Schedule of 2015 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways

"Ohanami" is very popular outside party with viewing cherry blossom.  © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO
“Ohanami” is very popular outside party with viewing cherry blossom. © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO

Spring is the best season to visit Japan because of the cherry blossom. And also between late April and the beginning of May is one of the busiest period. It is called “Golden Week” in Japan. April 29, May 3, 4, and 5 are National holidays. I recommend you to avoid travelling on those days. It’s not surprised if trains are full.

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during all spring season. Especially JR Group add lots of the extra trains on those above holidays. It is too many to introduce all seasonal trains. So I pick up the popular trains and are operated in the popular spot.

JR Hokkaido (Hokkaido area)

Limited Express Asahiyama Zoo
Limited Express Asahiyama Dobutsuen

Limited Express Asahiyama Dobutsuen

This train connects Sapporo with Asahikawa and is operated by Asahiyama Zoo featured train. Asahiyama Zoo is the most popular and the best zoo in Japan. The interior of this train is designed by Dr. Abe, former chief zoo keeper of Asahiyama Zoo. I am sure kids will love it! If you travel with your kids, try to get on this train! This train has only reserved seat. (Japanese site link)

Operation dates
March 21-31
April 4,5

Timetable
Sapporo 08:30 – Asahikawa 10:07
Asahikawa 16:04 – Sapporo 17:46
Train makes a stop at Iwamizawa and Takikawa.

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
April 25-30, May 1-6,9,10,16,17,23,24,30 and 31 *1 round trip (#1, #2) only
June 5,7,13-30 *2 round trips

Timetable

Train#KushiroToro
#211:0611:50
#413:5714:43
Train#ToroKushiro
#112:1613:03
#315:1416:04

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.
*Summer schedule (July to October) will be released in late May.

Operation dates
June 6,7,13,14,20,21,27-30

Timetable

Station/train#SapporoTakikawaFurano
#309:0510:0511:00/td>
Station/train#FuranoSapporo
#416:4919:03

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.
*Summer schedule (July to October) will be released in late May.

Operation dates
June 7-30

Timetable

Station
train#
AsahikawaBieiBibaushikamifuranoLavender
Batake
NakafuranoFurano
#19:5610:3410:5111:0311:1111:1411:40
#313:0413:2013:3513:4213:4613:54
Station
train#
FuranoNakafuranoLavender
Batake
kamifuranoBibaushiBieiAsahikawa
#211:5212:1112:1412:2512:3712:55
#415:0015:1915:2215:3415:4716:0516;29

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

SL Fuyu no Shitsugen train (Winter train to Kushiro marsh by Steam Locomotive)

This train is operated by steam locomotive or diesel locomotive. This is a cruising train that goes through Kushiro marsh. It is similar type train to Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train. But this train is not operated by Norokko train. There are reserved seat only. You need to book it before boarding.

Operation dates

March 1-8

Timetable

Kushiro 11:20Shibecha 12:35
Shibecha 14:02Kushiro 15:19

This train stops at Higashi-Kushiro, Kushiro Shitsugen, Toro and Kayanuma.

Ryuhyo Norokko train

Shiretoko is very popular destination in winter time for Ryuhyo (流氷=Drift Ice) viewing. This train is operated in Drift Ice season for viewing by “Torokko” (open air type passenger’s car). Early March is still Drift Ice season.

Operation dates
March 1-8

Timetable

#2Shiretoko-Shari 08:55Abashiri 10:00
#1Abashiri 10:25Shiretoko-Shari 11:22
#4Shiretoko-Shari 11:54Abashiri 12:55
#3Abashiri 13:57Shiretoko-Shari 14:55

*This train stop at Katsuradai, Masuura, Mokoto, Kitahama, Hamakoshimizu and Yamubetsu.

If you need more information about this train, please see this post, Ryuhyo Norokko train.

JR East (Tohoku and Kanto area)

Toreiyu Tsubasa

The first ever Shinkansen cruise train, Toreiyu Tsubsa. (C) James Chuang
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
Mar 1,7,8,14,15,21,22,28,29
Apr 4,5,11,12,18,19,25,26
May 2-6,9,10,16,17,23,24,30,31
Jun 6,7,13,14,20,21,27,28

Timetable

StationToreiyu Tsubasa #1StationToreiyu Tsubasa #2
Fukushima10:02Shinjo14:43
Yonezawa10:36Oishida14:58
Takahata10:44Murayama15:14
Akayu10:50Sakuranbo-Higashine15:22
Kaminoyama-Onsen11:08Tendo15:36
Yamagata11:26Yamagata16:13
Tendo11:37Kaminoyama-Onsen16:23
Sakuranbo-Higashine11:45Akayu16:45
Murayama11:50Takahata16:52
Oishida12:00Yonezawa17:07
Shinjo12:16Fukushima117:41

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

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
Apr 25,29
May 2,5,9,16,23,30
Jun 6,20,27
For Hanamaki
Apr 26,30
May 3,6,10,17,24,31
Jun 7,21,28

Timetable

HanamakiKamaishi
10:3715:04
KamaishiHanamaki
10:5515:20

Shu*Kura

Shu*Kura is one of the newest cruising train of JR East. It promote 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 in Niigata prefecture. But route and schedule are not fixed. There are three routes in this fall.

Koshino Shu*Kura
Mar 14,15
Apr 3-5,17-19,24-26,29
May 1-6,8-10,22-24
Jun 5-7,19-21,26-28

Joetsu-MyokoTokamachi
09:5112:26
TokamachiJoetsu-Myoko
14:4818:28

Yuzawa Shu*Kura
Mar 27-29
May 15-17
Jun 12-14

Joetsu-MyokoEchigo-Yuzawa
09:5113:04
Echigo-YuzawaJoetsu-Myoko
14:4118:28

Ryuto Shu*Kura
Mar 20-22
Apr 10-12

Joetsu-MyokoNiigata
09:5112:45
NiigataJoetsu-Myoko
14:5918:28

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

Rapid Holiday Kaisoku Fujisan

This train connects Shinjuku with Lake Kawaguchi or Oyama/Omiya with Lake Kawaguchi directly. You don’t need to transfer the trains at Otsuki. But if you use this train by Japan Rail Pass or JR East Pass, basic fare between Otsuki and Lake Kawaguchi is not covered.

Operation dates
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from Mar 1 to Jun 30
*After Jun 30, this train may run on weekend and holidays

Timetable

<

<
ShinjukuKawaguchiko
08:1410:26
KawaguchikoShinjuku
16:0017:59

*Rapid Holiday Kaisoku Fujisan makes a stop at Mitaka, Tachikawa, Hachioji, Takao, Sagamiko, Uenohara, Shiotsu, Otsuki, Tsurushi, Tsuru-Bunkadaigakumae, Mitsutoge, Fujisan and Fujikyu-Highland.

Some of Resort Shirakami are operated by the newest Hybrid train.
Some of Resort Shirakami are operated by the newest Hybrid train.

Rapid 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
#1 (Akita to Aomori)8:2813:35Mar 1-10,13-15,20-22,27-29, Apr 3-5,10-12,17-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-30
#3 (Akita to Hirosaki)10:4815:51Apr 17-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-15, 18-21, 25-30
#5 (Akita to Aomori)14:1719:26Mar 1-9,13,14,20,21,27,28, Apr 3,4,10,11,17-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-30
Station/train#AomoriAkitaOperation date
#2 (Aomori to Akita)8:0213:31Mar 1-10,14,15,21,22,28,29, Apr 4,5,11,12,18-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-30
#4 (Aomori to Akita)13:5519:00Mar 1-10,13-15,20-22,27-29, Apr 3-5,10-12,17-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-30
#6 (Hirosaki to Akita)16:0820:41Apr 17-30, May 1-31, Jun 1-15, 18-21, 25-30

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 SL Banestsu Monogatari / DL Banetsu Monogatari

It is operated by steam locomotive and old style passenger’s cars between Niigata and Aizu-Wakamatsu. This train will be operated by diesel locomotive on same dates.

Operation dates
By steam locomotive May 3,5,6,9,16,17,23,24,30,31
By diesel locomotive Apr 4, 5, Jun 6,7,13,14,20,21,27,28
*On Apr 4 and 5, this train will be operated as Fukushima DC Opening train.

Timetable
Niigata 09:28 (9:30) – Aizu-Wakamatsu 13:33 (13:32)
Aizu Wakamatsu 15:25 – Niigata 19:10 (19:01)
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.

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
Mar 1,6-8,13-15,20-22,27-29
Apr 3-5,10-12,17-19,24-26,29
May 1-6,8-10,15-17,22-24,29-31
Jun 5-7,12-14,19-21,26-28
This train may run on same schedule after July.

Timetable
Sendai 09:13 – 11:00 Naruko Onsen 11:25 – Shinjo 12:28
Shinjo 15:00 – 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
Mar 1,2,6-9,13-16,20-31
Apr 1-6,10-13,24-30
May 1-11,22-25,29-31
Jun 1,5-8,12-15,26-29

Timetable
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
Mar 1,6-8,13-15,20-22,27-29
Apr 3-5,10-12,17-19,24-26,29
May 1-6,8-10,15-17,22-24,29-31
Jun 5-7,12-14,19-21,26-28
This train may run on same schedule after July.

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

Overnight Limited Express Hokutosei

Hokutosei is currently operated as scheduled train. But it will be discontinued in mid March. And it will be operated as seasonal train on the dates below:

Operation dates
To Sapporo :
Apr 2,4,6,9,11,13,16,18,20,23,25,27,30
May 7,9,11,14,16,18,21,23,25,28,30
Jun 1,4,6,8,13,15,18,20,22,25,27,29
Jul 2,4,6,9,13,16,22,24,26,28,30
Aug 1,3,5,7,9,11,17,19,21
To Ueno :
Apr 3,5,7,10,12,14,17,19,21,24,26,28
May 1,8,10,12,15,17,19,22,24,26,29,31
Jun 2,5,7,9,14,16,19,21,23,26,28,30
Jul 3,5,7,10,14,17,23,25,27,29,31
Aug 2,4,6,8,10,12,18,20,22

I think after Aug 22, this train will be discontinued completely.

Timetable
Ueno 16:20 – 11:15 Sapporo
Sapporo 16:12 – 9:25 Ueno

If you need more info about Hokutosei, please see the post, Overnight Express Train Hokutosei, most popular overnight train between Tokyo and Sapporo.

Overnight Limited Express Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia is originally operated as seasonal train. But operation dates are a bit different from original one. Please find the date as follows:

Operation dates
To Sapporo :
Apr 3,5,7,10,12,14,17,19,21,24,26,28
May 1,5,8,10,12,15,17,19,22,24,26,29,31
Jun 2,5,7,9,12,14,16,19,21,23,26,28,30
Jul 10,14,17,21,23,25,27,29,31
Aug 2,4,6,8,10,12,16,18,20,22,24,26,28,30
Sep 1,4,6,8,11,13,15,18,20,22,25,27,29
To Ueno :
Apr 1,4,6,8,11,13,15,18,20,22,25,27,29
May 2,6,9,11,13,16,18,20,23,25,27,30
Jun 1,3,6,8,10,13,15,17,20,22,24,27,29
Jul 1,11,15,18,22,24,26,28,30
Aug 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,17,19,21,23,25,27,29,31
Sep 2,5,7,9,12,14,16,19,21,23,26,28,30

Schedule after October has not been announced yet. But it may be discontinued because Hokkaido Shinkansen will open in spring 2016. Any trains cannot go through Seikan tunnel in night time due to Shinkansen test run, inspection and maintenance.

Timetable
Ueno 16:20 – 11:15 Sapporo
Sapporo 16:12 – 9:25 Ueno

If you need more info about Cassiopeia, please see the post, Overnight express train Cassiopeia, very popular overnight train between Tokyo and Sapporo.

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
Mar 13,20,27
May 1,2

Timetable
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

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 dates
To Ogaki – March 20-28
To Tokyo – March 21-29

Timetable

stationstimestationstime
Tokyo23:10Ogaki22:49
Shinagawa23:18Gifu22:59
Yokohama23:36Nagoya23:20
Odawara00:31Toyohashi00:17
Numazu01:08Hamamatsu00:55
Shizuoka01:50Shizuoka01:55
Hamamatsu03:11Numazu03:19
Nagoya05:24Yokohama04:41
Gifu05:43Shinagawa04:58
Ogaki05:51Tokyo05:05

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

Rapid Nice Holiday Kisoji

This train goes on Chuo line and stop at the station where is near the post towns in Edo period.

Operation dates
Apr 25,26
May 2-6
Jun 6,7

Timetable
Nagoya 08:16 – 11:10 Shiojiri
Shiojiri 14:18 – 17:11 Nagoya

*This train stops at Nakatsugawa, Minami-Kiso, Agematsu, Kiso-Fukushima, Yabuhara, Narai, Kiso-Hirasawa

JR West (Kansai, Hokuriku and Chugoku)

Rapid Setouchi Marine View

This train was operated 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 from Mar 1 to Jun 30
*It will run after Jul 1.

Timetable
Hiroshima 10:06 – 10:50 Kure 10:52 – Mihara 12:27
Mihara 13:25 – 14:59 Kure 15:19 – Hiroshima 16:07
This train makes a stop at Aki-Kawajiri, Yasuura, Akizu, Tadaumi, Hiro and Takehara too.

SL Yamaguchi

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
Mar 21,22,28,29
Apr 4,5,11,12,18,19,25,26,29
May 2-6,9,10,16,17,23,24,30,31
Jun 6,7,13,14,20,21,27,28
Jul 4,5,11,12,18-20,25,26
Aug 1,2,7-9,13-16,21-23,28-30
Sep 5,6,12,13,19-23,26,27
Oct 3,4,10-12,17,18,24,25,31
Nov 1

Timetable
Shin-Yamaguchi 10:48 – Tsuwano 12:58
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)

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
Mar 14,15,21,22,28,29
Apr 4,5,11,12,18,19,25,26,29
May 2-6,9,10,16,17,23,24,30,31

Timetable
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 travellers must pay 510 yen for reserved seat.

Oboke Torokko train

This train is operated along Oboke gorge by open air car.

Operation dates
Mar 21,22,28,29
Apr 4,5,11,12,18,19,25,26,29
May 2-6,9,10,16,17,23,24,30,31

Timetable

Kotohira 9:58Oboe 12:02
Oboe 14:20Kotohira 16:30

*All seats are reserved seats. Reservation required to take this train. Non JR pass travellers must pay 510 yen for reserved seat.
*This train is a sort of local train. Train makes a stop at all stations on the way.

JR Kyushu (Kyushu)

Limited Express Yufuin-no-Mori

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.

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. In this case, train’s interior is quite different. It is okay but it’s 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.

Station/train#HakataYufuinOitaBeppuRemarks
#109:2411:35Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Apr 20-24, Jul 4-17, Oct 5-9, Dec 15-17, In 2016, Feb 29
#310:2512:3413:2113:35Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Mar 2-6, May 8-Jul 3, Sep 15-17, Nov 30-Dec 4, In 2016 Feb 16-18
#514:3616:44Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Apr 20-24, Jul 4-17, Oct 5-9, Dec 15-17, In 2016, Feb 29
Station/train#BeppuOitaYufuinHakataRemarks
#212:0914:16Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Apr 20-24, Jul 4-17, Oct 5-9, Dec 15-17, In 2016, Feb 29
#414:4115:0315:5018:07Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Mar 2-6, May 8-Jul 3, Sep 15-17, Nov 30-Dec 4, In 2016 Feb 16-18
#617:0719:17Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Apr 20-24, Jul 4-17, Oct 5-9, Dec 15-17, In 2016, Feb 29

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

Limited Express Aso Boy!

This train is operated to Mt. Aso from Kumamoto by the train that have the panoramic windows at the both end. 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
Mar 1,7,8,14,15,21-31
Apr 1-5,11,12,18,19,25-30
May 1-6,9,10,16,17,23,24,30,31
Jun 6,7,13,14,20,21,27,28
Jul 4,5,11,12,18-31
Aug 1-31
Sep 5,6,12,13,18-28
Schedule after October is TBA.

Timetable

Station/train#KumamotoTatenoAsoMiyaji
#10110:2811:1511:4912:00
#10313:5414:3215:1415:23
Station/train#MiyajiAsoTatenoKumamoto
#10212:2212:2813:0113:41
#10415:3815:4216:2617:14

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

Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi

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

Operation dates
Mar 1,7,8,14,15,21-24,26-31
Apr 2-5,11,12,18,19,25-30
May 1-6,9,10,16,17,23,24,30,31
Jun 6,7,13,14,20,21,27,28
Jul 4,5,11,12,18-20,22-28,30,31
Aug 1-4,6-11,13-18,20-25,27-31
Sep 5,6,12,13,19-23,26,27
Schedule after October is TBA.

Timetable

Stationsto Nangoto Miyazaki
Miyazaki (宮崎)10:0717:14
Minami-Miyazaki (南宮崎)10:1117:09
Tayoshi (田吉)10:1517:06
Kodomonokuni (子供の国)10:2516:51
Aoshima (青島)10:2816:48
Kitago (北郷)10:5616:23
Obi (飫肥)11:06-11:1616:00-16:13
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
Mar 21-24,26-31
Apr 2-6,10-13,17-20,24-29
May 1-6,8-10,15-17,22-24,29-31
Jun 6,7,13,14,20,21,27,28
Jul 4,5,11,12,18-21,23-28,30,31
Aug 1-4,7-11,13-18,20-25,27-31
Sep 1,54-7,11-14,18-23,25-28
Oct 2-7,9-13,16-19,23-26,30,31
Nov 1-4,6-9,13-16,20-23

Timetable

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)10:30/10:3816:24/16:25
Shiraishi (白石)11:21/11:2615:23/15:28
Isshochi (一勝地)11:41/11:5114:58/15:08
Hitoyoshi (人吉)12:1314:38

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

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

Operation dates
Mar 1,7,8,14,15,21,22,23-27*,28,29,30-31*
Apr 1-3*,4,5,11,12,18,19,25-30
May 1-6,8*,9,10,11*,15*16,17,18*,22*,23,24,25*,29*,30,31
Jun 6,7,13,14,20,21,27,28
Jul 4,5,11,12,18-20,21-24*,25,26,27-31*
Aug 1,2,3-6*,7-16,17-21*,22,23,24-28*,29,30,31*
Sep 4*,5,6,7*,11*,12,13,14*,18*,19-23,24*,25*,26,27,28*
Schedule after October is TBA.
Dates have *mark has only two round trips, #1,#2,#5 and #6.

Timetable

Station/train#KumamotoUtoMisumi
#110:3610:4611:14
#312:2112:3013:02
#514:3714:4715:17
Station/train#MisumiUtoKumamoto
#211:1911:4711:57
#413:5314:2014:30
#616:2016:5017:00

33 thoughts on “Schedule of 2015 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways”

  1. Hello, I’m planning to take the Rapid Holiday Kaisoku Fujisan. I understand that the JR Pass does not cover the entire trip and a fee must be paid. How do we pay the fee? Can it be paid in advance before departing from Shinjuku? How are seat reservations handled for JR Pass holders? Usually JR Pass holders can make seat reservations for free, but I assume for this one we can’t or we have to pay an extra fee? If so, how much? Thank you.

    1. HI Jeff,

      When you book a train by JR Pass, you can tell that you will take a train to Kawaguchiko. The staff will tell you how much you need to add a fare and you will get a ticket for the segment that JR Pass does not cover between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko. Additional fare will be around 1500 yen.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    What does it mean “Schedule after October is TBA”

    I would like to take the Aso Boy on November 2015. When i know the operation date?

    Thank you,
    Wimala

  3. Hi takeshi,
    I will be in sapporo 30/4-3/5. Can i confirm am i right that furano lavender express has not operated on 1/5? And is it possible we make reservation or buy entrance ticket for shibazakura and asahiyama zoo and okhotsk takkari centre at hotel to avoid long queue?
    Besides, i reach sapporo 30/4 about 6pm and fly to tokyo 3/5 10am, do u think it is possible if i plan to travel to hakodate , otaru canal, odori park, shibazakura park and okhotsk takkari centre within that period? If i can overnight in otaru 2 nights n asahikawa 1 night. Thank you

    1. Hi Wtsienb,

      Furano Lavender Express will not run in May.

      As long as I know, you cannot purchase any tickets for these attrations. But I’m not 100% sure.
      I have never been to Okhotsk Tokkari Center. But it’s not very accessible. You have to take Limited Express Okhotsk to Engaru and transfer to local bus. All trip time is around 4 hours one way. Both bus and train do not run very frequent. And I don’t know how far Tokkari Center is from Monbetsu bus terminal. I cannot recommend to visit this place by public transportation.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Hello Takeshi san!

    I wonder if there’s any chance to travel from Osaka to Akune (Kagoshima) using JR Pass. How long the trip would take?

    Thanks in advance,

    Oliver

      1. Thank you for reply!

        Can you also tell me if I plan correctly:

        to go from Nara (Kyoto) to Karuizawa (Nagano) using JR Pass i have to go first to Tokyo station and then change trains? if ypu could also tell me how much time earlier I must book my seat using Jr Pass for shinkansen. The same day will do or must I do ii day before?

        Cheers,
        Oliver

        1. Hi Oliver,

          Your route is right.
          Usually it’s easy to book Shinkansen. But if you can, I recommend you to book it as early as possible. Once you exchange the pass, you can go for booking anytime.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. Hello Takeshi

    I am planing to do a trip from Nagatoshi to Shimonoseki in april 2015. I found a train called MIZUZU SHIOSAI (dep 1252, arr 1456) running on the Sanin Main Line along the coast. I found the schedule on Hyperdia, running on weekends, but only until march 8th.
    Do you have any information about the operations days in april 2015?

    Thanks for your help

    Heinz Pfenninger
    Meilen, Switzerland

    1. Hi Heinz,

      It will run on weekend and holiday after March 14 too. Departure time and arrival time are bit later than current schedule. It departs from Nagatoshi at 12:55 and arrive Shimonoseki at 15:13.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Hello Takeshi

        I enjoyed great holidays in Japan. The ride with the MIZUZU SHIOSAI train was sugoooi. Relaxing ride along the coast with nice views out to the ocean. Tottally different from Shinkansen travel 🙂
        Thank you very much for your help.

        Greetings from Switzerland

        Heinz

        1. Hi Heinz,

          I’m very happy to hear that you enjoyed the cruising train, Misuzu Shiosai. I have never taken this train yet, but I wish I will take it near future.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Dear Takeshi,

    Further to my email yesterday, under the heading “2015 Spring season trains, sub-heading Cassiopeia”:

    “Schedule after October has not been announced yet. But it may be discontinued because Hokkaido Shinkansen will open in spring 2015”.

    Regards,

    Graham Lovell, Sydney Australia

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    I would like to take the aso boy train on 26 March 2015 but JR hasn’t yet published the official operation dates for March 2015 onwards on their site. Is your source of information reliable as I would like to start booking accommodation for my trip.

    Thanks

  8. Hi Takeshi,

    I’m thinking of riding the SL Hitoyoshi in early April, but I won’t be in the Kyushu area until that day. Is it possible to reserve a ticket for the SL Hitoyoshi in Tokyo?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Sin,

      Yes, you can book at any JR stations that have Midori no Madoguchi (reservation window). If you will be in Osaka or Tokyo, almost every stations have midori no madoguchi.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Hi Takeshi, thanks for the info you provide.
    I just need a clarification on the dates for Moonlight Nagara: from Ogaki to Tokyo will it be operative until March 29 at 22:49, arriving at Tokyo on March 30 in the morning? I just want to be sure, since the day changes during the ride.
    Thanks!

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