The limited express Kusatsu train guide. The direct access to Kusatsu-Onsen from Ueno, Tokyo

Kusatsu Onsen Yubatake, (C) Kusatsu Onsen Tourism Association/JNTO

The limited express Kusatsu runs between Ueno in Tokyo and Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi. Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi station is the nearest station to one of most famous hot springs resort, Kusatsu. JR Bus Kanto operates the local bus to Kusatsu Onsen.

I will explain about this train and access to Kusatsu Onsen by the bus from Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi station.

Route, schedule and travel time

Kusatsu runs between Ueno and Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi. Some seasonal operation goes to Manza-Kazawaguchi. The number of trips are 2 round trips on weekdays and 1 more round trip on weekend.

The limited express Kusatsu operation route (click to view large)

The trip time is 2 hours 15 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes from Ueno to Naganohara Kusatsuguchi. The trip time is slightly different by the train.

Connection to the JR Bus to Kusatsu Onsen

The bus service to Kusatsu Onsen from Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi station is operated by JR Bus Kanto. This bus service is covered by JR Pass. But Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East Pass Nagano Niigata, JR East Pass Tohoku, JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass cover only the limited express Kusatsu. These passes do not cover the bus to Kusatsu Onsen.

Several buses are dispatched for the arrival of the limited express Kusatsu. It is very well connection between the train and the bus. Please see the details in the post below.


651 series was introduced instead of older 185 series. (C) 651 series K106 Kusatsu Miyahara  - ja:User:細谷侑希 (Yuki Hosoya) - ja:File:651series Kusatsu.jpg
651 series was introduced instead of older 185 series. (C) 651 series K106 Kusatsu Miyahara – ja:User:細谷侑希 (Yuki Hosoya) – ja:File:651series Kusatsu.jpg

The limited express Kusatsu is operated by 651 series. 651 series has very nice interior. Especially in Green car, seat layout is 2+1 configuration. The leg space is 1160mm. In the ordinary cars, it is JR East standard that are 2+2 seat layout and 910mm seat pitch.

651 series train formation


R=Reserved ordinary seat NR=Non-Reserved ordinary seat G=Green car seat

651 series Images

Green Car's Seat of JR 651 - Lover of Romance
Green class seat (C) Green Car’s Seat of JR 651 – Lover of Romance
Ordinary seat of JR 651
Ordinary class seat (C) Seat of JR 651 – Lover of Romance
651 series ordinary class interior
Ordinary class seats (C) JRE-651syanai – ゆりのき橋

66 thoughts on “The limited express Kusatsu train guide. The direct access to Kusatsu-Onsen from Ueno, Tokyo”

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        What time is it in Mar 6th, 2020 for this route from UENO to NAGANOHARAKUSATSUGUCHI and from NAGANOHARAKUSATSUGUCHI to UENO?

        Thank you
        Napach T.

      2. Hello,

        I’m planning on using this line in December when I visit Japan. Since I can’t reserve a seat online do you know if I can have a friend who is in Japan go to the station and book it for me or do I have to do it myself in person? Also how far in advance can I reserve a seat?


        1. Hi James,

          If you will use a regular ticket, you can ask your friend in Japan to buy and reserve a ticket for you. If you will use the JR pass or other rail pass, you cannto ask your friend. But if you use JR pass and buy a pass at the official site, you can book a seat online.

          Reserved seat tickets for JR trains will be on sale at 10 am, one month before traveling. For example, if you travel on December 15th, it will be on sale on June 15th at 10am.


          Takeshi /

  1. Hi Takeshi San,
    I am planning to travel from ueno station to Nakanojo on the Limited Express train. It will be a weekday in May. I know there is only a few trains per day, but I struggle to find the times for this. Please can you recommend where to look for this? Thankyou 🙂

    1. Hi Fran san,

      There are two round trips only.

      Ueno to Nakanojo
      10:00 departure – 11:57 arrival
      12:12 departure – 14:13 arrival

      Nakanojo to Ueno
      13:26 departure – 15:26 arrival
      16:00 departure – 18:09 arrival

      But this timetable may be revised in March. Please make sure to use hyperdia to find it.


      Takeshi /

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