Sanin area train access guide. How to access to Kinosaki, Izumo, Matsue, Tottori and other major cities in Sanin area.


Limited Express Hamakaze crossing one of famous bridge, Amarube Bridge. (C) RSA - JR West KiHa 189 series DMU on a Hamakaze limited express service crossing the Amarube Viaduct on the Sanin Main Line
Limited Express Hamakaze crossing one of famous bridge, Amarube Bridge. (C) RSA – JR West KiHa 189 series DMU on a Hamakaze limited express service crossing the Amarube Viaduct on the Sanin Main Line

I published several post about the limited express trains to Sanin area, such as Super Oki, Super Matsukaze, Super Inaba, Super Hakuto and Hamakaze. But there are some more trains from Osaka and Kyoto to Kinosaki-Onsen area. And there are several gateway stations. You might be confused.

This post shows you all trains to Sanin area, such as northern part to Hyogo and Kyoto, Tottori, Shimane and northern part to Yamaguchi. I hope you will find the right way to the place where you want to go.

Gateway stations

This map shows you all trains to Sanin area. Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail.com

As you see the map above, you can access to Sanin area from Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, Osaka, Himeji, Okayama and Shin-Yamaguchi. Let’s see how to access to major spots in Sanin area.

Kinosaki Onsen

You can catch the direct transfer from Kyoto, Osaka, Shin-Osaka and Himeji.

The newest fleet 287 series are used for Kounotori, Kinosaki and Hashidate.

From Kyoto and other cities to the east from Kyoto

Limited Express Kinosaki can take you directly. Average travel time is 2 hours 25 minutes. If you travel from Nagoya, Yokohama and Tokyo, you can transfer to this train from Shinkansen at Kyoto.
Please see the post, Direct transfer to Kinosaki and Maizuru from Kyoto, Limited Express Kinosaki / Maizuru to get the details.

From Shin-Osaka, Osaka and other cities to the west from Osaka

Limited Express Kounotori is available. All trains depart from Shin-Osaka and stop at Osaka station. Average travel time is 2 hour 40 minutes. If you travel from Okayama, Hiroshima and Hakata, you can transfer to this train at Shin-Osaka.
Please see the post, Direct transfer to Kinosaki from Osaka, Limited Express Kounotori to get the details.

From Himeji and Kobe

Limited Express Hamakaze departs from Osaka. But this train takes the different route from Limited Express Kounotori. This train stops at Sannomiya, Kobe and Himeji. There are only 3 round trips. But if you can catch this train at Himeji or transfer at Himeji from Okayama, Hiroshima or Hakata, this route is faster than Kounotori’s route.
Please see the post, Access to Tottori from Osaka, Kobe and Himeji with no extra charge by JR Pass. Limited Express Hamakaze to get the details.

Amanohashidate

Direct access from Kyoto is available. But Amanohashidate is not located on JR lines, but Kitakinki Tango Railway. You need to pay extra if you use Japan Rail Pass or JR West Kansai WIDE Area Pass.

From Kyoto and other cities to the east from Kyoto

Limited Express Hashidate is available. Average travel time is 2 hours. You can transfer to this train from Shinkansen at Kyoto.
Please see the post, Direct transfer to Amanohashidate from Kyoto, Limited Express Hashidate to get the details.
You can also take Limited Express Kinosaki to Fukuchiyama and transfer to local or express train of Kitakinki Tango Railway.

From Osaka and other cities to the west from Osaka

There is no direct access to Amanohashidate. Take Limited Express Kounotori to Fukuchiyama and transfer to local or express train of Kitakinki Tango Railway. Some Kounotori connect Limited Express Hashidate at Fukuchiyama.
You cannot use Limited Express Hamakaze because this train does not stop at Fukuchiyama. Fukuchiyama is the junction to Amanohashidate.

Tottori

Direct access from Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, Osaka, Sannomiya (Kobe), Himeji and Okayama is available.

Super Hakuto is operated by HOT 7000 series that is one of the fastest diesel fleet in Japan.

From Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, Osaka, Sannomiya and Himeji

Limited Express Super Hakuto takes you there directly. But this train goes through non JR line, Chizu Kyuko Railway. That means you need to pay extra if you use Japan Rail Pass.
Please see the post, The fastest train access to Tottori from Osaka and Kyoto. Limited Express Super Hakuto to get the details.
If you access to Tottori from Nagoya or Tokyo by Shinkansen, you can transfer to this train at one of three stations, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka or Himeji.
If you catch the train at Osaka, Sannomiya or Himeji, you can use Limited Express Hamakaze too. But there is only one round trips. It is so hard to squeeze into the schedule.

From Okayama

Limited Express Super Inaba is available. But this train takes Chizu Kyuko Railway too. You have to pay extra on Japan Rail Pass.
Please see the post, The fastest train access to Tottori from Okayama. Limited Express Super Inaba to get the details.
The first departure from Okayama is connected with Overnigtht train Sunrise Seto and Overnight train Sunrise Izumo. This overnight route from Tokyo to Tottori is very popular.
If you really do not want to pay extra on Japan Rail Pass, you can use Limited Express Yakumo (if you take Sunrise Izumo from Tokyo, continue to travel) to Yonago. And transfer to Limited Express Super Matsukaze or Limited Express Super Oki. But this route is a big detour. You might spend more than 1.5 hour than Super Inaba direct route.

Yonago, Matsue and Izumoshi

These cities can be accessed from both Okayama and Shin-Yamaguchi.

Limited Express Yakumo is most frequent trains to Sanin area. There are 15 round trips a day available.

From Okayama

This is the most popular route to get those cities. Limited Express Yakumo gives you direct access. Travel times are 2 hours 10 minutes to Yanago, 2 hours 30 minutes to Matsue and 3 hours to Izumoshi.
Please read the post, Most convenient access to Yonago, Matsue and Izumo, Limited Express Yakumo to get the details.
If you travel from Tokyo, Overnight train Sunrise Izumo is a good choice too.
You can access to Okayama by Shinkansen. All Shinkansen trains stop at Okayama. You can transfer from Shinkansen to Limited Express Yakumo easily.

From Shin-Yamaguchi

Limited Express Super Oki is suspended between Masuda and Shin-Yamaguchi due to closure on Yamaguchi line. Please see Train operation status to get more details.

If you access from Kyushu, such as Hakata, Kokura, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Limited Express Super Oki from Shin-Yamaguchi may be faster than Limited Express Yakumo. Shin-Yamaguchi is Shinkansen station. However there are not many Shinkansen trains that stop at Shin-Yamaguchi. And there are only 3 round trips from Shin-Yamaguchi. But if you can catch Super Oki, travel times are 3 hours 30 minutes to Izumoshi, 4 hours to Matsue and 4 hours 30 minutes to Yonago. Especially it takes 3 hours from Okayama to Izumoshi. You have to think about travel time to get Okayama if you travel from Kyushu. It is 1 hour 50 minutes from Hakata to Okayama and 1 hours from Hakata to Shin-Yamaguchi.
Please get the details about Limited Express Super Oki at the post, Access to Tsuwano, Izumo, Matsue from Yamaguchi. Limited Express Super Oki.

Masuda and Odashi

Direct access is available from Shin-Yamaguchi. You may transfer the trains at Yonago, Matsue and Izumoshi.

From Shin-Yamaguchi

As you saw above, Limited Express Super Oki is only direct access train from major Shinkansen stations.

Transfer at other stations in Sanin area

Please think about combination with other cities in Sanin area, There are another 7 round trips of Limited Express Super Matsukaze between Yonago and Izumoshi. It is much easier to catch the trains than Shin-Yamaguchi route.
Please read the post, Inter-city train in Tottori and Shimane. Limited Express Super Matsukaze to get the details.

Tsuwano

You can access there from Shin-Yamaguchi by Limited Express Super Oki. And also seasonal train SL Yamaguchi is available during mostly weekend from March to November. I have not written about this train yet. You can find some images at the official site (Japanese). And you can find the operation dates at Seasonal Trains Schedule.

4 thoughts on “Sanin area train access guide. How to access to Kinosaki, Izumo, Matsue, Tottori and other major cities in Sanin area.”

  1. Dear Sir,
    I really appreciate all of you posts and I thank you for all the information you provide people with.
    Jean Pierre Bartoli

  2. Hi,

    Thanks again for the very informative posts.

    My only time to the Sanin coast is to Masuda and many years ago to Maizaru, I hope to get to Tottori, Matsue sometime, and this post will make it easier.

    I notice many of the routes are using brand new rolling stock, I wonder why as I assume it is not a particularily busy section of Japan?

    Andy

    1. Hi Andy,
      That’s right. It is not a busy section. But lots of highway bus lines competes with JR lines. So JR wants to offer faster train service. However they cannot invest lots for the truck or electrify because it is not busy section. And there are mountains between Sanyo and Sanin. It is very hard to offer faster train service by old fleet. And also it is impossible to make 2 or 3 cars train formation by old fleet. Because most of JR express trains used to be long formation, like 6 cars at lease and include Green car and dining car. But it is too much for the demand lately.
      These are reason why JR need to introduce new fleet. But personally I miss old rolling stock so much. :(
      Cheers,
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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