Schedule of 2017 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways

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

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 in the year. It is called “Golden Week” in Japan. April 29, May 3, 4, and 5 are National holidays. 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 all spring season. Especially JR Group add lots of the extra trains in Golden Week. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of June.

*Summer seasonal train schedule (July to September) will come up in late May. But you will find all schedules until February, 2018 for trains in Kyushu.

JR Hokkaido (Hokkaido area)

Limited Express Asahiyama Zoo
Limited Express Asahiyama Dobutsuen

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
Apr 29,30
May 1-7
Jun 3,5,9-30
Train runs round trip (#1, #2) only on those above dates.

Jun 3,5,9-30
Train runs 2 round trips on these dates.

Timetable

Train# Kushiro Toro
#2 11:06 11:54
#4 13:35 14:17
Train# Toro Kushiro
#1 12:17 13:06
#3 14:48 15:36

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

Timetable
Sapporo 9:07 – Furano 11:07
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.
*Summer schedule (July to October) will be released in late May.

Operation dates
Jun 10,11,17,18,19,24-30

Timetable

Station
train#
Asahikawa Furano
#1 10:00 11:40
Station
train#
Furano Asahikawa
#6 16:12 17:46
Station
train#
Biei Furano
#3 13:06 13:56
#5 15:10 16:01
Station
train#
Furano Biei
#2 11:53 12:55
#4 14:02 15:05

*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

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

Mar 4,5,11,12,18-20,25,26
Apr 1,2,8,9,15,16,22,23
May 13,14,20,21,27,28
Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25

Timetable

Station
train#
Echigo
Yuzawa
Niigata
Toki 451 08:24 09:14
Toki 453 12:44 13:38
Toki 455 15:20 16:14
Station
train#
Niigata Echigo
Yuzawa
Toki 452 11:26 12:20
Toki 454 14:02 14:56
Toki 456 18:18
(16:42*)
19:08
(17:36*)

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
Mar 4,5,11,12,18-20,25,26
Apr 1,2,8,9,15,16,22,23,29,30
May 3-7,13,14,20,21,27,28
Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25

Timetable

Station Toreiyu Tsubasa #1 Station Toreiyu Tsubasa #2
Fukushima 10:02 Shinjo 15:00
Yonezawa 10:36 Oishida 15:16
Takahata 10:44 Murayama 15:28
Akayu 10:50 Sakuranbo-Higashine 15:34
Kaminoyama-Onsen 11:08 Tendo 15:40
Yamagata 11:26 Yamagata 16:13
Tendo 11:37 Kaminoyama-Onsen 16:23
Sakuranbo-Higashine 11:45 Akayu 16:45
Murayama 11:50 Takahata 16:52
Oishida 12:00 Yonezawa 17:07
Shinjo 12:16 Fukushima1 17:41

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
Mar 4,11,12,18-20,25,26
Apr 1,2,8,9,15,16,22,23,29,30
May 3-7,13,14,20,21,27,28
Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25

Timetable
Odawara 11:40 – 14:08 Izukyu-Shimoda
Izukyu-Shimoda 15:20 (15:35) – 17:12 (18:02) Odawara
*The train will run 15:35 – 18:02 on Mar 4.

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

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
Mar 18-20,24-26
Apr 7-9,21-23,28-30
May 3-7,12-14
Jun 2-4,23-25,30

Joetsu-Myoko Tokamachi
10:02 12:32
Tokamachi Joetsu-Myoko
14:50 18:38

Yuzawa Shu*Kura
Apr 14-16
May 19-21
Jun 16-18

Joetsu-Myoko Echigo-Yuzawa
10:02 13:09
Echigo-Yuzawa Joetsu-Myoko
14:45 18:38

Ryuto Shu*Kura
Mar 31
Apr 1,2
May 26-28
Jun 9-11

Joetsu-Myoko Niigata
10:02 13:06
Niigata Joetsu-Myoko
14:56 18:38

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

Oykot

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

Operation dates
Mar 18-20,25,26
Apr 1,2,8,9,22,23,29,30
May 3-7,13,14,27,28
Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25

Timetable

Nagano Tokamachi
09:15 11:48
Tokamachi Nagano
15:30 18:07

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

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

Timetable

Narita
Airport
Terminal 1
Narita
Airport
Terminal 2,3
Tokyo Shinjuku Kawaguchiko
09:15 09:19 10:21 10:47 12:43
Kawaguchiko Shinjuku Tokyo Narita
Airport
Terminal 2,3
Narita
Airport
Terminal 1
14:19 16:10 16:33 17:25 17:29

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

Rapid Holiday Kaisoku Fujisan

This train connects 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
All Saturday, Sunday and Holidays

Timetable

Shinjuku Kawaguchiko
08:14 10:28
Kawaguchiko Shinjuku
16:00 18:04

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

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# Akita Aomori Operation date
1 8:20 13:29 Mar 3-5,10-12,17-20,24-26,31
Apr 1-30
May 1-31
Jun 1-30
5 14:17 19:14 Mar 3,4,10,11,17-19,24,25,31
Apr 1-30
May 1-31
Jun 1-3,7-30
Station/train# Aomori Akita Operation date
2 8:10 13:27 Mar 4,5,11,12,18-20,25,26
Apr 1-30
May 1-31
Jun 1-4,8-30
4 13:51 18:57 Mar 3-5,10-12,17-20,24-26,31
Apr 1-30
May 1-31
Jun 1-30
Station/train# Akita Hirosaki Operation date
3 10:38 15:48 Apr 1-5,7-12,14-19,21-30
May 1-3,5-17,19-31
Jun 2-7,9-11,14,16-18,21,23-28,30
Station/train# Hirosaki Akita Operation date
6 16:08 20:50 Apr 1-4,7-11,14-18,21-30
May 1,2,5-16,19-30
Jun 2-6,9-11,16-18,21,23-27,30

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 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 4,5,11,12,18-20,25,26
Apr 1,2,7-9,14-16,21-23,28-30
May 3-7,12-14,19-21,26-28
Jun 2-4,9-11,16-18,23-25,30

Timetable
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
Mar 4,5,11,12,17-20,24-26,31
Apr 1,2,7-9,14-16,21-23,28-30
May 1-7,12-14,26-28
Jun 2-4,9-11,23-25,30

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 3-5,10-12,17-20,24-26,31
Apr 1*,2*,7-9,14-16,21-23,28-30
May 3-7,12-14,19-21,26-28
Jun 2-4,9-11,16-18,23,24*,25*,30

Timetable
Niigata 10:13 – 12:51 Sakata
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 – 13:46 Akita
Akita 14:06 – Niigata 18:32

Rapid SL Banestsu Monogatari

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

Operation dates
Apr 1,2,8,9,15,16,22,23,29,30
May 3-7,13,14,20,21,27,28
Jun 3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25

Timetable
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
Apr 29
May 3,6,13,20,27
Jun 3,10,17,24
For Hanamaki
Apr 30
May 4,7,14,21,28
Jun 4,11,18,25

Timetable

Hanamaki Kamaishi
10:37 15:07
Kamaishi Hanamaki
10:55 15:20

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 10,17,18,24
Apr 28
May 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

Seasonal overnight train Moonlight Nagara is operated by this 185 series.
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 – March 17-25
To Tokyo – March 18-26

Timetable

stations time stations time
Tokyo 23:10 Ogaki 22:49
Shinagawa 23:18 Gifu 22:59
Yokohama 23:36 Nagoya 23:20
Odawara 00:31 Toyohashi 00:17
Numazu 01:08 Hamamatsu 00:55
Shizuoka 01:50 Shizuoka 01:55
Hamamatsu 03:11 Numazu 03:19
Nagoya 05:24 Yokohama 04:41
Gifu 05:43 Shinagawa 04:58
Ogaki 05:50 Tokyo 05:05

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
Mar 3,4,5,10-12,17-21,24-28,31
Apr 1-4,7-10,14-18,21-25,28-30
May 1-7,12-14,19-21,26-28
Jun 2-4,9-11,16-18,23-25,30

Timetable

Kanazawa Wakura Onsen
#1 10:15 11:42
#3 14:15 15:32
Wakura Onsen Kanazawa
#2 12:07 13:21
#4 16:30 17:54

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)
Mar 5,12,19,26
Apr 2,9,16,23,30
May 7,14,21,28
Jun 4,11,18,25
Johana line (between Takaoka and Johana)
Mar 4,11,18,25
Apr 1,8,15,22,29
May 6,13,20,27
Jun 3,10,17,24

Timetable

Shin-Takaoka Himi
#1 10:01 10:55
#3 13:54 14:58
Himi Shin-Takaoka/Takaoka
#2 11:05 12:10
#4 15:20 15:48*

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

Takaoka Johana
#51 9:38 10:22
#53 13:08 13:56
Johana Takaoka
#52 10:42 11:28
#54 14:10 14:59

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.
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
Mar 1-3,4-13,17-31
May 27-31
Jun 1-18,22-30

Timetable
From Mar 1 to 3

Hakata Hiroshima Okayama Shin-Osaka
Kodama 730 6:36 8:16/8:24 9:45/9:52 11:14
Shin-Osaka Okayama Hiroshima Hakata
Kodama 741 11:32 12:39/12:40 14:01/14:02 16:07

From Mar 4 to Jun 30

Hakata Hiroshima Okayama Shin-Osaka
Kodama 730 6:40 8:12/8:13 9:57 11:14
Shin-Osaka Okayama Hiroshima Hakata
Kodama 741 11:29 12:31 13:54/13:55 15:39

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 from Mar 1 to Jun 30
*This train is expected to run after Jul 1 too.

Timetable
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.

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
Saturday, Sunday and all holidays from March 19 to June 11
*This train is expected to run after Jul 1 too.

Timetable
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)

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 25,26
Apr 1,2,8,9,15,16,22,23,29,30
May 3-7,13,14,20,21,27,28

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 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.

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.

Station/train# Hakata Yufuin Oita Beppu Remarks
#1 09:24 11:35 Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Apr 17-21, Jul 11-13, Sep 25-29, Dec 19-21
#3 10:25 12:34 13:21 13:35 Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Feb 28-Mar 1, Mar 7-9, May 8-Jul 7, Sep 12-14, Nov 27-Dec 1, In 2018, Feb 7-9
#5 14:35 16:44 Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Apr 17-21, Jul 11-13, Sep 25-29, Dec 19-21
Station/train# Beppu Oita Yufuin Hakata Remarks
#2 12:09 14:16 Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Apr 17-21, Jul 11-13, Sep 25-29, Dec 19-21
#4 14:39 14:55 15:50 18:07 Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Feb 28-Mar 1, Mar 7-9, May 8-Jul 7, Sep 12-14, Nov 27-Dec 1, In 2018, Feb 7-9
#6 17:06 19:17 Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Apr 17-21, 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.

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 2,3,10-12,16-20,23-26,30,31
Apr 1,2,6-9,13-16,20-23,27-30
May 1-7,11-14,18-21,25,27,28,30,31
Jun 1-4,6,8-11,15-18

Timetable

Station/train# Hakata Kokura Mojiko
#92 11:38 13:00 13:13
Station/train# Mojiko Kokura Hakata
#91 14:57 15:11 16:12

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

Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi

Limited Express train Umisachi-Yamasachi is operated by refurbished KIHA125 series.
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
Mar 4,5,11,12,18-21,23-28,30,31
Apr 1,2,8,9,15,16,22,23,28-30
May 1,3-7,13,14,20,21,27,28
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

Timetable

Stations to Nango to Miyazaki
Miyazaki (宮崎) 10:08 17:15
Minami-Miyazaki (南宮崎) 10:12 17:09
Tayoshi (田吉) 10:14 17:06
Kodomonokuni (子供の国) 10:24 16:51
Aoshima (青島) 10:29 16:48
Kitago (北郷) 10:55 16:22
Obi (飫肥) 11:05-11:16 16:00-16:12
Nichinan (日南) 11:23 15:54
Aburatsu (油津) 11:26 15:50
Nango (南郷) 11:42 15:35

Rapid SL Hitoyoshi

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

Operation dates
Mar 18-21,23-28,30,31
Apr 1-4,6-10,13-17,21-24,28-30
May 1,3-7,13,14,20,21,27-30
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

Timetable

Station/train# From Kumamoto
to Hitoyoshi
From Hitoyoshi
to Kumamoto
Kumamoto (熊本) 09:45 17:14
Shin-Yatsushiro (新八代) 10:25 16:30
Yatsushiro (八代) 10:30/10:36 16:23/16:25
Shiraishi (白石) 11:18/11:23 15:22/15:30
Isshochi (一勝地) 11:38/11:48 14:57/15:07
Hitoyoshi (人吉) 12:09 14:38

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
Mar 4,5,,11,12,18-20,21-24*,25,26,27-31*
Apr 1,2,3*,7*,8,9,10*,13*,14*,15,16,17*,22,23,28-30
May 1-7,13,14,20,21,27-30
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.

Timetable

Station/train# Kumamoto Uto Misumi
#1 10:35 10:45 11:13
#3 12:21 12:35 13:03
#5 14:37 14:47 15:17
Station/train# Misumi Uto Kumamoto
#2 11:19 11:46 11:57
#4 13:50 14:20 14:30
#6 16:19 16:50 17:01

54 thoughts on “Schedule of 2017 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways”

  1. Hi Takeshi-San,
    If i’m using the 14 day and 21 day pass and active one of them on 31th Jul, is it right that i can only make reservation for the pass i’m using , then make reservation again when the second pass start?
    Or I can reserve seats for both passes at the same time and write the start using date for the second pass.
    One of the reasons I reverted the itinerary is to do the kyushu cruise train at the last part which is on 30th Aug, so I can reserve them well in advance.
    In this case , when is the earliest date I can make reservation for 30th Aug?
    I have never using 2 passes in one trip, a bit confuse .
    THanks for your help Takeshi-San
    Cheers

    1. Hi Joe san,

      You can exchange two passes at same time. Because you can choose any day in 30 days when you exchange the pass. So you can exchange second pass too when you exchange the first one. You also can start book. Train ticket is on sale at 10:00 am one month prior to departure date. So you can book after 10:00 am on Jul 30.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Great news Takeshi-San. Thank you.
        When you said I can make booking on 30th Jul does it mean I book through kyushu website? I’m using the pass do they accept my booking without any payment in advance?
        Cheers

        1. Hi Joe san,

          I think I mentioned it a long time ago. You cannot book online. You have to exchange the pass and book it there or later in the window if you exchange the pass before Jul 30.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Thanks Takeshi-San,
            I’ll be arriving on 31th Jul and the second pass finish on 3th Sep.
            Last time in Haneda Airport I was only allowed to reserve seat for the first day after exchange at 7:45, and I can’t see jr green office in takasaki.
            So I have to make reservation at hamamatsucho for the first pass, and then make second reservation on 3th Aug . Am I right?
            Cheers

          2. Hi Joe san,

            I think Haneda was too busy to take all reservation. I guess that’s why they could not take all reservation. As I told you, once you got an actual pass, you can book for any trains. But the reservation is taken one month prior to departure date. So you want to book for Sep 3 train, you can book it on Aug 3. If you want to book for Sep 1 train, you can book it on Aug 1. Most of JR stations have Midori no Maduguchi (Green office as you think). You cannot exchange the pass at all Midori no madoguchi. But once you get an actual pass, you can book at any Midori no Madoguchi. Takahsaki has it. I can say 90% of JR stations have Midori no Madoguchi.

            By the way, may I ask your favor? You have asked me more than 120 times already. You still have lots of time to your travel. Would you ask me your inquiry later and ask me as small as possible? I understand you want to make sure even tiny thing. But I have received 40 to 50 inquiries everyday from over the world.

            I’m happy to assist all readers but please understand my situation.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

          3. Hi Takeshi-San,
            Thanks for your reply.
            I understand your situation now and sorry for my overloaded enquiries ( 2 trips over a month each)
            I really appreciate all your help in the past.
            Have a nice day
            Cheers

  2. Hi Takeshi-San,
    I’ve reverted the first and last part of my trip, hope to break down some of the long distance journey, I. E 7hrs from shirahama to matsumoto.
    Day trip within the bracket

    D1) Haneda -takasaki(kusatsu)
    D2)takasaki (karuizawa )
    D3)Nagano (obuse )
    D4)matsumoto (wasabi farm )
    D5)matsumoto

    D6)Kyoto
    D7)Kyoto (hikone /nagahama)
    D8)Kyoto
    D9)shirahama
    D10)late pm Kyoto
    D11)kinosaki
    D12)okayama (am出石町)

    D13)okayama (onomichi/tomonoura )
    D14)okayama (kojima)
    D15)takamatsu (tokushima )
    D16)takamatsu
    D17)shodoshima
    D18)evening To takamatsu
    D19)matsumoto via kotohira
    D20)matsumoto (uchiko )
    D21)matsumoto
    D22)matsue
    D23)matsue (izumo )
    D24)matsue
    D25)tsuwano
    D26)kumamoto
    D27)takachiho
    D28)miyazaki
    D29)kagoshima
    D30)kagoshima (ibusuki )
    D31)kyushu D&G trains – hakata via kumamoto
    D32)hakata
    D33)hakata (nagasaki )
    D34)hakata (shimonoseki )
    D35)hakata -uneo drop off at kintaikyo or flight direct between hakata and Tokyo
    D36)ueno 3nights before head back home
    I hope it works better , What do you think? Takeshi-San.
    Also do you think 21 day +14 day passes are still the better deal than 21 day pass plus other passes, for example the 5day east pass and the wild west kansai pass?
    You mentioned that kinosaki is your favourite onsen, do you recommend 出石町or other sites nearby?

    Sorry for the long post. Appreciate your time and effort.

    Cheers

    1. Hi Joe,

      I think you can use the following deals and tickets:

      JR East pass Nagano Niigata for day 1 to 5
      single ticket for Matsumoto to Kyoto
      Kyoto city deals (bus pass or subway/bus pass)
      Kansai area pass 1 day for Hikone/Nagahama
      Kansai wide area pass for day 8 to 12
      21 days JR pass from day 14 or 15. It depend on trip to Kintaikyo or not.
      You need to add single fare for Onomichi, Tomonoura and may be Kojima.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi-San,

    Sorry to bother you again.
    Could you please tell me the cheapest route to get amanohashidate from kinosaki by JR pass? (don’t mind multiple transfers ), i’m a bit confuse the sort of jr train running on private road.
    Thanks again Takeshi-San

    Cheers

    1. Hi Joe san,

      Cheapest way is going to Nishi-Maizuru which is 640 yen extra one way. But recommeded way to get Fukuchiyama to get JR train which is 770 yen one way. This is the closest way from Amanohashidate to get Kinosaki.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi Takeshi-San,

    Could you please tell me that if this route is fully covered by jr pass?
    Kochi-nakamura-uwajima
    From kochi to uwajima, I want to drop off to rent a bike to stroll some part of shimanto-gawa and 沉下橋. Is nakamura the best place to do it?

    Thanks again Takeshi-San
    Cheers

    1. Hi Joe san,

      As long as you take JR trains, it’s covered.
      I have no idea about biking along Shimanto river. I have never done it before but I with I do it in the future.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. HI Takeshi-San,

    Thanks for your reply regarding for the jr bus. as you say, not much mention about it by jr.
    Jr bus do running in Kanazawa.it operate 2 lines starting from the station and stop in most sights except ninja temple. It may not run as frequently as other sightseeing buses but worked out well for me, and it’s free with my jr pass. So well done jr bus in kanazawa.

    Cheers

  6. Hi Takeshi-San,

    As you know i’m planing a cruising train-including SL人吉or山翡翠,伊三郎,隼人之風(Your recomendation) and指宿玉手箱 day trip along kumamoto and ibusuki.
    The question is that if all of them are fully booked before I can reserve due to their popularity, am I still able to take other jr trains along the route instead? Will they take a break at those historic stations as well?
    I mean do they ride exactly the same as the cruising train but less fun in a normal cart?

    Thanks for your advice Takeshi-San
    Cheers

    1. Hi Joe san,

      You can take local train on exactly same route. But local trains do not run very frequently. You have to make a big change on your itinerary. In worst case, Hayato no Kaze and Isaburo have non reserved seat. You may have to be standing passengers but you can take these train anyway.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Hi Takeshi-San,

            What JR buses are covered by jr pass? I ‘ve used jr bus within kanazawa, it’s covered, but I heard that jr bus run between cities or prefectures is not covered.
            If I go from kochi to matsuyama by jr bus, is it covered?
            How about the one between matsuyama and imabari via shimanami

            Cheers

          2. Hi Joe san,

            Actually I don’t know about the bus which you mention. Because JR pass official site does not say any details. When I asked several JR bus companies, their answer was sometimes yes and sometimes no. I was told that bus in Kanazawa was not covered by JR Nishinihon bus. But some JR pass user said they could use it.

            I’m pretty sure that JR pass covers sightseeing bus in Hiroshima, “meipuru-pu” and express bus to Lake Towada from Hachinohe and Aomori.
            https://www.chugoku-jrbus.co.jp/teikan/meipurupu/en/
            http://www.jrbustohoku.co.jp/towada/index.html

            In my understanding, other JR bus services are not covered. But I’m not 100% sure. All you can do is checking it on the spot.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi, i would be arriving in narita on march 14 in the afternoon and wish to take a sleeper train to kyoto then back to tokyo on march 16 at night. We’d be travelling as a group of 3, which train and what type of train pass do you think is best?
    Thank you so much for your help :))

    1. Hi Angela,

      Unfortunately there is no overnight trains from Tokyo to Kyoto. You have to take day time train, Shinkansen.
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-departure-arrival-stations/stations-in-tokai/nagoya-toyohashi/what-is-shinkansen-bullet-train.html

      JR pass is recommended if you have round trip to Kyoto by Shinkansen.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi-San,

    At udo-jingu, how long do you think it will take to walk from the new bus stop to the shrine?

    I wonder if 50mins for the whole journey will be OK, if yes then i ‘ll have enough time to catch 海幸山幸,if not i’ll have only 6 mins to transfer.

    I’m looking for a win-win situation here.
    I’ll depart from taka chiho at 07:35, arriving miyazaki at10:14, taking the 11:10 bus and plan to make a break at道の駅

    Thanks for your help , Takeshi-San
    Cheers

  9. Hi Takeshi-San,
    Need your help again.

    Is the ¥1800 1 day miyazaki pass sold at any convenient store in kyushu?

    I will arrive at takachiho from Kumamoto and have to catch the bus strait away to the gorge and other sights, only return late after the show, and next day I need to catch the early bus to obeoka then jr to miyazaki.
    I’m afraid that I don’t have a chance to buy the pass in taka chiho.

    Is there any site that I can check the vacancy of the special train, for example , SL 人吉, 海幸山幸,伊三郎,現美新幹線?

    l heard they are very popular and can be booked out months in advance in high season.
    Takeshi-San, is Aug the high season in japan? Do they accept online booking? If so, does that mean I have to pay for the single ticket and can not use the jr pass?

    Thanks for your time, Takeshi-San.
    Cheers

    1. Hi Joe san,

      I think you mixed up local deal and overseas tourist deal. You should use Visit Miyazaki Bus Pass at 1,000 yen. It covers exactly same routs as 1 day pass at 1,800 yen. Please see the link below:
      http://www.miyakoh.co.jp/bus/visit_miyazaki_bus_pass/

      You can purchase it at Takachiho Bus center. You can purchase it when you arrive in Takachiho and can start using on next day. When you purchase it, don’t forget to tell that you want to use on next day. And the date will be stamped on the pass. This pass cannot be purchased at convenience store. 1800 yen pass can be purchased in convenience store but you have to use the machine and I think it’s shown in Japanese only. I have used it before but it’s not easy to use even for me. I don’t recommend it to purchase it at convenience store anyway.

      Please see the link below how to find the availabbility.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/how-to-find-seat-availability-of-trains-jr-cyber-station-guide.html

      As you know, ticket is on sale one month prior to departure date. So you can find it in July.

      August is busy season. Especially mid August is super busy. But basically you cannot book a seat online. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/how-to-reserve-seat.html

      By the way, you don’t need to book a seat for Genbi. You don’t have a time to sit down on board because you will move around the gallery in the train.
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/cruising-train/the-world-fastest-art-gallery-genbi-shinkansen.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi-San,
        Thanks for your reply.
        I’m really confuse now. Is that visit miyazaki pass at ¥1000 excluses high way bus bound for taka chiho and nobeoka? Only the 1日乘リ放題乘車券at ¥1800 covers that route?

        It’s great news that if visit miyazaki pass covers all the way from taka chiho to udo-jingu.

        Do you have opening hours of the takachiho bus centre where the pass is sold? I couldn’t find it on the net. I’m not sure I have enough time to buy it when I arrive since I need to catch the bus for 天岩户神社in 13 mins and may have to come back very late after the dance show, on next day I plan to take the 7:35 bus to nobeoka. Will they open that early to have the pass on sell?

        Thank you very much Takeshi-San, really appreciated.

        Cheers

        1. Hi Joe san,

          Both 1000 yen pass and 1800 yen pass does not cover express bus to Nobeoka from Takachiho. You have to take local bus from Takachiho to Nobeoka.

          When I visited Takachiho, bus center opened at 8:30. I don’t have update info. But I don’t think it’s open at 7:30 and it’s still same. Try to buy it on arrival day in Takachiho. Otherwise you cannot buy it.

          By the way, 7:35 bus is not express bus. Express bus means that runs between Kumamoto and Nobeoka via Takachiho. Some of bus runs between Takachiho and Nobeoka a bit faster than other bus. These are not express bus. It’s a sort of local bus as rapid service.

          Express bus depart from Takachiho for Nobeoka at 12:50 and 19:10 only. Other buses are local.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Thank you very much Takeshi-San , so my 7:35takachiho-8:55nobeoka is covered by ¥1000pass.

            I’ll first try to buy it when I arrive, if failed I may have to pay extra for the ¥1800pass, I guess the only chance to buy it is at the convenient store, have you noticed any in takachiho when you were there?

            Another question for those special design train in kyushu, if the seats are booked up, will they still take standed passages ? In the other words, when I exchange my pass in jp and try to reserve the seat but faile, I can still get on as a standed passage if I get there early?

            Cheers

          2. Hi Joe san,

            So it’s covered.

            I don’t think there is convenience store in Takachiho. Maybe new one exist now but don’t rely on it. If you miss it, you have to pay single fare. You cannot get it until you get Nobeoka.

            Regarding trains in Kyushu, it depends on the train. Some trains have non reserved seat. You can take these trains. But if train has reserved seat only, you cannot get on it without reservation. If it’s booked out, there is no way to take.

            Please refer JR Kyushu site and find the train configuration.
            http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/train/train_index.jsp

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Hi Takeshi-San,

    I’m planning a sightseeing train cruise when i’m in kumamoto. There are two trains look very appealing, one is the SL hitoyoshi, the other is 伊三郎-新平(Isaburo-shin pein ?)

    Please tell me if I can do the following :

    8:31 kumamoto -11:22 yoshimatsu by Isaburo 1
    11:49 yoshimatsu -13:05 hitoyoshi by shinpei2
    14:38 hitoyoshi -17:14 kumamoto

    My original plan is to stay in kumamoto one night only, but by doing these two trains in a day I have to arrive the night before (after a day trip from Hakata to shimonoseki and iwakuni then go straight to kumamoto for the night )

    The question is it’s worth to cruising these two trains one after the other or the scene along the route is similar so taking one is enough?
    In that case, which route should you recommend and which city I can spend some time to stroll around?

    I don’t mind to stay extra night in kumamoto if these two trains offer quite different experience.

    Thank you so much for your help Takeshi-San, looking forward to hear from you.

    Cheers

    1. Hi Joe san,

      You can do. But why don’t you squeeze this trip before you reach Kagoshima? You can get Kagoshima from Yoshimatsu by another train, Hayato no Kaze. If you want to go back to Kumamoto, you can go through Kagoshima and take Kyushu Shinkansen to get back to Kumamoto.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kyushu-area/my-trip-from-kumamoto-to-kagoshima-chuo-on-march-16-2012-by-kumagawa-isaburo-and-hayato-no-kaze.html

      Hayato no Kaze is also recommended. If you really want to stop some places along this route, Hitoyoshi is the best. You can keep your plan.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi-San,

        Thanks for your advice.
        I’ve changed the original plan the other way round. I’m now first stop in hakata after landing from Haneda at 5am, spend a few nights then head down to kumamoto, then from there to taka chiho(pretty much follow what you did in your post of udo-jingu )and miyazaki, last stay in kagoshima before going to Tsumago.

        For this plan am I still able to keep that two train cruising plan or just do the SL hitoyoshi and stroll around before taking normal jr back to kumamoto?

        Cheers

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