Seishun 18 Trips

Travel across Japan with the Seishun 18 Kippu

Travel across Japan with the Seishun 18 Kippu (5 days) from Makurazaki, Kagoshima Prefecture (on Kyushu) to Wakkanai, Hokkaido. Let’s aim for the northernmost terminus on the JR line from the southernmost terminus on the JR line by local train.

The shortest itinerary is 5-day and 4-night. You can also go north after spending some time sightseeing at your accommodation. Which one would you choose? This is the true value of the Seishun 18 Kippu journey.

The schedule is valid until March 2023.

Day 1

Makurazaki → Hiroshima

Makurazaki, the southernmost terminus on the JR line and a port town facing the East China Sea, is the starting point of your journey across Japan. If you can’t get there the day before, we recommend staying overnight in Kagoshima-chuo and starting your journey on the first train on the JR Ibusuki-Makurazaki Line the next morning. Don’t forget to bring your camera as the train will stop at Nishi-Oyama, the southernmost station on the JR line.

From Sendai to Yatsushiro, take the Hisatsu Orange Railway↗️ (non-JR line). Seishun 18 Kippu holders can purchase the “Orange 18 Free Ticket” (¥2100) on board. The JR line again from Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture. The waiting time at Kurume is about 40 minutes. Have an early dinner and some shopping to prepare for the long journey.

After passing through the Kanmon Tunnel from Moji, Shimonoseki is the westernmost point of Honshu. It takes about 4 hours from Shimonoseki to Hiroshima, and you can enjoy the night view along the Seto Inland Sea.

Kagoshima-chuo d.447Local
Yamakawa a.602
Yamakawa d.611Local
Makurazaki a.725
Makurazaki d.735Local
Ibusuki a.854
Ibusuki d.901Local
Kagoshima-chuo a.1017
Kagoshima-chuo d.1029Local
Sendai a.1119
Sendai d.1125Local
Yatsushiro a.1352
Yatsushiro d.1408Rapid
Kurume a.1605🍱 dinner
Kurume d.1648Rapid
Moji a.1848
Moji d.1851Local
Shimonoseki a.1858
Shimonoseki d.1903Local
Iwakuni a.2209
Iwakuni d.2210Local
Hiroshima a.2259

Day 2

Hiroshima → Tokyo (Ueno)

On the second day, you will travel about 900 kilometers to Tokyo. It is recommended to take the first train from Hiroshima, so that you can have time to rest at stations along the way. The first resting point is Himeji. You can see Himeji-jo Castle from the station. Take a break with coffee. From Himeji, sit on the right side of the rapid train for Maibara. You can see the Seto Inland Sea and the Akashi-kaikyo Bridge.

Proceed east on the JR Tokaido Main Line and have a coffee break in Ogaki. Have an early dinner in Hamamatsu and savor Lake Hamana-ko’s famous unagi (eel) dish. We recommend using the non-reserved Green Car from Numazu to Tokyo (Ueno). Buy some snacks and drinks.

Hiroshima d.551Local
Itozaki a.714
Itozaki d.726Local
Okayama d.901
Okayama d.918Local
Aioi a.1023
Aioi d.1024Local
Himeji a.1044☕️ break
Himeji d.1127Rapid
Maibara a.1353
Maibara d.1403Local
Ogaki a.1437☕️ break
Ogaki d.1511Rapid
Toyohashi a.1639
Toyohashi d.1642Local
Hamamatsu a.1716🍻 dinner
Hamamatsu d.1808Local
Numazu a.2016
Numazu d.2038Local
Ueno a.2245

Day 3

Tokyo (Ueno) → Aomori

Depart from Ueno on the first train (conveys non-reserved Green Car) on the JR Takasaki Line. To reach Aomori along the Sea of Japan on the same day, it is important to take this train. Enjoy the mountainous scenery of the JR Joetsu Line, then heads north to Niigata.

From Murakami to Sakata, sit on the left side and enjoy the scenery of the Sea of Japan. For dinner, enjoy local cuisine at the Akita Station Building Topico food hall.

Ueno d.513Local
Takasaki a.655
Takasaki d.711Local
Minakami a.818
Minakami d.828Local
Nagaoka a.1018
Nagaoka d.1029Rapid
Niigata a.1129
Niigata d.1142Local
Murakami a.1257🍱 lunch
Murakami d.1348Local
Sakata a.1615
Sakata d.1630Local
Akita a.1820🍻 dinner
Akita d.1923Rapid
Aomori a.2218

Day 4

Aomori → Sapporo

Finally heading to Hokkaido. Take a local train from Aomori to Tsugaru-Futamata via Kanita. From the adjacent Okutsugaru-Imabetsu Station, use the Seishun 18 Kippu Hokkaido Shinkansen Option-ken Ticket (¥2490; available for purchase on the day) to board a vacant seat on the Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayate 93 (ordinary car) bound for Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. Passes through the Seikan Tunnel and transfer to the Donan Isaribi Railway (non-JR line) at Kikonai.

You have some time in Hakodate, so let’s visit the Morning Market in front of the station. Try the kaisen-don (bowl of rice topped with sashimi). Also, you can visit the Seikan Ferry Memorial Ship Mashu-maru near the morning market. From Hakodate to Oshamambe, sit on the right side where you can enjoy the view of Mt. Koma-ga-take and the Funka-wan (Volcano Bay).

From Oshamambe to Sapporo, you can choose either the JR Muroran Main Line (commonly known as the Ocean Line) via Chitose or the JR Hakodate Main Line (commonly known as the Mountain Line) via Otaru. This itinerary continues via the Mountain Line. While waiting for your train, how about visiting Oshamambe Onsen (day bathing is possible) located north of the station?

After arriving in Otaru, you can immediately change trains bound for Sapporo, but since you’ve come this far, enjoy the fantastic night view of the Otaru Canal. Have a late dinner at Otaru Soko No. 1, a great craft beer pub along the canal. Then head to Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido.

*Okutsugaru = Okutsugaru-Imabetsu

Aomori d.616Local
Kanita a.658
Kanita d.707Local
Tsugaru-Futamata a.729
Okutsugaru* d.812Hayate 93
Kikonai a.846
Kikonai d.913Local
Hakodate a.1013🍣 lunch
Hakodate d.1235Local
Oshamanbe a.1458♨️ onsen
Oshamanbe d.1638Local
Otaru a.1950🍻 dinner
Otaru d.2158Local
Sapporo a.2243

Day 5

Sapporo → Wakkanai

The local train bound for Asahikawa, which leaves Sapporo at exactly 6:00, is a two-car diesel train. Since you have plenty of time in Asahikawa, why not visit local museums and Takasago Sake Brewery? From Nayoro to Wakkanai, take the last local train on this trip. The train stops at Otoineppu for about an hour, so you can see the former JR Tenpoku Line Museum in the station (remember to manage your luggage).

At 19:49, the train arrives at Wakkanai, the northernmost station in Japan. Thank you for the long journey. Let’s have a toast at the local izakaya (tavern). We recommend “Yoshioka” in the city center.

Sapporo d.600Local
Asahikawa a.853👟 explore
Asahikawa d.1233Local
Nayoro a.1355☕️ break
Nayoro d.1459Local
Otoineppu a.1605
Otoineppu d.1702
Wakkanai a.1949🍻 dinner