Yakumo is an inter-city train that connects Aomori with several cities in Okayama (=岡山), and Sanin area. (=山陰地方), such as Yonago (=米子), Matsue (=松江) and Izumoshi (=出雲市). You can transfer from Sanyo Shinkansen at Okayama. Okayama is only 40-50 minutes away from Shin-Osaka by Sanyo Shinkansen. This train is fully cover by Japan Rail Pass. Let’s see the details.
Route, schedule and trip time
Yakumo is operated 15 round trips between Okayama and Izumoshi. This limited express train connects Okayama with Yonago in 2 hours, Okayama with Matsue in 2 hours and 30 to 40 minutes, and Okayama with Izumoshi in 3 hours.
View Yakumo in a larger map
x=all trains stop *=some trains skip
Tsugaru is operated by refurbished JR West 381 series. The seat configuration in Green seat is 2+1. The seat pitch is 1160mm. In Ordinary seat has same seat configuration. The seat pitch is 1000mm. 8 round trips of Yakumo, #5, #9, #19, #23, #4, #8, #18 and #22 have Green car with panoramic window at car #1. If you get a front row seat on the train from Okayama, you will enjoy nice view through the window.
Yakumo #5, #9, #19, #23, #4, #8, #18 and #22
PG=Green seat with Panoramic window G=Green seat R=Reserved ordinary seat NR=Non-Reserved ordinary seat
Green seat – Reserved ordinary – Non reserved ordinary
*These above three images by DRAGONBALLXYZ (Own work (本人撮影)) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I took the Ltd Express Hamakaze from Sannomiya Station (Kobe) via Himeji and up the scenic rural Bantan Line to Kinosaki Onsen in September 2019. If you have time you can stop and visit the ruins of Takeda Castle otherwise known as the castle in the mist (you may want to overnight in the nearby town), and at the junction of the Bantan and Sanin Lines at Wadayama Station look out for the old loco shed.
The onward trip from Kinosaki Onsen to Tottori is as Jonathan said also very scenic with some nice small fishing villages and bays and one famous station stop on a high bridge overlooking one town and bay (a favourite photo op location for Japanese trainspotters it seems) but if leaving in the morning you’re looking at taking local trains going in that direction towards Tottori. There isn’t, unless the timetable has recently changed, a Ltd Express option. Nethertheless, like Jonathan, I found it an enjoyable and scenic trip.
Thanks for sharing your story, Simon.
Takeshi / JPRail
Can i take this limited express from Okayama Station to Kurashiki Station with Kansai Wide Area Pass?
Yes. you can. Even though it is very short ride, you can do it.
Takeshi / JPRail.com
Do you happen to know if this train Limited Express Yakumo to izumo had toilet?
Yes, it has.
Takeshi / JPRail.com
This is just one of several ways of reaching Matsue/Izumo-shi by rail. I’ve used three of these before, and thought I’d share my perceptions of the advantages/disadvantages of each.
From the West via Shin-Yamaguchi and Masuda
If you’re coming in from Hakata (and maybe Hiroshima, your personal schedule depending) this may be a comperable time route to the fastest. Essentially take the Sanyo shinkansen to Shin-Yamaguchi Station and change to the Ltd Exp Super Oki service. Shin-Yamaguchi is not serviced by even all Hikari shinkansen services, so be sure to check the schedule. From there, change to Limited Express Super Oki, which is operated by Kiha 187 series. This is a single train and takes around 4 hours, and reaches the San-in coast about 2 hours in. It’s good in that you don’t have to change trains, but there are not a lot of services in the day, and the scenery I didn’t find to be that compelling.
Via Okayama and on Yakumo
This (to my knowledge) is the most common, and usually the fastest route. As mentioed above, the view is nice, and its generally a good trip throug the mountains. Okayama is an important hub, so its easy to get supplies or a meal between trains.
From Kyoto/Osaka via Himeji and Tottori
I haven’t personally used this route before, so know little about it. However, if for some reason you’re constrained from using the shinkansen or want to try something a little different, JR West operates Ltd Exp Super Hakuto from Kyoto to Tottori and Kurayoshi, with a local connection or Ltd Exp Super Matsukaze to Matsue and Izumo-shi. Super Hakuto is operated by HOT7000 series, and splits off from the Sanyo Line/shinkansen after Himeji. Super Matsukaze is operated by Kiha 187 series, the same as Super Oki.
From Kyoto/Osaka via Kinosaki Onsen and Tottori
I did this route in reverse from Matsue to Kinosaki Onsen (a famous hot spring town about 2 1/2 hours north of Kyoto/Osaka), and then onto Kyoto afterwards. I found this to be a scenic and rewarding trip, as long as you have the time to dedicate to doing it. To reach Kinosaki Onsen, from Kyoto take Ltd Exp Kinosaki to Kinosaki Onsen (some are operated by the new 287 series). From Osaka, take Ltd Exp Konotori to Kinosaki Onsen. From there, you can change to a local service bound for Hamasaka, and another local service to Tottori, with ongoing connections on local services or Super Matsukaze to Matsue and Izumo-shi. If you’re lucky, from Osaka there’s also another train, Ltd Exp Hamakaze, that runs through to Hamasaka, and can eliminate one local service from the route, but takes a long time as it passes through Himeji before heading up to Kinosaki Onsen.
The route through Kinosaki is my personal favourite, but usually takes the better part of a day, and thats if you start at Kinosaki Onsen itself (add 2 1/2 hours from Kyoto). However, if you’re genuinely interested in seeing the San-in region, I recommend putting both Kinosaki Onsen and Matsue on your travel itinerary.
Wow! Thank you for sharing really useful info with us.
I’m originally from Osaka. Kinosaki is most familiar hot spring with me. I’ve been there many times. It reminds me my childhood. : )
Takeshi / JP Rail