The limited express Shinano: Inter-city express connecting Nagoya and Nagano

Limited Express "Shinano"
The limited express Shinano operated by 383 series.

The limited express train Shinano runs between Nagano (長野) and Nagoya (名古屋). When you go to Japan Northern Alps, take this train to Matsumoto (松本), and transfer to a local train on Oito line bound for Shinano-Omachi (信濃大町), Hakuba (白馬) and Minami-Otari (南小谷). And also this train goes through the Kiso vallery which has some small histrical post towns, such as Tsumago, Magome

I will explain about this train in this article.

Route, schedule and trip time

It takes about 3 hours to get to Nagano from Nagoya. Most of Shinano depart from both side Nagoya and Nagano once every hour at :00.

View Limited Express Shinano in a larger map


Nagoya (名古屋)x
Kanayama (金山駅)*
Chigusa (千種)x
Ena (恵那)*
Nakatsugawa (中津川)x
Nagiso (南木曽)*
Agetsu (上松)*
Kiso-Fukushima (木曽福島)x
Shiojiri (塩尻)x
Matsumoto (松本)x
Akashina (明科)*
Hijirikogen (聖高原)*
Shinonoi (篠ノ井)x
Nagano (長野)x
x:All trains stop *:some trains stop

Seat and facilities

The limited express Shinano has Green car seat on car #1 with huge panoramic windows.

The Shinano is serviced by 383 series. The seat configuration is 2+2 for both Green and Ordinary. Green car is car#1. It has a huge glass window at the cockpit. If you get a seat at the very front row when you go to Nagano, you will enjoy beautiful sceneries. The seat pitch is 1,160mm in Green class and 1,000mm in an ordinary class. 1,000mm in Ordinary is bigger than the standard of an ordinary class.

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

Train formation

*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat
Smoking is not allowed on this train.
Extra cars may be added for peak seasons.


Green seat

Ordinary seat

Sanitary space

Shinano 383 series sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space Shinano 383 series sanitary space

At last

I got on this train from Nagoya to Matsumoto and dropped by Magome. Please see the link below to find my trip report:

This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction.

I hope you will enjoy a trip on this train to Nagano and Matsumoto.

84 thoughts on “The limited express Shinano: Inter-city express connecting Nagoya and Nagano”

  1. Hi, I need to travel from Nagoya to Nagano on 27th Dec. Can I buy the Nagoya-Nagano Shinano Limited Express ticket at the train station in Osaka? If yes, which train station in Osaka?

    I also need to travel back from Nagano to Tokyo on 1st Jan by shinkansen. Can I book the ticket online and pick up the ticket at Osaka or Kyoto?

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

    1. Hi Foo,

      You can book and purchase a ticket at any major JR stations throughout Japan. Of course you can do it at JR Osaka station, In downtown Osaka, you can do at most of JR stations, such as Osaka, Kyobashi, Shin-Osaka, Tennoji, Nishikujo. And you can do it at Kyoto station too.


      Takeshi /

  2. Is there any luggage storage space between cars? I have a large suitcase I can fit behind last row if not. Traveling Nagoya to Matsumoto.

  3. hi i just want to ask if they have a schedule for october 19 2019. Is there any issue what happen in last typhoon if its okay to commute on that day. Thank you

    1. Hi Jen,

      At this point, the limited express Shinano runs between Nagoya and Matsumoto. The segment between Nagano and Matsumoto is damaged by the typhoon. I haven’t heard when this segment will be recovered. There are still many inspection and investigation on going. I will keep updating the info:
      Train operation status


      Takeshi /

  4. Hi Takeshi,

    My family and I will be flying in to Nagoya on the 27th November and proceed immediately to Matsumoto. Do you think it is possible to grab tickets on the spot at the JR counter at Nagoya Station? I read from your previous comment that it is not possible to purchase tickets online.

  5. Takeshi,

    Thank you for all your work.

    I will be travelling on the Shinano from Matsumoto to Nakatsugawa. Which side of the train has a better view?

    I have the same question for a few other trains and I will ask on the other sections.

    Thank you.

  6. Hi Takeshi,

    Thank you for all the info! I cannot seem to find (anywhere online!) the schedule/timetable for limited express shinano from Nagano to Nagoya, could you please direct me to where I can find it? I’m travelling from Nagano to Nagoya, might make a stop at Matsumoto for a bit of sightseeing, so I would like to know ahead what timings are available and what is the latest train I can catch to Nagoya.

    Thank you!

  7. Hello – can you purchase food (Ekiben or other) on this train? or is it acceptable to bring an Ekiben/food on the train to eat?

    Thank you

    1. I take a daily commute from Kanayama to Tajimi via Chuo line. If I get on the non-reserved cars, will I still be charged an additional fee? Thanks.

  8. Hi,

    I am planning to take the Ltd Express Shinano 21 from Nagoya to Nagano. Is it possible to make a reservation online?


  9. Hello!
    I couldn’t see the rate here, but I was wondering if it’s worth to buy the Japan rail pass if I’m only traveling Nagoya – Nagano and back?

    Thanks :)!

  10. Hi,

    I am planning to travel from Nagano (長野) to Nagoya (名古屋) on 29/12/2017. I am wondering what is the procedure to reserve ticket online. Tried to look around the web and seems they have no reservation service. Is it correct?
    If no ticket reservation, where could I buy the ticket after landed Japan?
    (my trip is 25/12 landing at Tokyo, then go to Nagano for skiing and visiting the monkeys, and then go to Nagoya on 29/12, and finally back to Tokyo on 1/1/18 (will purchase ticket with the new app smartEX, and travel via Shinkansen).
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Bernard,

      As you think, you cannot purchase a ticket for Nagano to Nagoya online. You need to purchase it after you arrive in Japan. But you can book a ticket at any major JR stations in advance. In Tokyo, you can book and purchase a ticket at most of JR stations.


      Takeshi /

Please read these terms and conditions before you leave a comment.
  • Your comment will not be displayed until I approve it. When you will leave a comment, the page will just reload and nothing will happen. But if I approve the comment, your comment will be displayed. Press submit only once and wait for the comment to appear.
  • Please refrain from asking me to create a itinerary. I'm not your personal travel agent, so I do not accept making itineraries from scratch. This site provides you with a lot of information. Please refer to them and make your own itinerary. I will be happy to advise you on the itinerary.
  • Please refrain from asking how to get to the hotel you are staying at. I think that is the first thing to check when choosing a hotel. Also, I think that any hotel nowadays explains how to access it on the official website. First, try google the hotel name.
  • Please refrain from asking me which hotel to recommend. I can comment on the hotels I actually stayed at, but I can't judge on other hotels.
  • If you ask me the rail pass that fits your itinerary, please explain your travel plan in as much detail as possible. I can't choose the best pass on the rough itinerary.
  • I will not answer your question by email. I manage this website with a policy of sharing all information, including questions received from readers. Some readers read past comments carefully. Please note that I do not personally interact with readers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *