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


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.

hyperdia1

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.


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102 Comments to “Guide to plan your trip. How to find Japan Railway’s timetables”

  1. Charlotte says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    We are traveling to Tokyo Narita Airport on 27th Dec morning 9am, this is our first time travel to Japan. Please advise can we buy the” Seishun 18 Kippu” on the day we reach airport and use it to travel directly from Narita airport to Hokkaido – Sapporo? And if there is any night train that we could reserve with this rail pass? As we never travel in winter with train, can you advise if the train with any heater or we have to make sure enough clothing / food bringing along? Sorry as we never travel in Japan in winter, do you think it is suitable for us to take the train to see the beautiful scene of Japan along the way to Sapporo?
    Thank you very much for your time. Charlotte

    • Hi Charlotte,

      You can purcahse Seihun 18 kippu. But it’s not a good idea to use this pass to get Hokkaido. This pass does not cover any express trains. You have to have local trains or commuter’s rapid train for all the way to get Sapporo. It will take two days at least to get Hokkaido by local trains. So don’t use this pass. This pass is designed for railway travel expert. It’s not suitable for you at all.

      If you want to go to Hokkaido by train, JR Pass is the best solution.
      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
      http://jprail.com/destinations/hokkaido-area/how-to-get-sapporo.html

      By the way, Dec 27-29 will be very very busy in Japan. Many of locals in Tokyo will go to hometown and stay with family during New Years holidays. So trains will be very very busy before and after New Years. It may be hard to book the trains on Dec 27. But there is no way to book before you arrive in Japan even if you use JR Pass. Cross the fingers to get it.

      At last, it will be very cold in Hokkaido. Temperature is below minus and sometimes it’s below minus 10 degrees. But as long as you are on board, don’t worry about it. It’s well heated.

      If you really want to go to Hokkaido, I recommend you to book domestic flight to get Sapporo from Narita. You can book before you leave and secure the seat. It’s very hard to travel Hokkaido from Tokyo during this period for the first timer.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. William Chai says:

    Hello,

    I travel from Malaysia to Osaka, and my hotel is Flexstay Inn Shinsaibashi. My flight reach Kansai is at 10.30pm. Can you teach me how to get there ? Thanks a lot .

  3. Flora Ng says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I’m planning go Nagoya on Dec 8 to Dec 12, if I buy this Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass, did this Pass can use on Airport to Nagoya ?? Also, did this Pass can use go to Gero which taking the route of Takayama Honsen Wide View ?? How about the Nouhibus from Takayama to Skirakawago is it include ?? And, did it include Nagoya Subway Network ??
    Wish you can answer me as soon as possble, thank you.

    • Hi Flora,

      Airport-Nagoya is not covered by this pass.
      This pass gives you unlimited ride it the area. So you can make stopover at Gero. Nohi bus to Shirakawago is included. But subway and any other transportation in the city of Nagoya. It can give you the ride to Takayama.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/takayama-hokuriku-area-tourist-pass-perfect-deal-to-get-takayama-kanazawa-shirakawago-from-nagoya-or-osaka.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

    • Flora Ng says:

      Sorry for my stupid question again, can you get help to clarify below
      Dec 8, from Centrair airport take Meitetsu to Nagoya, this is not include, correct ??
      From Nagoya take subway go to Fushini, this is include, correct
      Dec 9, from Fushini take subway go to Nagoya City, thsi is include, correct ?/
      From Nagoya take JR Takayama Honsen Wide View go to Gero, this is include, correct ??
      Dec 10, from Gero take JR Takayama Honsen Wide View go to Hida Takayama, this is include, correct ??
      From Hida Takayama take Nohi Bus go to Skirakawago, this is include, correct ??
      Dec 11, from Hida Takayama take JR Takayama Honsen go to Nagoya, this is include, correct ??
      From Fushini take Subway go Osukannon, this is include, correct ??
      Your help are highly appreciated, thank you so much

      • Hi Flora,

        Dec 8, from Centrair airport take Meitetsu to Nagoya, this is not include, correct ??
        >Correct

        From Nagoya take subway go to Fushini, this is include, correct
        >No. Any subway ride is not included.

        Dec 9, from Fushini take subway go to Nagoya City, thsi is include, correct ?/
        >No.

        From Nagoya take JR Takayama Honsen Wide View go to Gero, this is include, correct ??
        >Correct

        Dec 10, from Gero take JR Takayama Honsen Wide View go to Hida Takayama, this is include, correct ??
        >Correct

        From Hida Takayama take Nohi Bus go to Skirakawago, this is include, correct ??
        >Correct

        Dec 11, from Hida Takayama take JR Takayama Honsen go to Nagoya, this is include, correct ??
        >Correct

        From Fushini take Subway go Osukannon, this is include, correct ??
        >No.

        Cheers,

        Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Lily says:

    Hi, We are new here in Japan and we are planning to go to Hiroshima from Sasebo. Can you please advice how much it will cost round trip and what is the route to take? Is there any connection from each train station?

    thank you
    Lily

  5. Lysander Kenning says:

    I have bought 4 JR pass exchange vouchers (green car)in my country. I would like to go from tokyo to Hakodate in the shortest time possible by Shinkansen/train. Would like to travel 7am on 30 December 2014.
    Pl advise how to go about this travel -especially if any further payment is needed and train transfers.

  6. Ching teng says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    If im going to Osaka by Shinkansen Nozomi from Nagoya using single ticket, can i stop over at Kyoto for few hours and using the same ticket again to Osaka after in the same day ?

    Thank you.

  7. Endri says:

    Dear Mr. Takeshi / JPRail

    I am a foreigner that lives in Toyama. Next month I have a flight from Narita Internation Airport, and I want to go there by train. This will be my first time using trains in Japan, and hope it is not so difficult. Please can you give me some information if there is any night train, because I had the flight around 11:40. Please help me and if U can, suggest me which is the best way to follow. Thank you very much,
    Endri

    • Hi Endri,

      Unfortunately there is no overnight train option. I think you need to stay in Narita or Tokyo if you use train. Because even if you take the earliest train connection, you will arrive in Tokyo at 9:55. And it takes another one hour from Tokyo to Narita. It doesn’t work.

      If you really want to take overnight transfer, take overnight bus. I’m not very familiar with bus, but I know Willer Express has Toyama-Tokyo overnight bus.
      http://willerexpress.com/x/bus/dynamic/3/en/html/pc/route/list/hokuriku.php?mid=1

      I think there are other bus services. But only this company gives us English info.
      And please remember if bus is late and you can’t catch your flight, nobody compensate it. That is 100% your risk.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  8. efraim says:

    hello sir,..i want to go to tokyo using train..sorry..im just a beginners..im lived in hanyu city saitama please help how to do first then step by step..tnxx

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