JOYFUL TRAINS

KAIRI

Service interval: Niigata to Sakata Stations

  • The KAIRI debuts on October 5, 2019
  • KAIRI

The KAIRI ("marine village") train was designed around the concepts of the cuisine of Niigata and Shonai and of the beautiful vistas of the Sea of Japan. Experience the charms of the region through the foods served aboard the KAIRI.

The KAIRI is a new hybrid diesel configured with four cars providing service between Niigata and Sakata. Expressing a dynamic fusion of the setting sun and fresh snow using color gradation, the exterior was designed to become the newest addition to the Niigata landscape.

The sea and village life are prominent characteristics of Niigata Prefecture and the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture. With the idea of passengers enjoying wonderful seafood and village cooking while gazing at picturesque panoramas, the KAIRI was named for the sea (kai) and villages (ri).

Car interior

Car no. 1

The primary feature of this car is dual reclining seats. Relax in this spacious car while enjoying the beautiful views of the Sea of Japan, the Echigo and Shonai Plains and the Three Mountains of Dewa.

Car no. 1

Car no. 2

Each compartment in this car seats four people. The seats can be folded down into a full-flat position for stretching out the legs and an extra level of relaxation.

Car no. 2

Car no. 3: Shop

The foods sold in this car will make your KAIRI ride an epicurean delight. Enjoy foods made from fresh Niigata and Shonai ingredients. Made specially for the KAIRI, you will not find these products anywhere else. This car also serves as an event space where food and scenic beauty intersect.

Car no. 3: Shop

Car no. 4: Dining

The dining car features both two-person and four-person seating where passengers can enjoy Niigata and Shonai cuisines to their hearts' content. The plates and other dishes used have been carefully selected to complement the foods.

Car no. 4: Dining

Onboard Guide to Fine Japanese Dining – Niigata to Sakata

Within all of Japan, Furumachi Kagai in Niigata prefecture is the preeminent district for high-class traditional Japanese dining. The three establishments featured in the menu are all located within the Furumachi Kagai district and have provided a seasonally rotating selection of elegant dishes for well over a hundred years.

Ikinariya

The origins of this restaurant lie in the Golden Age of the Edo period, some three hundred years ago in the Genroku era. Maintaining venerable traditions passed on from times of yore, Ikinariya provides excellent Japanese-style fine dining prepared from carefully selected seasonal ingredients.

Ikinariya

Nabejaya

This restaurant opened in 1846 at the end of the Edo period. The name literally means "hotpot teahouse," reflecting the softshell turtle hotpot that the restaurant was originally known for. For more than 160 years, Nabejaya has been providing a traditional atmosphere with traditional flavors and techniques.

Nabejaya

Ichishime

First established by a seafood wholesaler in 1872, Ichishime took its current form as a provider of fine Japanese cuisine in 1916. Its signature dish is unagi (freshwater eel), which can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Ichishime

Onboard restaurant guide: Al-ché-cciano – Sakata to Niigata

Top Japanese chef Masayuki Okuda serves Italian cuisine at Al-ché-cciano using local ingredients that have been cultivated in Shonai for generations. Under Okuda's supervision, the kitchen chefs prepare fresh, seasonal dishes in the style of "Okuda Italian."

The exterior of Al-ché-cciano
The exterior of Al-ché-cciano

The interior of Al-ché-cciano
The interior of Al-ché-cciano

Masayuki Okuda
Masayuki Okuda

Onboard Guide: Ohashi – Niigata to Sakata and Sakata to Niigata

A well-established purveyor of Western dishes and utensils, Ohashi is located in Niigata City which developed as the largest port town along the Sea of Japan in the days when the kitamaebune ships carried a variety of people and cultures along domestic shipping routes. While maintaining tradition amid a constantly changing world, Ohashi builds on more than a century of experience to create new value for customers through plates, bowls and other dishes for pleasurable dining. Look for attractive Ohashi dishes created uniquely to serve food on the KAIRI.

Ohashi and Co.Ohashi and Co.

Ohashi and Co.

Ohashi and Co.

Car layout

  • Sakata
  • Niigata
  • Car no.1 30 reclining seats, Car no.2 32 compartment seats , Car no.3 Onboard shop and event space, Car no.4 24 dining seats

Hybrid diesel HB-300 series – four cars, 86-passenger capacity

Note: Layout images are illustrations.

Regular stops

Regular stops

Note:

  • The station stops are subject to change.

Route & Timetables

KAIRI

Stops Outbound Inbound
Niigata 10:12 (dep.) 18:31 (arr.)
Shibata 10:38 (dep.) 18:06 (dep.)
Nakajō 10:48 (dep.) 17:55 (dep.)
Sakamachi 10:56 (dep.) 17:47 (dep.)
Murakami 11:06 (dep.) 17:36 (dep.)
Kuwagawa 11:22 (arr.)
11:42 (dep.)
17:21 (dep.)
16:50 (arr.)
Sasagawa-nagare
(Sea of Japan coastline)
(Scenic spot) (Scenic spot)
Atsumi-Onsen 12:18 (arr.)
12:29 (dep.)
16:13 (dep.)
Tsuruoka 12:56 (dep.) 15:49 (dep.)
15:25 (arr.)
Amarume 13:08 (dep.) 15:12 (dep.)
Sakata 13:19 (arr.) 15:02 (dep.)
Stops Outbound Inbound

KAIRI *October 14th and November 4th only

Stops Outbound Inbound
Niigata 10:12 (dep.) 18:31 (arr.)
Shibata 10:38 (dep.) 18:06 (dep.)
Nakajō 10:48 (dep.) 17:55 (dep.)
Sakamachi 10:56 (dep.) 17:47 (dep.)
Murakami 11:06 (dep.) 17:36 (dep.)
Kuwagawa 11:22 (arr.)
11:22 (dep.)
17:21 (dep.)
16:50 (arr.)
Sasagawa-nagare(Sea of Japan coastline) (Scenic spot) (Scenic spot)
Atsumi-Onsen 11:51 (arr.)
11:51 (dep.)
16:13 (dep.)
Tsuruoka 12:21 (dep.) 15:49 (dep.)
15:25 (arr.)
Amarume 12:34 (dep.) 15:12 (dep.)
Sakata 12:44 (arr.) 15:02 (dep.)
Stops Outbound Inbound
* Trains will operate at normal speeds between Kuwagawa and Echigo-Kangawa on October 14th and November 4th, and there will only be a brief stop at Kuwagawa.
* Depending on the situation, it may sometimes not be possible to operate at reduced speeds and scheduled stops may be shortened.

KAIRI (Winter timetable)

Stops Outbound Inbound
Niigata 10:12 (dep.) 18:31 (arr.)
Shibata 10:38 (dep.) 18:06 (dep.)
Nakajō 10:48 (dep.) 17:55 (dep.)
Sakamachi 10:56 (dep.) 17:47 (dep.)
Murakami 11:06 (dep.) 17:36 (dep.)
Kuwagawa 11:22 (dep.) 17:21 (dep.)
Sasagawa-nagare(Sea of Japan coastline) (Scenic spot for foamy seas) (Scenic spot for foamy seas)
Atsumi-Onsen 11:51 (dep.) 16:55 (dep.)
Tsuruoka 12:21 (dep.) 16:33 (dep.)
Amarume 12:34 (dep.) 16:11 (dep.)
Sakata 12:44 (arr.) 16:00 (dep.)
Stops Outbound Inbound
* Service dates and times may be subject to change.

Calendar

Green circle Brown circle Blue circle Days marked with colored circles indicate the days this train service is in operation.

Green circle Niigata to Sakata Brown circle Niigata to Sakata (Revised down train timetable) Blue circle Niigata to Sakata (Winter timetable)

October 2019
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

This train service is in operation on the following days in October 2019.

▌Niigata to Sakata
5th, 6th, 11th, 13th, 18th to 22nd, 25th to 27th
▌Niigata to Sakata (Revised down train timetable)
14th
▌Niigata to Sakata (Winter timetable)
Not in operation.

November 2019
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

This train service is in operation on the following days in November 2019.

▌Niigata to Sakata
1st, 3rd, 8th to 10th, 15th to 17th, 22nd to 24th, 29th, 30th
▌Niigata to Sakata (Revised down train timetable)
4th
▌Niigata to Sakata (Winter timetable)
Not in operation.

December 2019
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

This train service is in operation on the following days in December 2019.

▌Niigata to Sakata
1st, 6th to 8th, 13th to 15th, 20th to 22nd
▌Niigata to Sakata (Winter timetable)
27th to 31st

January 2020
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

This train service is in operation on the following days in January 2020.

▌Niigata to Sakata
Not in operation
▌Niigata to Sakata (Winter timetable)
1st to 5th, 11th to 13th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th

February 2020
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

This train service is in operation on the following days in February 2020.

▌Niigata to Sakata Not in operation
▌Niigata to Sakata (Winter timetable)
1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 11th, 15th, 16th, 22nd to 24th, 29th

  • * Service dates may be subject to change.

How to purchase

Tickets for the KAIRI are not available for sale outside of Japan. There are multiple ways to purchase tickets as follows.

View Travel Package:
Available for sale at JR EAST Travel Service Centers at Tokyo, Shinjuku and other stations, as well as at your nearby Travel Service Centers (View Plaza).
Passes:
Purchase a pass that is for foreign visitors to Japan and covers the travel area. Recommended passes when visiting Japan
Tickets:
Available for sale at JR EAST Travel Service Centers and your local JR Ticket Office (Midori-no-madoguchi).

Note: Not all services are available on certain trains when boarding with a pass or a ticket.

Online seat reservation

Online booking makes it easy! JR-EAST Train Reservation