Schedule of 2017 summer seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Seasonal trains
HB-E300 Buna train set is the newest fleets for Resort Shirakami.

Rapid train, Kira Kira Uetsu runs between Niigata and Sakata on Uetsu line along the coast.

I cannot say that summer is the best season to visit Japan. It’s very hot and very humid. But it’s vacation season anyway. School summer break kick off on July 20 in most of area. And mid August is called “Obon”. It is one of the busiest period in the year. If you travel in this period, train may be booked out quickly. Please see the details in the link below:

2017 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even busy period

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during summer season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of September.

*Autumn seasonal train schedule (October to November) will come up in late August. But you will find all schedules until February, 2018 for trains in Kyushu.

JR Hokkaido (Hokkaido area)

Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train

This train is operated by “Torokko” (open air type passenger’s car). This is a cruising train that goes through Kushiro marsh. Please refer the detail about this train at Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train.

Operation dates
Jun 3,5,9-30
Jul 1-31
Aug 1-31
Sep 1-4, 8-30



If you are looking for more information about Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train, please see the post, Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train.

Furano Lavender Express / Furano Koyo Express

Furano is very popular spot in Hokkaido during summer season. Only this train takes you to Furano from Sapporo directly. In this season, this train will be operated by specialized fleet, “Crystal Express” that has double deck and compartment. Please refer the detail about this train at Furano Lavender Express / Koyo Express.

Operation dates
Jun 10,11,17,18,19,24-30 (Train #3 and #4 only)
Jul 1-31
Aug 1-6
Aug 7-20,26,27 (Train #3 and #4 only)
Sep 2,3,9,10,16-18,23,24 (Train #3 and #4 only)

Train #1 Sapporo 7:52 – Furano 9:49
Train #2 Furano 15:20 – Sapporo 17:22
Train #3 Sapporo 9:07 – Furano 11:07
Train #4 Furano 16:51 – Sapporo 18:46
*Train stops at Iwamizawa, Takikawa and Ashibetsu.

If you are looking for more information about trains for Furano Lavender Express, please see the post, Furano Lavender Express / Koyo Express.

Furano Biei Norokko train

This train is operated by “Torokko” (open air type passenger’s car). This is a cruising train that goes on Furano line. Please refer the detail about this train at Furano Biei Norokko train.

Operation dates
Jun 10,11,17,18,19,24-30
Jul 1-31
Aug 1-20,26,27
Sep 2,3,9,10,16-18,23,23



*Train makes stops at Biei, Bibaushi, Kami-Furano, Lavender-Batake and Naka-Furano.

If you are looking for more information about Furano Biei Norokko train, please see the post, Furano Biei Norokko train.

JR East (Tohoku and Kanto area)

Genbi Shinkansen

Genbi Shinkansen that runs between Echigo-Yuzawa and Niigata is called the world fastest art gallery.

This newest Shinkansen train is called “The World Fastest Art Gallery”. There are many artwork displayed in the train. This train is operated as train name, “Toki”.

Operation dates

Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25


Toki 45108:2409:14
Toki 45312:4413:38
Toki 45515:2016:14
Toki 45211:2612:20
Toki 45414:0214:56
Toki 45618:18

Toki 456 will operated by earlier schedule (16:42 – 17:36) after May 13
All trains stops at all stations between Echigo-yuzawa and Niigata.

You can find more information about this train at the post, The world fastest art gallery, Genbi Shinkansen.

Toreiyu Tsubasa

The first ever Shinkansen cruise train, Toreiyu Tsubsa. (C) James Chuang

This is the first ever Shinkansen train that has foot Onsen bath in the car.

Operation dates
Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25


StationToreiyu Tsubasa #1StationToreiyu Tsubasa #2

You can find more information about this train at the post, Toreiyu Tsubasa. First ever Shinkansen train that has foot bath.

Izu Craile

Renovated exterior looks very lovely.

This is another JR East’s new train. It runs between Odawara and Izu. All seats are Green reserved seat.

Operation dates
Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25
All dates on Saturday, Sunday and Holiday from July to Septemer

Odawara 11:40 – 14:08 Izukyu-Shimoda
Izukyu-Shimoda 15:20 – 17:12 Odawara

You can find more information about this train at the post, Cruising train Izu Creile offers you very comfortable train experience to Izu peninsula from Odawara.


Shu*Kura runs as promoting Niigata local product, especially Japanese Sake (pure rice wine). It is like Sake tasting train. You can enjoy many kinds of Sake on board.

This train runs on several routes in Niigata prefecture. There are three routes in this spring.

Koshino Shu*Kura
Jun 2-4,23-25,30
Jul 1.2.14-17.28-30
Aug 11-13.25-27
Sep 15-18.22-24.29.30


Yuzawa Shu*Kura
Jun 16-18
Jul 7-9
Aug 18-20
Sep 8-10


Ryuto Shu*Kura
Jun 9-11
Jul 21-23
Aug 4-6
Sep 1


You can find more information about this train at the post, Enjoy premium Japanese Sake on board. Cruising train Koshino Shu*Kura.


This train runs between Nagano and Tokamachi on Iiyama line. It has old style Japanese housing interior.

Operation dates
Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25
Jul 1.2.15-
Aug 5.6.11-
Sep 2.3.16-



You can transfer to the following train, Koshino Shu*Kura at Tokamachi.


This is new train which will be introduced in Oumi line. Oumi line goes on the highest elevation in all JR lines. You can enjoy mountain fresh air by riding this train.

Operation dates
Jul 1.2.7-9.14-17.21-24.26-31
Aug 2-7.9-14.16-21.23-28.30.31
Sep 1-3.8-10.15-18.22-24.29.30



Narita Express #8 and #41

E259 series is the fleet for Narita Express.

Narita Express runs Narita airport and downtown Tokyo or Yokohama, Ofuna. One round trip of Narita Express extend to run to Kawaguchiko via Shinjuku. You can get Lake Kawaguchi area from/to Narita airport directly by this train. But if you use this train by Japan Rail Pass or JR East Pass, the basic fare and limited express train seat fee between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko is not covered. Tokyo Wide Pass covers base fare fully but limited express train seat fee between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko is required. The seat fee is 400 yen for Ordinary class and 1,000 yen for Green class.

Operation dates
All Saturday, Sunday and Holidays


Terminal 1
Terminal 2,3
Terminal 2,3
Terminal 1

*Narita Express makes a stop at Shibuya, Tachikawa, Hachioji, Otsuki, Tsuru-Bunkadaigakumae, Fujisan and Fujikyu-Highland.

Rapid Holiday Fujisan, Rapid Fujisan, Rapid Yamanashi Fujisan

These trains connect Shinjuku and Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) directly. Transfer at Otsuki station is not required. But if you use this train by Japan Rail Pass or JR East Pass, the basic fare between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko is not covered.

Operation dates
Rapid Holiday Fujisan
All Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
Rapid Fujisan
Aug 4.18.25
Rapid Yamanashi Fujisan


Rapid Holiday Fujisan


Rapid Fujisan


Rapid Yamanashi Fujisan


*These trains make stops at Mitaka, Tachikawa, Hachioji, Takao, Sagamiko, Uenohara, Shiotsu, Otsuki, Tsurushi, Tsuru-Bunkadaigakumae, Mitsutoge, Fujisan and Fujikyu-Highland.

Rapid Fujisan and Rapid Yamanashi Fujisan have only reserved seat. Advanced reservation is required to take these trains. Rapid Holiday Fujisan have non reserved seat. You can take this train without reservation but you may not get a seat and need to be a standing passengers

Rapid Resort Shirakami

HB-E300 Buna train set is the newest fleets for Resort Shirakami.

This train connects Akita with Aomori through Gono line that has one of the greatest scenery. This train is operated by the specialized train or the newest Hybrid train. This train has only reserved seat.

Operation dates and timetable

Station/train#AkitaAomoriOperation date
18:2013:29Jun 1-30
Jul 1-30
Aug 1-31
Sep 1-30
514:1719:14Jun 1-4,8-30
Jul 1-30
Aug 1-31
Sep 1-30
Station/train#AomoriAkitaOperation date
28:1013:27Jun 1-4,8-30
Jul 1-30
Aug 1-31
Sep 1-30
413:5118:57Jun 1-30
Jul 1-30
Aug 1-31
Sep 1-30
Station/train#AkitaHirosakiOperation date
310:3815:48Jun 2-7,9-11,14,16-18,21,23-28,30
Jul 1-5,7-19,21-26,28-31
Aug 1,2,4-9,11-19,26,27,30
Sep 1-6,8-13,15-20,22-27,29,30

Jun 2-6,9-11,16-18,21,23-27,30
Jul 1-4,7-18,21-25,28-31
Aug 1,4-8,11-19,26,27
Sep 1-5,8-12,15-19,22-26,29,30


Station/train#HirosakiAkitaOperation date

This train makes a stop at Oiwaki, Hachirogata, Moritake, Higashi-Noshiro, Noshiro, Akita-Shirakami, Iwadate, Juniko, WeSpa-Tsubakiyama, Fukaura, Senjojiki, Ajigasawa, Mutsu-Morita, Kizukuri, Goshogawara, Mutsu-Tsuruta, Itayanagi, Kawabe, Hirosaki and Shin-Aomori. If you need more information about this train, please refer Rapid Resort Shirakami.

Rapid Resort Minori

This train connects Sendai with Shinjo via Naruko Onsen. It is operated by specialized train. You can see some images at JR East Sendai branch site.

Operation dates
Jun 2-4,9-11,16-18,23-25,30
Jul 1.2.7-9.14-17.21-23.28-30
Aug 4-6.11-16.18-20.25-27
Sep 1-3.8-10.15-18.22-24.29.30

Sendai 09:13 – 11:00 Naruko Onsen 11:23 – Shinjo 12:26
Shinjo 15:01 – 15:58 Naruko Onsen 16:00 – Sendai 17:39

This train makes a stop at Matsuhima, Kogota, Furukawa, Iwadeyama, Yubikan, Kawatabi-Onsen, Naruko-Gotenyu, Naruko-Onsen, Nakayamadaira-Onsen, Akakura-Onsen, Mogami and Semi-Onsen.

Rapid Resort View Furusato

This train connects Nagano with Minami-Otari via Matsumoto, Shinano-Omachi and Hakuba. It is operated by Hybrid train. You can see some images at JR East Nagano branch site.

Operation dates
Jun 2-4,9-11,23-25,30
Jul 1-
Aug 1-14.16-31
Sep 1-4.8-11.15-18.22-25.29.30

Nagano 09:04 – 10:29 Matsumoto 10:41 – 10:59 Hodaka 11:26 – 11:47 Shinano Omachi 11:51 – 12:23 Hakuba 12:29 – 12:47 Minami Otari
Minami Otari 15:16 – 15:31 Hakuba 15:37 – 16:13 Shinano Omachi 16:18 – 16:40 Hodaka 16:51 – 17:15 Matsumoto 17:23 – 18:28 Nagano

Rapid Kirakira Uetsu

This train connects Niigata and Sakata or Ugo-Honjo on Uetsu line. You can enjoy local foods and beautiful coast scenery of Sea of Japan. It is operated by specialized train “Kirakira Uetsu”. You can see some images at JR East Niigata branch site.

Operation dates
Jun 2-4,9-11,16-18,23,24*,25*,30
Jul 1.2.7-9.14-17.21-23
Aug 2-7.9-21.23-27
Sep 1-3.8-10.15*.16*.17*.18*.22-24.29.30

Niigata 10:13 – Sakata 12:51
Sakata 16:11 – Niigata 18:32

The following schedule is applied to the train that runs on the *mark dates. This train runs as Kirakira Uetsu Shirakami Relay between Niigata and Akita.
Niigata 09:33 – Akita 13:46
Akita 14:06 – Niigata 18:32

On Jul 28-31, Aug 2-7, 9 and 10, this train runs by the following timetable.
Niigata 10:13 – Sakata 13:14
The trains runs from Niigata to Sakata only from Jul 28 to 31.

Rapid SL Banestsu Monogatari

It is operated by steam locomotive and old style passenger’s cars between Niigata and Aizu-Wakamatsu.

Operation dates
Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25
Aug 5.6.11-

Niigata 09:30 – Aizu-Wakamatsu 13:35
Aizu Wakamatsu 15:25 – Niigata 19:06
This train makes a stop at Niitsu, Gosen, Sakihana, Mikawa, Tsugawa, Hideya, Nozawa, Yamato, Kitakata and Shiokawa.
*Diesel locomotive train depart later and arrive earlier.

If you need more info about this train, please see the post, Popular Steam Locomotive train, SL Banetsu Monogatari.

SL Ginga

It is the newest SL train. It connects Hanamaki and Kamaishi. The interior is amazing. It display the world of Kenji Miyazawa who is a poet and author of children’s literature.

Operation dates
For Kamaishi
Jun 3,10,17,24
For Hanamaki
Jun 4,11,18,25



Overnight Rapid Moonlight Shinshu 81

This is very popular and hard to get the seat. This train does not have any non reserved seat. This train is operated by old type Limited Express cars. But there is no berth or compartment.

Operation date
Jul 14,15,21,22,28,29
Aug 1-5,10,11,18,19
Sep 1,8

Shinjuku 23:54 – Hakuba 05:40
*There is no train to Shinjuku from Hakuba
This train makes a stop at Tachikawa, Hachioji, Otsuki, Shioyama, Kofu, Kobuchizawa, Chino, Kamisuwa, Shimosuwa, Okaya, Tatsuno, Shiojiri, Matsumoto, Toyoshina, Hodaka, Shinano-Omachi and Kamishiro.

JR Central (Chubu, Tokai and Hokuriku)

Overnight Rapid Moonlight Nagara

Seasonal overnight train Moonlight Nagara is operated by this 185 series.

This is very popular and hard to get the seat. This train does not have any non reserved seat. Reservation is required to take this train. It is operated by old type Limited Express cars. But there is no berth or compartment.

Operation dates
To Ogaki – Jul 21 to Aug 19
To Tokyo – Jul 22 to Aug 20



If you are looking for more information about Moonlight Nagara, please see the post, Rapid train Moonlight Nagara.

JR West (Kansai, Hokuriku and Chugoku)

Hanayome Noren

This is new train that will start to run in this fall in Kanazawa. This train takes you to Wakura Onsen in Noto peninsula.

Operation dates
Jun 2-4,9-11,16-18,23-25,30
Jul 1-3,7-11,14-18,21-25,28-31
Aug 1,4-7,11-15,18-22,25-29
Sep 1-3,8-10,15-18,22-24,29,30


KanazawaWakura Onsen
Wakura OnsenKanazawa

The train makes stops at Nanao and Hakui. All seats are reserved. You cannot take this train without booking.

Belles montagnes et mer

This is new train that will start to run in this fall in Takaoka. This train runs on both Himi line and Johana line.

Operation dates
Himi line (between Takaoka and Himi)
Jun 4,11,18,25
Jul 2,9,16,23,30
Aug 6,13,20,27
Sep 3,10,17,24
Johana line (between Takaoka and Johana)
Jun 3,10,17,24
Jul 1,8,15,22,29
Aug 5,12,19,26
Sep 2,9,16,23,30



Train #4 runs between Himi and Takaoka only. It does not go to Shin-Takaoka.
Train makes stops at Takaoka, Fushiki and Amaharashi.


Train makes stops at Shin-Takaoka, Tonami, Fukuno and Fukumitsu.

Sanyo Shinkansen 500 TYPE EVA

EVA Type 500 train runs as regular scheduled Kodama on Sanyo Shinkansen.

This is one of scheduled Kodama train that is operated by specialized “Neon Genesis Evangelion” wrapping fleet.
This train will not run from April to late May.

Operation dates
Jun 1-18,22-30
Jul 1-11,15-31
Aug 1,5-27,31
Sep 1-19,23-30


Kodama 7306:408:12/8:139:5711:14
Kodama 74111:2912:3113:54/13:5515:39

This train stops at all stations between Shin-Osaka and Hakata on Sanyo Shinkansen line.

Rapid Setouchi Marine View

The exterior of Setouchi Marine View

This train runs between Hiroshima and Mihara via Kure line. This train is operated by specialized train. Please check the images at the following links (JR West official site): Exterior | Reserved seat | Non reserved seat

Operation dates
Weekend and holidays until Aug 27
*This train will not run after Aug 28 until further notice due to annual inspection.

Hiroshima 10:02 – 10:52 Kure 10:53 – Mihara 12:30
Mihara 14:26 – 16:11 Kure 16:12 – Hiroshima 17:04
This train makes a stop at Aki-Kawajiri, Yasuura, Akizu, Tadaumi, Hiro and Takehara too.

This train will run between Hiroshima and Fukuyama on all Saturday from Jul 29 to Aug 26.
Hiroshima 10:02 – 10:52 Kure 10:53 – 12:30 Mihara 12:41 – 12:56 Onomichi 13:16 – Fukuyama 13:38
Fukuyama 13:43 – 13:59 Onomichi 14:01 – 14:16 Mihara 14:26 – 16:11 Kure 16:12 – Hiroshima 17:04

SL Yamaguchi

SL Yamaguchi is one of most popular train by steam locomotive. (C) soryofu / JNTO

This train is operated by C57 type steam locomotive between Shin-Yamaguchi and Tsuwano. This train has only reserved seat. (Japanese site link)

Operation dates
Jun 3,4,10,11
Jul 22,23,29,30
Aug 1,5,6,11-13,19,20,26,27
It will be operated after September. The schedule will come up later.

Shin-Yamaguchi 10:50 – Tsuwano 12:59
Tsuwano 15:45 – Shin-Yamaguchi 17:30
This train makes a stop at Yuda-Onsen, Yamaguchi, Niho, Shinome, Choumonkyo, Jifuku, Nabekura and Tokusa.

JR Shikoku (Shiokoku)

Seto-Ohashi Anpanman Torokko train

Exterior of Anpanman Torokko train (C) Spaceaero2 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This train is operated on Seto-Ohashi bridge by open air car. This open air car is wrapped by Japanese popular character, “Anpanman”. Small children will love it.

Operation dates
Jul 1,2,8,9,15-17,20-31
Aug 1-31
Sep 2,3,9,10,16-18,23,24,30

Okayama 11:18 – Kotohira 13:09
Okayama 15:21 – Takamatsu 17:19
Takamastu 09:10 – Okayama 10:44
Kotohira 13:16 – Okayama 14:53
*All seats are Green reserved seats. Reservation is required to take this train.

Shiman Torokko train

This train is operated along Shimanto river by open air car. This open air car has just renovated by most popular train designer, Eiji Mitooka.

Operation dates
Jul 15-17,22-31
Aug 1-31
Sep 2,3,9,10,16-18,23,24,30

Uwajima 10:29 – Kubokawa 13:16
Kubokawa 14:14 – Uwajima 16:46
*All seats are reserved seats. Reservation required to take this train. Non JR pass travelers must pay 510 yen for reserved seat.

JR Kyushu (Kyushu)

Limited Express Yufuin-no-Mori

The newer fleet KIHA 72 series is used for two round trips of Yufuin no Mori. As of July, 2015, one more car was added to this train set. Not it is five cars formation.

It is very popular train that connect Hakata and Yufuin. One round trip of this train goes to Beppu. Please see the post, Very popular train to Yufuin from Hakata and Oita. Limited Express Yufuin no Mori / Yufu to get the details.

Heavy rain storm hit Kyushu in early July. Kyudai line near Yufuin was damaged very seriously and this segment is closed now. Yufuin no Mori will run but it will be different route and different timetable.

Timetable from July 15 to 31


Timetable is not available for after August at this point.

Operation dates and timetable
This train runs everyday. But it is operated by ordinary express train fleets as “Limited Express Yufu” on the specific dates due to annual maintenance. In this case, train’s interior is quite different. It is okay but it’s very common fleet and you may be disappointed. If you do not want to have common fleets, please avoid to take this train on the day in “Remarks” below.

#109:2411:35Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Jul 11-13, Sep 25-29, Dec 19-21
#310:2512:3413:2113:35Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on May 8-Jul 7, Sep 12-14, Nov 27-Dec 1, In 2018, Feb 7-9
#514:3516:44Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Jul 11-13, Sep 25-29, Dec 19-21
#212:0914:16Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Jul 11-13, Sep 25-29, Dec 19-21
#414:3914:5515:5018:07Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on May 8-Jul 7, Sep 12-14, Nov 27-Dec 1, In 2018, Feb 7-9
#617:0619:17Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Jul 11-13, Sep 25-29, Dec 19-21

This train makes a stop at Shin-Suizenji, Suizenji, Higo-Otsu and Akamizu too.

Limited Express Aso Boy!

This train suppose to run between Mt. Aso and Kumamoto by the train that have the panoramic windows at the both end. But due to massive earthquake in last year, this segment is still closed. This train will run between Hakata and Mojiko. And it will run between Beppu/Oita and Aso from July to December.

This train has only reserved seat. Please see the post, Access to Mt. Aso from Kumamoto. Kids friendly train, Limited Express Aso Boy! to get the details about this train.

Operation dates
Between Hakata and Mokjiko
Jun 1-4,6,8-11,15-18
Between Beppu/Oita and Aso
Jul 8,9,15-17,21-23,28-30
Aug 4-6,11-15,18-20,25-27
Sep 1-3,8-10,15-18,22-24,30
Oct 1,6-9,13-15,20-22,27-29
Nov 3-5,10-12,17-19,23-26
Dec 1-3,8-10,15-17,22-24

Until Jun


This train makes a stop at Kashii, Orio, Kurosaki and Moji too.

From Jul to Dec


This train makes a stop at Nakahanda, Miemachi, Ogata, Bungo-Takeda, Bugoogi and Miyaji too.

Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi

Limited Express train Umisachi-Yamasachi runs southern Kyushu along Nichina coast.

This train goes through Nichinan coastline. Please see the details at my post.

Operation dates
Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25
Jul 1,2,8,9,15-18,20-25,27-31
Aug 1,3-8,10-15,17-22,24-29,31
Sep 1-3,9,10,16-18,23,24,30
Oct 1,7-9,14,15,21,22,28,29
Nov 3-5,11,12,18,19,23,25,26
Dec 2,3,9,10,16-18,23,24,28-31
In 2018
Jan 1-8,13,14,20,21,27,28
Feb 3,4,10-12,17,18,24,25


Stationsto Nangoto Miyazaki
Miyazaki (宮崎)10:0817:15
Minami-Miyazaki (南宮崎)10:1217:09
Tayoshi (田吉)10:1417:06
Kodomonokuni (子供の国)10:2416:51
Aoshima (青島)10:2916:48
Kitago (北郷)10:5516:22
Obi (飫肥)11:05-11:1616:00-16:12
Nichinan (日南)11:2315:54
Aburatsu (油津)11:2615:50
Nango (南郷)11:4215:35

Rapid SL Hitoyoshi

This train is connects Kumamoto with Hitoyoshi by steam locomotive and specialized passenger’s cars.

Operation dates
Jun 3-6,10,11,17,18,24,25
Jul 1,2,8,9,15-18,20-25,27-31
Aug 1,4-8,10-15,17-22,24-29,31
Sep 1-4,8-11,15-19,22-25,29,30
Oct 1,2,6-10,13-16,2-23,27-30
Nov 2-6,10-13,17-19


Station/train#From Kumamoto
to Hitoyoshi
From Hitoyoshi
to Kumamoto
Kumamoto (熊本)09:4517:14
Shin-Yatsushiro (新八代)10:2516:30
Yatsushiro (八代)10:30/10:3616:23/16:25
Shiraishi (白石)11:18/11:2315:22/15:30
Isshochi (一勝地)11:38/11:4814:57/15:07
Hitoyoshi (人吉)12:0914:38

A Ressha de Iko (A列車で行こう=Take the ‘A’ train)

Ltd Exp A Train runs between Kumamoto and Misumi is not covered by Northern area pass. (C) Jonathan Ayre

This train connects Kumamoto with Misumi. Misumi is the gateway station for Amakusa. JR Kyushu add one more trip after March 16.

Operation dates
Jun 3,4,5*,6*,10,11,17,18,24,25
Jul 1,2,8,9,15-17,18-21*,22,23,24-28*,29,30,31*
Aug 1-4*,5,6,7-9*,10-17,18*,19,20,21-25*,26,27,28-30*
Sep 1*,2,3,4*,8*,9,10,11*,15*,16-18,19*,22*,23,24,25*,29*,30
Oct 1,2*,6*,7-9,10*,13*,14,15,16*,20*,21,22,23*,27*,28,29,30*
Nov 2*,3*,4,5,6*,10*,11,12,13*,17*,18,19,20*,23,24*,25,26,27*
Dec 2,3,9,10,16-18,23,24,25-27*,28-31
In 2018
Jan 1-4,5*,6-8,13,14,20,21,,27,28
Feb 3,4,10-12,13-16*,17,18,19-23*,24,25
Only two round trips, #1,#2,#5 and #6 will run on the dates with *mark.




  1. Joe Pan says:

    Hi Takeshi-San,
    According to japan by rail 2016 edition , the SL Ginga operates between Apr to June. Is that an error or the operation season differ year by year?

  2. Russell says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Two questions regarding the FruiTea train. Firstly, do you know how much the dessert set costs? Secondly, is it possible to book regular tickets or must it be done through View Travel Center? Thank you!


  3. Joe Burns says:

    Aloha, Takeshi-san,

    Do you know when the October 2017 schedule for Resort Shirakami from Akita will be available? I see only up to September 30th. Would you know if the Resort Shirakami 3 will run in October? And is the Resort Shirakami difficult to book in October?

    Thanks for this wonderful site.

  4. Tree says:

    Hi Takeshi
    We are planning to travel to Shikoku at the end of August in 2017 and we have purchased the Shikoku Rail Pass exchange order. One of the most exciting part of the trip is taking the Shiman Torroco train ride from Uwajima to Kubokawa. We really want to get the reserved seat of Shiman Torroco train. Is there any possible way that we can book the seat in advance? Can we reserve the seat through the internet or fax by providing our copies of personal information and the exchange order number before going to Japan? Or, must we make a seat reservation at the JR office service counter on our arrival day?

    Another question is: I just wonder whether we have to pay seat fee for the Shiman Torroco train or not if we have the Shikoku Rail Pass.

    Many thanks.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Tree,

      Unfortunately there is no ways to book online or over the phone/fax. Basically the only way is booking after you arrive in Japan when you exchange the pass.
      Shikoku rail pass covers this train fully so you don’t need to pay.


      Takeshi /

  5. Joe Pan says:

    Hi Takeshi-San,
    A few days to go before our trip to Japan. I like to thank all your helps in the past.
    Can I please comfirm the following seat position that offering better view through the journey?
    1/ Kyoto -Hikone (left)
    2/ fukuchiyama-amanohashidate (right ?)
    3/ Nagano -obasute (left)
    4/ okayama -takamatsu (either side? )
    5/ matsue -tsuwano (right )
    6/ echigo-yuzaw -niigata (left?)
    7/ Kyoto -Tokyo (left for Mt Fuji ?)
    8/ tsuwano -shin-yamaguchi (left?)


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Joe san,

      1. You can see Lake Biwa some part but not very much. Not big deal on this segment.
      2. I don’t remember.
      3. Left
      4. Either side
      5. Right
      6. Either side. Mostly in tunnel
      7. Left
      8. I don’t remember.

      There are some closed segments in Japan now due to heavy rain storm. Yufuin no Mori does not run on regular route. Akita Shinkansen is closed between Omagari and Akita until 28th. It may be extended if it will be rain again. I updated the status in the link below. I hope it’s not a big issue on your trip.

      Enjoy your trip!


      Takeshi /

  6. the984diary
    Mervyn says:

    Will the 500 EVA not operate after September?

  7. Martin says:

    Hello from England

    We will be visiting this fascinating country next year, 2018. We would like to know if the trains are running on the Gono line in April. We wish to travel from Akita to Goshogawara and on to Tsugaru Kakasato. Is it then possible to return immediately to Goshogawara and on to Aomori the same day or must we overnight in Goshogawara?

    We love travelling by train and would love to know if the Gono line is running about April 10th. Can’t wait to see Japan. Will there still be snow in the North? Thanks for your help.

  8. Kato-san says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I will be travelling from Sapporo to Furano (day trip) on Friday, 11 Aug. I seek your advice.

    1. Sapporo to Furano (Train #3 Sapporo 9:07 – Furano 11:07)
    2. Then take Furano Biei Norokko train to LavendarFarm station (Station train #2 from Furano at 11:53) . I want to visit Farm Tomika (i will walk there from Lavendar Farm station).

    However, how to get to Lavendar Farm station to Biei? If I stay at Farm Tomika for 1hr, is there a train / bus to Biei since no more Furano Biei Norokko train.

    One more question, is there any bus at Lavendar Farm station that can take to Blue Pond?

    Thank you very much for your advice

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