The Wide View Hida train is one of the most scenic train routes in Japan and frequently used to travel to Takayama and the Japanese Alps.
What is the Wide View Hida express train?
The Wide View Hida train is a limited express service operated by JR-Central between Nagoya – Takayama and Toyama. A limited number of trains also service Kyoto and Osaka. The train is a popular options to travel to Takayama with, because of the scenic views along the route and even better, it is included in the Japan Rail Pass.
The route starts at Nagoya station and follows the Miyagawa river into the Japanese alps. Along the way are there are plenty of scenic views from the Japanese countryside to the mountain landscape of the Alps. The route is considered one of the most beautiful in Japan, and certainly worth making on its own.
The train gets its name from the wide glass windows, for the best views along the route. Hida refers to the Takayama-Hida region. The most popular stops along the route are Gifu, Gero Onsen, Takayama and Toyama stations.
Route and stations
There are 10 trains ins each direction during normal operation from Nagoya and one train that service to/from Osaka and Kyoto.
Stations along the way are:
- Nagoya station
- Owari-Ichinomiya station*
- Gifu station
- Unuma station*
- Mino-Ota station
- Shirakawaguchi station*
- Hida-Kanayama station*
- Gero station
- Hida-Hagiwara station*
- Hida-Osaka station*
- Kuguno station*
- Takayama station (some trains terminate here).
- Hida-Furukawa station*
- Inotani station*
- Etchu-Yatsuo station
- Hayahoshi station*
- Toyama station*
Note that stations with an asterisk* see less train services per day, i.e. not every train stops at these stations.
For trains going to/from Osaka and Kyoto stations, the following stops are included:
- Osaka station
- Shin-Osaka station
- Kyoto station
- Kusatsu station
- Maibara station
- Ogaki station
- Gifu station
Using the JR Pass on the Wide view Hida express train
The Japan Rail Pass covers the Hide Wide View ltd. express train and seat reservations can be made for free at any JR station. The train tends to be busy during weekends and holidays, for such periods prior seat reservations are recommended.
The train also operated a Green Class 1st Class layout for extra quiet and comfort during the trip. JR Pass holders of a Green Pass, can use this for free.
Tips for riding
- The argument of what side of the train has the best views is open for debate. We recommend booking your seats on one side of the train, then using the other side on your return journey.
- While most stations along the route are likely of little interest to tourists, Gero Onsen is a cosy onsen town with a good range of Ryokan and Onsen baths.
- Special Eki-Bento boxes are sold with local Hida Beef, these are a must-try!
- If you want to further explore the Japanese Alps, then we recommend adding a visit to Shirakawa-go.