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.
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).

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

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

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.


Ordinary seat

Buffet (Cafeteria and kiosk)

Salon space

Sanitary space

Passenger’s deck and common space

Train formation


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.


Ordinary seat

Semi compartment on Car #3

Buffet (Cafeteria and kiosk)

Sanitary space

Passenger’s deck and common space

Train formation


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

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.


Ordinary seat

Sanitary space

Train formation


R=Reserved ordinary seat NR=Non reserved ordinary seat


  1. Esther says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    I am planning a trip to Yufuin as follows:
    Hakata to Yufuin (20/October)
    Yufuin to Hakata (20/October – returning same day)

    I have tested the reservation on JR Kyushu/JR West websites, to be able to understand the reservation system.
    When I selected the ‘Roundtrip’ option, I was not asked to select the return timing and seats.
    Are you able to explain how the reservation system works?

    I would also like to ask if there are train passes that I can purchase to minimize transport expenses.

    1) I will be spending the day at Hakata (1 day) and Yufuin (1 day).
    2) I will then be traveling from Hakata to Kyoto (Mizuho/Nozomi shinkansen).
    3) The rest of the trip will be spent in Kyoto (Arashiyama, Gion, Fushimi-inari, Nishiki..etc – around 4 days), Osaka (1 day) and Nara (1 day).

    Kindly advise if there are suitable train passes that I can purchase for my trip?

    Thank you and Best Regards,
    Esther from Singapore

  2. Simon Cox says:

    Hi Takeshi. JR Kyushu’s latest timetable (31st March 2019) shows Yufuin no Mori #2 operating on October 11th when I’m thinking of taking it from Yufuin to Hakata at 12.09pm but looking to confirm that on Hyperdia, Hyperdia shows no Yufuin no Mori trains at all that day (not even replacement Yufu #7_ trains), just normal Yufu Ltd Expresses.

    I saw there is maintenance for Yufuin no Mori on October 15-17 but not that I could see October 11th. And Hyperdia is based on Kotsushinbunsha’s May edition so should be up to date with a timetable published by JR Kyushu in March.. Am I missing something?

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Simon,

      JR Kyushu’s timetable is correct. Hyperdia shows you the timetable for next 3 months usually. I checked today and it says, “The train and flight schedules are available from April 27, 2019 to July 31, 2019.” at the bottom of the search result.


      Takeshi /

      • Simon Cox says:

        Oh thanks Takeshi. I’ve been doing my searches for dates in September and October for all my trains. Most of them are Shinkansens so I don’t imagine they will change or if they do not by so much, or there will be an alternative that I can use given their frequency. But it’s good to know I should check again 3 months out from my travel dates. And also good to know that the Yufuin no Mori I want to take will be operating (subject to any future change JR Kyushu might make).

  3. wen
    Wen says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Thanks always for your very informative website.

    I am planning to visit Yufuin in mid-Apr and I am looking forward to experience the Yufuin no Mori. I would like to arrive early but the earliest Yufuin no Mori 1 would only arrive near noon at 11:36. As such, I am considering to take the Ltd Exp Yufu 1 which would arrive at 10:01. Would you recommend taking the Yufuin no Mori which departs from Yufuin at 17:08 for my return trip instead? I am worried that it may be too late/dark to enjoy the scenic ride.

    Also, I would like to ask if the reservation fee of ¥1,000 is per ticket or per JR Kyushu Pass holder?


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Wen,

      Your plan is okay. The sunset time is around 18:45 in mid April.

      Reservation fee 1,000 yen is charged per seat.


      Takeshi /

  4. Greetings, Takeshi-san:

    Thank you for such an informative page!!!
    My family of 4 is travelling to Kyushu with different schedule – 2 will arrive in Kansai first from 29/3, leaving Himeji to Hakata to join all 4 persons in Kyushu on 3/4.

    We are planning to take the Yufuin no Mori from Hakata to Yufuin on 5/4, and same way back to Hakata on 8/4.

    Himeji->Hakata (for 2 persons) and Hakata Yufuin (for 4 persons) will be the only long distance rail journeys in the trip.

    Since I read that we cannot reserve tickets overseas on the very popular Mori scenic train, my questions are:
    – For the 2 travelling only in Kyushu, I think they should not get any Kyushu rail pass for the return journey, as the rest will be self-driving (no other rail use). But is it recommended to take a JR pass for the 2 persons who can use it around Kansai *and* for the 3 long JR rides they will take?
    – I see that they can reserve tickets for Mori at any JR station, so if they do this in Kansai, can they also buy for the 2 other persons? Any deals which needs showing of foreign passport / named personal tickets?
    – Is the front wagon (closest to train driver), or the salon space (bigger windows?) the best for seeing scenery?
    – which side of the train is better? e.g. to see the waterfall?
    – Since we are taking the same route back, is it recommended to take both times the Mori, or one time with the normal JR Yufu to save some costs (or in case we only find good seats on the Mori on one way?)

    Thank you so much and sorry for many questions!!

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Amanda san,

      First of all, any rail passes do not work for your trip because you cannot get the worth of it. So you will use a regular fare ticket. You can book and purchase all ticket for 4 of you at Kansai airport station. You don’t need to show any documents because you will purchase a regular ticket which is available for anybody.

      Do not expect to choose the seat. Because this train is very very popular and booth seat is available on Yufuin no Mori #3 and #4 only. It’s hard to book it. And also the front row seats are very difficult to book. The ticket is on sale one month before, so these seats are usually booked out quickly. You can try but just try to get four seats together. If you can get four seats side by side, you can enjoy the scenery both side.

      If you take Yufu, the fare is same. If you want to take something different, you can try the other route which is Yufuin-Oita-Beppu-Kokura-Hakata route.


      Takeshi /

  5. Omni says:

    Hello Takeshi,

    Thank you for the post.
    I am arriving at Kansai International Airport on Nov 7, 2018 11pm and I will try to take the earliest train to Hakata the next day. However, if I try to book the Yufuin No Mori on the 8th (Thursday) for the same day train, would this even be possible considering the crowd on a thursday?
    If I can’t make a reservation for Yufuin No Mori or get on the Yufu train, what would be the fastest 3rd option to get to Yufuin station with the Northern Kyushu Pass? Thank you very much.

  6. Tham Geep says:

    hi i am planning to arrive into Fukuoka city on 25March 2018 .
    26 March : Take the train from Fukuoka to Yufu in Oita –
    5 April : From Yufu to Yufuin and stay for 2 days
    7 April -From Yufuin go to Kumamoto
    please advise the type of ticket and train i should buy

  7. Mag says:

    Hello Takeshi,

    I plan to take the Yufuin no Mori train from Hakata to Yufuin on November 28th. Is it correct that due to heavy rain storms that the Yujuin no Mori train no longer runs directly from Hakata to Yufuin? If so, which station would you suggest that we get off on the Yufuin no Mori train (departing from Hakata) so we can take another train from that station to Yufuin?

    Thank you in advance for your help!


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Mag,

      Only Yufuin no Mori #91 and #92 will run on November 28. The tentative train schedule is valid until November 30. But one round trip of this train will be suspended when you make a trip. I just revised the post above. Please refer it.


      Takeshi /

      • Mag says:


        Thank you so much for the quick reply. So if I understand you correctly, the Mori #91 train will run from Hakata to Yufuin (departing at 8:45 a.m. I believe). Are there any express trains that I can take from Yufuin back to Hakata other than the Yufuin no Mori train?

        Thank you!

  8. CK says:

    Hi Takeshi

    4 of us are arriving at Fukuoka Domestic Airport at 20:30 on 22/11 and will head directly to Hakata station to reserve seats.

    My plan as follows by JR Kyushu Rail Pass:
    a) 24/11 Yufuin no Mori from Beppu (12:19) to Yufuin. I was told easier to get seats departing from stations other than Hakata. Do you agree?
    b) Aso Boy, is this train travelling from Hakata to Huis Ten Bosch or Beppu to Aso between 22 – 26 Nov? My current plan is to reserve seats on 25/11 from Beppu to Aso.

    Thanks in advance and await your reply soon.


  9. invisiblestringoflife
    Ivy says:

    Hi Takeshi

    Will be arriving in Fukuoka mid Dec early morn after a mid-night flight.
    Plan to take the Yufuin no Mori train to Yufuin or Beppu. Is it possible to get the tickets for the same day train to Yufuin or Beppu?
    (flight arrival 8.30am, target to the Yufuin no mori train from Hakata at about 10am if it is scheduled )

    Also intend to buy the Aso Boy tickets for my kids to ride on but will check the timetable of its operation when nearer.

    Is it worth to buy the jr pass if we intend to drive back from Beppu to Fukuoka? we will stay in Beppu for 3 days.


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Ivy,

      It may be tight. It usually runs 3 round trips but now there are only two round trips. Please do not expect to get the seat. You should have a back up plan. If you go to Beppu, you can take Sonic.

      This train runs very frequently and not to hard to get the seats.

      JR Pass does not work for one way trip. Just use regular ticket.


      Takeshi /

      • Ivy says:

        Thank you Takeshi san. Is food available for sale in sonic trains?

        I assume eating and drinking is allowed in the trains. Correct me if I am wrong

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
          Takeshi / says:

          Hi Ivy san,

          You can eat and drink on Sonic or any other trains. But you cannot get anything to eat and drink on Sonic. Most of ordinary express trains do not have any on board sales. Prepare something to eat before taking trains.


          Takeshi /

  10. Tkl says:

    Hello Takeshi
    May I know if I can take Yufuin No Mori from Yufuin station to Kumamoto because we are planning to overnight at Yufuin for two days and leave the place for Kumamoto (the latest schedule showed that Yufuin No Mori No 7 only available from 27 Nov to 1 Dec .We will only arrive in Fukuoka on 28 Nov ) After that we return to Hakata. Pls advice .Thank you

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Tkl,

      It’s very hard to say. Usually it’s slow season but this train is very very popular as you think.
      Unfortunately there is no way to book before you arrive in Japan. All I can say that just try as early as possible after you arrive in Japan.


      Takeshi /

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