyperdia covers all railway lines and domestic flights schedule. This is the best website and help you to build your itinerary. It is simple but a bit tricky to use. Please see the other post, Hyperdia perfect guide, train timetable and route search engine. I show you everything about Hyperdia in this post.

JR Group’s website

All JR companies except JR West have English website and show some timetables.

JR Hokkaido timetable

JR Hokkaido is doing good job. They have all limited express trains, such as Super Kamui, Super Ozora, Super Hokuto and more, overnight express Hamanasu and most of local trains! Some of local trains are not on the timetable. But I think this is enough for the tourists from other countries.

JR East timetable

This website show you the timetables of Tohoku Shinkansen, Joetsu Shinkansen, Nagano Shinakansen, Akita Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinaksen, Narita Express, Odoriko/Super View Odoriko, Nikko/Kinugawa, Super Azusa/Azusa/Kaiji, Hakutaka and Super Hitachi/Hitachi. These are only trains that can be reserved online in ALL JR TRAINS.
This does not show any overnight trains, such as Cassiopeia, Hokutosei, Sunrise Izumo, Sunrise Seto and Akebono. And these overnight trains cannot be reserved online either.

JR Central (JR Tokai) timetable

This website shows the timetable of Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka.
Westbound (from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka) | Eastbound (from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo)
This website does not show other JR Central trains, such as Wide View Hida, Shinano, Wide View Nanki.

JR West timetable

You are able to find the timetables in the middle of the link above.

It shows you the timetables for Sanyo Shinkansen (Shin Osaka-Hakata), Haruka (Kansai airport-Shin Osaka/Kyoto), Thunderbird (Osaka-Kanazawa/Toyama), Kuroshio (Kyoto/Shin Osaka-Shingu) and Kinosaki/Konotori/Hashidate/Hamakaze (Osaka/Kyoto-Kinosaki Onsen).

JR Shikoku timetable

JR Shikoku has English website. But it shows the timetables in Japanese. They put the numbers on all JR Shikoku stations and mention how to read Japanese timetable. However it is too complicated to read. I recommend to use Hyperdia.

JR Kyushu timetable

You can find the timetable of Kyushu Shinkansen and all limited express trains in Kyushu, such as Kamome, Sonic, Trans-Kyushu Limited Express, Hayato no Kaze, Umisachi-Yamasachi and more.

144 thoughts on “Guide to plan your trip. How to find Japan Railway’s timetables”

  1. Dear Takeshi,

    I am planning to travel to Hakodate from Lake Toya. Appreciate if you could advise the type of train to take to Hakodate. And if possible the timetable link too.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Greetings Takeshi:

    The information you provide is so excellent!

    We are interested in scenic rail trips. It seems that one of them is around the mountainous Kii Peninsula. We would like to leave Shin-Osaka on April 16 on board the Kuroshio1 arriving at Kii-Katsuura at about 11:31. Then we would want to take the Wide View Nanki 6 from there departing at about 12:23 to Nagoya. The WVN6 is shown in the 2012 JR English timetable and also comes up in the Jourdan.co.jp website timetable. But no WVN6 in Hyperdia. Has this train been dropped? Also, I have a question about fares but I will ask it in the ‘Fares’ section. THANKS GARY

  3. Hi ,

    My friend and I will be landing in Hansai, Osaka Airport then to Osaka hotel, we are planning to visit Kyoto, maybe Kobe and Nara (staying 4 nights in Osaka), then head to Hakone for 2 nights, and go to Tokyo for 4 nights. This is our first time to Japan.

    Should we purchase the JR passes? We might take a tour for one day to Kyoto.
    How do we get from Osaka to Hakone Machi? I know that we need to purhase Hakone Rail pass.

    Please give us best interinary to travel and a reasonable price way to get where we need to go.

    Thank you for your attention.

    1. Hi Teri,

      If you have one way trip to Tokyo from Osaka/Kyoto, Japan Rail Pass does not work. Please see the following post to get the sample fare tables:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/compare-japan-rail-pass-with-regular-fare.html

      In this case, single ticket is only choice for you.

      Regarding Hakone, you can access from Odawara on Tokaido Shinkansen. Please see the following link to get the details:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-get-hakone-from-tokyo-compare-japan-railway-and-odakyu-lines.html

      You can use Odakyu train from Hakone to Shinjuku.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Dear Takeshi,
    my Parents will come to Japan in March. They arrive at Osaka international Airport from where we go to Kyoto (5nights). Sightseeing-Plan: The city of Kyoto

    After that we go to Hiroshima (we planned to use Shinkansen here). In Hiroshima we will stay for 2 Nights. Sightseeing-Plan: Hiroshima and Miyajima

    Then we go to Matsue/Shimane and stay there for 7 nights. Sightseeing-Plan: isn’t that finsihed yet, but I think we will go to Izumo, Yasugi and maybe 1 or 2 more places around Matsue. Of course we use the city-bus often I think.

    Is it profitable to buy a RailwayPass for this travel-plan?

          1. I’m sorry to bother you again. I’ve been looking for the amount I can save with ICOCA when using Haruka Shinkansen from Osaka Airport to Kyoto. The normal price is about 3000 Yen. But how much is it with ICOCA? I can’t find this informaton anywhere on the JR Homepage.

          2. Hi Julia,

            ICOCA and Haruka includes 1500 yen e-money. If you travel from KIX to Kyoto by Haruka, the fare is almost 3000 yen. So 1500 yen e-money is a huge asset.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. is the 1 or 2 day osaka unlimited pass can be use on the rapid train from kansai to namba (nankai railway limited express?
    thanks

  6. hi,

    plan to visit visit japan, arriving at kansai osaka then stay 4 night at osaka, then will go to hakone (by hikari)for 1 nite, then continue to tokyo for another 7 nights.

    what is you suggestion to save cost on the transportation during my trip?

    thanks

    1. Hi william,

      Regarding Kansai area, there are several options. Please see the following link:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-choose-discount-railway-ticket-and-pass-in-kansai-area.html

      Regarding from Osaka to Odawara, there is only trip fare available.
      After you arrive at Hakone, there are some options. Please see the following link:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-get-hakone-from-tokyo-compare-japan-railway-and-odakyu-lines.html

      As well as Tokyo, there are several options:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/subway-in-tokyo.html
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/index.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  7. Hello!

    I’m in Kikuchi-shi, Kumamoto-ken. I want to go to Harmonyland in Hijimachi, Hayami-gun, Oita-ken. Which train and route should I take? How much is the ticket?

    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Leigh,

      Take Kyushu Shinkansen from Kumamoto to Kokura. And transfer to Limited Express Sonic at Kokura to Oita. Then follow the links below:
      http://www.harmonyland.jp/english/harmony/hl_guide/access.html

      *Usually using Houhi line from Kumamoto to Oita is the fastest. But since it was damaged by heavy rain in this past July, Houhi line is closed.

      Regarding fare and schedule, check it at Hyperdia.
      http://www.hyperdia.com/en/

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  8. I will be in tokyo for 6 nights before hopefully catching the overnight train up to sapporo for 6 nights ( skiining at Niseko for 5 ), i would like to know what is the best pass to get and and if you can pree book the train in advance?

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Use Japan Rail Pass 7 days for the trip to Sapporo from Tokyo and return. This is the cheapest way to get there.
      When you stay in Tokyo, you may purchase subway pass. But it depends on your plan. Single ticket may be fine. If you arrive at Narita or Haneda, you can use Suica and N’ex or Suica and Monotail.
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/index.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Hi, I have plan to visit tokyo for 8N/7D days in Mid Nov as following itinerary:-
    Arrival :Haneda at 11pm
    Depart : Haneda at 11.55pm

    Day 1-Overnight at hotel in haneda airport (Due to late arrival)
    (Do you have any budget hotel recommended around the area?)
    Day 2- To exchange the 7D JR pass at the haneda airport (to utilize for the Monorial to Hamama) & check in hotel near Ueno area.Plan to visit those attraction which can be access by JR Yamanote line for the day.
    Day 3 & 4 – Bound fr Shinjuku to Hakone via Hokone 2 days pass & 1 night stay at ryokan.
    Day 4 -Plan to visit kyoto by day trip via JR pass (Hikari Shinkansen)
    Day 5 -Plan to Nikko by day trip via JR pass
    Day 6 & 7 -Explore tokyo attraction via 2 days subway pass (for those not excess by JR line)
    (Base on my plan above, I need to buy 7 days JR pass, 2 days Hokone pass & 2 days subway pass)
    I would like to seek your value advice which is the most workable & cost saving pass & itinerary that more suitable for my above plan? Tq

    1. Hi Joyce,

      I don’t see any problem with your itinerary.
      But if you really shrink your budget, try to use JR Pass to get Hakone.
      http://jprail.com/destinations/how-to-get-hakone-from-tokyo-compare-japan-railway-and-odakyu-lines.html
      You still need to pay some extra on JR Pass. But it cover a part of trip to Hakone.

      Subway pass is good. But you may need to purchase one day pass. See the following link:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/best-way-efficient-how-much-can-we-use-japan-rail-pass-in-downtown-tokyo.html

      You can have one day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo. But I recommend you to stay in Kyoto. It is very busy to do one day trip.

      Regarding Haneda hotel, I recommend you to go to Kamata. It is not far and easy to find the budget hotel. Most of hotel around Airport is not cheap.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/how-to-access-from-haneda-airport-to-downtown-tokyo.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  10. My wife and friends will be going from Okayama to Yasugi to visit Adachi Gardens. I would like to go along that train line but get off and visit some branch lines into the mountains. Can you suggest some interesting side trips. I have previously traveled the San-in line down through Hagi. Colin

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