Ayame (train)

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JRE seriesE257 type500 LimitedExpressAyame.jpg
E257-500 series on an Ayame service, June 2012
Service type Limited express
Locale Kanto region, Japan
First service 10 March 1975
Current operator(s) JR East
Former operator(s) JNR
Start Tokyo
End Kashima-Jingu or Chōshi
Service frequency 2 return workings daily
Line used Sobu Main Line, Narita Line
Rolling stock E257-500 series EMUs
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC overhead
Operating speed 130 km/h (80 mph)[1]

The Ayame (あやめ?, "iris") is a limited express train operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), which runs from Tokyo to Kashima-Jingu and Chōshi via Sawara.[2]

Service pattern[edit]

As of March 2014, there are two return Ayame workings daily: one return working between Tokyo and Kashima-Jingu, and one between Tokyo and Chōshi. The services operate as all-stations "Local" services between Sawara and Kashima-Jingu or Chōshi.[2] The down Ayame 3 service from Tokyo to Choshi operates coupled to the weekdays-only Shiosai 17 service (to Narutō) as far as Sakura, where the trains divide.[2]

Rolling stock[edit]

Rolling stock used in the past[edit]

183 series EMU on an Ayame service in 2005


Trains are formed as shown below, with car 1 at the Tokyo end.[2][3]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5
Numbering KuHa E256-500 MoHa E257-1500 MoHa E256-500 MoHa E257-500 KuHa E257-500
Accommodation Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved
Facilities   Toilet Toilet   Toilet


The Ayame service was first introduced on 10 March 1975,[4] initially as four return workings daily between Tokyo and Kashima-Jingu.[5]

The late 1980s saw increased competition from long-distance bus services between Tokyo and Kashima, and from the July 1993 timetable revision, the number of Ayame services was reduced to three return workings daily.[5] In December 1994, services were further cut back, with just one up service in the morning and one down service in the evening.[5] From the October 2004 timetable revision, the complementary Suigō limited express (Shinjuku to Chōshi via Narita Line) and Hometown Narita services were discontinued and the number of Ayame services was correspondingly increased to four up and two down services daily.[5] From the start of the revised timetable on 10 December 2005, Ayame services were made entirely no-smoking.[6]

Future developments[edit]

From the start of the 14 March 2015 timetable revision, all regular Ayame services are scheduled to be discontinued.[7]


  1. ^ JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 64. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d JR時刻表 [JR Timetable]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. March 2014. pp. 86–87. 
  3. ^ JR電車編成表 2014夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2014]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 30 May 2014. p. 51. ISBN 978-4-330-46614-9. 
  4. ^ 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995. 
  5. ^ a b c d JR特急列車年鑑2013 [Limited Express Annual 2013]. Tokyo, Japan: Ikaros Publications Ltd. 20 December 2012. p. 166. ISBN 978-4-86320-654-0. 
  6. ^ JR East press release: "2005年12月ダイヤ改正について" (30 September 2005). Retrieved on 3 September. (Japanese)
  7. ^ 2015年3月ダイヤ改正について [March 2015 timetable revision details] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 19 December 2014. p. 9. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 

External links[edit]