Schedule of 2012 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Fuji Shibazakura Festival at Fuji Kawaguchiko ©Akira Okada/© JNTO

In spring season, the busiest period is late April and the beginning of May. It is called “Golden Week” in Japan. April 29, May 3, 4, and 5 are National holidays. If you can, lease try to avoid travelling on those days.

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during all spring season. Especially JR Group add lots of the extra trains on those above holidays. It is too many to introduce all seasonal trains. So I pick up the popular trains and are operated in the popular spot.

JR Hokkaido (Hokkaido area)

SL Hakodate Onuma train

This train is operated by steam locomotive between Hakodate and Onuma Koen (Onuma park) to enjoy spring cherry blossom. There are reserved seat only. You need to book it before boarding.

Operation dates

April 28-30, May 1-6, 2012

Timetable

Hakodate 08:54 Mori 10:46
Mori 13:31 Hakodate 15:24

The train will stop at Goryokaku and Onuma-Koen on the way to Mori.
The train will stop at Oshima-Sakara, Shikabe, Nagareyama-Onsen, Onuma-Koen and Goryokaku.

Limited Express Asahiyama Zoo
Limited Express Asahiyama Dobutsuen

Limited Express Asahiyama Dobutsuen

This train connects Sapporo with Asahikawa and is operated by Asahiyama Zoo featured train. Asahiyama zoo in the most popular zoo in Japan. This train has only reserved seat. (Japanese site link)

Operation dates
March 3,4,10,11,17-31 2012
April 1,7,8,28-30 2012
May 1-6 2012

Timetable
Sapporo 08:30 – Asahikawa 10:07
Asahikawa 16:05 – Sapporo 17:46
Train makes a stop at Iwamizawa and Takikawa.

Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train

This train is operated by “Torokko” (open air type passenger’s car). This is a cruising train that goes through Kushiro marsh. Please refer the detail about this train at Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train.

Operation dates
April 28-30, May 1-6,12-31 2012 *1 round trip (#1, #2) only
June 1-5,9-30 2012 *2 round trips

Timetable

Connection Train# Kushiro Higashi
Kushiro
Kushiro
Shitsugen
Hosooka Toro
Super Ozora#1 10:51 Arr
(Sapporo dep at 07:03)
#2 10:56 11:02 11:20 11:25 11:40
Super Ozora#3 13:03 Arr
(Sapporo dep at 09:04)
#4 13:49 13:55 14:13 14:18 14:35
Train# Toro Hosooka Kushiro
Shitsugen
Higashi
Kushiro
Kushiro Connection
#1 12:07 12:22 12:28 12:48 12:54 Super Ozora#10 13:25 Dep
(Sapporo arr at 17:17)
#3 15:06 15:21 15:27 15:54 16:00 Super Ozora#12 16:17 Dep
(Sapporo arr at 20:13)

If you are looking for more information about Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train, please see the post, Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train.

Furano Lavender Express / Furano Koyo Express

Furano is very popular spot in Hokkaido during summer season. Only this train takes you to Furano from Sapporo directly. Please refer the detail about this train at Furano Lavender Express / Koyo Express.
*Summer schedule (July to October) will be released in late May.

Operation dates
Train #1 and #6 — June 30 2012
Train #3 and #4 — June 9-30 2012

Timetable

Station/train# Sapporo Takikawa Furano Remarks
#1 07:55 09:00 09:55 Operated by Crystal Express that has double deck and compartment.
#3 09:06 10:05 11:03 Operated by Crystal Express that has double deck and compartment until June 29. Operated by North Rainbow Express after June 30.
#5 (10:10) (11:16) (12:17) This train is not operated in spring period.
Station/train# Furano Takikawa Sapporo Remarks
#2 (14:10) (15:10) (16:28) This train is not operated in spring period.
#4 16:30 17:23 18:29 Operated by Crystal Express that has double deck and compartment until June 29. Operated by North Rainbow Express after June 30.
#6 17:36 18:34 19:37 Operated by Crystal Express that has double deck and compartment.

If you are looking for more information about trains for Furano Lavender Express, please see the post, Furano Lavender Express / Koyo Express.

Furano Biei Norokko train

This train is operated by “Torokko” (open air type passenger’s car). This is a cruising train that goes on Furano line. Please refer the detail about this train at Furano Biei Norokko train.
*Summer schedule (July to October) will be released in late May.

Operation dates
June 9-30 2012

Timetable

Station
train#
Asahikawa Biei Bibaushi kamifurano Lavender
Batake
Nakafurano Furano
#1 9:55 10:34 10:51 11:03 11:11 11:14 11:32
#3 13:02 13:18 13:33 13:40 13:44 13:52
#5 15:08 15:24 15:39 15:46 15:50 15:57
Station
train#
Furano Nakafurano Lavender
Batake
kamifurano Bibaushi Biei Asahikawa
#2 11:52 12:11 12:14 12:25 12:37 12:54
#4 13:59 14:18 14:21 14:33 14:46 15:03
#6 16:13 16:34 16:38 16:51 17:11 17:20 17:45

If you are looking for more information about Furano Biei Norokko train, please see the post, Furano Biei Norokko train.

SL Fuyu no Shitsugen train (Winter train to Kushiro marsh by Steam Locomotive)

This train is operated by steam locomotive. This is a cruising train that goes through Kushiro marsh. It is similar type train to Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train. But this train is not operated by Norokko train. There are reserved seat only. You need to book it before boarding.

Operation dates

March1-11,17,18 2012 operation between Kushiro and Shibecha.
March 19-20 2012 operation between Kushiro and Kawayu Onsen

Timetable

Kushiro 11:09 Shibecha 12:24
Shibecha 13:52 Kushiro 15:10
Kushiro 11:09 Kawayu Onsen 14:04
Kawayu Onsen 14:45 Kushiro 17:05

This train stops at Higashi-Kushiro, Kushiro Shitsugen, Toro, Kayanuma, Shibecha and Mashu.

Tomamu Sahoro Ski Express

This train connect Sapporo with some ski areas in Tomamu and Shintoku.

Operation dates
Everyday from March 1-April 1 2012

Timetable

Sapporo 11:05 Shintoku 13:23
Shintoku 14:40 Sapporo 17:07

This train stops at Shin-Sapporo, Minami-Chitose and Tomamu.

This express train is operated by KIHA 183 North Rainbow Express from Dec 16 to Jan 16 and by KIHA 183 Crystal Express from Jan 17 to Feb 23. If you are looking for more information about the interior of these cars, please refer the post, Furano Lavender Express / Koyo Express. This summer/fall express train is operated by same type of cars.

Ryuhyo Norokko train

Shiretoko is very popular destination in winter time for Ryuhyo (流氷=Drift Ice) viewing. This train is operated in Drift Ice season for viewing by “Torokko” (open air type passenger’s car).

Operation dates
Everyday from March 1-11 2012.

Timetable

#2 Shiretoko-Shari 08:55 Abashiri 10:00
#1 Abashiri 10:25 Shiretoko-Shari 11:22
#4 Shiretoko-Shari 11:57 Abashiri 12:57
#3 Abashiri 13:57 Shiretoko-Shari 14:55

*This train stop at Katsuradai, Masuura, Mokoro, Kitahama, Hamkoshimizu and Yamubetsu.

If you need more information about this train, please see this post, Ryuhyo Norokko train.

Ryuhyo Limited Express Okhotsk no Kaze

This limited express train is additional train of Limited Express Okhotsk between Sapporo and Abashiri. It is operated for Drift Ice season by KIHA 183 North Rainbow Express. This series is much better than standard 183 series for Okhotsk. If you go to Abashiri in this season. try to take this train.

Operation dates
Everyday from March 1-11 2012.

Timetable

Sapporo 07:55 Abashiri 13:21
Abashiri 14:17 Sapporo 19:37

*This train stop at Iwamizawa, Bibai, Sunagawa, Takikawa, Fukagawa, Asahikawa, Kamikawa, Maruseppu, Engaru, Ikutahara, Rubeshibe, Kitami, Bihoro and Memanbetsu.

If you are looking for more information about the interior of KIHA 183 series North Rainbow Express, please refer the post, Furano Lavender Express / Koyo Express. This summer/fall express train is operated by same type of car.

JR East (Tohoku and Kanto area)

Rapid Hiraizumi Bunka Isan

You can use this train to the newest UNESCO World Heritage Hiraizumi from Sendai directly. This train is operated by the specialized train that has Japanese Tatami seat after April 14. This train has reserved seat only.

Operation dates
April 7,8,14,1,21,22,28,29,30 2012

Timetable
Sendai 09:13 – Hiraizumi 11:25
Hiraizumi 14:57 – Sendai 16:48
This train makes a stop at Shiogama, Matsushima, Kashimadai, Kogota and Ichinoseki

Overnight Express Hiraizumi Iwate Monogatari

You can use this train to the newest UNESCO World Heritage Hiraizumi from Omiya directly. This train is operated by regular berth cars (24 series carriages/6 cars formation). These berths are used as Goron-to-seat. It is same idea as Overnight limited express Akebono. It is completely same accommodation as regular berth. (See the details about Goron-to-seat at Akebono.) But you don’t need to pay the extra accommodation fee. Japan Rail Pass cover fully fare for this train. (But is will be operated only once!)

Operation dates
June 22 2012

Timetable
Omiya 22:25 – Hiraizumi 08:15 – Morioka 09:27

Rapid Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri train

This train connects Akita with Hirosaki. Hirosaki is located between Aomori and Akita. It is well known as the best location for cherry blossom in Tohoku region. This train is operated by legendary 583 series.

Operation dates
April 28-30, May 3-6 2012

Timetable
Akita 09:14 – Hirosaki 11:36
Hirosaki 16:09 – Akita 18:41
This train makes a stop at Matsuhima, Kogota, Furukawa, Iwadeyama, Yubikan, Kawatabi-Onsen, Naruko-Gotenyu, Naruko-Onsen, Nakayamadaira-Onsen, Akakura-Onsen, Mogami and Semi-Onsen.

Some of Resort Shirakami are operated by the newest Hybrid train.
Some of Resort Shirakami are operated by the newest Hybrid train.

Rapid Resort Shirakami

This train connects Akita with Aomori through Gono line that has one of the greatest scenery. This train is operated by the specialized train or the newest Hybrid train. This train has only reserved seat.

Operation dates and timetable

Station/train# Akita Aomori Operation date
#1 (Akita to Aomori) 08:24 13:35 March 2-4,9-11,16-18,23-25,30-31 2012
#5 (Akita to Aomori) 14:10 19:19 March 2,3,9,10,16-18,23,24,30,31
Station/train# Aomori Akita Operation date
#2 (Aomori to Akita) 08:21 13:21 March 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25,31 2012
#4 (Aomori to Akita) 13:54 18:51 March 2-4,9-11,16-18,23-25,30-31 2012
#3 (Akita to Aomori) Not operated in March
#6 (Hirosaki to Akita) Not operated in March

This train makes a stop at Oiwaki, Hachirogata, Moritake, Higashi-Noshiro, Noshiro, Akita-Shirakami, Iwadate, Juniko, WeSpa-Tsubakiyama, Fukaura, Senjojiki, Ajigasawa, Mutsu-Morita, Kizukuri, Goshogawara, Mutsu-Tsuruta, Itayanagi, Kawabe, Hirosaki and Shin-Aomori. If you need more information about this train, please refer Rapid Resort Shirakami.

*The schedule after April has not been released yet.

Rapid Irodori Fujigoko (Mt.Fuji five lakes) train

This train goes straight to Fuji-Kawaguchiko from Shinjuku. This train goes through Fuji Kyuko line between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko. Japan Rail Pass do not cover this section. And also this train has only Green class. If you use Japan Rail Pass Green, it is covered. Otherwise you need to pay the extra for Green class surcharge.

Operation dates
May 12,13 2012

Timetable
Shinjuku 08:02 – Kawaguchiko 10:17
Kawaguchiko 16:16 – Shinjuku 18:58
This train makes a stop at Ikebuuro, Omiya, Takasaki, Nagaoka, Mitsuke, Higashi-Sanjo, Kamo and Niitsu.

Overnight Rapid Moonlight Echigo

This is very popular and hard to get the seat. This train does not have any non reserved seat. This train is operated by old type Limited Express cars. But there is no berth or compartment.

Operation dates
March 16-31, April 1, 27-30, May 1-6 2012

Timetable
Shinjuku 23:10 – Niigata 04:51
Niigata 23:56 – Shinjuku 05:10
This train makes a stop at Ikebuuro, Omiya, Takasaki, Nagaoka, Mitsuke, Higashi-Sanjo, Kamo and Niitsu.

Overnight Rapid Moonlight Shinshu 81

This is very popular and hard to get the seat. This train does not have any non reserved seat. This train is operated by old type Limited Express cars. But there is no berth or compartment.

Operation date
March 2,9,16,23,30, April 27, May 2,3 2012

Timetable
Shinjuku 23:54 – Hakuba 05:40
*There is no train to Shinjuku from Hakuba
This train makes a stop at Tachikawa, Hachioji, Otsuki, Shioyama, Kofu, Kobuchizawa, Chino, Kamisuwa, Shimosuwa, Okaya, Tatsuno, Shiojiri, Matsumoto, Toyoshina, Hodaka, Shinano-Omachi and Kamishiro.

JR Central (Chubu, Tokai and Hokuriku)

Overnight Rapid Moonlight Nagara

This is very popular and hard to get the seat. This train does not have any non reserved seat. This train is operated by old type Limited Express cars. But there is no berth or compartment.

Operation dates
To Ogaki – March 23-31 2012
To Tokyo – March 24-April 1 2012

Timetable

stations time stations time
Tokyo 23:10 Ogaki 22:49
Shinagawa 23:18 Gifu 22:59
Yokohama 23:36 Nagoya 23:20
Odawara 00:31 Toyohashi 00:17
Numazu 01:08 Hamamatsu 00:55
Shizuoka 01:50 Shizuoka 01:55
Hamamatsu 03:11 Numazu 03:19
Nagoya 05:24 Yokohama 04:41
Gifu 05:43 Shinagawa 04:58
Ogaki 05:53 Tokyo 05:05

If you are looking for more information about Moonlight Nagara, please see the post, Rapid train Moonlight Nagara.

Rapid Nice Holiday Kisoji

This train goes on Chuo line and stop at the station where is near the post towns in Edo period.

Operation dates
April 28-30, Mary 3-6, June 2-3 2012

Timetable
Nagoya 08:17 – 11:14 Shiojiri
Shiojiri 14:17 – 11:21 Nagoya

*This train stops at Nakatsugawa, Minami-Kiso, Agematsu, Kiso-Fukushima, Yabuhara, Narai, Kiso-Hirasawa

JR West (Kansai, Hokuriku and Chugoku)

Twilight Express

As you know, this is most popular train in Japan. The extra departure will be operated in Holidays periods and mid February for Sapporo Snow Festival.

Operation dates
Regular departure is Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to Sapporo, and Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday to Osaka. And these following dates will be added.
to Sapporo — Everyday from April 27 to May 7 and from June 18 to 30, 2012
to Osaka — Everyday from April 28 to May 8 and from June 19 to 30, 2012

Timetable
Osaka 11:50 – Sapporo 09:52
Sapporo 14:05 – Osaka 12:52
If you need more information about Twilight Express, please refer the post, Overnight Express Train Twilight Express.

Overnight Limited Express Nihonkai

This train will be operated as a seasonal train after annual timetable revise in March 17, 2012. Only regular berth (type B berth) is available on this seasonal “Nihonkai”. You need to pay some extra anyway by Japan Rail pass.

Operation dates
to Aomori – April 27, 28 and May 5, 6 2012
to Osaka – April 26, 27 and May 4, 5 2012

Timetable
Osaka 20:38 – Aomori 12:42
Aomori 16:21 – Osaka 1027
This train makes a stop at Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Tsuruga, Fukui, Kaga-Onsen, Kanazawa, Takaoka, Toyama, Uozu, Itoigawa, Naoetsu, Niitsu, Tsuruoka, Sakata, Ugo-Honjo, Akita, Higashi-Noshiro, Takanosu, Oodate, Owani-Onsen, Hirosaki and Aomori.

Overnight Express Kitaguni

This train will be operated as a seasonal train after annual timetable revise in March 17, 2012. Non reserved seat is no longer available on this seasonal “Kitaguni”. Only Green class and regular berth (type B berth) are available. You need to pay some extra anyway by Japan Rail pass.

Operation dates
April 26 to May 6 2012

Timetable
Osaka 23:27 – Niigata 06:54
Niigata 22:37 – Osaka 06:49
This train makes a stop at Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Tsuruga, Takefu, Fukui, Komatsu, Kanazawa, Takaoka, Toyama, Uozu, Itoigawa, Naoetsu, Kakizaki, Kashiwazaki, Raikoji, Nagaoka, Mitsuke, Higashi-Sanjo, Kamo and Niitsu.

SL Yamaguchi

This train is operated by C57 type steam locomotive between Shin-Yamaguchi and Tsuwano. This train has only reserved seat. (Japanese site link)

Operation dates
March 24,25,30,31, 2012
April all Saturday, all Sunday, April 6 and 30, 2012
May all Saturday, all Sunday, May 3 and 4, 2012
June all Saturday, all Sunday
July all Saturday, all Sunday and July 16, 2012
August 1,3,4,10-19,24-26, 2012
September all Saturday, all Sunday, and September 17, 2012
October all Saturday, all Sunday, and October 8, 2012
November 3,4,10,11,17, 2012

Timetable
Shin-Yamaguchi 10:48 – Tsuwano 12:46
Tsuwano 15:20 – Shin-Yamaguchi 17:04
This train makes a stop at Yuda-Onsen, Yamaguchi, Niho, Shinome, Choumonkyo, Jifuku, Nabekura and Tokusa.

Rapid Kiyomori Marine View

This train was operated as Rapid Setouchi Marine View between Hiroshima and Mihara via Kure line in last year. In this year, the operation is extended to Miyajimaguchi instead of Hiroshima. This train is operated by specialized train. Please check the images at the following links (JR West official site): Exterior | Reserved seat | Non reserved seat

Operation dates
March 3,4,10,11,17,18,20,24,25,31 2012
April all Saturday, all Sunday, April 30, 2012
May all Saturday, all Sunday, May 3 and 4, 2012
June all Saturday, all Sunday
Schedule after July TBA

Timetable
Miyajimaguchi 09:35 – Hiroshima 10:06 – Kure 10:52 – Mihara 12:27
Mihara 13:25 – 14:59 Kure 15:19 – Hiroshima 16:07 – Miyajimaguchi 16:39
This train makes a stop at Hiro and Takehara too.

Misuzu Shiosai

This train is operated between Shin-Shimonoseki and Takibe/Senzaki on Sannin line. Sannin line of this section is very scenic. You can enjoy watching the coastline of Nihonkai sea. This train makes several stops where you can see the nice view. Please check the images at the following links (JR West official site): Exterior | Interior
*This train may be operated by a regular train until March 16 and June 11-16.

Operation dates and timetable
March 1 to 14 and 16, 2012

Train# Shimonoseki Takibe Nagatoshi Senzaki Remarks
#1 10:21 11:33 12:25
12:34
12:38 Not operated on 3/15.
#3 16:47 18:09
Train# Senzaki Nagatoshi Takibe Shimonoseki Remarks
#2 12:45 12:48
12:52
13:44 14:56 Not operated on 3/15.
#4 18:13 19:24

From March 17 to June 30, 2012

Train# Shin
Shimonoseki
Shimonoseki Takibe Nagatoshi Senzaki Remarks
#1 09:59 10:08
10:21
11:33 12:25
12:27
12:31 Not operated on 5/17.
Depart from Shimonoseki
from 6/11-15
#3 16:47 18:09
Train# Senzaki Nagatoshi Takibe Shimonoseki Shin
Shimonoseki
Remarks
#2 12:47 12:50
12:52
13:44 14:56 Not operated on 5/17.
#4 18:19 19:25
19:31
19:41 Operated to Shimonoseki
from 6/11-15.

*This train is a local train. The train stops at most of stations.

JR Kyushu (Kyushu)

Limited Express Aso Boy!

This train is operated to Mt. Aso from Kumamoto by the train that have the panoramic windows at the both end. This train has only reserved seat. (Japanese site link)

Operation dates
March 3,4,10,11,17-31 2012
April 1-8, 14,15,21,22,28-30 2012
May 1-6, 12,13,19,20,26,27 2012
June 2,3,9,10,16,17,23,24,30 2012
July 1,7,8,14-31 2012
August 1-31 2012
September 1,2,8,9,15-17,22,23,29,30 2012

Timetable

Station/train# Kumamoto Tateno Aso Miyaji
#101 10:26 11:15 11:49 12:00
#103 13:51 14:31 15:10 15:21
Station/train# Miyaji Aso Tateno Kumamoto
#102 12:20 12:25 12:58 13:40
#104 15:40 15:44 16:26 17:11

This train makes a stop at Shin-Suizenji, Suizenji, Higo-Otsu and Akamizu too.
#101 and #104 will be extended to operate to/from Hakata on December 23 to 25. Departure time at Hakata is 08:41 and arrival time at Hakata is 18:54.

Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi

This train goes through Nichinan coastline. Please see the details at my post.

Operation dates
March 3,4,10,11,17-20,22-27,29-31 2012
April 1-3,5-8,14,15,21,22,28-30 2012
May 1-6,12,13,19,20,26,27 2012
June 2,3,9,10,16,17,23,24,30 2012
July 1,7,8,14-17,19-24,26-31 2012
August Everyday except Wednesday 2012
September 1,2,8,9,15-17,22,23,29,30 2012
October 6-8,13,14,20,21,27,28 2012
November 3,4,10,11,17,18,23-25 2012
December 1,2,8,9,15,16,22-25,27-31 2012
January 1-6,12-14,19,20,26,27 2013
February 2,3,9-11,16,17,23,24 2013

Timetable

Stations to Nango to Miyazaki
Miyazaki (宮崎) 10:06 17:14
Minami-Miyazaki (南宮崎) 10:11 17:10
Tayoshi (田吉) 10:15 17:06
Kodomonokuni (子供の国) 10:25 16:51
Aoshima (青島) 10:29 16:48
Kitago (北郷) 10:57 16:23
Obi (飫肥) 11:06-11:16 16:00-16:13
Nichinan (日南) 11:23 15:54
Aburatsu (油津) 11:27 15:50
Nango (南郷) 11:42 15:35

A Ressha de Iko (A列車で行こう=Take the ‘A’ train)

This train is the newest train in Kyushu and connect Kumamoto with Misumi. Misumi is the gateway station for Amakusa.

Operation dates
March 3,4,10,11,17-31 2012
April 1-8, 14,15,21,22,28-30 2012
May 1-6, 12,13,19,20,26,27 2012
June 2,3,9,10,16,17,23,24,30 2012
July 1,7,8,14-31 2012
August 1-31 2012
September 1,2,8,9,15-17,22,23,29,30 2012

Timetable

Station/train# Kumamoto Uto Misumi
#1 10:36 10:46 11:44
#3 14:08 14:18 14:46
Station/train# Misumi Uto Kumamoto
#2 11:20 11:47 11:59
#4 14:52 15:19 15:31

This train will be extended to operate from Hakata on May 26, 27, June 23 and 24.

Hakata 8:41 – Kumamoto 10:36 – Misumi 11:14
Misumi 14:53 – Kumamoto 15:31 – Hakata 17:25

11 thoughts on “Schedule of 2012 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways”

  1. Takeshi,

    Thank you so much for the information about the Furano Lavender Express which will begin June 9 this year. I have not yet been able to find this information on JR Hokkaido’s English web site. It appears that my wife and I may be able to take this train on the last full day we will be in Sapporo. I assume that the Twinkle Bus Furano will begin on this same day. Is the Twinkle bus fare covered by the Japan Rail pass? And do reservations for the Twinkle bus have to be made in a minimum of three days in advance?

    Thank you, Jim Nakazawa

    1. Hi Jim,
      I’m not 100% sure. But I don’t think Japan Rail Pass cover TwinKle Bus. As you probably know, this bus is only for the passenger who has JR Hokkaido ticket.
      JR Hokkaido have not released any information (schedule, reservation) about Furano Twinkle Bus yet. But it will be started on same day as Lavender Express in last year. So I’m optimistic that this year’s schedule will be very similar to last year.
      The bus fare was 1000 yen in last year. So it will be same or a bit higher than last year.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Hi Jim and Takeshi,

        When I was investigating Twinkle Bus to Shiretoko in 2010, I found that Twinkle Bus was indeed not free using a JR Pass. I wouldn’t assume that policy has changed.

        The English language JR Hokkaido website usually updates with their new seasonal information only just before that season begins, and its issued in PDF format through their “travel information” page on their English website.

        Best regards,

        – Jonathan Ayre –

  2. Andy

    SL Yamaguchi is one of the best steam train service I ever took, better than most of the well known steam train service around the world. Do hope you get on it, once u get to the destination Tsuwano, do take a look around, Tsuwano is a nice town with beautiful houses and traditional garden and traditional buildings.

    James

  3. Morning! Takeshi!

    Hachinohe line might also get a special train right?

    “リゾートうみねこ”

    http://www.jr-morioka.com/pdf/press/pdf_1327888640_1.pdf

    (Page 7 of the above pdf file)

    And also page7, “Sanriku-train” I highly recommend it! Kenji train set is a very nice train set!!

    I recommend Yamatori as well! Yamatori got 6 carriages, its easier to get tickets on Yamatori
    Not sure about the C61 special trains thou.

    http://jres.jp/jres/season_train/odekake_2012spring.pdf

    Regards
    James

  4. Thanks for the info about the SL Yamaguchi, I will get a friend in Japan to prebook this train for May, Iknow it won’t be covered by the pass, but I really want to take this train.

    1. Hi Andy,
      Please see my post about Twilight Express.
      http://jprail.com/destinations/overnight-express-train-twilight-express.html
      At the bottom of this post, I wrote about the reservation. One of my Japanese readers told me how to use JR West phone reservation service. If you can ask your friend to use this service, your Japan Rail Pass will cover the fare for SL Yamaguchi. (But you might need to pay reservation fee even though JR pass cover it.)
      I hope this info will save your budget. 🙂
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    I’ve got a question about the Rapid Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri train. Presently there’s a JR Ou Line train connecting Hirosaki and Aomori departing at 11:34 (correct me if I’m wrong). I was wondering if in the March timetable revision that train might be adjusted by those couple of minutes to meet the Sakura Matsuri if someone wanted to transit between Akita and Aomori using this train?

    Best regards,

    – Jonathan Ayre –

    1. Hi Jonathan,
      I am not sure… I just checked the timetable for March 28 at Hyperdia. Same result was shown.
      I don’t think that JR East consider about the connection to Aomori at Hirosaki from this rapid train.
      But nobody knows about the details of timetable revision in March. It maybe changed.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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