Train operation status

I update information at new Train Operation status page now.

As of 12:00 pm (Japan time), August 31, 2012

This post tells you about the damage by Great earthquake in March 11, 2011. If you are looking for train operation status on other lines or areas, please try to find in Train Operation Status Category.

All JR lines, subway and private railways in Greater Tokyo area, and most of JR lines in Tohoku area are operate as normal. Some of the lines along Sanriku coastline (east coastline of Tohoku area) are still suspended due to Tsunami damaged. It will take a long time to restore. Please see the details below.

*This post tells you about the regular line in Tohoku and Kanto area. If you are looking for most updated informations about Tohoku, Yamagata and Akita Shinkansen, please refer Tohoku, Yamagata and Akita Shinkansen operation status. But Tohoku, Yamagata and Akita Shinkansen are operated as normal now. (Those line were restored completely on September 23, 2011.)

*If you are looking for the most updated information about the damage by Typhoon on September, please see Operation status on Kii Line or Updated information of train operation status after Typhoon 15.

*Narita Express is operated as normal now.
*If you are looking for most updated informations about Narita Express, please refer Narita Express. Narita Express is operated every 30 minutes in morning and evening peak hours only. You need to take Rapid service in daytime. It takes 90 minutes between Tokyo and Narita.

Operation status map in Tohoku area

This map shows you closed section in Tohoku area. Most of lines have been restored. A few lines along the coast line are still closed due to huge damage by Tsunami or the radiation problem by Fukushima nuclear plant.

View Closed section due to earthquake in a larger map

Limited Express

Refurbished 253 series will be used for Nikko and Kinugawa
Refurbished 253 series will be used for Nikko and Kinugawa

All limited express trains are operated as normal except Fresh Hitachi and Super Hitachi (Ueno-Mito/Katsuta/Iwaki/Sendai). All trains are operated on regular schedule. But all trains are still suspended between Iwaki and Sendai because of Fukushima radiation problem.

Local line in Tohoku area

These following lines are closed due to heavy damage by Tsunami. It will take a long time to be restored.

  • Tadami line between Ooshirakawa and Aizu-Kawaguchi
    *JR East operate substitute bus service.
  • Iwaizumi line between Moichi and Iwaizumi
    *JR East is discussing with local community. This line may be discontinued.
  • Yamada line between Kamaishi and Miyako
    *Substitute bus service is available. But this bus service is not operated by JR Group. Therfore JR Pass and other rail passes are not acceptable. Single ticket need to be purchased.
  • Ishinomaki line between Watanoha and Onagawa
    *JR East operate substitute bus service.
  • Kesennuma line between Yanaizu and Kesennuma
    *JR East started to operate substitute bus service on August 20, 2012.
  • Ofunato line between Kesennuma and Sakari
    *Substitute bus service is available. But this bus service is not operated by JR Group. Therfore JR Pass and other rail passes are not acceptable. Single ticket need to be purchased.
  • Senseki line between Takagimachi and Rikuzen-Ono
    *JR East operate substitute bus service between Matsushima-Kaigan and Yamoto.
  • Jouban line between Hirono and Haranomachi, and between Souma and Watari
    *The section between Hirono and Haranomachi is closed due to the radiation problem. This is within 20km circle of Fukshima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Substitute bus services are available on other sections.

73 thoughts on “Train operation status”

  1. Hi,
    I need to take a train to Narita Airport to Watari. It’s possibile to arrive in this period and wich line I need to take? Thanks Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Watari station can be accessed from Sendai side. The way to get there is
      1) Narita Express or Rapid train to Tokyo from Narita.
      2) Take Tohoku Shinkansen to Sendai
      3) Take local train from Sendai to Watari.
      If you need more info about schedule, check it at Hyperdia.

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    My family (party of 3 people) is arriving at Narita Airport on August 11th in the late afternoon. We have reservations in Takayama on August 12th. We also have a Japan Rail Pass. Because of Obon season will it be impossible for us to get a seat to travel on the morning of August 12th (Narita Express – Tokyo – Nagoya – Takayama)?

    Should we travel to Nagoya as soon as we land in Narita on August 11th and just travel from Nagoya to Takayama on the morning of August 12th?

    We would appreciate any help. Thank you.


    1. Hello Julia,
      August 11 will be very busy day as you mentioned.
      If you can go to Nagoya on arrival day, that will make your trip easier. It is easier to get the seat for Shinkansen than Wide View Hida to Takayama from Nagoya.
      So I recommend you to check the seat for Wide View Hida right after you arrive at Narita. You can make a reservation at the same time as getting the pass at Narita. If you cannot get the seat, go to Nagoya station early to get the seat on non reserved car.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Hi Takeshi, can I check if I am able to purchase the Tokaido Shinkansen tickets on the day of arrival at Narita Airport? I was told that as a foreigner, I am required to purchase the tickets in advance and in my own country from the authorise agents.

    I wonder if this is true? If it can be purchased at Narita Airport, ca you advise me where I should look out for the counter to purchase the tickets.


    1. Hi apr5lyn,
      I have never heard that. You can buy ticket at Narita airport station. Are you going to use Japan Rail Pass? If so, it will be same place as ticket exchange window. If not, you can still go to same place. It is called Midori no Madoguchi. It is located at the entrance of Narita airport station. It is easy to find it. You cannot miss it.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Under “Operated as Usual” is Ltd. Inaho. Is this updated or is Inaho still suspended?

    Thank you for your updates. Though I honestly don’t know whether to proceed to go to Akita (North West) or not, I highly appreciate your updates 🙂

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    Thanks for your prompt reply!!

    Would you happen to know the published time schedule or frequency of Narita Express from Narita to Tokyo? As I woud reached Narita airport at 0845, I may able to catch an earlier NEX (if there are any) before the 10:45 timing. I understand that the price is 3000 yen per pax on NEX

    Also, to save time and since the price diference is not great between Nozomi and Hikari, I would take Nozomi instead. Would you know the ticket price for one way taking Nozomi and its timing as well?

    Ideally, I would like to reach Osaka by 1pm if there is any chance to shorten the travelling and wating time from Narita -Tokyo Station -Shin Osaka. A sample iternery is helpful which you have provided earlier.


    1. Hello apr5lyn,
      I do not publish a timetable. Because you can get the timetable of Narita Express JR East timetable in English site.
      This link does not mention anything about a suspension. But JR East suspend Narita Express in daytime. The last train to Tokyo in the morning is 11:15. It would be no problem for you.

      Nozomi is faster than Hikari. But it can shorten only 30 minutes. Green fare is same. The surcharge is 300 yen higher than Hikari. You can get the timetable and fare table for Shinkansen here. As you see the timetable, if you want to arrive Shin-Osaka by 13:00, you have to take Nozomi223 departs from Tokyo at 10:20. You need to take Narita Express departs from Narita airport at 08:50. Narita Express departs at 09:15 too. This train arrive at Tokyo at 10:17. You have three minutes to transfer. But Narita Express arrive at the underground of Tokyo station. It is impossible to transfer to Shinkansen in 3 minutes.

      Anyway I think it is too tight to take 10:20 Shinkansen. It take at least one hour to go through Custom and Immigration. If your flight arrive 20-30 minutes early, you may have a chance.

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Hi JPRail,

    I have earlier booked ANA tickets to fly over to Tokyo on 13 Jun 2011 for a 7 days 6 nights FnE trip with my husband. Due to safety reasons, we have now planned to travel to Osaka from Tokyo by taking the Tokaido Shinkansen to reach Shin-Osaka on the day of arriving in Tokyo at Narita Airport.

    Can you advise me if this planning is possible? Juding by the time I reach Tokyo at around 8.30am, am I still able to catch the trains and reach Osaka in the afternoon? Although it is still earlier, it would be my first time taking Shinkansen so I would like to have some advice on this. I have yet to book hotel at Osaka.If you have any suggestions, feel free to give me advice so that I can be more confident to move around from Tokyo to Osaka.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hello apr4lyn,
      As long as your flight will arrive at Narita on time, you will arrive at Shin-Osaka around 15:00. Your sample itinerary is as follows:

      Dep Narita 10:45 (Narita Express)
      Arr Tokyo 11:44
      Dep Tokyo 12:03 (Hikari 471)
      Arr Shin-Osaka 15:05

      If you can go through Custon & Immigration fast, you can take 20 minutes earlier Narita Express. As a result, you can catch 30 minutes earlier Hikari on Tokaido Shinkansen and arrive at Shin-Osaka around 14:30.

      I think you can go for booking the hotel in Osaka.

      Takeshi / JP Rail

    1. Not yet. It’s still same day as the day when afterquake struck in Japan. But Inaho is operated at the other side of Tohoku coast. It won’t be long to restart.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  7. Hello

    Thank you for all of the helpful information you have posted here.

    I will be flying in to Osaka on 9 June, having booked my trip just afew days before the dreadful earthquake and tsunami occurred. I stil intend to come and I will be in japan for 6-7 weeks.

    I had planned to travel all across Japan fom North – South using a couple of Japan Rail Passes.

    Which parts of Japan (epecially in terms of tourist hotspots like Matsushima) do you think will be inaccessable still by Mid June?

    Is it still worth me getting a JRP for the whole 6-7 weeks? I was thinking if I can’t get to the north at all following th earthquake/tsumani/nuclear powerstation damage that I should just get a JRP for 3 weeks to use in the west and then go down to the islands in the south??

    Can you advise on where is likely to be inaccessable and how regular services are likely to be by then?

    Also if some of the tains aren’t running will there be buses instead and will I be able to use my JRP on those buses?


    1. Hello vcky,
      Today M7.1 afterquake struck again. I did not hear any big damage yet. If everything will be on schedule, you will be able to go to almost anywhere in Japan. Even Matsushima and another towns along the coast side can be accessible now. Once Tohoku Shinkansen start to operate all section, everything will be fine. Tohoku Shinkansen and other local lines in Tohoku area will be opened by the end of April as long as they did not have any serious damages today. So everything will be fine in June in my opinion.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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