Shirasagi runs between Nagoya, Maibara and Kanazawa. This train is the fastest transfer from Nagoya and Maibara to Hokuriku region, such as Kanazawa and Fukui. This train is very popular for both a business and a leisure travelers. Because there are several popular locations along the route, such as Awara-Onsen hot springs, Kaga-Onsen hot spring. And Kanazawa is the biggest city in Hokuriku area and it is very popular tourist destination as well.
This train, Shirasagi is fully covered by JR Pass. And if you use Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass or Hokuriku Arch Pass, only the segment between Kanazawa and Tsuruga are covered. If you use Takayama Hokuriku area pass, the segment between Tsuruga and Gifu is not covered.
Hashidate connects Kyoto and Miyazu, Amanohashidate and Toyooka. This is only train to go directly one of “Three Views of Japan”, Amanohashidate.
This train, Hashidate goes through KTR (Kyoto Tango Railway) between Fukuchiyama and Toyooka. So if you use this train and go to stations further than Fukuchiyama by Japan Rail Pass, you have to pay extra fare. But if you use Kansai Wide Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass or Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass, this segment on KTR is covered.
I would like to share with you about this train’s route, schedule, accommodations. I will also explain about the extra charge for Japan Rail Pass users.
Kinosaki (きのさき) connects Kyoto (京都) with Kinosaki-Onsen (城崎温泉), Toyooka (豊岡) and Fukuchiyama (福知山). When you go to the popular hot springs town, Kinosaki or one of “Three Views of Japan”, Amanohashidate (天橋立) from Kyoto you may take this train.
Maizuru (まいづる) connects Kyoto with Maizuru (舞鶴). This limited express train is always combined operation with Kinosaki between Kyoto and Ayabe (綾部).
Konotori connects Shin-Osaka (新大阪) and Osaka (大阪) with Kinosaki-Onsen (城崎温泉), Toyooka (豊岡) and Fukuchiyama (福知山). When you go to the popular hot springs town, Kinosaki or one of “Three Views of Japan”, Amanohashidate from Osaka, you may take this train.
Limited express “Midori” connects the gateway city in Kyushu, Hakata with very historical port city Sasebo. Some of trains are operated with Limited Express “Huis Ten Bosch” that is most popular theme park in Kyushu. When you go to Sasebo or Huis Ten Bosch, take Shinkansen to Hakata and change these trains.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
***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
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.
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
“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.
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.
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
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.
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.