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

Yufuin no MoriHakata, Kokura
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.
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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.

Route, schedule and trip time

The number of trips are the following:
Yufuin no Mori (ゆふいんの森): 2 round trips between Hakata and Yufuin, and 1 round trip between Hakata and Oita
Yufu (ゆふ): 2 round trips between Hakata and Beppu, and one round trip between Hakata and Oita
These trains connect Hakata with Yufuin in 2 hours 10-15 minutes, and with Oita in 3 hours. There is no difference for the time required between Yufuin no Mori and Yufu. But the accommodation is completely different.

You can check the timetable at JR Kyushu website (English).

Stations
Hakata (博多)x
Futsukaichi (二日市)x
Tosu (鳥栖)x
Kurume (久留米)x
Kurume Daigakumae (久留米大学前)*
Tanushimaru (田主丸)*
Chikugo-Yoshii (筑後吉井)x
Ukiha (うきは)*
Hita (日田)x
Amagase (天ヶ瀬)x
Bungomori (豊後森)x
Bungo-Nakamura (豊後中村)x
Yufuin (由布院)x
Yunohira (湯平)x
Mukainoharu (向之原)x
Oita (大分)x
Beppu (別府)*

x:All train stop *:Some of trains stop


View Yufuin no Mori in a larger map

Limited Express Yufuin no Mori is operated by KIHA-71 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

One round trip of Limited Express Yufuin no Mori is operated by KIHA-71 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Accommodation and train formations

Both Yufuin no Mori and Yufu do not have any green car.
Yufuin no Mori is operated by KIHA-71 or KIHA-72 series. KIHA-72 is newer than KIHA-71. Those trains are produced for the resort express train to Yufuin hot springs resort. Even though these trains have no green car, those give you a higher passengers seat and it offers a great view through huge windows. Those trains have same concept and same shape. Either KIHA-71 or 72 will satisfy your riding experience.

Yufu is operated by KIHA 185 series. This is not bad but it is nothing special.

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

You may see lots of this logo inside and outside of this train. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

You may see lots of this logo inside and outside of this train. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Yufuin no Mori KIHA-71 series

The seat configurations are 2+2 and the seat pitch is 960mm. There are “Buffet” (Cafeteria) and salon space. Usually this series is used for Yufuin no Mori #3 and #4.

Images

Ordinary seat
Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series ordinary seat

Buffet (Cafeteria and kiosk)
Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Buffet (Cafeteria)

Salon space
Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Salon space

Sanitary space
Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Sanitary space

Passenger’s deck and common space
Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA71 series Common space

Train formation

1234
RR/BS/RR

R=Reserved ordinary seat B=Buffet (cafeteria and kiosk) S=Salon space

Yufuin no Mori KIHA-72 series

This is newer than KIHA-71 series. But it looks very similar. The concept of this series is almost same as KIHA-71, like higher passenger’s deck and buffet. But this series does not have any salon space. The seat configurations are 2+2 and the seat pitch is 1000mm. These cars give you a bigger leg space. There are “Buffet” (Cafeteria) too. And this series has semi compartment on car #3. Usually this series is used for Yufuin no Mori #1, #2, #5 and #6.

Images

Ordinary seat
Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat

Semi compartment on Car #3
Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series ordinary seat semi compartment

Buffet (Cafeteria and kiosk)
Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria) Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria), The menu shows you that Bento is 750 yen, Fried noodle is 700 yen, soft drinks are 100 to 350 yen. Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Buffet (Cafeteria), This menu shows you that snacks and dessert are 200 to 850 yen. Original goods are 300 to 2000 yen.

Sanitary space
Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Sanitary space

Passenger’s deck and common space
Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Common space Yufuin no Mori KIHA72 series Common space

Train formation

1234
RRB/RR

R=Reserved ordinary seat B=Buffet (cafeteria and kiosk)

KIHA 185 series is the standard car for Yufu. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

KIHA 185 series is the standard car for Yufu. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Yufu KIHA-185 series

This train is the standard train. This is okay. But Yufuin no Mori is way better than this train. The seat configuration is 2+2. This series has been restored several times. So the seat pitch is 940 mm and some cars give you more space, 1020 mm. Yufu does not have any dining facilities and on board sales. So please buy something to eat and drink before boarding.

*Be careful!!! When KIHA 71 or 72 series for Yufuin no Mori is in maintenance, this 185 series is replaced.

Images

Ordinary seat
Yufu KIHA185 series ordinary seat Yufu KIHA185 series ordinary seat Yufu KIHA185 series ordinary seat Yufu KIHA185 series ordinary seat

Sanitary space
Yufu KIHA185 series sanitary space

Train formation

123
RR/NRR

R=Reserved ordinary seat NR=Non reserved ordinary seat

Comments

  1. ploy says:

    hi
    i plan to traveling from hakata to yufuin on dec 23,2014 by jr northern kyushu pass. and just realize that dec 23 is japan public holiday. since we will arrive fukuoka on dec 20,do u think we can get a seat on yufuin no mori if we book just 3 days in advance. any other way to book it online?
    thank you

    • Hi Ploy,

      It’s very hard to say. Yufuin no Mori is always popular. But December 23 is not a peak season. In Japan, Christmas is not a big holiday season. In this year, December 26, 27, 28 and 29 will be the busiest day. And also many tourists may take extra day off on December 22 and make 4 days off. I guess many tourists go back to Hakata on Dec 23. But if you go to Yufuin on December 23, it will be slower than direction to Hakata.

      Anyway there is no way to book before you arrive in Japan. I hope you will be able to make it.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. weng says:

    hello

    is the train (yufuin-no-mori) still running in Dec 2014? I saw it on hyperdia though!

    also, may I ask if I will be fully covered by JR pass?

    thank you.

  3. Wobb says:

    Konichiwa Takeshi-San,
    thank you very much for your advice earlier this year. it help for our trip in April when we got a chance to got the Fujikyu Tozen Dencha.
    I’m planning trip to Kyushu in December. and thinking about staying in Beppu, then come back to Hakata on Yufuin No Mori.

    How crowed woud the Yufuin No Mori be in December? would it be possible to reserve front-row (just behind driver) seats just 2 days before taking this train? can we specify it when reserve the seat?

    Looking at the schedule on JR Kyushu Site, it doesn’t look like the Yufuin No Mori go to Beppu anymore. am I understand correctly that we have to use local train from Beppu to Oita to get to this train?

    Thanks for your advice

    • Hi Wobb,

      I think the chance is very very slim. I’m not surprised if it’s sold out completely. Especially if you travel after Dec 28, it will be very busy.
      You can take a local train from Beppu to Oita as you think. If you use JR Pass or JR Kyushu Pass, you can take limited express train, such as Sonic or Nichirin.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Wobb says:

        Arigato Gosaimasu, Takeshi-san

        we’ll be traveling early part of december. we’ll keep our hope high to get the Yufuin No Mori, even not the best seat.

        yes, we’re planning to use JR Kyushu Northern Area Pass. will look for more info on this pass from your site. we’re planning to take to Sonic on our way from Hakata to Beppu already.

        have a good day.

  4. Jay says:

    Hi! i’ve planned to take Yufuin no mori from Hakata to Yufuin in Feb’13 by using JR pass. However, i’ve heard that we need to make advance reservation to reserve our seat. So, just wonder how can i make advance reservation? Can we do online booking? Or we have to reserve the seat at JR ticket office when i arrive Fukuoka? Cuz my flight will arrive Fukuoka on 14Feb and i will go to Yufuin on 15Feb, so i’m afraid that the seat might be fully booked if i have to wait till 14th for booking.

    Thank you

  5. Jolene says:

    Hi,

    I just heard about this special train from a friend of mine and would really love to try it.

    I would like to make a trip from Hakata to Yufuin via the Yufuin Mori this coming April. After staying in Yufuin for a night, we would like to proceed to Beppu, Oita the next day. How should I go about checking the schedule for this special train? Should I need to book them in advance? Or do I need to make a trip down to Hakata to make the necessary arrangements? For the JR train tickets I normally buy them from the JR train station directly but I am not sure how this works.

    Thank you.

  6. 1 Day Weekend Getaway? Try Northern Kyushu’s Fukuoka & Yufuin says:

    […] Once you’ve arrived at Hakata Station, it’s time for your to get your rail pass from the voucher you’ve printed out online.  You must present your passport along with the printed voucher.  Once you get your pass, you area ready to ride the JR (Japan Rail) trains.  Tell the ticketing agent you would like to book your seats to Yufuin.  Try to book it for the Yufuin No Mori train.  This green train is actually a very famous train that represents the little town of Yufuin. You can read more on it here: https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/limited-express-yufuin-no-mori-yufu.html. […]

  7. Nigel says:

    Hello,

    We are thinking of taking the Yufuin-no-mori 4 from Oita to Hakata on October 8th 2012, but we cannot find it using Hyperdia. Will this train be running in October?

  8. Rod says:

    Hi,
    Thanks very much for your info. I would like to take the Yufuin no Mori, if I can.
    But I hope you can answer a question. I will be starting out from Kurume and want to use a JR Kyushu Rail Pass. From what I read, I can only activate the pass in Hakata or Kokura. But if I do that can I have them start the Pass from the next day? If possible, when I go to Yufuin I don’t want to go to Hakata first and then all the way back to Kurume.

    Thanks very much for any help.

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Rod,
      I have heard they use same rule as Japan Rail Pass. So you can pick up the date when you want to start to use.
      But I am not 100% sure. Please make sure when you purchase.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Sam says:

    I’m hoping to board the 9:20 am Yufuin no Mori when I travel from Fukuoka (Hakata) to Yufuin in late January 2012. I bought JR rail pass voucher overseas and understand that I would have to exchange the voucher for the pass at JR stations, before I can use them in Japan. However I understand that the Hakata JR Pass Exchange office only opens at 10:00 am?

    Does anyone know if that is still the case?

    I arrive at Fukuoka airport on the same day at 8:00am, so there is no way I can exchange my voucher for the pass earlier. Is there anyway I can still catch the 9:20 am train?

    Thanks!

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Sam,
      You can exchange the pass at the ticket sales office of Hakata station too. They do it when Hakata travel center is closed. (05:30am-10:00am and night time too)
      By the way, are you arriving at Fukuoka airport by international flight? If so, you may not be able to catch 09:20 train. It may be too tight.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Sam says:

        That’s really helpful! Thanks Takeshi!

        Yes, it’s a tight transfer for us, but if our plane lands on-time or early, we’ll try our best to be fast. Because we really wish to catch the 0920 Yufuin no Mori, otherwise the next one will be around 2pm? Or we’ll just settle for the normal Yufuin train at 1018.

        But thanks alot for answering my question. Cheers!

  10. James says:

    Apart from the bento onboard they also sell really nice cakes (I think came from Nagasaki) , Kyudai line half way between Kurume and Yufuin you can see a large waterfall on the right hand side of the train, the onboard staff will come around and tell you where it is.

    It’s a very nice train this one, thats why even after more than 20 eyars in service it’s still popular and can still be hard to get a ticket sometimes

    Cheers
    James

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