Summer is very hot and humid in Japan. It is not the best season to travel. However summer is very busy travel season. In Japan, most public schools have summer break from July 20 to August 31. This period is busier than usual. Especially mid August is called “Obon”. This is one of the busiest season. Many local residents go back to hometown and spend the time with their family. It is Japanese tradition. Many of trains are booked out very quickly. Please see the link below to learn more:
All JR companies add lots of seasonal trains during all summer season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots between July and September.
*If you look for the seasonal train schedule until June, please see the following link:
*Fall seasonal train schedule (October and November) will come up in late August. But you can find some of JR Kyushu train schedules until February, 2020.
- 1 JR Hokkaido (Hokkaido area)
- 2 JR East (Tohoku and Kanto area)
- 3 JR Central (Chubu, Tokai and Hokuriku)
- 4 JR West (Kansai, Hokuriku and Chugoku)
- 5 JR Shikoku (Shikoku)
- 6 JR Kyushu (Kyushu)
JR Hokkaido (Hokkaido area)
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.
September 1-10, 14-23
Train runs one round trip (train #1 and #2) only on these following dates:
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.
Train runs one round trip (#3, #4) only on those above dates.
Train runs two round trips on these above dates.
*Train stops at Iwamizawa, Takikawa and Ashibetsu.
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.
*Train makes stops at Biei, Bibaushi, Kami-Furano, Lavender-Batake and Naka-Furano.
This train runs on exactly same segment as Furano Biei Norokko train but this train is operated by the ordinary train fleet.
*This train stop at Biei, Bibaushi, Kami-Furano, Lavender-Batake and Naka-Furano.
This train is operated by JR East special fleet “Byu Coaster Kazekko” between Asahikawa, Otoineppu and Wakkanai.
Operation dates and timetable of train #1 and #2
*This train stop at Minami-Wakkanai, Toyotomi, Horonobe, Teshio-Nakagawa and only train #2 stops at Onoppunai.
Operation dates and timetable of train #3 and #4
*This train stop at Shin-Asahikawa (#4 only), Pippu, Wassamu, Kenbuchi (#3 only), Shibetsu, Nayoro and Bifuka .
Limited Express Niseko
This limited express train runs between Sapporo and Hakodate but this train goes through northern line via Otaru, Kutchan and Niseko.
*This train stop at Teine, Otaru, Yoichi, Kutchan, Niseko, Konbu, Kuromatsunai, Oshamambe, Mori, Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Goryokaku.
JR East (Tohoku and Kanto area)
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”.
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.
SL Banetsu Monogatari
It is operated by one of the legendary steam locomotive “C57” and the old style carriages between Niitsu and Aizu-Wakamatsu.
Niitsu 10:05 – Aizu Wakamatsu 13:35
Aizu Wakamatsu 15:25 – Niitsu 18:40
Niitsu, Gosen, Sakihana, Mikawa, Tsugawa, Hideya, Nozawa, Yamato, Kitakata and Shiokawa.
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.
Sendai 09:13 – 11:00 Naruko Onsen 11:23 – Shinjo 12:26
Shinjo 15:01 – 16:00 Naruko Onsen 16:02 – 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.
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.
This is the first ever Shinkansen train that has the foot Onsen bath in the car.
|Station||Toreiyu Tsubasa #1||Station||Toreiyu Tsubasa #2|
You can find more information about this train at the post, Toreiyu Tsubasa. First ever Shinkansen train that has foot bath.
This steam locomotive train 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.
POKÉMON with YOU train
Simply it is Pokemon theme train as you see Google image above. It offers fun and it is very kids friendly train.
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.
You can find more information about this train at the post, Enjoy premium Japanese Sake on board. Cruising train Koshino Shu*Kura.
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
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 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.
Niigata 10:11 – 12:51 Sakata
Sakata 16:10 – Niigata 18:31
This train runs on the following dates between Niigata and Akita:
Niigata 09:31 – 12:03 Sakata 12:05 – 13:47 Akita
Akita 14:07 – 16:03 Sakata 16:10 – 18:31 Niigata
The following schedule will be applied to the train which runs on Jul 26-29, 31, Aug 1-5 and 7-8.
Niigata 10:11 – 13:14 Sakata
Sakata 16:10 – Niigata 18:31
This train set will be retired on September 29 and the new fleet will be introduced on this trains’ operation.
HIGH RAIL 1375
This train runs on Oumi line which goes on the highest elevation in all JR lines. You can enjoy mountain fresh air by riding this train.
Timetable (HIGH RAIL 1)
Timetable (HIGH RAIL 2)
|14:32 (11:43)||16:57 (14:07)|
Timetable (HIGH RAIL Hoshizora)
|18:17 (17:09)||21:39 (20:14)|
JR Central (Chubu, Tokai and Hokuriku)
This is very popular and hard to book a seat. This train does not have any non reserved seat. You cannot take this train without seat reservation. This train is operated by old type Limited Express train set. But there is no berth or compartment.
To Ogaki – August 1-17
To Tokyo – August 2-18
JR West (Kansai, Hokuriku and Chugoku)
This is new train that will start to run in this fall in Kanazawa. This train takes you to Wakura Onsen in Noto peninsula.
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.
Himi line (between Takaoka and Himi)
Johana line (between Takaoka and Johana)
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.
Hello Kitty Shinkansen
This is one of scheduled Kodama train that is operated by specialized “Hello Kitty” wrapping fleet.
This train will be introduced in the end of June.
This train stops at all stations between Shin-Osaka and Hakata on the Sanyo Shinkansen line.
Setouchi Marine View
This train runs along the coast of Setonaikai sea between Hiroshima and Mihara via Kure.
Weekend and holidays from July 6 to September 29. But the train runs everyday in August.
OO (maru maru) no Hanashi
This train runs along the coast of Sea of Japan. Please check the images at the following link:
JR West official site
Weekend and holidays from July 6 to September 29
|to Higashi-Hagi||to Shimonoseki|
|to Izumoshi||to Tottori|
This train is operated by C57 type steam locomotive between Shin-Yamaguchi and Tsuwano. This train has only reserved seat. (Japanese site link)
|to Tsuwano||to Shin-|
JR Shikoku (Shikoku)
This train is operated by the open-air fleet and runs along Shimanto river which is one of the most beautiful stream in Japan.
Uwajima 11:39 – Kubokawa 14:22
Kubokawa 15:01 – Uwajima 17:24
*This train stops at all stations between these stations.
JR Kyushu (Kyushu)
Limited Express Yufuin-no-Mori
It is very popular train that connect Hakata and Yufuin. This train runs daily basis but some of trips do not run due to the annual inspection.
Train #1, #2, # 5 and #6 will not run on the following dates:
Year 2020 Jan 14-16
Train #3 and #4 will not run on the following dates:
May 8-Jul 11
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 Beppu and Asp.
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.
This train makes a stop at Nakahanda, Miemachi, Ogata, Bungo-Takeda, Bugoogi and Miyaji too.
This train goes through Nichinan coastline. Please see the details at my post.
|Stations||to Nango||to Miyazaki|
This train makes stops at Tayoshi, Kodomo no Kuni amd Nichinan too.
This train connects Kumamoto with Misumi. Misumi is the gateway station for Amakusa. JR Kyushu add one more trip after March 16.
Only two round trips, #1,#2,#5 and #6 will run on the following dates:
This train runs between Kagoshima-Chuo and Yoshimatsu. It currently runs as the scheduled train and it runs everyday. However after March 17, this train will runs as the seasonal train. Please see the details at Limited Express Hayato no Kaze.
This train makes stops at Kurino, Osumi-Yokogawa, Hayato and Kagoshima too.
Rapid SL Hitoyoshi
This train is connects Kumamoto with Hitoyoshi by steam locomotive and specialized passenger’s cars.