Nagano Shinkansen, direct access to Nagano and Karuizawa from Tokyo.

Joetsu, Nagano and Hokuriku
Nagano Shinkansen (copyrights :shibainu)
Most of  train is operated by this fleet, E6 / W6 series.

Most of train is operated by this fleet, E6 / W6 series.

*Nagano Shinkansen will be extended to Kanazawa in March 2015 and now it is called Hokuriku Shinkansen. Please see the link below to learn more:

Hokuriku Shinkansen, direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo

This Shinkansen services are operated between Tokyo and 1988 Olympic winter game host city, Nagono via Ueno, Omiya, Takasaki and Karuizawa. This Shinkansen will be extended to Kanazawa by 2014 and this route is the original plan. This Shinkansen share the rail with Joetsu Shinkansen between Omiya and Takasaki. If you travel from Niigata to Nagano, you can transfer to Shinkansen at Takasaki station.

Route, schedule and trip time

Nagono Shinkansen’s train is given the name, “Asama”. “Asama” is named from the active volcano, “Mt. Asama” near Karuizawa. It takes about 1 hour 23 minutes from Tokyo to Nagano by the fastest Asama. But it takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo to Nagano on the average. This train services are operated mostly every 20 minutes. But there are many types of Asama are operated. Stop stations are different by the trains. Please make sure which station your Asama will stop at before on board.

View Nagano Shinkansen (Bullet Train) in a larger map


Tokyo (東京)x
Ueno (上野)*
Omiya (大宮)x
Kumagaya (熊谷)=
Honjo-Waseda (本庄早稲田)=
Takasaki (高崎)*
Annaka-Haruna (安中榛名)=
Karuizawa (軽井沢)*
Sakudaira (佐久平)*
Ueda (上田)*
Nagano (長野)x

x:All train stop *:Most of Asama stop =:Some of Asama stop


All trains are operated by E2 series. E2 series gives you 2+2 seat configuration for Green class and 2+3 for Ordinary class. The seat pitch in Green seat is 1160mm and 980m in Ordinary seat. This series is the most common train in Tohoku and Nagano Shinkansens.

Train formation


This train formation is very typical one. The extra cars maybe added in peak season.
R:Ordinary class reserved seat NR:Ordinary class non-reserved seat G:Reserved Green class (First class seat)
*This train is all non smoking.


*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images below.

Green seat (Seat pitch 1160mm/Seat configuration 2+2)

Ordinary seat (Seat pitch 980mm/Seat configuration 2+3.)

Sanitary space

Other facilities
vending machine and luggage space.


  1. Sharon says:

    Hi, I will be arriving in Tokyo airport and going directly to Karuizawa for 6 days before heading back to Tokyo for another 2 days. Is it better to get the JR Tokyo Wide pass or should I just go with one-way train tickets? I will probably not be travelling to other areas of Japan. Thank you very much

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Sharon,

      Tokyo Wide Pass is not recommended because you cannot get the worth of it by one way trip to Karuizawa. It’s just valid for 3 days.
      Regular one way ticket is better choice.


      Takeshi /

  2. hildatoh
    Rebecca says:

    On the JR East Pass, is it possible to take the shinkansen
    1. From Tokyo to Karuizawa
    2. From Karuizawa to Niigata
    (which train would this be? I cannot seem to locate the train for this leg)
    3. From Niigata back to Tokyo
    Would the JR East Pass be the most economical Pass for these 3 trips within 5 or 7 days?

  3. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Need your advise as follows: –
    1) If I purchase Hokiruku Arch Pass, can I travel to Disneyland and MT Fuji? I’ll be travelling to Nagano & Kanazawa as well.

    Thanks & Regards,

  4. xiong says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I would like to know is it possible to access to “Karuizawa” from Tokyo station/ Shinjuku station by using JR Pass?

  5. patty says:

    Hi Takeshi

    Would wish to enquiry about Nagono- Ueda
    Just wondering which pass will be a more economical way to travel from Tokyo to Ueda.

    Will it be better to get NN pass or wide pass (to sakudaira & adhoc train fares).

    Just wondering if the NN pass allows local travels in Ueda.

    Thank you.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Patty,

      Tokyo wide pass + extra fare is cheaper. JR East Pass Niigata and Nagano does not cover any local transportation there.


      Takehsi /

      • Patty says:

        Hi Takeshi

        Thank you for your reply.

        The places I wish to go are
        1. Ueda
        2. Hakone
        3. Fuji*

        I understand that Hakone Fuji are covered by Fuji Hakone free 3 day ( with their local transportations). I am just wondering if is it economical if I get the Wide to go to Fuji via otsuki station on the 3rd day of the Wide pass. Thereafter, use adhoc fares to get to Hakone and use the hakone only free pass.

        Otherwise should I just get the Hakone Fuji pass & the Tokyo Wide pass.

        Thank you for your advice.

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
          Takeshi / says:

          Hi Patty,

          Hakone Free Pass and single bus fare to Gotemba from Kawaguchiko is cheaper than Fuji Hakone Pass.

          You can use Tokyo Wide Pass to get Kawaguchiko via Otsuki. In this case, you must purchase Hakone Free Pass before you leave Shinjuku. Gotemba is border place of Hakone Free Pass. But you cannot purchase Hakone Free Pass there. If you don’t buy it in advance, you have to go down Hakone Yumoto. That is wasting time and cost. Don’t forget to purchase it in Shinjuku.


          Takeshi /

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