Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu), train connects Kumamoto to Beppu via Aso.

Limited Express Trans Kyushu Limited Express and Kumagawa are operated by KIHA 185 series.
Limited Express Trans Kyushu Limited Express and Kumagawa are operated by KIHA 185 series.

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.

Trans-Kyushu Limited Express is covered by Japan Rail Pass fully. I will explain about the train’s route, schedule and accommodations of these trains.

Route, schedule and time required

This train runs on Houhi line between Oita and Kumamoto, and runs on Nippo line between Oita and Beppu.

Beppu (別府)x
Oita (大分)x
Nakahanda (中判田)x
Miemachi (三重町)x
Ogata (緒方)x
Bungo-Takeda (豊後竹田)x
Bungo-Ogi (豊後荻)x
Miyaji (宮地)x
Aso (阿蘇)x
Akamizu (赤水)x
Tateno (立野)x
Higo-Otsu (肥後大津)x
Hikarinomori (光の森)x
Musashizuka (武蔵塚)x
Suizenji (水前寺)x
Shin-Suizenji (新水前寺)x
Kumamoto (熊本)x

x:All train stop *:Some of trains stop

View Trans Kyushu Limited Express in a larger map

Accommodation and train formations

Both Trans-Kyushu Limited Express isre operated by KIHA 185 series. This is a standard type express train fleet. But this series was renovated. The interior with lots of wooden furnishings is very cozy and warm.

The seat configuration is a standard layout which is 2+2 and the seat pitch is 940 mm. This train actually does not offer you a big leg space.

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


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

Sanitary space
KIHA185 series sanitary space KIHA185 series sanitary space KIHA185 series sanitary space KIHA185 series sanitary space KIHA185 series sanitary space

Common Space
KIHA185 series common space KIHA185 series common space KIHA185 series common space

Train formation


R=Reserved ordinary seat NR=Non reserved ordinary seat
*The train sometimes in operated by three cars train set especially during a peak season.

18 thoughts on “Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu), train connects Kumamoto to Beppu via Aso.”

  1. Hi Takishi-San

    I’m going to Kyushu in late Aug and want to take the aso boy train. According to the new timetable the train will still be running between Beppu and Aso only.
    The question is that if I start from Kumamoto and take the aso boy, do you think that the now interrupted local line between Kumamoto and Aso could be available in time?

    Thanks a lot

  2. Hi !
    I will be in Kumamoto in my next vacations and I will try to take this line (Kyushu Limited) to Beppu (on saturday, around 10 or 11 oclock in the morning). I would like to know if this line is finally reoppened (it was closed during a long time due to a flooding if I’m right), if there are some train in the morning to Beppu (from Kumamoto on saturday) and what are the timetable ?

    Thank you in advance !

    Best regards,


  3. We plan to visit Mt Aso from Dec 28 to Jan2. How do we reserve seats for Aso Boy? We will arrive in Fukuoka on the night of Dec 27, 2015.


    1. Hi Maria,

      Unfortunately there is no way to book from outside Japan. You have to book it at the reservation window in JR stations, such as Hakata. Most of JR stations have reservation window that is called “Midori no Madoguchi”.


      Takeshi /

  4. Dear Takeshi san,

    Do you have timetable of trans-kyushu-limited-express-kyushu-odan for 2015. I plan to visit Mt Aso from Beppu in Jan 2015. The timetable will definitely help us to manage our trip effieciency.

    Appreciate it if you could advise.


  5. Hello Takeshi san,

    this year we are coming back to Japan to visit Kyushu next week. Our visit last summer to Hokkaido was great thank to your help.

    We are using a JR Pass. I have been reading your info about the sightseeing trains.

    We are going from Kagoshima to Beppu and hyperdia suggests Sakura shinkansen. Would it be worth the slower Transkyushu train from Kumamoto? Are the views nice? We are also renting a car to visit mount Aso and Takachiho so we would only do this slower route for extra views.

    Thanks in advance from Spain.

    1. Hi Maria,

      Welcome back! 😀
      Did Hyperdia suggest “Kagoshima-Chuo (Sakura) Kumamoto (Trans Kyushu) Beppu?
      I think you can skip it. This is a nice train but you will drive this area. If you have an extra time, I recommend you to take “Kagoshima-Chuo (Hayato-no-kaze) Yoshimatsu (Shinpei) Hitoyoshi (Trans Kyushu) Kumamoto” route. I have taken this route from Kumamoto to Kagoshima-Chuo. Even though it was cloudy and rainy, I enjoyed this trip. Please see the following link:


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Thank you for your advice, Takeshi.

        When I wrote you I had already included the route through Yosimatsu from Kumamoto to Kagoshima because I read it at your web site 😉 I am sorry for the bad weather you had, but Japan is always so beautiful…

        From Kagoshima to Beppu, Hyperdia suggests the Sakura Shinkansen to Kokura and then to Beppu by Sonic Express, buy I think I will choose the Transkyushu from Kumamoto because is no more than one hour slower and I have some time.

        I had never get to know these special trains without your help.

        We are also going on a different day to Beppu from Yufuin by the Yufuin No mori, is it worth?

        Thanks again from Spain

        1. Hi Maria,

          Now I understand that you mean. 🙂
          I agree with you to take Trans Kyushu from Kumamoto to Beppu. But if you don’t mind to transfer trains at Aso or Miyaji, I recommend you to take Aso Boy from Kumamoto to Aso or Miyaji. This train is much much more interesting than Trans Kyushu.

          Unfortunately this train done not go through Beppu. That’s why you have to wait for later train at Miyaji or Aso.
          For example, if you take Aso Boy #3 at 13:54 at Kumamoto, you will arrive at Miyaji at 15:23. Later Trans Kyushu #6 will be Miyaji at 16:17 and arrive Beppu at 18:13.
          Of course you don’t need to. But one hour rest at Miyaji is not bad. Just get some drink and take some fresh mountain air.
          And I have to tell you one more thing. Aso Boy! does not run every day. You can find the operation day at the following link. It’s almost at the bottom of post.

          It’s no doubt about Yufuin no Mori. This is one of the best. You got to take it! 🙂


          Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Hi!
    I m holding on to this pass:

    This train is included by this pass right? We just hop-on to this train without the need to buy tickets right since we have the all kyushu sanyo pass

    Since it passed by from Aso to miyazaki, is there any chance i can take this train to miyzaki and then to takachiho gorge ?

    and then return on the same day (after visiting Mt. Aso and gorge)?

    Is there any lodgings available at Takachiho gorge ?

    1. Hi Jay,

      You can take this train by the pass. But I don’t understand your itinerary. If you go to Miyazaki from Aso, itinerary is like the following:

      09:43 ASO(KUMAMOTO)
      [104 Min]
      11:27 OITA
      [185 Min]
      15:12 MIYAZAKI

      It will be a long trip. I don’t think it’s not a good idea to visit Aso and Takachiho in same day by train. If you drive, it’s easy. But as long as you use public transportation, it’s quite hard to put both place in one day.

      Takachiho is not a big town. But you can stay there.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  7. Hi! I’m heading to Hakata in a few days i’d loove to take a train down to Beppu and beyond. However, i do not wish to get a Japan Rail Pass. Are there any alternatives? And also, where can I take them and how much for the trips? Would greatly appreciate more information! Thank you~

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