Direct transfer to Furano from Sapporo. Limited Express Furano Lavender Express / Furano Koyo Express

KIHA183 Crystal Express is one of the trains to use for Tomamu-Sahoro Express trains. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
KIHA183 Crystal Express is one of the trains to use for Tomamu-Sahoro Express trains. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Furano Lavender Express (フラノラベンダーエクスプレス) and Furano Koyo Express (フラノ紅葉エクスプレス) are limited express trains to Furano (富良野) directly from Sapporo (札幌). These trains can be used by Japan Rail Pass with no extra charge. Furano is one of very popular spot in Hokkaido for the tourists. These trains are the seasonal operation trains because the lavender season in summer time and the fall color leaves in September are busy periods. So when you build your itinerary, please check the latest operation date before you put this train in your plan.

Seasonal trains information.

I will show you some images of this train and tell you the details. Continue reading Direct transfer to Furano from Sapporo. Limited Express Furano Lavender Express / Furano Koyo Express

The Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi train guide. Easy rail excursion along Nichinan coast in Miyazaki

Limited Express train Umisachi-Yamasachi is operated by refurbished KIHA125 series.
Limited Express train Umisachi-Yamasachi is operated by refurbished KIHA125 series.

Umisachi-Yamasachi (海幸山幸) is limited express train that is operated between Miyazaki (宮崎) and Nango (南郷). This train is named from Yamasachihiko (山幸彦) and Umisachihiko (海幸彦) in Japanese mythology.

This is not a real express train and is a kind of cruising train for sightseeing along Nichinan line (日南線). This train is suitable for the tourists who go to Aoshima (青島) and Udo Jingu shrine (鵜戸神宮) at Nichinan coastline (日南海岸). This train makes your trip more memorable.

If you use Japan Rail Pass, you can take this train with no extra cost. I will show you some images of this train and tell you the details.

*I got on this train in mid March, 2012. Please refer My trip to Udo Jingu shrine by local bus and limited express train Umisachi-Yamasachi..

Continue reading The Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi train guide. Easy rail excursion along Nichinan coast in Miyazaki

The limited express Isaburo / Shinpei train guide. The train takes you to one of three best views from the train.

Isaburo Shipei
Kiha 140 series for Isaburo / Shinpei (C) Rsa [CC BY-SA 3.0 from Creatvie Commons]

The limited express Isaburo / Shinpei runs between Kumamoto, Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu. This train is also known as one of JR Kyushu’s sightseeing trains. It runs along Kumagawa river between Yatsushiro and Hitoyoshi. And the train goes in the mountain between Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu. These segments are very scenic.

This train is called as two train names but this is same train. The only difference is the direction. Isaburo runs from Kumamoto and Shinpei runs from Yoshimatsu. Both Isaburo and Shipei are the name of the key persons when the construction of this section was completed. Isaburo is the named from Isaburo Yamagata who was the minister of transportations and telecommunications. Shinpei is named from Shinpei Goto who was the president of Japanese Government Railways.

I would like to explain about this train in this post.

Continue reading The limited express Isaburo / Shinpei train guide. The train takes you to one of three best views from the train.

Very popular cruising train to Kirishima and Yoshimatsu from Kagoshima. The Limited Express Hayato no Kaze

Hayato no Kaze is operated by restored KIHA 147 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Hayato no Kaze is operated by restored KIHA 147 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Hayato no Kaze is the limited express train that runs between Kagoshima-Chuo with Yoshimatsu. You can take this train by Japan Rail Pass with no extra charge. This train is the limited express train but this train is slow on Hisatsu line. Hisatsu line is very scenic route. This train is operated by specialized KIHA 147 series. The fleet of this train was fully renovated and it has very cozy Japanese atmosphere. The attendants are on board. They guide you about the scenery of Hisatsu line. This train stop at Kirishima-Onsen station. So you can take this train when you go to Kirishima mountains.

I will show you many images of this train and explain the details.

Continue reading Very popular cruising train to Kirishima and Yoshimatsu from Kagoshima. The Limited Express Hayato no Kaze

Intercity train between Kagoshima and Miyazaki. Limited Express Kirishima

Some of Nichirin and Hyuga are operated by 783 series.
783 series is used for some of Kirishima train set.

Kirishima (きりしま) connects Miyazaki (宮崎) with Kagoshima-Chuo (鹿児島中央). This train is an intercity train and stop at lots of regional cities in Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures. If you travel along the southeast coast of Kyushu, you may need to take this train. Especially when you go to Kirishima mountains, you can take this train to Kirishima-Jingu (霧島神宮). And then transfer to the local bus.

Let’s see about route, schedule and accommodations of these trains. Continue reading Intercity train between Kagoshima and Miyazaki. Limited Express Kirishima

Intercity train between Oita/Beppu and Miyazaki. Limited Express Nichirin / Hyuga

JR Kyushu's best train 787 series was started to use for Nichirin on Mar 12, 2011.
JR Kyushu’s best train 787 series was started to use for Nichirin on Mar 12, 2011.

Nichirin (にちりん) connects Beppu (別府) and Oita (大分) with Miyazaki (宮崎) and Miyazaki airport (宮崎空港). A few of Nichirin are extended to operate to Nakatsu (中津) and even Hakata (博多). Hyuga (ひゅうが) is an intercity train in Miyazaki prefecture. This train is operated on same route as Nichirin. But it is operated between Nobeoka (延岡) and Miyazaki airport. If you travel along the east coast of Kyushu, you may need to take these trains.

Both Nichirin and Hyuga can be used by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction. Let’s see about route, schedule and accommodations of these trains. Continue reading Intercity train between Oita/Beppu and Miyazaki. Limited Express Nichirin / Hyuga

Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu), train connects Kumamoto to Beppu via Aso.

Limited Express Trans Kyushu Limited Express and Kumagawa are operated by KIHA 185 series.
Limited Express Trans Kyushu Limited Express and Kumagawa are operated by KIHA 185 series.

Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu=九州横断特急) connects both west and east coast of Kyushu. It connects Beppu, Oita and Kumamoto. The biggest volcano, Mt. Aso is located in the middle of this trains’ route.

Due to a huge damage by earthquake, a part of Houhi line between Aso and Kumamoto is closed. This train runs only between Beppu, Oita and Aso until further notice.

Trans-Kyushu Limited Express is covered by Japan Rail Pass fully. I will explain about the train’s route, schedule and accommodations of these trains. Continue reading Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu), train connects Kumamoto to Beppu via Aso.

Very popular train to Yufuin from Hakata and Oita. Limited Express Yufuin no Mori / Yufu

The newer fleet KIHA 72 series is used for two round trips of Yufuin no Mori. As of July, 2015, one more car was added to this train set. Not it is five cars formation.
The newer fleet KIHA 72 series is used for two round trips of Yufuin no Mori. As of July, 2015, one more car was added to this train set. Not it is five cars formation.

These trains connect Hakata (博多) with Yufuin (由布院) and Oita (大分) or Beppu (別府). Yufuin is one of the most popular hot springs resort in Kyushu. This is the train that you need to take when you go to Yufuin. Of course these train’s name are named from Yufuin. “Yufuin no Mori” means Yufuin’s forest. These two trains are operated on same route and fully covered by JR Pass. But Yufuin no Mori is operated by the specialized car, KIHA-71 or 72 series. This express train is one of the best in JR Kyushu train and very very popular. So I strongly recommend to take Yufuin no Mori, not Yufu.

I will explain about the route, schedule and accommodations of these trains in this post. Continue reading Very popular train to Yufuin from Hakata and Oita. Limited Express Yufuin no Mori / Yufu

Access to World Heritage Kii mountains from Nagoya. Limited Express Wide View Nanki

Wide View Nanki at Kuwana station (C)800px-JRC_Kiha85_Series01 / User:Kansai explorer
Wide View Nanki at Kuwana station (C)800px-JRC_Kiha85_Series01 / User:Kansai explorer

Wide View Nanki (ワイドビュー南紀) is a Limited Express train that connects Nagoya (名古屋) with Shingu (新宮) and Kii-Katsuura (紀伊勝浦). Nanki (南紀) is the name of the area in Kii peninsula (紀伊半島). When you go to UNESCO World Heritage site, “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” from Nagoya, you can use this train and access there from Shingu. This train is operated by KIHA 85 series that equips very huge windows. It can offer to passengers very panoramic view. That is why this train is called “Wide View”. Continue reading Access to World Heritage Kii mountains from Nagoya. Limited Express Wide View Nanki

Overnight limited express train Nihonkai

Overnight train Nihonkai is the best way to save the time from Osaka to Aomori (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Overnight train Nihonkai is the best way to save the time from Osaka to Aomori (C) Sonic Rail Garden

***This train scheduled service was discontinued on March, 2012 due to small demand. It is operated as a seasonal operation train. Please refer the most updated operation date at Seasonal Trains Schedule.***

Nihonkai (日本海) is one of JR Overnight Express trains. It connects Osaka (大阪) with Akita (秋田) and Aomori (青森). This train has only the berth. So if you will use Japan Rail Pass, Japan Rail Pass does not cover an accommodation charge and also limited express surcharge. Even though Japan Rail Pass cover a basic fare, Nihonkai is still considerable way to get Aomori from Osaka. Let’s see the types of accommodation and extra charge. Continue reading Overnight limited express train Nihonkai

Access to Kochi from Okayama/Takamatsu. Limited Express Nanpu/Shimanto

JR Shikoku 2000 series Anpanman car
JR Shikoku 2000 series Anpanman car

Shimanto Connects Takamatsu (高松) with Kochi (高知), Nakamura (中村) and Sukumo (宿毛). Nanpu depatrs from Okayama to Kochi, Nakamura and Sukumo via Seto Ohashi bridge (瀬戸大橋). Most of these trains are combined to operate between Utazu (宇多津) and Kochi, Nakamura and Sukumo. These trains are operated on Non JR line, “Tosa Kuroshio Railway” between Kubokawa (窪川) and Sukumo. If you take these trains on this section, you need to pay some extra. I will show you the extra fare below.

When you go to Kochi, use Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama (岡山) and transfer to Nanpu at Okayama. Most of Nanpu are connected with Nozomi, Hikari, Mizuho and Sakura in right connection time. Continue reading Access to Kochi from Okayama/Takamatsu. Limited Express Nanpu/Shimanto

Access to Matsuyama and Uwajima from Okayama and Takamatsu. Limited Express Shiokaze/Ishizuchi

JR Shikoku 8000 series at Takamatsu station (C) Blue Works
JR Shikoku 8000 series at Takamatsu station (C) JP Rail

Ishizuchi Connects Takamatsu (高松) with Matsuyama (松山) and Uwajima (宇和島). Shiokaze depatrs from Okayama to Matsuyama and Uwajima via Seto Ohashi bridge (瀬戸大橋). Most of these trains are combined to operate between Utazu (宇多津) and Matsuyama/Uwajima. When you go to Matsuyama, use Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama (岡山) and transfer to Shiokaze at Okayama. Most of Shiokaze are connected with Nozomi, Hikari, Mizuho and Sakura in right connection time at Okayama. Of course these trains can be used by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction. Continue reading Access to Matsuyama and Uwajima from Okayama and Takamatsu. Limited Express Shiokaze/Ishizuchi

Express train service to Yonago, Matsue and Izumo from Okayama and Kurashiki, Limited Express Yakumo

Limited express Yakumo by JR West 381 series.
Limited express Yakumo by JR West 381 series.

Yakumo is an inter-city train that connects Aomori with several cities in Okayama (=岡山), and Sanin area. (=山陰地方), such as Yonago (=米子), Matsue (=松江) and Izumoshi (=出雲市). You can transfer from Sanyo Shinkansen at Okayama. Okayama is only 40-50 minutes away from Shin-Osaka by Sanyo Shinkansen. This train is fully cover by Japan Rail Pass. Let’s see the details. Continue reading Express train service to Yonago, Matsue and Izumo from Okayama and Kurashiki, Limited Express Yakumo

Express train service to Fuji, Shizuoka and Kofu from Shizuoka. Limited Express Fujikawa

JR Tokai 373 series is used for Limited express Fujikawa.
JR Tokai 373 series is used for Limited express Fujikawa.

“Fujikawa” is operated between Shizuoka (=静岡) and Kofu (=甲府) via Minobu line (=身延線). If you go to Mt. Fuji (=富士山) from west side, this train takes you to the gateway stations, Fuji or Fujinomiya. And also this is a short cut route from Shizuoka to Kofu. If you want to go to Matsumoto, Kobuchizawa or Lake Suwa from Shizuoka, ride on this train and transfer to Limited Express Super Azusa or Limited Express Azusa. This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass.

If you are looking for any informations about approaching Mt. Fuji, please try one of my post, “How to use Japan Rail Pass to go to Mt. Fuji“. You can get some information how you use Japan Rail Pass to get there. Continue reading Express train service to Fuji, Shizuoka and Kofu from Shizuoka. Limited Express Fujikawa

Narita Express, JR’s express train service between Narita airport and Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinagawa, Yokohama

E259 series is the fleet for Narita Express.
E259 series is the fleet for Narita Express.

Narita Express may be your first train in Japan. It is operated between Narita airport and Greater Tokyo area, such as Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Shibuya. And also service is extended to Yokohama, Totsuka, Ofuna and Omiya. This train stops both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 in Narita airport.

Continue reading Narita Express, JR’s express train service between Narita airport and Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinagawa, Yokohama

Express train service between Aomori and Akita, Limited Express Tsugaru

Limited Express Tsugaru operated by E751 series
Limited Express Tsugaru operated by E751 series

Tsugaru is an inter-city train that connects Aomori with several cities in Akita Pre. (秋田県) and Aomori Pref. (青森県), such as Hirosaki (弘前) and Oodate (大館). You can transfer from Tohoku Shinkansen at Shin-Aomori, and Akita Shinkansen at Akita. If you go to Hirosaki or Oodate, using Tohoku Shinkanse is the faster than Akita Shinansen connection. Of course this train and Tohoku or Akita Shinkansen are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. Continue reading Express train service between Aomori and Akita, Limited Express Tsugaru

Express train service between Niigata and Akita, Limited Express Inaho

E653 series was transferred from Joban line's limited express Hitachi. And it was fully renovated and it looks a brand new fleet. (C) James Chuang
E653 series was transferred from Joban line’s limited express Hitachi. And it was fully renovated and it looks a brand new fleet. (C) James Chuang

Inaho is an inter-city train that connects Niigata with several cities in Shonai area (庄内地方) where is located between Niigata and Akita, such as Murakami (村上) and Tsuruoka (鶴岡) and Akita (秋田). You can transfer from Joetsu Shinkansen at Niigata and Akita Shinkansen at Akita. If you go to Akita from Tokyo, take Tohoku and Akita Shinkansen. This route is way faster than Joetsu Shinansen and Inaho. If you go to several cities in Shonai area (庄内地方) where is located between Niigata and Akita, such as Murakami (村上) and Tsuruoka (鶴岡) , Joetsu Shinkansen and Inaho route is faster than Tohoku, Akita Shinaknsen and Inaho from Akita route. Of course Japan Rail Pass cover both Akita route and Niigata route. There is no restriction with using Japan Rail Pass. Continue reading Express train service between Niigata and Akita, Limited Express Inaho

Overnight transfer to Aomori/Akita from Tokyo, No extra charge on Japan Rail Pass! Overnight limited express Akebomo


***This train scheduled service was discontinued in March, 2014 due to small demand.***

Overnight train "Akebono"
Overnight train Akebono

This overnight train is operated between Ueno and Aomori. Japan Railway operate 3 overnight trains between Tokyo and Tohoku or Hokkaido. But only “Akebono” has the reserved seat. The other two trains, “Hokutosei” and “Cassiopeia”, have only the sleeper. If you take sleeper class by Japan Rail Pass, Japan Rail Pass is valid for the basic fare only. You have to pay not only sleeper class surcharge but also limited express surcharge. That means you do not need to pay the extra to get “Akebono” because this train has the reserved seat. Continue reading Overnight transfer to Aomori/Akita from Tokyo, No extra charge on Japan Rail Pass! Overnight limited express Akebomo

The Limited Express Azusa, Super Azusa, Kaiji, and Fuji Excursion (Fuji-Kaiyu) for Matsumoto, Kofu, Kawaguchiko, Shinano-Omachi and Hakuba from Shinjuku

New fleet E353 series has been introduced in December, 2017. (C) DAJF / Wikimedia Commons

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.

Continue reading The Limited Express Azusa, Super Azusa, Kaiji, and Fuji Excursion (Fuji-Kaiyu) for Matsumoto, Kofu, Kawaguchiko, Shinano-Omachi and Hakuba from Shinjuku

Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka route and timetable. Direct access to Shin Osaka, Tennoji and Kyoto from Kansai airport

Limited Express Haruka connects Kansai airport and Kyoto via Tennoji and Shin-Osaka.
Limited Express Haruka connects Kansai airport and Kyoto via Tennoji and Shin-Osaka.

Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka may be your first train if you arrive in Kansai airport. It is operated between Kansai (Osaka) airport, Tennoji, Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Kusatsu and Maibara. But please be careful that Haruka does not stop at Osaka station. It stop at Tennoji and Shin-Osaka. If you want to go to Osaka station, you have to transfer to the local train at Shin-Osaka. This express train has 30 round trips a day and are operated mostly every 30 minutes.

Continue reading Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka route and timetable. Direct access to Shin Osaka, Tennoji and Kyoto from Kansai airport

The limited express Nikko and Kinugawa. The train connects Shinjuku and Nikko, Kinugawa Onsen directly

Tobu Railway Limited Express "Spacia" (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Tobu Railway Limited Express “Spacia” (C) Sonic Rail Garden

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.

Continue reading The limited express Nikko and Kinugawa. The train connects Shinjuku and Nikko, Kinugawa Onsen directly

The limited express Kuroshio train guide. The train takes you to Kii, Kumano, Shingu, Katsuura and Shirahama from Osaka and Kyoto

Panda Kuroshio
One of train sets has Panda face.

The limited express Kuroshio connects Kii peninsula, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and Tennoji. This is the train which you take to get Shingu, Kii-Katsuura, Shirahama, Kii-Tanabe. These places are known as the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage site, “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”.

This train is covered by JR Pass, Kansai Wide Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass and Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass.

I will show you more information about this train in this post.

Continue reading The limited express Kuroshio train guide. The train takes you to Kii, Kumano, Shingu, Katsuura and Shirahama from Osaka and Kyoto

Compare many rail services and shuttle bus. How to get downtown Tokyo from Narita airport.

Narita Airport departure floor © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO
Narita Airport departure floor © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO

Narita airport is mostly your gateway to explore in Japan. But Narita airport is not close to downtown Tokyo. You have to think about a transportation to downtown Tokyo. Let’s see which way is the best for you. Continue reading Compare many rail services and shuttle bus. How to get downtown Tokyo from Narita airport.

The limited express Odoriko and Saphir Odoriko train ride guide. The express trains which run between Tokyo, Yokohama, Izu and Atami

257 series runs for Odoriko (C) Rsa / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

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.

Continue reading The limited express Odoriko and Saphir Odoriko train ride guide. The express trains which run between Tokyo, Yokohama, Izu and Atami

Express train to Nagasaki from Fukuoka (Hakata). Limited Express Kamome

Limited express Kamome is operated by one of the most updated train, JR Kyushu 885 series.
Limited express Kamome is operated by one of the most updated train, JR Kyushu 885 series.

This limited express train connects the gateway city in Kyushu, Hakata with very historical port city Nagasaki. Some of trains are operated between Hakata and Saga, Hizen-Kashima. When you go to Nagasaki, take Shinkansen to Hakata and change this train to Nagasaki. Unzen Amakusa National Park from Isahaya.

This express train can be used by Japan Rail Pass without any restrictions. So let’s see the details. Continue reading Express train to Nagasaki from Fukuoka (Hakata). Limited Express Kamome