Schedule of 2014 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways

"Ohanami" is very popular outside party with viewing cherry blossom.  © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO
“Ohanami” is very popular outside party with viewing cherry blossom. © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO

Spring is the best season to visit Japan because of the cherry blossom. And also between late April and the beginning of May is one of the busiest period. It is called “Golden Week” in Japan. April 29, May 3, 4, and 5 are National holidays. I recommen you to avoid travelling on those days. It’s not surprised if trains are full.

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 26-30, May 1-6, 2014

Timetable

Hakodate 08:54 Mori 10:41
Mori 13:39 Hakodate 15:41

The train will stop at Goryokaku, Oshima-Ono and Onuma-Koen on the way to Mori.
The train will stop at Oshima-Sakara, Shikabe, Nagareyama-Onsen, Onuma-Koen, Oshima-Ono 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 is the most popular and the best zoo in Japan. The interior of this train is designed by Dr. Abe, former chief zoo keeper of Asahiyama Zoo. I am sure kids will love it! If you travel with your kids, try to get on this train! This train has only reserved seat. (Japanese site link)

Operation dates
March 1,2,8,9,15,16,21-31, 2014
April 5,6,26-30, 2014
May 1-6, 2014

Timetable
Sapporo 08:30 – Asahikawa 10:07
Asahikawa 16:04 – 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 26-30, May 1-6,10-31, 2014 *1 round trip (#1, #2) only
June 1-3,7-30, 2014 *2 round trips

Timetable

Train# Kushiro Toro
#2 11:06 11:50
#4 13:57 14:43
Train# Toro Kushiro
#1 12:17 13:06
#3 15:14 16:03

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. In this season, this train will be operated by specialized fleet, “Crystal Express” that has double deck and compartment. 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
June 7,8,14,15,21,22,28-30, 2014

Timetable

Station/train# Sapporo Takikawa Furano
#3 09:05 10:05 11:03
Station/train# Furano Takikawa Sapporo
#4 16:35 17:23 18:29

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 7-30, 2014

Timetable

Station
train#
Asahikawa Biei Bibaushi kamifurano Lavender
Batake
Nakafurano Furano
#1 9:55 10:34 10:51 11:03 11:11 11:14 11:40
#3 13:04 13:20 13:35 13:42 13:46 13:54
#5 15:11 15:27 15:42 15:49 15:53 16:00
Station
train#
Furano Nakafurano Lavender
Batake
kamifurano Bibaushi Biei Asahikawa
#2 11:52 12:11 12:14 12:25 12:37 12:54
#4 14:00 14:19 14:22 14:34 14:47 15:05
#6 16:09 16:31 16:35 16:49 17:09 17:18 17:46

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 or diesel 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

March 1-9, 2014

Timetable

Kushiro 11:20 Shibecha 12:35
Shibecha 14:02 Kushiro 15:19

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

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). Early March is still Drift Ice season.

Operation dates
Everyday from March 1-9 2014.

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, Mokoto, Kitahama, Hamakoshimizu 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
March 1-9, 2014.

Timetable

Sapporo 07:55 Abashiri 13:47
Abashiri 14:17 Sapporo 19:59

*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 Holiday Kaisoku Fujisan

This train connects Shinjuku with Lake Kawaguchi or Oyama/Omiya with Lake Kawaguchi directly. You don’t need to transfer the trains at Otsuki. But if you use this train by Japan Rail Pass or JR East Pass, basic fare between Otsuki and Lake Kawaguchi is not covered.

Operation dates
Train #1 and #2 : Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from March 1 to June 30, 2014
Train #3 and #4 : Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from March 21 to April 20 and May 24 to June 29, 2014

Timetable

Shinjuku Oyama Omiya Hachioji Kawaguchiko
Holiday #1 08:14 08:53 10:36
Holiday #3 07:24 8:14 9:12 11:00
Kawaguchiko Hachioji Omiya Oyama Shinjuku
Holiday #2 16:00 17:26 17:59
Holiday #4 17:26 19:13 20:06 20:58

*Rapid Holiday Kaisoku Fujisan from/to Shinjuku makes a stop at Mitaka, Tachikawa, Hachioji, Takao, Sagamiko, Uenohara, Shiotsu, Otsuki, Tsurushi, Tsuru-Bunkadaigakumae, Mitsutoge, Fujisan and Fujikyu-Highland.

*Rapid Holiday Kaisoku Fujisan from/to Oyama makes a stop at Furukawa, Kuki, Hasuda, Omiya, Kita-Asaka, Niiza, Higashi-Tokorozawa, Shin-Akitsu, Shin-Kodaira, Tachikawa, Hachioji, Takao, Sagamiko, Uenohara, Shiotsu, Otsuki, and all stations on Fuji Kyuko line except Kami-Otsuki.

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 26-29, May 3-6, 2014

Timetable
Akita 09:23 – Hirosaki 11:43
Hirosaki 16:02 – Akita 18:42
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) 08:25(8:28) 13:23(13:35) Mar 1,2,7-9,14-16,21-23,28-30,Apr 4-6,11-13,18-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-30, 2014
#3 (Akita to Hirosaki) 11:01 15:52 Apr 18-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-30, 2014
#5 (Akita to Aomori) 14:10(14:17) 19:20(19:26) Mar 1,7,8,14,15,21,22,28,29,Apr 4,5,11,12,18-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-30, 2014
Station/train# Aomori Akita Operation date
#2 (Aomori to Akita) 08:23(8:02) 13:16(13:31) Mar 1,2,8,9,15,16,22,23,29,30,Apr 5,6,12,13,19-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-30, 2014
#4 (Aomori to Akita) 13:51(13:55) 18:52(19:00) Mar 1,2,7-9,14-16,21-23,28-30,Apr 4-6,11-13,18-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-30, 2014
#6 (Hirosaki to Akita) 16:09 20:38 Apr 18-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-30, 2014

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.

*After March 15, these above trains departure/arrival time will be revised. The revised times are shown in () at the above timetable. (ex train #1 Akita departure time will be changed to 8:28 from 8:25.)

Rapid SL Banestsu Monogatari

It is operated by steam locomotive and old style passenger’s cars between Niigata and Aizu-Wakamatsu.

Operation dates
Sat, Sun and holidays from Apr 5 to Jun 22, 2014

Timetable
Niigata 09:43 – Aizu-Wakamatsu 13:31
Aizu Wakamatsu 15:25 – Niigata 19:01
This train makes a stop at Niitsu, Gosen, Sakihana, Mikawa, Tsugawa, Hideya, Nozawa, Yamato, Kitakata and Shiokawa.

If you need more info about this train, please see the post, Popular Steam Locomotive train, SL Banetsu Monogatari.

Rapid Resort Minori

This train connects Sendai with Shinjo via Naruko Onsen. It is operated by specialized train. You can see some images at JR East Sendai branch site.

Operation dates
Fri, Sat, Sun and holidays from Mar 1 to Jun 30, 2014

Timetable
Sendai 09:25 – 11:00 Naruko Onsen 11:25 – Shinjo 12:28
Shinjo 15:00 – 15:58 Naruko Onsen 16:00 – Sendai 17:37

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.

Rapid Resort View Furusato

This train connects Nagano with Minami-Otari via Matsumoto, Shinano-Omachi and Hakuba. It is operated by Hybrid train. You can see some images at JR East Nagano branch site.

Operation dates
Mar 1-3,8-10,15-17,21-31, 2014
Apr 1-7,11-14,25-30, 2014
May 1-7,9-12,23-26,30,31, 2014
Jun 1,2,6-9,20-23,27-30, 2014

Timetable
Nagano 09:04 – 10:29 Matsumoto 10:41 – 10:59 Hodaka 11:26 – 11:47 Shinano Omachi 11:51 – 12:23 Hakuba 12:29 – 12:44 Minami Otari
Minami Otari 15:16 – 15:31 Hakuba 15:37 – 16:13 Shinano Omachi 16:18 – 16:40 Hodaka 16:51 – 17:15 Matsumoto 17:23 – 18:28 Nagano

Rapid Kirakira Uetsu

This train connects Niigata and Sakata or Ugo-Honjo on Uetsu line. You can enjoy local foods and beautiful coast scenery of Sea of Japan. It is operated by specialized train “Kirakira Uetsu”. You can see some images at JR East Niigata branch site.

Operation dates
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays from March 1 to 23 and April 4 to June 29, 2014.

Timetable
Niigata 10:14 – 12:51 Sakata
Sakata 16:11 – Niigata 18:32

Overnight Limited Express Akebono

Akebono is currently operated as scheduled train. But it will be discontinued. The last departure will be march 14. But it will be operated as seasonal train on the dates below:

Operation dates
To Aomori : April 25 to May 6, 2014
To Ueno : April 25 to May 5, 2014

Timetable
Ueno 21:33 – 12:19 Aomori
Aomori 17:11 – 6:20 Ueno

If you need more info about Akebono, please see the post, Overnight transfer to Aomori/Akita from Tokyo, No extra charge on Japan Rail Pass! Overnight limited express Akebomo.
*Goronto seat may not be available.

Overnight Rapid Moonlight Echigo / Echigo Haru no Yozoragou

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.

After April, this train will be operated as Echigo Haru no Yozoragou.

Operation dates
Mar 20-31, Apr 4,5,25, May 2, 2014
Only train to Niigata from Shinjuku will run on Apr 26 and May 3, 2014.

Timetable
Shinjuku 23:10 – Niigata 04:51
Niigata 23:39 – Shinjuku 05:09
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
Mar 7,14,20,28, Apr 25, May 2,3, 2014

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)

Express Ise

This train goes to Ise directly from Nagoya by limited express fleet.

Operation dates
March 1,2,8,9,15,16,22,23,30, 2014

Timetable

Nagoya 08:51 Iseshi 10:46
Iseshi 15:38 Nagoya 17:44

*All seats are reserved seats

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 20-29, 2014
To Tokyo – March 21-30, 2014

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 05:51 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 26,27,29, May 3-6, June 7,8, 2014

Timetable
Nagoya 08:16 – 11:10 Shiojiri
Shiojiri 14:18 – 17:11 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.

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 25 to May 7 and from June 18 to 30, 2014
to Osaka — Everyday from April 26 to May 8 and from June 19 to 30, 2014

Timetable
Osaka 11:50 – Sapporo 09:52
Sapporo 14:05 – Osaka 12:53
If you need more information about Twilight Express, please refer the post, Overnight Express Train Twilight Express.

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)

Since Yamaguchi line is still closed between Tsuwano and Fukuchi due to heavy rain in last summer, this train’s schedule is still TBA.

Rapid Setouchi Marine View

This train was operated between Hiroshima and Mihara via Kure line. 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
Saturday, Sunday and holidays from March 1 to June 29, 2014

Timetable
Hiroshima 10:06 – 10:50 Kure 10:52 – Mihara 12:27
Mihara 13:25 – 14:59 Kure 15:19 – Hiroshima 16:07
This train makes a stop at Aki-Kawajiri, Yasuura, Akizu, Tadaumi, Hiro and Takehara too.

JR Shikoku (Shiokoku)

Shiman Torokko train

This train is operated along Shimanto river by open air car. This open air car has just renovated by most popular train designer, Eiji Mitooka.

Operation dates
March 21,-23, 29,30, 2014
April 5,6,12,13,19,20,26,27,29, 2014
May 3-6,10,11,17,18,24,25,31, 2014
June 1, 2014

Timetable
Until March 14
Uwajima 11:32 – Kubokawa 13:51
Kubokawa 15:01 – Uwajima 17:44
After March 15
Uwajima 10:29 – Kubokawa 13:16
Kubokawa 14:14 – Uwajima 16:46
*All seats are reserved seats. Reservation required to take this train. Non JR pass travellers must pay 510 yen for reserved seat.

Oboke Torokko train

This train is operated along Oboke gorge by open air car.

Operation dates
April 5,6,12,13,19,20,26,27,29, 2014
May 3-6,10,11,17,18,24,25,31, 2014
June 1, 2014

Timetable

Awa-Ikeda 10:44 Oboe 11:36
Awa-Ikeda 13:54 Oboe 14:35
Oboe 12:18 Awa-Ikeda 13:03
Oboe 15:08 Awa-Ikeda 15:53

*All seats are reserved seats. Reservation required to take this train. Non JR pass travellers must pay 510 yen for reserved seat.
*This train is a sort of local train. Train makes a stop at all stations on the way.

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. Please see the post, Access to Mt. Aso from Kumamoto. Kids friendly train, Limited Express Aso Boy! to get the details about this train.

Operation dates
March 15-31, 2014
April 1-6,12,13,19,20,26-30, 2014
May 1-6,10,11,17,18,24,25,31, 2014
June 1,7,8,14,15,21,22,28,29, 2014
July 5,6,12,13,19-31, 2014
August 1-31, 2014
September 6,7,13-15,22-23,27,28, 2014

Timetable

Station/train# Kumamoto Tateno Aso Miyaji
#101 10:28 11:15 11:49 12:00
#103 13:54 14:33 15:14 15:23
Station/train# Miyaji Aso Tateno Kumamoto
#102 12:22 12:27 13:01 13:41
#104 15:40 15:44 16:26 17:13

This train makes a stop at Shin-Suizenji, Suizenji, Higo-Otsu and Akamizu too.

Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi

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

Operation dates
March 1,2,8,9,15,16,21-25,27-31, 2014
April 1,3-6,12,13,19,20,26-30, 2014
May 1-6,10,11,17,18,24,25,31, 2014
June 1,7,8,14,15,21,22,28,29, 2014
July 5,6,12,13,19-22,24-29,31, 2014
August 1-5,7-12,14-19,21-26,28-31, 2014
September 6,7,13-15,20-23,27,28, 2014

Timetable

Stations to Nango to Miyazaki
Miyazaki (宮崎) 10:06 17:14
Minami-Miyazaki (南宮崎) 10:11 17:09
Tayoshi (田吉) 10:15 17:06
Kodomonokuni (子供の国) 10:25 16:51
Aoshima (青島) 10:28 16:48
Kitago (北郷) 10:56 16:23
Obi (飫肥) 11:06-11:16 16:00-16:13
Nichinan (日南) 11:23 15:54
Aburatsu (油津) 11:26 15:50
Nango (南郷) 11:42 15:35

Rapid SL Hitoyoshi

This train is connects Kumamoto with Hitoyoshi by steam locomotive and specialized passenger’s cars.

Operation dates
March 15-18,20-25,27-31, 2014
April 1,3-7,11-14,18-21,25-29, 2014
May 1-6,9-11,16-18,23-25,31, 2014
June 1,7,8,14,15,21,22,28,29, 2014
July 5,6,12,13,19-22,24-29,31, 2014
August 1-4,7-12,14-19,21-26,28-31, 2014
September 1,5-8,12-16,19-23,26-29, 2014
October 3-6,10-14,17-20,24-27,31, 2014
November 1-4,7-10,14-17,21-24, 2014

Timetable

Station/train# From Kumamoto
to Hitoyoshi
From Hitoyoshi
to Kumamoto
Kumamoto (熊本) 09:44 17:13
Shin-Yatsushiro (新八代) 10:25 16:30
Yatsushiro (八代) 10:31/10:38 16:25
Shiraishi (白石) 11:21/11:26 15:23/15:28
Isshochi (一勝地) 11:41/11:51 14:58/15:08
Hitoyoshi (人吉) 12:13 14:38

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

This train connects Kumamoto with Misumi. Misumi is the gateway station for Amakusa. JR Kyushu add one more trip after March 16.

Operation dates
March 1,2,8,9,15-31, 2014
April 1-6,11-14,18-21,25-30, 2014
May 1-7,9-12,16-19,23-26,31, 2014
June 1,7,8,14,15,21,22,28,29, 2014
July 5,6,12,13,19-31, 2014
August 1-31, 2014
September 5*,6,7,8*,12*,13-15,16*,19*,20-23,24*,26*,27,28,29*, 2014
*On Sep 5,8,12,16,19,24,26 and 29, only train #1,#2,#5 and #6 will run.

Timetable
Timetable

Station/train# Kumamoto Uto Misumi
#1 10:36 10:46 11:14
#3 12:20 12:30 13:02
#5 14:41 14:51 15:18
Station/train# Misumi Uto Kumamoto
#2 11:21 11:48 11:59
#4 13:55 14:23 14:33
#6 16:19 16:50 17:00

16 thoughts on “Schedule of 2014 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways”

  1. Dear Takeshi,

    We are holding JR pass and plan to travel from Aomori to Osaka in end Sep.
    Are there available overnight express train that we can use.
    Many thanks.
    PG

    1. Hi PG,

      Unfortunately not.
      There are some express to Tokyo. But it’s super hard to book. It is almost impossible to book after you arrive in Japan. And also JR Pass does not cover fully.
      I recommend you to use daytime trains.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. Hi,

    We are planning a trip to Nishizaka from Tokyo on October 21-30 just via Train. As suggested, we can get there from Tokyo direct to Kyoto (Oct 22), Osaka (Oct 23), Hiroshima (Oct 24), Fukuoka (Oct 25) then Nagasaki (Oct 26) and back to Tokyo (October 28/29) and depart on the 30th.

    What are the trains that run through this route in October? We plan to stop on all 6 places. Are there great overnight trains from Tokyo to each stop? We don’t have a lot of time and our main destination is really in Nagasaki where we plan to stay the longest and at least stay 1 or 2 nights in Tokyo if possible.

    Kindly advise what is your suggested train schedule. Our departure airport is still in Tokyo.

    Looking forward to your comment and suggestion.

    1. Hi Kryzel,

      First of all, you can use 14 days of JR Pass. This is the cheapest choice.
      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

      Shinkansen is your choice for transfer from Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Hakata (Fukuoka).
      http://english.jr-central.co.jp/info/timetable/_pdf/westbound.pdf
      http://english.jr-central.co.jp/info/timetable/_pdf/eastbound.pdf

      But you can’t be allowed to take Nozomi (shown by “N” in the timetable above) and Mizuho (“M”) by JR Pass. Try to take Hikari (“H”) or Sakura (“S”). Kodama (“K”) is allowed to take by JR Pass, but this is too slow.

      For Hakata-Nagasaki, you can take limited express Kamome. It’s fully covered by JR Pass.
      http://jprail.com/trains/kamome.html
      http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/time_table/time_table.html (If you click “Go to detail”, you may find the timetable at the bottom of the page)

      Regarding overnight trains, there is only Sunrise Izumo/Seto between Tokyo and Okayama.
      http://jprail.com/trains/sunrise-izumo.html

      But I don’t recommend to use overnight train. Because you can’t book in advance before you arrive in Japan. There is no way to book online. The ticket is on sale one month prior to departure date. So after you arrive in Japan, ticket may be sold out. As long as you take Shinkansen daytime, there are lots of train. It’s no problem to book. But if you can’t book for overnight train, you have to adjust your itinerary and find the place to stay after you arrive in Japan. It may be stressful.

      And also Hyperdia is very useful to plan your trip.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/hyperdia-perfect-guide-train-timetable-and-route-search-engine.html
      You can find the best transfer and connection for the trains.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Hi Takeshi

    I plan to take the Resort Shirakami from Akita to Aomori on April 11th. But at the moment I can’t find the train, leaving at 13:55 in “Hyperdia”. Can you confirm me, the train will be going?

    Greetings Stefan

    1. Hi Stefan,

      Resort Shirakami leaves Akita at 14:17. (not 13:55)
      Even if you can’t find 14:17 train on hyperdia, don’t worry. I checked JR East press release. It says 14:17 train will run on Apr 11. Seasonal train is sometimes not in the database of Hyperdia.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Hi! I have bought a JR East Pass for use from 26 Mar 2014.

    1. I plan to take Narita Express from Narita Airport to Tokyo and transfer to Asama Shinkasen to proceed to Nagano. As I don’t speak/read Japanese, how long should I buffer for the transfer at Tokyo Station to catch connecting Asama?

    2. Next day (27 Mar), I will take Rapid Resort View Furusato from Nagano to Matsumoto. As reservations are not possible on this train even though JR East Pass mostly allows reservations, do you think I will have problems catching the first morning train (or 2nd train if 1st is full)?

    3. On 28 Mar, I plan to do a day trip to Takayama on the Nouhi Bus. Although I am entitled to a good discount as JR East Pass holder, I am told that no reservations are allowed for the bus. I’m worried if I can’t get on the first bus to Takayama and return on the last bus from Takayama. Any tips pls?

    On 30 Mar, I will do Matsumoto-Tokyo (Shinjuku). I thought it’d be more interesting to take a different route to get back to Tokyo – ie, via Asuza Shinkasen. Your thoughts pls?

    4. I have booked a room in Ueno in Tokyo – any tips on best way to go from Shinjuku to Tokyo (Ueno) pls?

    1. Hi MK Khoo,

      1. 20 minutes transfer time makes you be comfortable. Please see the following post to get the details about Tokyo station.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/station-information/tokyo-station-guide-how-to-change-the-trains-shinkansen-narita-express-and-other-local-trains.html

      2. It’s very hard to guess. Because it will be school spring break in Japan. I think it will be okay. But you should prepare to take one earlier or later train in case of full.

      3. Try to get there earlier. This is only thing that you can do. I tried to find how busy this bus is. But I couldn’t find it.

      4. Just take Yamanote line and Sobu-Chuo line from Ueno to Shinjuku via Akihabara.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/station-information/tokyo-station-guide-how-to-change-the-trains-shinkansen-narita-express-and-other-local-trains.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. Hi!
    Tks for your lovely recommendation….

    Would u recommend us to take shinkansen from tokyo to Fukuoka or would you think taking a plane is cheaper?
    are there budget planes operate by japanese co. to fly to fukuoka?

    1. Hi JJ,

      I’m not very familiar with air line. So I can’t compare train and flight.
      If you take a train, you can use JR Pass. You can use the pass in the other days too. If you just compare air fare and train fare, I think air fare may be cheaper. But I’m not 100% sure.

      And also, if you have an air ticket to Tokyo, you may be able to add Tokyo – Fukuoka flight on top of the ticket by reasonable fare.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

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