Access to Mt. Aso from Kumamoto. Kids friendly train, Limited Express Aso Boy!

Limited Express Aso Boy run as seasonal operation due to closure on regular route. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Limited Express Aso Boy run as seasonal operation due to closure on regular route. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

This train currently runs between Oita and Aso because original route was damaged by earthquake and closed. Please see the link below to find the current timetable.

Seasonal trains schedule

This train, Aso Boy! connects Kumamoto with Aso and Miyaji. If you go to Mt. Aso by rail, take Shinkansen to Kumamoto and transfer to this train. This is the easiest way to get there. This is not only access train to Aso, but also give you a big fun! This train is operated by specialized Kiha-183 series. This was completely redesigned by JR Kyushu chief designer, Eiji Mitooka. Both parents and children can enjoy the trip in the train to Aso. Now I show you the details about this train. And also I really want you to see very interesting interior of this train.

Route, schedule and trip time

Aso Boy! runs 2 round trips a day between Kumamoto and Miyaji. If you just need to access to Aso, you can use Trans Kyushu Limited Express too. This train is operated on same route. Aso Boy! connects Kumamoto with Aso or Miyaji in 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can see the timetable at JR Kyushu website (English page).


View Aso Boy! in a larger map

Stations

Station
Kumamoto(熊本)x
Shin-Suizenji(新水前寺)x
Suizenji(水前寺)x
Higo-Otsu(肥後大津)x
Tateno(立野x
Akamizu(赤水)x
Aso(阿蘇)x
Miyaji(宮地)x

x:All trains stop

Accommodation

Aso Boy! is operated by KIHA 183 series. This train was redesigned just before this train was started to operate in 2011. This train has the observation panoramic seat at both end. And there are many features for the family group and kids.

This train has a character. That is a black puppy that is called “Kuro-chan”. This character is drawn on both interior and exterior. Kuro-chan is everywhere! Kids must like it! By the way, Aso Boy is named from Asobouyo (=Let’s play!) in Kumamoto dialect. Anyway this train have lots of playful mind.

The standard seat pitch is 960mm. But there are “Parent and Child seat” and semi compartment seat. These seats are quite different from the standard seat. I will show you all kind of seats below. There is no Green seat on this train. And all seats are reserved seat. You must make a reservation before you ride.

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

Train formation

1234
P/RRFRR/P

*P=Panoramic observation seat R=Reserved seat FR=Reserved seat for family (Parent and Child seat)
Smoking is not allowed on these trains.

Images

Car#1 Panoramic observation seat and standard reserved seat

Car#2 Standard reserved seat

Car#3 Parent and Child seat

Car#3 “Kuro Club” Kids play area
There are three facilities, wood ball pool, kids tea ceremony room and library.

Car#3 “Kuro Cafe”
You can buy drink, snack and souvenir. Kuro chan’s souvenirs are very popular. If you want to buy, go and get ASAP.

Car#4 Panoramic observation seat and standard reserved seat

Sanitary space

Passenger’s deck

46 thoughts on “Access to Mt. Aso from Kumamoto. Kids friendly train, Limited Express Aso Boy!”

  1. Hi

    I have a plan to go to Aso mt. in the morning of 12 july 2015.
    Checked in Hypedia there don’t have LTD. EXP KYUSHU ODAN TOKKYU 2 or Aso boy in the time table can you advice me
    and what station i have to go Aso or Miyaji

    Thankyou

    1. Hi Rak,

      I think Hyperdia does not have seasonal train info yet. Sometimes it happens.
      Anyway Aso Boy will run on 12 Jul. Please find operation date and schedule at the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/seasonal-trains-schedule/schedule-of-2015-spring-seasonal-trains-of-japan-railways.html

      Kyushu Odan #2 is not existed. Because Kyushu Odan Tokkyu share train # with limited express Kumagawa. That runs between Hitoyoshi and Kumamoto only.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. Dear Takeshi san,

    I plan to go to Aso on Jan 10 2015 from Yufuin. Is there a training between to Aso from Yufuin? Base on hypedia searching it is complicated and require many transit.

    Does Aso Boy run on Jan 10 2014?

    Appreciate your advices.

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    Can i ask if the special trains in Kyushu run in december?
    I cant seem to find any information about it.
    Thank you for your kind assistance.

  4. Hi, I plan to go to Aso on Jul 16-18, would like to know if ASO Boy will operate on Jul 16 and 18. And, are all the seat needed to have reservation and no free seating? If I reserve the seat at Hakata station (on Jun 12), will it be too late to secure a seat?

    Thanks,
    Sharon

  5. Hi, I have plan to take Aso boy from Kumamoto Station to Aso on October 13th, 2014. Would you kindly tell me if Aso boy is operated on that day and can I book ticket in advance.

    Thank you

  6. Hi, I have plan to take Aso boy from Kumamoto Station to Aso on April 3rd, 2014.
    Would you kindly tell me if Aso boy is operated on that day and can I book ticket in advance by using Kyushu Pass from Hakata Station.
    Thank you so much
    Joe

  7. I have plan to Mt. aso in 3Mar2014. I don’t see aso boy timetable (aso–>kumamoto) in this day,is it on annual inspection?

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Unfortunately it will not.
      This fleet is in the annual inspection. I’m not 100% sure, but it will be come back in March.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

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