When you go to southern part of Nagano from Nagano, the Limited Express Azusa is most convenient choice. You can get Matsumoto directly. And one trip of this train takes you to Hakuba and Shinano-Omachi directly.
The Limited Express Kaiji runs on the same route between Kofu and Shinjuku/Tokyo.
And the new train, “FUJI EXCURSION (Fuji-Kaiyu)” has been introduced in March 2019. This train connects Shinjuku and Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi at Mt. Fuji) directly.
I will explain you the route, schedule and accommodations of these trains.
These trains connect Shinjuku in Tokyo and Nikko, Kinugawa-Onsen. These trains run on JR line and Tobu Railway line. That means you have to pay extra if you use JR Pass. JR Pass cover JR line portion only. But if you use JR East Passes, such as JR East Pass Nagano Niigata, Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East Pass Tohoku, both JR line and Tobu Railway lines are covered. This may be complicated for you.
In this post, I will tell you about the limited express Nikko and Kinugawa. I also show you the extra fare on top of JR Pass.
Japan Railway did not announce that Japan Rail Pass user can take this class without the extra fare. The surcharge of this class 5,000 yen more than Green class. So the extra surcharge for Japan Rail Pass user will be expected.
On Feb 1, 2011, I confirmed that Japan Rail Pass can be used for Hayabusa. But if you take Gran Class, you need to pay the extra. Please refer this post to see the details.
Odoriko and Saphir Odoriko are limited express trains to Izukyu-Shimoda or Shuzenji in Izu peninsula from Tokyo and Shinjuku. As probably you know, Izu peninsula is one of most famous hot springs resort area in Japan. These express trains take you to many places, such as Atami, Ito, Kwazu and Izu-Kogen, in Izu hot springs resort from Greater Tokyo area.
Saphir Odoriko was introduced on March 14th, 2020. This train offers high-end train service. This train does not have any ordinary class seat. All seats are Green seat (business class) or Premium Green seat (first class).
In this post, I will show you the interior, timetable, trip times and other trips of Odoriko and Saphir Odoriko.
Yamagata Shinkansen is operated between Fukushima and Yamagata and Shinjo. But all train services are provided to/from Tokyo and go through Tohoku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Fukushima. It is usually coupled with Tohoku Shikansen “Yamabiko” between Tokyo and Fukushima. At Fukushima station, these trains are uncoupled. Yamagata Shinkansen go toward to Yamagata and Shinjo.
Yamagata Shikansen is sometimes called Mini Shinkansen. Because technically it is not “Real” Shinkansen. It is smaller and slower than common Shinkansen because of sharing the truck with the local trains between Fukushima and Shinjo via Yamagata.
This Shinkansen services are operated between Tokyo and 1988 Olympic winter game host city, Nagono via Ueno, Omiya, Takasaki and Karuizawa. This Shinkansen will be extended to Kanazawa by 2014 and this route is the original plan. This Shinkansen share the rail with Joetsu Shinkansen between Omiya and Takasaki. If you travel from Niigata to Nagano, you can transfer to Shinkansen at Takasaki station.
The Joetsu Shinkansen is the third oldest Shinkansen (aka Shinkansen) and runs between Tokyo and Niigata. Joetsu is the name of the region from southern Niigata prefecture to northern Gunma prefecture.
In this post, I will explain about the Joetsu Shinkansen.