Limited Express Azusa (Shinjuku–Otsuki–Matsumoto)
Running from Shinjuku Station to Matsumoto Station, the Limited Express Azusa operates on the Chuo Main Line and in doing so, connects the capital to Central Japan. On this page you will fin the following information:
The Azusa is one of two convenient services running along the Chuo Main Line. The Azusa runs from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo to Matsumoto Station and in doing so, the service connects visitors to one of Central Japan’s most historic cities and convenient transport hubs for exploring Central Japan – see below for details. The other service, the Limited Express Kaiji runs from Shinjuku Station to Kofu Station and is mainly used to head toward Mount Fuji.
LIMITED EXPRESS AZUSA LINE MAP
Most Limited Express Azusa services run to/from Shinjuku Station and Matsumoto Station, with some services extended to stops prior to Shinjuku Station including Chiba – Funabashi – Kinshicho – Tokyo; and after Matsumoto Station including Toyoshina – Hotaka – Shinano-Omachi – Hakuba – Minami-Otari. The following are regular stops:
*Please note, stations marked in bold / red on the map are stops on all services. Those not marked in bold are only serviced by certain services throughout the day.
**While some Azusa services stop at Otsuki Station allowing passengers to transfer to the Fujikyu Railway Line headed to Mount Fuji, most services do not. To reach Otsuki it will usually be easiest to transfer from the Azusa and either Hachioji or Kofu and take the Limited Express Kaiji service onto Otsuki.
LIMITED EXPRESS AZUSA TIMETABLE
The journey from Shinjuku to Matsumoto takes around 170 minutes and costs JPY6620. There are frequent services throughout the day, typically one or two each hour. Train include both reserved and non-reserved seats. For daily train schedule, see our ‘Limited Express Azusa Timetable’ page. The Limited Express Azusa is covered by the full Japan Rail (JR) Pass.
RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS USING THE AZUSA
For many visitors, the Limited Express Azusa service will be their mode of transport to or from Central Japan. Running to Matsumoto Station, using the Hida service opens-up many of the region’s most enjoyable destinations and experiences. Taking the Limited Express Azusa to Matsumoto, visitors can enjoy one of Japan’s last remaining castles and everything this pleasant little city has to offer. From Matsumoto, you can head high into the mountains and the beautiful alpine valley of Kamikochi. See our ’25 Things to Do Around Matsumoto & Where to Stay’ page for plenty of great tips and suggestions.
From there you can make your way to Takayama and its famous old town before also exploring the World Heritage-listed villages of Shirakawa-go & Gokayama. Heading south from Matsumoto to the stations of Kiso-Fukushima and Nakatsugawa, visitors can walk the historic Nakasendo Trail and breathe in the tranquility and beauty of the Kiso Valley. For more information, see our ’25 Things to Do Around the Kiso Valley / Nakasendo & Where to Stay’ page.
Matsumoto is connected to Nagano City by the Limited Express Shinano service. Taking only 50 minutes to reach Nagano, you have access to destinations including the Jigokudani Monkey Park and the city’s near-1400 year old Zenko-ji Temple. Located just outside of Nagano City, Togakushi is home to some of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines, walking trails, ninja museums and villages along with acclaimed ‘soba’ (buckwheat noodles). For suggestions of everything on offer, see our ’40 Things to Do Around Nagano & Where to Stay’ page.
For visitors coming to the region in winter, the many ski resorts of Nagano – including those that hosted events during the 1998 Winter Olympics – can be accessed from both Matsumoto and Nagano including on our group tours to and from Nagano and Hakuba, along with private tours and charters.
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN
The Limited Express Azusa is just one part of Japan’s fantastic rail network. Unfathomable in its size and efficiency, moving around the country by train is easy and comfortable opening-up all regions of Japan for exploration. Our ‘Plan Your Visit’ page has everything you need to know about visiting Japan – from tips on the best time to travel, times to avoid, entering and exiting the country, money matters, staying connected, accommodation, staying safe and healthy and plenty more to ensure that you get the most out of your time here.
BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Based in Nagano and operating all year round, we are a No.1-rated tour and charter operator, offering a range of services including accommodation, transport and tours throughout the region. We have the local knowledge of where and when to go, to help you discover and enjoy Matsumoto and other regional destinations in comfort. For guests wanting to access the resorts in the comfort of their own transport, we can arrange a private tour or charter customised to fit your needs, starting and ending at any destination in the region.
Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations, in combination with any activity that suits your interests and schedule. All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of that experience and help you discover even more!
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2022 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano and Central Japan.
Got a question about visiting Central Japan? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get planning together!