The Limited Express Kamui and Lilac: Inter-city express between Sapporo and Asahikawa

Limited express train Kamui
The limited express train Kamui

These limited express trains, Kamui and Lilac connect Sapporo and Asahikawa. Kamui and Lilac run on exactly same route. The only difference is accommodation. Lilac has Green seat and Kamui does not. But the reserved ordinary seat of Kamui is called “U seat”. It offers a better seat with some extra equipments. But it is a sort of a reserved ordinary seat, so JR Pass Ordinary covers this seat.

In this post, I will explain about these Lilac and Kamui.

Route and timetable

Kamui and Lilac connect Asahikawa and Sapporo in 1 hour and 25 minutes. These trains run almost every 30 minutes in daytime and operated 24 round trips a day.

You can find the timetable of the major trains in Hokkaido in the link below.

Due to COVID-19, it may be operated on a schedule different from the normal timetable. Check the train schedule on Hyperdia.
Hyperdia perfect guide, train timetable and route search engine

View Super Kamui in a larger map

Seat and facilities

789 series for Lilac (C) Rsa (Own work) GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Both Kamui and Lilic are operated by 789 series. But there are two kinds of 789 series fleets.

As I mentioned, a reserved ordinary seat on Kamui is called “U seat”. Kamui does not have any Green seat, but this “u seat” is more spacious than non reserved ordinary class. Of course you can take this seat without any extra charges on the JR Pass ordinary. U seat also offers a power outlet. You can charge your small device.

Lilac has Green class seat, reserved ordinary seat and non reserved ordinary seat. Reserved seat of Lilac is not called U seat because both reserved and non reserved have same type of accommodation. But reserved seats on car #1 have a power outlet.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.

Train formation

Lilic 6 cars formation


Kamui 5 cars formation


*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat
Smoking is not allowed on this train.

Images – 789 series (for Kamui)

U seat (reserved ordinary seat)

Ordinary seat (non reserved seat)

Sanitary space

Images – 789 series (for Lilic)

Green seat

Ordinary seat

Sanitary space


  1. Steve Christenson says:

    History question. In August of 1984 I was attempting to travel from Sapporo to Kushiro. I took a limited express train and started to feel something was wrong… I finally discovered that the train I was on had 2 sections… one to Kushiro and the other to Abashiri. I got on the wrong section and ended up in Abashiri.

    My question is do you know what route this train would have traveled? I’m thinking that it must have traveled on the now closed Furusato Ginga Line for part of the journey. Any idea of where I might find a copy of this schedule (online)?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Steve,

      If you arrived in Abashiri and then moved to Kushiro, you probably got on the Semmo Line.

      Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the schedule for the Semmo Main Line and Furusato Ginga Line at that time.


      Takeshi /

      • Steven C Christenson says:

        No I did not go to Kushiro first and then go up to Abashiri. The train had 2 sections and split at some point, one going to Kushiro and the other to Abashiri. The only thing that I can think of is the now closed Furusato Ginga Line. I do recall it was a very rural line. Thank you for looking.

        • There was a limited express Otori that combined the train bound for Kushiro and Abashiri from Hakodate via Sapporo. But the train bound for Kushiro was separeted in 1970. Since then, as far as I know, there is no trains which has two sections for Kushiro and Abashiri.

          Perhaps, as of 1984, there was a seasonal express train that combined Kushiro and Abashiri. However, it is very difficult to find these trains because there are too many types and many of them are not recorded.

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