Tokaido Main Line

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Tokaido Main Line (東海道本線; Tōkaidō Honsen)
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Location Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo Prefecture(s)
Terminal Stations Tokyo Station and Kobe Station (Hyogo)  
Major Stations Tokyo Station, Yokohama Station, Odawara Station, Atami Station, Shizuoka Station, Hamamatsu Station, Nagoya Station, Gifu Station, Maibara Station, Otsu Station, Yamashina Station, Kyoto Station, Shin-Osaka Station, Osaka Station, Sannomiya Station, Kobe Station  
Train Types Futsu, Shin-kaisoku
Train Schedule Atami-Maibara schedule at Maibara-Kyoto schedule at
Total Distance Tokyo to Kobe: 589.5 km
Opened The first segment between Shimbashi and Yokohama (Sakuragicho) Stations opened in 1872. The train line between Tokyo and Kobe completed in 1889. 
Operator JR West, JR East, JR Tokai 
Others Railways in Shiga, Railways in Japan 

by Philbert Ono

Also called Tokaido Line, this is Japan's busiest train corridor and oldest train line running from Tokyo Station to Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. Some segments have a nickname such as Biwako Line between Kyoto Station and Nagahama Station.

Train Stations

Starting from Tokyo and going to Kobe. Transfer lines and popular destinations along the stations are as follows.

Kanagawa Prefecture

Shizuoka Prefecture

Aichi Prefecture

Gifu Prefecture

Shiga Prefecture

  • Kashiwabara Station (柏原駅) - The station after Sekigahara Station in Gifu. A former stage town on the Nakasendo Road. A local history museum, Tokugen-in Temple, and Kitabatake grave.
  • Omi-Nagaoka Station (近江長岡駅) - Gateway to Mt. Ibuki and Mishima Pond. Bicycle rental at Green Park Santo (accessible by bus).
  • Samegai Station (醒ヶ井駅) - Former stage town on the Nakasendo Road. Famous for the Samegai Trout Farm and baikamo underwater river flowers in sumer.
  • Maibara Station (米原駅) - Tokaido shinkansen bullet train stop and where the Tokaido/Biwako Line and Hokuriku Line intersect. You can transfer to the Hokuriku Line to travel to Fukui, Ishikawa, and Toyama Prefectures.
  • Hikone Station (彦根駅) - One of Shiga's major cities and tourist bases with Hikone Castle, Hikone Port (for Chikubushima), and shrines and temples.
  • Minami-Hikone Station (南彦根駅) - Viva City shopping center and movie theaters.
  • Kawase Station (河瀬駅) -
  • Inae Station (稲枝駅) -
  • Notogawa Station (能登川駅) - Giant water wheel is the town's symbol, and the station's facade is also partially shaped like a water wheel. Bicycle rental at the station.
  • Azuchi Station (安土駅) - Rent a bicycle and cycle to Azuchi Castle ruins, House of Nobunaga, and the archeaological museum. Bicycle rental in front of the station.
  • Omi-Hachiman Station (近江八幡駅) - Another major tourist base with Hachiman-yama mountain for great views of the city and Lake Biwa, Suigo boat rides, Hachiman-bori moat which is the historical part of town, and buildings by the American architect Vories. Bicycle rental at the station.
  • Shinohara Station (篠原駅) - Bicycle rental at recreational grounds Imose no Sato (雪野山史跡広場妹背の里) (0748-57-1819) until 5 pm.
  • Yasu Station (野洲駅) - Mt. Mikami, Hyozu Taisha Shrine, and rice-planting festival in May. Bicycle rental at the south exit (Minami-guchi) at the Yasu Tourist Office (077−587−3710) until 5 pm (closed Mon.).
  • Moriyama Station (守山駅) - Another stage town on the Nakasendo Road with noted shrines and temples mostly on the west side (toward the lake) of the station. The east side has little. Bicycle rental at the tourist office (077−514−3765) at the west exit until 7:30 pm. Also bicycle rental at Laforet Biwako (phone: 077-584-2180), a hotel on the lakeshore (accessible by bus from the station).
  • Ritto Station (栗東駅) - Daiho Shrine is nearby on the west side of the station.
  • Kusatsu Station (草津駅) - A former stage town on the Nakasendo Road. The Kusatsu-juku Honjin is a marvelous example of the luxury accomodations used by feudal lords and emperors when they traveled in the old days. Tourist info booth near turnstile. Bicycle rental (phone: 077−565-9052) at east exit street level.
  • Minami-Kusatsu Station (南草津駅) -
  • Seta Station (瀬田駅) - By bus, go to the "Bunka Zone" (Culture Zone) that has a Japanese garden, the Shiga Prefectural Library, and the The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga.
  • Ishiyama Station (石山駅) - Ishiyama-dera Temple is a must-see and the Seta River and Seta Karahashi Bridge are also historic places. Ishiyama is also a Keihan streetcar stop which cuts through Otsu.
  • Zeze Station (膳所駅) - Zeze Castle ruins. Also near to Otsu's shopping area.
  • Otsu Station (大津駅) - Shiga's capital and a city with many important temples and shrines such as Enryakuji Temple, Ishiyama-dera Temple, Omi Jingu Shrine, Gichuji Temple (where Haiku poet Basho is buried), and a nice lakeshore. Bicycle rental at Otsu Port (Otsu Tourist Office).

Kyoto Prefecture

Osaka Prefecture

Hyogo Prefecture

From Kobe, some trains also run until Himeji Station.

Map below shows the section between Kyoto and Sekigahara Stations.