Taking the Hida Limited Express

'Wide View' Hida Limited Express

Japan is known for its safe and fast rail system. In addition to getting from place to place, many travelers wish to enjoy the ride – especially when it takes them past beautiful, picturesque scenery of the Japanese countryside.

The Hida Limited Express is a train that does just that. It is named after the former Hida Province on the west side of the Hida Mountains, which is now the northern expanse of the Gifu Prefecture in Chubu. Today, it is the primary means of reaching Takayama.

This route has become extremely popular with international travelers. Check out this handy guide to navigating the Hida Limited Express.

Wide View Hida Limited Express

This train has earned the name “Wide View Hida” due to its expansive windows that offer a panoramic view of the passing countryside. From this vantage point, you will see the charming countryside as well as well-preserved historic structures.

Routes and Stops

The Hida Limited Express services two distinct, though connected, routes departing from two different points, Osaka and Nagoya. You may be interested in exploring or staying at some of the towns that you will stop at along the way.

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From Nagoya to Toyama

The Hida Limited Express departs from Platform 11 at Nagoya Station ten times each day.

Five trains terminate at Takayama Station, while others continue to Hida-Furukawa or Toyama. If you wish to go as far as Toyama, make sure you are boarding the correct Hida Limited Express service.

Read more: Nagoya travel guide

The train from Nagoya to Toyama stops at:

  • Nagoya station (departing station)
  • Owari-Ichinomiya station (a few trains stops a this station)
  • Gifu station
  • Unuma station (a few trains stops a this station)
  • Mino-Ota station
  • Shirakawaguchi station (a few trains stops a this station)
  • Hida-Kanayama station (half of trains stops at this station)
  • Gero station
  • Hida-Hagiwara station (half of trains stops at this station)
  • Hida-Osaka station (a few trains stops a this station)
  • Kuguno station (a few trains stops a this station)
  • Takayama station
  • Hida-Furukawa station
  • Inotani station
  • Etchu-Yatsuo station
  • Hayahoshi station  (a few trains stops a this station)
  • Toyama station (final station)

The entire trip to Toyama Station takes about four hours.

The Hida Limited Express runs from Nagoya to Takayama
The Hida Limited Express runs from Nagoya to Takayama

From Osaka to Takayama

One round-trip service is offered per day from Osaka Station to Takayama Station.

Read more: Osaka travel guide

Stops occur at Shin-Osaka, Kyoto station, Kusatsu, Maibara, and Ogaki Stations, before coupling with the Hida Limited Express from Nagoya at Gifu Station:

Stops then occur at Unuma, Mino-Ota, Shirakawaguchi, Hida-Kanayama, Gero, Hida-Hagiwara, Hida-Osaka, and Kuguno Stations before reaching Takayama Station. The entire trip from Osaka to Takayama Station takes around 4 hours and 16 minutes.

Read More: Takayama and the Japanese Alps

Accommodations

The Hida Limited Express is a KIHA-85 series train. It carries two different types of Green cars, one of which has a 2+2 seat configuration, the other a 2+1 seat configuration. The latter offers more legroom.

The 2+1 car, always located at the front of the train, has a seat pitch of 1250 mm, higher than the 1160 mm standard. Access to this car may require a reservation. It may be designated as Car #10. Ordinary class cars are also available, located at the rear of the train.

On each train car, you will have access to restroom facilities and a folding tray table on the back of the seat in front of you.

Hida Limited Express

Prices and Schedule

The Hida’s limited express service is completely covered by the Japan Rail Pass. However, if you are not employing a JR Pass, you can expect to pay 7,130 yen for the trip from Nagoya to Toyama and 7,780 yen for the trip from Osaka to Takayama.

Generally, you can expect the Hida Limited Express from Osaka to run once per day, and the Hida from Nagoya to run once per hour.

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Timetable

At Nagoya Station, you will find the Hida Limited Express departing every one to two hours. Because this does not occur on the hour, however, you will need to plan for the exact departure times. Likewise, the Hida from Osaka departs once per day, but this differs between weekdays and weekends. Please see the below timetable for exact departure times.

From Nagoya to Toyama

Nagoya stationGifu stationGero stationTakayama stationHida-Furukawa stationToyama station
Hida #17:458:049:2510:16
Hida #38:439:0110:1310:5611:1512:29
Hida #59:3910:0011:3012:2312:42
Hida #710:4811:0612:2513:1013:2814:45
Hida #911:4312:0413:2314:10
Hida #1112:4813:0614:2215:0515:2316:36
Hida #1314:4815:0616:2517:1017:3118:52
Hida #1515:4316:0317:2418:08
Hida #1717:4318:0419:3320:19
Hida #1919:4320:0421:2822:15

From Osaka to Takayama

Hida #25Osaka stationShin-Osaka stationKyoto stationGifu stationGero stationTakayama station
Weekdays7:588:038:3110:1011:2812:14
Weekends8:028:078:3410:1011:2912:14

From Takayama to Osaka

Hida #36Takayama stationGero stationGifu stationKyoto stationShin-Osaka stationOsaka station
Weekdays & Weekends15:3516:1917:3619:2019:4519:51

Using the JR Pass

You can use your JR Pass to travel on the Hida Limited Express without incurring any additional fees. This is true for both the Nagoya to Toyama and Osaka to Takayama routes.

Downtown Takayama is a great place for walk among historical houses
Takayama old town by @gaijinbiker (Flickr)

There are lots of exciting activities to take part in and places to explore along the Hida Limited Express route. You may wish to take excursions into Gifu, with its central castle atop Mount Kinka; the onsen hot springs of Gero; the historic structures of Takayama; the canals and breweries of Hida-Furukawa; or Toyama’s castle and boating on the Matsukawa River.

Wherever you go, you will be equipped to explore with your JR Pass in hand.

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