What is the Shinkansen (bullet train)? Most convenient and the fastest train service throughout Japan.

Shinkansen

The Shinkansen (新幹線) is a high speed train service that is operated by JR. It is one of the fastest trains in world and sometimes called “Bullet Train”. JR has this high speed train network throughout Japan. You can save lots of your trip time by using this train system.

I would like to share a basic information about the Shinkansen train system. Continue reading What is the Shinkansen (bullet train)? Most convenient and the fastest train service throughout Japan.

Access to Iida and Tenryu river valley from Toyohashi, Limited Express Inaji

Limited Express Inaji is operated by JR Central 373 series.
Limited Express Inaji is operated by JR Central 373 series.

Limited Express Inaji (伊那路) is operated between Toyohashi (豊橋) and Iida (飯田) via Iida line (飯田線). This train connects most of cities and towns along Tenryu river. If you need to access to Iida, Tenryukyo and other places in Southern Shinshu region, this train may suitable for your trip.

Iida line is not well known for the tourist. And there is no world famous sightseeing spots along this line. However the scenery is breathtaking. Especially you will see Tenryu river valley and Southern Alps mountains through the window when you take this train.

This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. Let’s see the details about this train. Continue reading Access to Iida and Tenryu river valley from Toyohashi, Limited Express Inaji

How to access to Kanazawa and Toyama from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Niigata.

Kenrokuen is one of the biggest names in Kanazawa and also one of three  top gardens in Japan.  ©Ishikawa Prefecture Tourist Association and Kanazawa Convention Bureau/© JNTO
Kenrokuen is one of the biggest names in Kanazawa and also one of three top gardens in Japan. ©Ishikawa Prefecture Tourist Association and Kanazawa Convention Bureau/© JNTO

Kanazawa is one of the big names in Japan. It has lovely preserved town and Kenrokuen garden that is one of three well known gardens with Kairakuen (Mito) and Korakuen (Okayama). Kanazawa is located in Hokuriku region. In this region, Toyama is well known as the gateway to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route.

In mid March, 2015, Hokuriku Shinkansen open and both Kanazawa and Toyama are very accessible from Tokyo. In this post, I would like to show you about access from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Niigata. Continue reading How to access to Kanazawa and Toyama from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Niigata.

Save money and time to go to Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka from Tokyo by train. Overnight rapid train Moonlight Nagara

185 series still run as limited express train Odoriko. This fleet is used for rapid Moonlight Nagara too.
185 series still run as limited express train Odoriko. This fleet is used for rapid Moonlight Nagara too.

Moonlight Nagara (ムーンライトながら) is the overnight rapid service train that is operated between Tokyo and Ogaki (大垣). This train is operated as the seasonal train. It is usually operated in spring break (two weeks from late March to early April), summer break (late July to the end of August) and Christmas to New Year holidays. These periods are the seasons when “Seishun 18 ticket” is sold. This ticket covers any rapid and local train’s non reserved seat throughout Japan for 5 days at 11,850 yen. This train can be used by this ticket with additional charge for reserved seat fare. Therefore this train runs for busy period only and it is very hard to book.

This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. But online reservation is not available for overseas visitor and ticket is on sale one month prior to departure date. It is very hard to book and not realistic to put this train in your plan.

Anyway it may be considerable for overnight transfer between Tokyo and Nagoya/Kyoto/Osaka. Let’s see the details about this train. Continue reading Save money and time to go to Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka from Tokyo by train. Overnight rapid train Moonlight Nagara

Access to World Heritage Kii mountains from Nagoya. Limited Express Wide View Nanki

Wide View Nanki at Kuwana station (C)800px-JRC_Kiha85_Series01 / User:Kansai explorer
Wide View Nanki at Kuwana station (C)800px-JRC_Kiha85_Series01 / User:Kansai explorer

Wide View Nanki (ワイドビュー南紀) is a Limited Express train that connects Nagoya (名古屋) with Shingu (新宮) and Kii-Katsuura (紀伊勝浦). Nanki (南紀) is the name of the area in Kii peninsula (紀伊半島). When you go to UNESCO World Heritage site, “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” from Nagoya, you can use this train and access there from Shingu. This train is operated by KIHA 85 series that equips very huge windows. It can offer to passengers very panoramic view. That is why this train is called “Wide View”. Continue reading Access to World Heritage Kii mountains from Nagoya. Limited Express Wide View Nanki

Express train Nagano to/from Nagoya. Limited Express Shinano

Limited Express "Shinano"
Limited Express Shinano runs 13 round trips a day.

Limited express train “Shinano” runs between Nagano (長野) from Nagoya (名古屋). If you go to Hida Mountains (a.k.a. Northern Alps), you can use this train to Matsumoto (松本), and transfer to local train Oito line bound for Shinano-Omachi (信濃大町), Hakuba (白馬) and Minami-Otari (南小谷). And also there are some preserved small towns in Kiso Valley (木曽谷), such as Magome, along Chuo line where this train goes through. Continue reading Express train Nagano to/from Nagoya. Limited Express Shinano

Learn more about train to Takayama. Passenger’s review of "Wide View Hida"

Wide View Hida at Toyama station
Wide View Hida by KIHA85 series at Toyama station (C) JP Rail

Wide View Hida is suspended until further notice due to Takayama line closure by heavy rain storm. Please see Train Operation Status to get the detailed information.

I took “Wide View Hida 6” from Toyama to Nagoya on Apr 27, 2010. This express train is operated mostly between Takayama and Nagoya. Only 4 of 20 round trips are operated between Toyama and Nagoya. Hida 6 is the first departure from Toyama to Nagoya.

I had an ordinary reserved seat at a third raw on the 8th car. This train will combined some more cars at Takayama station. My car number is eight but this was the first car between Toyama and Takayama.

This limited express train is called “Wide View Hida” because the huge windows are equipped. You will enjoy the scenery of mountains, stream and gorge. Continue reading Learn more about train to Takayama. Passenger’s review of "Wide View Hida"

Limited Express Wide View Hida timetable and the train information. The train access to Takayama and Hida

 Wide View Hida runs between Osaka and Takayama by this 3 cars train set.

Wide View Hida is the limited express train which connects Nagoya, Takayama and Toyama. This train equips very huge windows. It offers very scenic view through this panoramic window along the route. That is why this train is called “Wide View”.

This train is a primary way to get Takayama. This has been very popular for the tourists from overseas in these days. This train is fully covered by JR Pass and Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass. I will explain about this train in this post.

Timetable and Route

Wide View Hida runs once an hour between Nagoya and Takayama. A few trips are extended to operate to Hida-Furukawa and Toyama. It takes 2.5 hours to get Takayama from Nagoya and 4 hours to get Toyama from Nagoya.

And also one round trip runs between Osaka and Takayama. If you take this Osaka departure Wide View Hida, you can get Takayama directly from Osaka, Shin-Osaka and Kyoto.

You can find the timetable in the link below:

JPRail.com PDF timetable (valid until mid October 2019)

This train departing from Osaka is coupled with the train from Nagoya at Gifu.

Please find the train operation route in the map below:

 Limited Express Wide View Hida operation route map (click to view large)

Accommodation

Wide View Hida is serviced by KIHA-85 series. This train has huge glass windows which give you the spectacular scenery along Takayama line. “Wide View” is a worthy of the name.

This series has two types of Green car that are 2+2 seat configuration and 2+1 seat configuration. 2+1 seat configuration is wider and has a bigger leg space. The seat pitch is 1160mm on 2+2 seat configuration and 1250mm on 2+1 seat configuration. 1160mm is the standard. So 2+1 seat gives you a great deal! If you want to take this seat, try to reserved a seat on car#10. 2+2 Green car is always at the middle of the train. 2+1 is always at the front of the formation. And also Ordinary class is good too. The seat pitch is 1000mm. This is bigger than the standard.

When you take this train at Nagoya, the seat is set with the back toward. Because this train change the direction at Gifu. It takes only 20 minutes from Nagoya to Gifu. You can change to the front toward if you want by yourself.

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

Find your hotels in 500 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in Takayama
Hotels and Ryokans in Shirakawago
Hotels in Nagoya

Train formation

There are many train formations. Some Wide View Hida do not have Green car.

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Car#1-4 operate from Nagoya to Takayama. And Car#8-10 operate from Nagoya to Toyama

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NRRRRNRG

Car#1-3 operate from Nagoya to Takayama/Hida-furukawa, Car#8-10 operate from Nagoya to Toyama

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NRR / GRR

In car #2, there are ordinary reserved seats and Green seats.

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NRRRNRR / GRR

This formation is used for Osaka departure and Nagoya departure combination. Car #1 to #3 run to/from Osaka and the rest of cars run to/from Nagoya. These two train sets are coupled / uncoupled at Gifu station and run together between Gifu and Takayama. In car #6, there are ordinary reserved seats and Green seats.

Images

Green seat 2+2 configuration

Green seat 2+1 configuration

Ordinary seat

Sanitary space