If you want to build your itinerary by yourself, Hyperdia will help you a lot. This site is transportation search engine. You can search the timetables and routes of all trains, flights and airport shuttle bus. I think this site is most convenient site. But this site may be too many functions and options for you. You may be overwhelmed to use this site.
In this post, I will show you all functions of Hyperdia to understand using this site. I hope you will be a good friend of this site after reading this post.
- 1 Basic search
- 2 Search with some conditions
- 3 Advanced function
- 4 When you cannot find station’s name
- 4.1 Hyphen in the name
- 4.2 Same location but different names
- 4.3 The station name which contains the company’s name and the location name
Please access Hyperdia.
You see several fields. If you look for the simple timetable and route, such as Tokyo to Shin-Osaka, just type station’s names at “From” and “To”. Then select your trip date and time. At the last dropdown menu, you can choose one of those, “Departure”, “Arrival” and “Average”. In most of cases, you will use “Departure”. But if you want to arrive somewhere by the certain time, you may select “Arrival”. “Average” gives you some results between Arrival and Departure. But I have not used this mode many times.
If you fly from Narita Airport terminal 2 on December 15. You will leave Tokyo station and you want to be Narita by 15:00. You will type “Tokyo” and “Narita Airport terminal 2”. And then select “December 15”, “15:00” and “Arrival”.
Search with some conditions
When you use JR Pass, you can’t take Nozomi on the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen. And most kinds of the pass that are issued by JR Group do not cover most of the private railway lines and the subways. On the other hand, some non JR railway’s deals, such as Kansai Thru Pass do not cover JR train. You can sorth the schedule and the route with these conditions.
Please see the bottom at the entry fields. You can find “Search Details”. Just click it and you will find many choices.
Via 1, Via 2 and Via 3
When you search the route and the schedule, sometimes the multiple routes are shown. If you want to fix the route, put the station name on the way to your destination at Via 1.
You may input maximum three station names at Via 1, 2 and 3.
You can choose the order of result. If you do not touch, the best departure time will be shown. If you choose “Transfer”, the fewest transfers route will be shown on the top. If you choose “Money”, the route of the lowest cost will be shown at the top.
You can check or uncheck to get the right schedule for your trip.
If you use JR Pass and try to find the route from Shin-Osaka to Hakata, you should uncheck at “NOZOMI / MIZUHO / HAYABUSA (SHINKANSEN)” because Nozomi and Mizuho are not covered by JR Pass. But if you travel by the Shinkansen to the north, such as Shin-Aomori, Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, you will take Hayabusa. Hayabusa is categorized at same train type as Nozomi and Mizuho. But Hayabusa is covered by JR Pass and other JR deals.
Private Railways are not covered by JR Pass either. So you may uncheck at this field too. And also you should uncheck at “Airplane” and “Airport Shuttle Bus”. Hyperdia shows you the domestic flight schedule as well. As long as you use the rail pass, any result of the flight schedule is not required.
You can make some changes for these above conditions at the result page too.
When you get a result, you can see more detailed information.
If you click this link, new window is opened. It shows all station’s departure and arrival time of the train. If you travel with you friend. He/She will join you on the way to your destination, you can tell the time to join.
Actually this function is very useful. Click this line open new window. You will see all other trains in same segment. If you want to compare earlier or later train, this function works very well.
If you click this link, new window is opened and show you all train’s departure time. There are links on all trains. You can click it to get detailed information of the train.
When you cannot find station’s name
This is tricky to use this site. Sometimes you cannot find the station name that you want to depart or arrive. There are several cases.
Hyphen in the name
Some station names have a hyphen in the name.
The station name which contains “Shin”
If you look for the name that starts from “Shin”, you may have to put hyphen (-) after “Shin”.
These names are seen on the Shinkansen lines very often. Because “Shin” means “New”. These stations are built for just the Shinkansen lines near the major cities.
Osaka and Shin-Osaka, Kobe and Shin-Kobe
However some station’s names does not have hyphen between “Shin” and name.
Shinsapporo (means New Sapporo)
Shinimamiya (means New Imamiya)
And also the names itself include “Shin” do not have any hyphens.
The station name which contains the cardinal directions
When you look for the name that is started from “Higashi”, “Nishi”, “Minami” and “Kita”, you may have to put a hyphen after these words. These four words mean East, West, South and North. These types of stations are located near major cities too.
Minami-Chitose (means south Chitose)
Nishi-Akashi (means west Akashi)
But in this case, some station names do not have any hyphens even though the name contains the cardinal direction.
Nishiumeda (west Umeda)
The station name which contains the historical domain name
In Japan, these are still many names remaining the historical domain name from Edo era.
Aizu (inland of Fukushima prefecture), Kaga (near Kanazawa)
We see this type of name at the station too. You may have to put a hyphen when you look for the name which consist of the domain name.
e.g. Aizu-Wakamatsu, Omimaiko
Again some names have a hyphen and others do not have.
Anyhow when you cannot find the name, try to put a hyphen.
Same location but different names
In major cities, especially in Tokyo and Osaka, there are so many railways. We sometimes find the lots of station names in same area. The most well known case is JR Osaka station area. There are JR lines, Hanshin railway, Hankyu railway and three Osaka metro lines.
- Osaka (most of JR line)
- Kitashinchi (JR Tozai line)
- Umeda (Hanshin railway)
- Umeda (Hankyu railway)
- Umeda (Osaka Metro Midosuji line)
- Higashiumeda (Osaka Metro Tanimachi line)
- Nishiumeda (Osaka Metro Yotsubashi line)
This area is usually called “Umeda by the local residents. Osaka is the city name and the prefecture name. It is not the name of this area. But JR station is “Osaka”. This is very complicated but these all stations are located within the walking distance. We can find this type of the case at many places.
The station name which contains the company’s name and the location name
This is very tricky. In case that there are multiple railway stations in same area, the railway company put their name in the station name.
e.g. Kintetsunara (Nara), Kintetsunagoya (Nagoya), Seibu-Shinjuku (Shinjuku), JR-Namba
In this case, you can never find these names if you put the location name. Especially the major private railway companies, like Kintetsu, Seibu have this type of names. You may use Google map to find the exact name if you do not know an exact name.
I hope this post helps you to understand how to use this train search.