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.

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

154 thoughts on “Very popular train to Yufuin from Hakata and Oita. Limited Express Yufuin no Mori / Yufu”

  1. I wish to visit Yufuin from Fukuoka for 1 night from January 6 to 7, 2016. I live in Singapore. Could you please guide me as to how I should reserve a seat on the Yufuin no Mori departing Hakata on the morning of January 6 and departing Yufuin around lunch time on January 7.

    Secondly I plan to go to Takayama from Tokyo for 1 night from January 9 to 10. Could you also advise if I could buy a pass of some kind to link both these trips Hakata to Yufuin to Hakata and Tokyo to Takayama to Tokyo since I will be taking the train.

    My husband will be needing a ticket for Tokyo to Takayama to Tokyo only. What should he buy?

    Thanks very much for answering my questions.

    Regards,
    Andrina

    1. Hi Andrina,

      JR Pass 7 days is the best choice.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html

      Actually 7 days pass price is almost equal to round trip to Takayama from Tokyo. You can use it for round trip to Yufuin from Hakata too. It’s a great deal.

      Unfortunately there is no way to book before you arrive in Japan. Please find the info at the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/how-to-reserve-seat.html

      There are many trains for Takayama. I’m very optimistic for this trip.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-access-to-takayama-by-trains-and-buses.html

      But Yufuin no Mori is very popular train. It’s so hard to guess how busy this train will be. In the case of booked out, you have to take other route, Hakata (Limited Express Sonic) Oita (local train) Yufuin. This route is covered by JR pass. So you can get Yufuin anyway.
      http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/time_table/time_table.jsp

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Possible to bring 2 numbers of 29″ luggage on board yufuin no Mori and train from Kumamoto back to hakata as I am traveling with a young kid

  3. Hi, I would like to know the fee for return trip from hakata station and yufuin, if travel by 1) yufuin no Moro, or 2) Yufu, respectivlely. Where can I find the fee info? I would also like to know if it’s a good choice to buy a 3days Jr pass instead.

  4. Need your help please, we want to take Yufuin no mori from Yufuin back to Hakata on 4th November, can we reserve ticket from Osaka (we arrive Osaka 2nd Nov) what is the best way to reserve 5 seats. Thank you very much.
    Atiporn – Bangkok

    1. Hi Atiporn,

      You can reserve it at Osaka. Most of stations in Osaka have the reservation window that is called “Midori no Madoguchi”. You can book it there.
      There is no secret way to book. Jut try to book as soon as possible.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi

    May I check whether Yufuin-no-Mori 3 train will go to Beppu Station on 20 Dec 2015. My family would like to take this train from Hakata Station to Beppu.
    According to the Design & Story Train Schedule, it will arrive at Beppu Station at 13.35 pm. Please confirm.
    Appreciate your reply.
    Thank you
    Jeff

  6. Hi, My family of 17 members would be visiting Fukuoka in December 2015. We would be visiting Beppu on 20 Dec 2015. We are interested in taking the Yufuiin-no-Mori train from Hakata Station. According to the Kyushu Railway Company timetable, the Yufuiin-no-Mori No 3 and No 4 will be taken the place by Yufu No 73 and 74 during Nov 30 – Dec 4. Does that mean that after Dec 5 there will not be any Yufuiin-no-Mori trains going to Beppu? Lastly, may I know where I can board this Yufuiin-no-Mori train at Hakata Station. Website mentioned from Fukuoka Level. Is this within Hakata Station?

    Hope to receive an early reply from you.

    Thank you very much

    Margie

    1. Hi Margie,

      You can take Yufuin no Mori #3 and #4 after Dec 5. It will not run until Dec 4.
      You can book it at most of any JR stations’ reservation window that is called “Midori no Madoguchi”. Of course you can do it at Hakata station. It has a big signage. You will not miss it.

      But it’s very hard to book 17 seats at same time because this train is very popular. Unfortunately there is no online booking available. You have to book it at the window only. You may not be able to get seat for all your family members.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. My family is planning to take the Yufuin no Mori from Yufuin to Hakata on 15 Dec 2015. As the website states, there will not be No. 1,2,5,6 available, as such i assume no. 4 is still running. I checked Hyperdia, however, i do not see any direct train from Yufuin to Hakata, can i confirm that there is?

    Also, I would like to know if there is any space for big luggage (25″ to 29″).

    1. Hi Winnie,

      Hyperdia has a huge database and it sometime does not show the correct answer. My post is based on the schedule from JR Kyushu official site. I’m sure it will run.
      This train does not have any luggage space. You have to keep your luggage at your own space. When you travel in Japan by train, luggage is always an issue. Please find more info at the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/baggage/managing-luggage-how-to-carry-your-baggage-on-board-and-how-to-store-your-baggage-at-the-station.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi,

    I will be staying in Yufuin before going back to Fukuoka. Please advise as how do I get to Hakata Station from Yufuin Station. Must I book the ticket in advanced? If so, where can I do it.

    Thanks and best regards

    LingGS

    1. Hi LingGS,

      You can simply take this train. This is the easiest way to get Hakata from Yufuin. This train is very popular and you should book it in advance. But there is no online booking. The only way is booking at reservation window that is called Midori no Madoguchi. You can find it at most of JR station.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thanks for the information. Can I book in advance when I first reach Fukuoka, or I have to purchase on the day itself?

        Regards

  9. Hi. We will be arriving Hakata on 26/9 and would like to take the Yufuin No Mori 1 the next day to Yufuin. Would it be possible for us to make seat reservation in less than day? If not, can we make the reservation online? (we will be using the Northern Kyushu rail pass 3 days). Please advise. Thank you

  10. Hello,
    I noticed that a one way ticket from Hakata to Yufuin taking the Yufuin no Mori train cost 4550 Yen. I heard if you purchase return tickets (Hakata to Yufuin to Hakata) it will be cheaper, but I can’t find a return ticket fare on HyperDia. Can you let me know if this is correct? Will it be cheaper buying the JR 3-day North Kyushu pass?
    Thanks,
    Amy

    1. Hi Amy,

      Return trip discount is applied to more than 600 km trip. Hakata-Yufuin is not like this long trip. If you purchase single ticket, it’s regular price.
      Northern Kyushu rail pass 3 days is 8500 yen. It’s cheaper than single fare. This is the best option for you.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Thanks for your prompt reply! Since I’m not if there are tickets left for the Yufuin no Mori, I won’t get a JR pass before I come to Japan. Can I still purchase one when I’m in Japan?

        Thanks,
        Amy

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