Access to Mito, Katsuta and Iwaki from Ueno. Limited Express Hitachi and Tokiwa

E657 series is one of the newest fleets and is used for Limited Express Hitachi and Tokiwa.
E657 series is one of the newest fleets and is used for Limited Express Hitachi and Tokiwa.

Limited Express Hitachi (ひたち) and Tokiwa (ときわ) are operated mostly between Shinagawa, Tokyo, Ueno and Katsuta, Iwaki via Mito on Joban line. These trains were operated as Super Hitachi and Fresh Hitachi from Ueno station before March 13, 2015. After that, these trains depart from Shinagawa station via Tokyo station. It is much more convenient to get on this train from Tokyo now. These trains connect most of cities along the coast side in Ibaragi and southern part of Fukushima.

If you travel to Mito, Iwaki, Yumoto Hot Springs resort, this train gives you directly transfer from Tokyo, Shinagawa and Ueno.

This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. I will tell you the details about this train.

Route, schedule and trip time

Hitachi is operated between Shinagawa/Ueno and Iwaki. Tokiwa is operated mostly between Shinagawa/Ueno and Takahagi or Katsuta. Tokiwa stops at many more stations than Hitachi between Ueno and Mito. Most of Hitachi do not stop at any stations between Ueno and Mito. Both Hitachi and Tokiwa depart from Ueno station before 10:00 am. After 10:00 am, most of Tokiwa and Hitachi depart from Shinagawa station

Average trip times are the following:
Ueno – Mito : 1 hour 10-20 minutes
Ueno – Iwaki : 2 hours 20 minutes

If you take these trains at Shinagawa, trip time is 15 minutes longer and 7 minutes longer if you take it at Tokyo.

There are more than 38 round trips a day. It is operated every 30 minutes from 7:00 to 23:00. Most of trains depart from Ueno station at every :00 and :30. Please refer JR East official site to get the detailed timetable and stop stations. You will find “Limited Express trains on Joban line” on this website.


Limited Express Hitachi is currently operated by E657 series.

E657 series was introduced in March, 2012. In Green class car, E657 series has 2+2 seat configuration. E657 series is still one of the newest fleets in Japan. But actually accommodation is getting worse than older train because some of older fleets gives us 2+1 seat configuration in Green car. Seat pitch is 1160 mm. In Ordinary class, seat configuration is 2+2 as well and seat pitch is 960 mm. So only seat pitch is the big difference. You cannot find other difference between Green and Ordinaryu. All seats in both Green and Ordinary have power outlet. This fleet equip WIFI connection, but the account of major provider in Japan is required to connect.

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

Train formation


G=Green seat R=Reserved ordinary seat
*Non reserved car is not available on this train. Reservation is required to take this train.
*All cars are non smoking.


Green class seat
Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat Green Class seat

Ordinary class seat
Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat Ordinary Class seat

Sanitary space
Sanitary space Sanitary space Sanitary space Sanitary space Sanitary space Sanitary space Sanitary space Sanitary space Sanitary space Sanitary space

Passeger's deck Passeger's deck Passeger's deck Passeger's deck Passeger's deck Passeger's deck Passeger's deck Passeger's deck

78 thoughts on “Access to Mito, Katsuta and Iwaki from Ueno. Limited Express Hitachi and Tokiwa”

  1. Hi Takeshi,
    Thanks… i consider just Go to Kawaguchiko – Saiko – Shibazakura.

    I only find about round trip bus to Shibazakura from kawaguchiko at cost 1.800 Yen.

    It cover Saiko Too?

    Do you any suggest if i want to take bus kawaguchiko – saiko – shibazakura?

  2. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Thank you very much for maintaining this website, it is very useful.

    I am using Hyperdia to plan my trip to Japan. One itinerary will be from Kokura (14:25) -> Shin-Kobe ->Tokyo -> Katsuta (22:16.) with LTD EXP HITACHI 29.
    If I search separately, I get Kokura (14:25) -> Shin-Kobe-> Shinagawa (20:33), then Shinagawa (20:44)->Katsuta (22:16), with the same HITACHI 29.
    If I enter Shinagawa as “pass1”, the same trains are selected until Shinagawa, but then it indicates JR Yamamote line to Nippori, followed by JR Joban line to Mito, with final arrival in Katsuta at 23:47. This takes 31 minutes longer and 2 extra stops.

    Is this something that the algorithm that Hyperdia uses can’t handle, or maybe one can’t transfer in 10 minutes from the arrival to the departure place in Shinagawa. I can’t figure out the track number for the LTD Express in Shinagawa, but the station doesn’t seem big enough to not allow a 10 min transfer.

    Thank you very much for your help!

    1. Hi Alis,

      As you guess, Hyperdia sometimes cannot handle like this connection. But 11 minutes is way enough to transfer in Shinagawa. Usually train to Joban line will depart at track #11. But it’s not important. There are lots of signage and find the departure track very easily. Even 5 minutes is okay to transfer at Shinagawa.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Hi, Takeshi.

    I’m planning go to japan at may 2016. my plan is stay at tokyo for 4-5 days an using willer express to go to Kyoto and osaka around 5 days. At the last, i will back to Indonesia from Kansai Airport.

    Can you give me suggest for what type of JR pass i must buy? My friend told me buy JR pass 7 days around 29.000 Yen. i think it’s expensive since i use willer express to travel to Kyoto.

    I think about buying local JR pass for Tokyo visit hitachi seaside, Fuji, Route Alpine (if Cover), etc
    and JR Local Kyoto Osaka Nara. If there’s chance, i want visit Okunoshima.

    Please your advice.


    1. Hi Andy,

      Are you really sure you go to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route? If you want to go through from Shinano-Omachi to Toyama (or reverse), JR Pass is the best for you. JR Pass is only pass that cover Tokyo and Toyama. You will spend 5 of 7 days of JR Pass in Tokyo. And you can use rest of 7 days in Osaka for the longest trip in your plan. (may be Okunoshima? But I don’t know where it is.

      If you give up Alpine route, Kanto Area Pass 3 days covers Fuji and HItachi seaside park.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. I see. Maybe i will consider about Route Alpine.

        If i go around may, can i see cherry blossom at there?

        and i find about Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass ( Tokunai Pass ) it just cover inside tokyo only?
        maybe it will be additional beside kanto pass since i will stay at tokyo more than 3 days and it cheaper.

        What pass you recomended for 4/5 days at kyoto – osaka – nara – kansai airport?


          1. Hi, Takeshi

            Thanks for your referrence.

            Does Tokyo Metro is subway?

            I planning to stay at asakusa. and i find, tokunai pass not cover :

            -Tsukiji market
            -Tokyo Skytree
            -Tokyo Disney land and Sea
            -Ghibli museum

            and i find Tokyo Metro 1-Day Open Ticket for tourist just 600 Yen and cover all tokyo route include tokunai pass didn’t cover. It’s that right?

            Do you know where i can get this ticket?

            Also have u any suggest transport from narita – asakusa?


            1. Hi Andy,

              Yes. Tokyo Metro is subway. But subway pass does not cover Odaiba, Tokyo Disney, Ghibli either. Odaiba is not cover by any regional passes. Odaiba can be accessed by Yurikamome or Rinkai line. Only JR East pass covers Rinkai line. Yurikamome is not covered by any passes.

              If you go to Tsukiji, there are two stations, Tsukiji and Tsukijishijo. Tsukijishijo is located at just Tsukiji Market, but this is Toei subway station. It’s not covered by Tokyo Metro 1 day ticket. You need “Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway” at 1000 yen for both subway line. However Tsukiji Marcket can be accessed from Tsukiji station by walk easily (about 10 minutes).


              You can purchase it at vending machine when you need.

              Keisei line connects Narita and Asakusa directly.


              Takeshi / JP Rail

              1. Hi, Takeshi.

                Thanks for your help.

                I find about Tokyo – Fuji there’s 2 route. To 5’th Station or to Kawaguchiko Lake.

                My Destination is to Kawaguchi lake – Shibazakura at motosuko lake since it’s in season. I go around 15-17 May 2016 for a one day trip.

                Do you any suggest cheaper way to go there?


              2. Additional,

                I planning to Take Tokyo – Kawaguchiko – See shibazakura – Ice cave at lake saiko – Spend 1 night at kawaguciko – Go to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route – Kyoto.

                Is there possible to have trip like that?
                I still don’t meet transport kawaguchiko – Tateyama, Tateyama Bus for Alpine Route, and Tateyama to Kyoto.


              3. Or my subplan is Playing 2 days at kawaguchiko and direct go to Kyoto.

                Is there any bus from kawaguchiko to Kyoto? how long and how much?


                1. Hi Andy,

                  Bus is the best way to get Lake Kawaguchi and Shibazakura venue. Please find more info at the links below:

                  It’s too tight from Lake Kawaguchi to Kyoto via Kurobe Tateyama Alpine route in one day. If you can stay somewhere between Kawaguchiko and Kyoto, like Toyama, it will work. Please find the locations at the link below:

                  You can find the bus info between Kyoto and Fuji at the link below:


                  Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Good morning Mr. Takeshi,
        Thank you so much for the answer before, i have a question about JR Kanto Pass.

        If I buy JR kanto area Pass, May I activate it 2 days after I paid?

        Thank you for your answer

  4. Hallo again Takeshi San…

    I use JR Kanto Area Pass,

    1. If i take Ltd.Exp hitachi from Ueno to Katsuta, which train i should take. I saw there are 2 kind of this Ltd.Exp Hitachi, Super Ltd.Exp and Fresh Ltd.Exp

    2. Should have to reserve seat before? should i pay surcharge?

    thanks a lot for your advise Takeshi

    1. Hi Suad,

      1. You can take whichever you want.
      2. Kanto Area Pass covers reserved seat surcharge. You can book without extra. You also can book it in advance after you get pass.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Morning takeshi san,

        this is my ilustrate: i booked Nagano Shinkansen “ASAMA”, what will happen when i was reserved seat but i’m coming late to the track

        Thanks before Takeshi

          1. Takeshi San,

            I’m so sorry, i ask a lot of question 🙂

            When I arrived at Haneda Airport, how can I go to Shinjuku station by using JR Kanto Pass? My hostel in Empire Shinjuku near shin okubo station.

            Thanks again

  5. Hi, I am planing a trip to Mito end of March 2015. I will be travelling from Ueno station to Mito station. I have 2 questions

    1) Can I use my Suica card instead of buying a ticket?
    2) If I can use my Suica card, then that means I can only sit in the Non-Reserved car no 8 -10 right?

    1. HI Gordon,

      You can use Suica. But you have to purchase non reserved limited express ticket beside Suica.
      By the way most of this train will run from Shinagawa after March 14. You may catch this train at Ueno, Shinagawa and Tokyo as well.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Thanks for the fast reply. Actually I was referring to using my Suica to tap in at the gantry and go to the platform and board the Hitachi train. Is this possible?

        Or are you saying I still have to purchase a ticket, regardless I pay by cash or with the Suica card?

        And yes I just read that after March 14 the train will run from Shinagawa. I will see which of the 3 stations is closer to me. 🙂

        1. HI Gordon,

          I meant Suica cannot be used for limited express surcharge. You can tap when you enter the station. But it covers base fare only. You still need to purchase surcharge ticket beside Suica,


          Takeshi / JP Rail

          1. Noted thanks! I get it now. 🙂

            Last question. I need this surcharge ticket to get onto the platform? For eg there’s another gantry that require me to insert this surcharge ticket to get in.

            Or are therel be train conductor making their rounds to check?

            1. Hi Gordon,

              You can purchase on board. Why don’t you purchase it before you enter the station? You can purchase it at any stations in Tokyo. You don’t need to purchase it at departure station and also you can purchase it in advance.


              Takeshi / JP Rail

          2. Ok got it. Great tips. I’ll definitely get it in advance to prevent any hiccups on the actual day of travel.

            Last last question. The ticket can be bought at the ticking machine right?

  6. Hai next oct i will travel to tokyo for 5 days and 4 nights, through narita airport. Day 1&4 sightseeing inside/nearby tokyo. Day 2 hitachi seasidepark (daytrip) day 3. Hakone and kawaguchiko daytrip day 5.back To airport .
    1. Is the jr.kanto area pass the most economic way to travel those trips (i really want to enjoy the shinkansen train).
    2. Is it possible to do that ittenerary whille i will be going with 3 kids 5,6 and 11 years old and my husband.
    3. Transfer to and from narita-tokyo/shinjuku…what is the easiest and cheapest for family of 5 like us.
    Very appreciate your answer…tx a lot.

    1. Hi Nurul,

      1. Yes, it is. But in your itinerary, you don’t have any chances to take Shinkansen. This pass covers Tohoku Shinkansen (Tokyo-Nasushiobara), Joetsu Shinkansen (Tokyo-Jomokogen) and Nagano (Hokuriku) Shinknsen (Tokyo-Sakudaira). You will not take these Shinkansen in your itinerary. You cannot take Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo-Odawara) when you go to Hakone.

      2. I don’t think you can visit both Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi in one day. It’s too much. Lake Kawaguchi can be covered by Kanto Area Pass. But if you go to Hakone, you can use this pass to get Odawara. But as I mentioned, you cannot take Shinkansen. Onlu local train or ltd exp Odoriko is your choice. Please find more info at the link below:

      3. N’ex Tokyo round trip ticket is the best choice.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Hai takeshi
        Tx a lot for your answer.
        I have read that several (train type and schedule) changing after 14 march..while i will travel on october.
        1. Is hitachi train (going to hitachi seasidepark)still covered by jr kanto area pass?)

        2. Are 22th and 23rd oct considered as peak season to katsuka (hitachi and tokiwa train) ? Because there are many departure only go when peak season. I plan to go to katsuka around 1pm from tokyo, because at 10 am we will be just landed at narita

        3. Going to hakone use the kanto pass, i plan to buy the hakone free pass at odawara station because it’s cheaper (4000¥). Is it most economic plan ?

        4. We really want to try shinkansen with our kanto area pass. Which route you might recomend us to take (for half day trip and fun for kids). How about taking spacia kinugawa?

        Sory for that massive question. Very appreciate your answer…

        1. Hi Nurul,

          1) Yes. These trains actually will depart from Shinagawa after March 14. So you can catch it at Shinagawa, Tokyo and Ueno.
          2) No. These trains are very easy to book.
          3) Yes. But you cannot take Shinakansen to get Odawara from Tokyo. Your choice is rapid train or limited express Odoriko.
          4) There are three Shinkansen that you can take by Kanto Area Pass. But it’s not much different actually. So you can choose by destination. If you want to take Spacia from Shinjuku, visit Nikko and come back to Tokyo by Nikko line and Tohoku Shinkansen.


          Takeshi / JP Rail

          1. Hi Takeshi San

            Tq for your reply. But i still confuse about going to katsuka (hitachi seaside park). On 22th oct we will be landed at narita around 10 am and directly heading hitachi seaside park by hitachi train(joban line), after purchase a kanto area pass at narita terminal.
            Are there any chances for us to catch up those trains in the afternoon and have a (half) day trip back to tokyo ?? since there are only morning and late afternoon (tokiwa 65 depart at 14.23 from tokyo) departure that go everyday. The other schedules (that fit with our schedule) go only peak season….

            Thank you Takeshi san

            1. Hi Nurul,

              I think you saw this timetable below

              In this timetable, some trains are shown as seasonal operation, like Tokiwa 63, Hitachi 15. But actually these trains run everyday. For example, there are two Tokiwa 65 in this timetable. First one runs on weekend in March and other one runs all other dates. The reason why there are two separated timetable is different schedule. As you see, the timetables are a bit different. That’s why those trains have to be shown as two different timetable.

              Annyway both Tokiwa and Hitachi are covered by pass and these trains run every 30 minutes to 1 hour.


              Takeshi / JP Rail

  7. Hi,

    I’m looking for a cost-effective way to get from Tokyo to Iwaki for a day trip (coming back to Tokyo on the same day). Do you think the Kanto Pass would be helpful to save money?


      1. Thank you so much, Takeshi-san! I am not sure though if the Kanto Pass will allow me to travel as far as Iwaki. I studied the map on the JR East website and still can’t figure this out. Will there be any extra charge to use this pass from Ueno to Iwaki?


        1. Hi Guy,

          Kanto Area Pass does not cover all part of your trip. The border station is Otsuko. It’s six stations away from Iwaki. If you take a limited express train, the extra fare is 580 yen (base fare) and 1270 yen (reserve seat fee) for one way. If you want to minimize extra charge, get off limited express at Takahaghi where is the nearest station to border that limited express stops and transfer to local train. You can save 1270 yen.


          Takehsi / JP Rail

  8. Hi,…
    i have plan to travel arround Japan for 3 days, this is my itinerary
    Day1 : Tokyo – Hitachi Seaside Park (return)
    Day2 : Tokyo – Tateyama Kurobe alpine route (return)
    Day3 : Tokyo – Kawaguchiko (return)
    is it covered by JR Kanto Pass?
    i need your suggest
    Thank u

    1. Hi suad bages,

      Kanto Area Pass covers fully for day 1 and 3.
      For day 2, Tateyama Kurobe is out of area. But additional charge on top of Kanto area pass is most affordable choice. You can find additional fare at Hyperdia:
      Input Kobuchizawa and Shinano-Omachi and find it.

      By the day, are you really sure to visit Tateyama-Kurobe as day trip? You will spend 3.5 hours by direct limited express “Azusa”. (07:30 dep – 11:01 arr)
      You can’t use this direct service on the way because there is only one round trip and depart from Shinano-Omachi at 15:05. 4 hours is not enough to see Kurobe Tateyama route.

      It is quite tough and very tight trip.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Hi,
    I’m planning to travel from tokyo to hitachi seaside park this coming May, can i use the JR Kanto area pass for Limited Express Hitachi? Thanks.

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