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

Iwaki, Katsuta, Mito
All Limited Express Super Hitachi and Fresh Hitachi will be operated by the newest E657 series in this coming Macrh. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
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

Ordinary class seat

Sanitary space



  1. annnisanoor – Indonesian woman who currently live in Japan. Will be posted random things about 22 y.o. woman's life ;)
    Anis says:

    Can I use Seishun 18 kippu to go to Mito station from Tokyo station?

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Anis,

      Yes, you can. But you cannot take this express train, Hitachi or Tokiwa. You must take Joban line local train.


      Takeshi /

  2. Ria says:

    Hello Takeshi-san,
    We plan to visit Japan in Sakura season 2019. We are 2 senior citizens.
    This is our plan:
    Day 1: Narita arrival 17:30. Go to hotel (Gotanda)
    Day 2: Tokyo (Ginza, Shibuya , Shinjuku, Omotesando)
    Day 3: Mito ( 5 hours including travel time), Then Odaiba
    Day 4: Tokyo:Meguro or shinjuku Gyoen. Start JR 7 day pass .Shinkansen to Kyoto.
    Day 5-7: Kyoto
    Day 8-9: Kanazawa
    Day 10: Shinkansen Kanazawa to Tokyo. Change to Narita.Ex at Shinagawa
    (Flight at 20:00)

    We plan to activate our 7 day JR pass on Day 4 to Kyoto
    We would be grateful if you can guide us, whether we should:
    – is there a cheap way to go to Mito by train (seishun 18?) or drop Mito, as it is becoming too hectic?
    – what pass should we get for Tokyo (no Disney) and Kyoto?
    – Is it ok to plan Kanazawa -Tokyo- Narita. We are hoping that there will be no train disruptions on our visit. Or we might miss our flight.

    Thank you so much,

  3. 3ggi3pot
    eggie says:

    hi takeshi,

    will jr east nagano pass fully cover a ride on the limited express hitachi or tokiwa trains? meaning i do not have to pay extra for the reserved seat? i will be coming from Asakusabashi station.

    thank you for your help!

  4. icybeanie
    Jean Wong says:

    Hi, may I know if the Tokyo 1 Day ticket covers the JR Joban Line or the Ltd Express Hitachi train or in particular the Hitachi Seaside Park from Ueno?

  5. Novi Tan says:

    Hi, im going to tokyo in october. My itinerary is as follows:
    Day 1: narita airport- omotesando-gotanda (hotel)
    Day 2. Roppongi, tsukiji
    Day 3: Travel to Kyoto
    Day 4: still at Kyoto
    Day 5: Travel to Nara then Osaka
    Day 6: Travel back to Tokyo, asakusa, ueno, sky tree
    Day 7: shinjuku, meiji shrine
    Day 8: shibuya, tokyo tower
    Day 9: kawaguchiko
    Day 10: disneyland and disneysea
    Day 11: hitachi seaside park
    Day 12: gotanda- narita airport

    My question is
    1. should i buy 7days or 14 days JR pass?
    Or is it better to buy kanto pass to use in tokyo for day 1 and 2. Then use 7 days JR pass from day 3 to day 9.
    2. How about day 10 until day 12?
    Thank you.

  6. Are there any local trains that run between the Izumi and Iwaki stations and if so, is there any online timetable / schedule?

  7. syieda says:

    Good day Takeshi,

    i will be in Japan for 8 days. My planning as below
    30 April – Shinjuku
    1 May – Hitachi seaside park – return
    2 May – shibuya
    3 – 5 May – fuji mount
    5 – 7 May- Akihabara(And back to Haneda Airport)

    can you suggest me pass should i use for round Shinjuku/shibuya/akihabar area?
    and do you know train fare from shinjuku to Katsuka Station?
    and train fare from shinjuku to Gekkoji Station?

    thanks a lot


  8. withrahms
    Ami Risque says:

    Hello Takeshi /,

    Good day to you!
    This month, I will have a short trip to Japan, and would like to avail the JR Kanto Area Pass and I plan to go to Hitatchi Sea Side Park.
    Is the Limited express train Hitachi/Tokiwa covered in the JR Kanto Area Pass? I can only see the Mito Station in the JR website. (no Katsuta Station). Please help me clarify.
    Also, This is a reserved-seats only train right? How to reserve incase it is covered?

    Thanks alot for the time.
    God Bless,

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Ami,

      It’s covered by this pass fully. You can book a ticket at any JR stations that have reservation window. All stations surrounding/in Tokyo have this window. You may book it when you purchase Kanto Area Pass.


      Takeshi /

  9. Hai…

    This october i really interested to go to tateyama kurobe. Since we only travel around tokyo and hitachi seasude park for our 5 days in japan, i think buying jr east past with promo/discounted ticket tateyama kurobe (9000¥ from 12500¥ normal price) i think it is still a lot of money for Us.
    Does jr kanto area pass cover shinkansen from tokyo to nagano or joetsu myoko. If it is covered….so is it wise to buy jr kanto area pass then travel to nagano/joetsu myoko (hokuriku shinkansen) with my pass and continue to toyama with additional fee. Then buy tateyama kurobe alpine route ticket worth 12.500¥ then finish at nagano. And back from nagano to tokyo with hokuriku shinkanses for free (by jr kanto pass)…
    Please corect me…is it the most economist way??

    I hope you get my point….

    Thanks a lot


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