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JRW EC 583 series B5.jpg
A 583 series EMU train on a Kitaguni express, August 2010
Service type Express
Status Discontinued
Locale Japan
First service 1 October 1961
Last service January 2013
Current operator(s) JR West
Former operator(s) JNR
Start Osaka
End Niigata
Average journey time 8-9 hours
Rolling stock 583 series EMUs
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC, 20 kV AC

The Kitaguni (きたぐに?) was an overnight train service that operated in Japan from October 1961 until January 2013. Operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West), it ran between Niigata and Osaka, taking approximately nine hours northbound and eight hours southbound. Reduced to seasonal operations in March 2012, the service was officially discontinued in January 2013.


The Kitaguni ran on the following lines:

JR West

JR East

Service pattern[edit]

The southbound train originated at Niigata Station at 22:55, arriving in Osaka at 06:49.

The northbound service left Osaka at 23:27, terminating at Niitsu station at 08:10. It then continued as a local train for the final 15-minutes to Niigata.

Major stops along the Kitaguni route included Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Maibara, Tsuruga, Fukui, Kanazawa, Toyama, Naoetsu, and Nagaoka.

Rolling stock[edit]

The Kitaguni used dedicated 581/583 series EMU trains consisting of reserved accommodation only.


Kitaguni Green Car reserved seat ticket

A flat fee was charged for type "A" and "B" reserved sleeping car accommodation, regardless of starting or ending location, while Green Car (first class) reserved accommodation rates were based on distance. In the final days of the train's operations, accommodation rates ranged from about ¥6,000 for a type "B" berth to about ¥10,000 for a type "A" berth. A Green Car seat covering the entire distance from Osaka to Niigata cost ¥5,150.

The other fares, the basic fare and express fare, were based on distance. For tourists using the Japan Rail Pass, the basic fare did not have to be paid.


A 583 series Kitaguni service in 1994

The Kitaguni service first ran on 1 October 1961, as an express between Kanazawa and Niigata.[1] From 1 October 1968, the service was extended to operate between Osaka and Aomori.[1]

From the start of the 17 March 2012 timetable revision, regular operations of the Kitaguni were discontinued, with services operating during busy seasonal periods only.[2]

On 31 January 2013, JR West announced that the Kitaguni service had been formally discontinued following the seasonal runs over the New Year period.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995. p. 125. 
  2. ^ 「きたぐに」「日本海」引退へ ダイヤ改正で3月 ["Kitaguni" and "Nihonkai" to end from March timetable revision] (pdf) (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  3. ^ 夜行急行「きたぐに」完全引退 ブルトレ「日本海」は検討中 [Night train "Kitaguni" completely retired - Blue Train "Nihonkai" also under consideration]. MSN Sankei West (in Japanese). Japan: The Sankei Shimbun & Sankei Digital. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 

External links[edit]