Limited Express Shirayuki. Intercity express between Joetsu-Myoko and Niigata

This fleet E653 series will be used for Limited Experss Shirayuki. (C) James Chuang

Limited Express Shirayuki will be operated between Niigata and Hokuriku Shinkansen’s new station, Joetsu-Myoko that is 5 stations away from Naoetsu.

Currently Limited Express Hokuetsu runs between Niigata and Kanazawa. Limited Express Hakutaka runs between Echigo-Yuzawa and Kanazawa. These trains and Joetsu Shinkansen via Nagaoka or Echigo-Yuzawa connect Tokyo and Hokuriku regions now. But Hokuriku Shinkansen will open on March 14, 2015. It will connect Kanazawa, Toyama,and Tokyo directly via Nagano, Joetsu-Myoko and Itoigawa. Therefore after Hokuriku Shinkansen will open, these trains will be discontinued and will be replaces by new train, Limited Express Shirayuki. This new train will connect Joetsu-Myoko and Niigata via other cities along the coast, such as Naoetsu, Kashiwazaki. But unfortunately there will not be any direct access between Kanazawa/Toyama and Niigata any more. And all convention lines that runs in parallel with Shinkansen that is a segment of Nagano – Noetsu – Itoigawa – Toyama – Kanazwa will be owned by third sector companies that is non JR lines. Any JR deals, such as JR Pass, will not cover this segment of conventional lines. Only Shinkansen will be covered by JR Pass. So if you take this train, Limited Express Shirayuki, the segment between Joetsu-Myoko and Naoetsu will not be covered by JR Pass and JR East Pass either. You have to pay the extra on top of JR deals.

At this point, I cannot give you the detailed information yet. But I would like to share the information as much as I can.

Route, schedule and trip time

Limited Express Shirayuki offers train services between Arai / Joetsu-Myoko and Niigata. This train will make stops at major cities along coast side, such as It connects Joetsu-Myoko and Niigata in 2 hours.

5 round trips of this limited express train will be operated. 2 of this 5 round trips will be operated between Arai and Niigata. Other 3 round trips will run between Joetsu-Myoko and Niigata.


Arai (新井)x
Joetsu-Myoko (上越妙高)x
Takada (高田)x
Kasugayama (春日山)*
Naoetsu (直江津)x
Kakizaki (柿崎)x
Kashiwazaki (柏崎)x
Nagaoka (長岡)x
Mitsuke (見附)x
Higashi-Sanjo (東三条)x
Kamo (加茂)x
Niitsu (新津)x
Niigata (新潟)x

x:All trains stop *:Only Shirayuki #1 and #6 stop at this station.

Extra fare for Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass Nagano Niigata

The segment between Arai and Naoetsu belongs to Echigo-Tokimeki Railway which is non JR railway (the third sector railway company). JR Pass does not cover this segment. However JR East Pass Nagano Niigata covers Echigo Tokimeki Railway between Naoetsu and Arai. Extra fare is not required if you use JR East pass.

The extra charge for this segment is the following:

SegmentBase fareExpress surchargeTotal
Joetsu-Myoko – Naoetsu240 yen210 yen450 yen
Arai – Naoetsu320 yen210 yen530 yen


This train will be operated by renovated E653 series. This train has an ordinary class only.

Ordinary class interior. It is very common but it is very comfortable.

Train formation

This train will be very simple formation. No green car and it will be only 4 cars formation.


R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat
*All seats are non smoking and Green car is not available.

9 thoughts on “Limited Express Shirayuki. Intercity express between Joetsu-Myoko and Niigata”

  1. Hi,

    Please can you tell me how I can book a ticket on the Limited Express Shirayuki – from Niigata Station to Joetsu Myoko Station? I cant seem to find a link anywhere to do this?


  2. I am planning to take this from niigata train to takada (niigata), as the segment before naoetsu covered by JR east pass, would that mean I only need to pay segment from naoetsu to takada fares? Do I need to get off the shinkansen at noetsu and buy the ticket or I just get off at Takada and pay the rest of fare there? Thanks for the help,

    1. Hi Onezenc,

      Actually Naoetsu-Takada segment is covered by JR East Pass Nagano Niigata. This segment belongs to Echigo Tokimeki Railway which is not JR. But JR East Pass covers Echigo Tokimeki Railway between Naoetsu and Arai. Takada is located on this segment.


      Takeshi /

      1. Oh, well thanks for letting me know.


        (was wondering as somebody locally menioned something about a ‘day ticket’ – but perhaps they were mistaken or it was a misunderstanding on my part)

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