Shirayuki is a special express train operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and Echigo Tokimeki Railway Company between Arai Station and Joetsu Myoko Station via Myoko Haneuuma Line and Shinetsu Main Line.
Crew (driver and conductor) is assigned by JR East between Niigata Station and Naoetsu Station, and by Echigo Tokimeki Railway between Naoetsu Station and Arai Station, with crew change at Naoetsu Station.
In-train vending is not available on all trains.
If you transfer between the Hokuriku Shinkansen and “Shirayuki” at Joetsu Myoko Station to any station beyond Kakizaki Station, or if you transfer between the Joetsu Shinkansen and “Shirayuki” at Nagaoka Station, the express fare for the section of “Shirayuki” is subject to the transfer discount, but only for the JR East line section, not for the Echigo Toki However, the discount does not apply to the express fare for the Echigo Tokimeki Railway line section if the Echigo Tokimeki Railway line is included in the boarding section.
In addition, Echigo Tokimeki Railway does not offer reserved-seat fares, and it is not possible to reserve seats only between Naoetsu Station and Joetsu Myoko Station or Arai Station.
What is Limited Express Shirayuki?
The “Limited Express Shirayuki” is a limited express train of JR connecting Niigata to Joetsu Myoko and Arai.
At Niigata, passengers can transfer to the limited express trains Inaho and Joetsu Shinkansen running toward Sakata and Akita, and at Joetsu Myoko they can transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen!
The bright red and blue colors of the car body are said to represent “waves shining at sunset over the Sea of Japan” and “akane sky” with gentle curves!
Of course, to board the train, you need an express ticket in addition to the train ticket!
Shirayuki Fees and Stops
The limited express Shirayuki runs in a four-car formation.
Cars No. 1 and No. 2 have unreserved seats, while Cars No. 3 and No. 4 have reserved seats, and there are no green cars.
Here is a summary of fares for unreserved and reserved seats!
Niigata – Nagaoka
Boarding ticket 1170 yen + unreserved seat 1200 yen
Ticket 1170 yen + reserved seat 1730 yen
Niigata – Kashiwazaki
Ticket 1690 yen + nonreserved seat 1200 yen
Boarding ticket 1690 yen + reserved seat 1730 yen
Niigata – Naoetsu
Ticket 2310 yen + Non-reserved seat 1860 yen
Boarding ticket 2310 yen + reserved seat 2390 yen
Niigata – Joetsu Myoko
Ticket 2550 yen + Non-reserved seat 2140 yen
Ticket: 2550 yen + reserved seat: 2670 yen
Niigata – Arai
Boarding ticket: 2740 yen + nonreserved seat 2140 yen
Niigata – Arai Ticket: 2740 yen + Reserved seat: 2670 yen
All seats on the Echigo Tokimeki Railway section (Arai – Joetsu Myoko – Naoetsu) are unreserved, so seats cannot be reserved.
Stations where Shirayuki stops are here↓.
Niigata, Niitsu, Kamo, Higashi-Sanjo, Mitsuke, Nagaoka, Kashiwazaki, Kakizaki, Naoetsu, Kasuga-yama, Takada, Joetsu Myoko, Arai *Naoetsu – Arai is not a JR line but Echigo Tokimeki Railway
Niigata – Naoetsu (except Kakizaki Station), where Shirayuki stops, accepts transportation system IC cards such as Suica.
In other words, you can ride Shirayuki with your transportation system IC card!
How to purchase Shirayuki express tickets
There are two ways to purchase Shirayuki tickets: “Midori-no-Madoguchi or automatic ticket vending machines at stations” and “Ekinetto”.
For reservations, we recommend “Ekinetto”, which can be done from a smartphone or PC.
This is because you can earn “Ekinetto points” when you make reservations for JR limited express trains.
Points can be exchanged for JRE points, gift certificates that can be used at View Travel, and Suica cards!
Special Ticket for Shirayuki
Here, we would like to introduce you to some special tickets that you should definitely keep in mind if you ride the limited express Shirayuki! The following three types of tickets are available.
Shirayuki W ticket→Trip ticket for Shirayuki
Echigo Two Day Pass→Unlimited rides in Niigata area
Shirayuki Hokuriku Round Trip Ticket→Convenient for travel between Niigata and Hokuriku
Let us introduce them one by one!
This ticket is recommended for those who use the Shirayuki for round-trip travel, and is a coupon ticket for two tickets that allows you to sit in unreserved seats on the Shirayuki.
Of course, since it is a coupon ticket, two people can use it for one way!
Tickets are sold in three patterns: “Niigata⇔Kashiwazaki”, “Niigata⇔Naoetsu – Arai”, and “Nagaoka⇔Naoetsu – Arai”, and are valid for one month.
The respective fares are as follows
Niigata⇔Kashiwazaki Adult 4080 yen, Child 2040 yen
Niigata⇔Naoetsu – Arai Adult: 6520 yen, Child: 3260 yen
Nagaoka ⇔ Naoetsu – Arai Adults 4,280 yen, Children 2,140 yen
Shirayuki W ticket can be purchased at Midori-no-madoguchi or reserved-seat ticket vending machines near each section.
If the Shirayuki train stops at a station, you can be sure to purchase tickets.
Echigo Two Day Pass
This is a free ticket that allows unlimited rides on regular trains within the free area for two days.
You can take a Shirayuki limited express ticket (either non-reserved or reserved seat) with this Echigo 2-Day Pass.
Echigo Yuzawa, Niigata City, and Yahiko, where Yahiko Shrine is located, are included in the free area, so if you are planning to stay overnight in Niigata, this is the most recommended ticket.
The fare is 2,740 yen for adults and 1,370 yen for children, and can be purchased at reserved-seat ticket machines and Midori-no-Madoguchi windows at stations in the free area, and at Kasuga-yama, Takada, Arai, Myoko Kogen, and Itoigawa stations of the Echigo Tokimeki Railway.
Shirayuki/Hokuriku round-trip ticket
This ticket is convenient for travel from Niigata to Toyama and Kanazawa.
It is a round-trip ticket for “Niigata – Itoigawa”, “Niigata – Toyama”, and “Niigata – Kanazawa”, and allows you to take a nonreserved seat on the Shirayuki (Niigata – Joetsu Myoko) and Hokuriku Shinkansen (Joetsu Myoko – Itoigawa, Toyama, Kanazawa).
Fares are as follows!
Niigata⇔Itoigawa Adult 8820 yen, Child 4410 yen
Niigata⇔Toyama Adults 14380yen, Children 7190yen
Niigata⇔Kanazawa Adults 16460 yen, Children 8230 yen
Valid for 6 days, only Itoigawa ticket is valid for 4 days.
Shirayuki and Hokuriku round-trip tickets can be purchased at the Midori-no-madoguchi or reserved-seat ticket machines in the Niigata area.