The Hida is a limited express service bound for the scenic town of Takayama in Gifu Prefecture. The train is named after the historical province of Hida in northern Gifu. The train is also called the “Wide View Hida” because it has very large windows offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
There are two distinct Hida services that follow different routes. The most frequent Hida service is operated by JR Central and runs between Nagoya Station and Toyama Station via Takayama Station along the Takayama Main Line. The second Hida service is operated by JR West and runs just one round-trip service a day between Osaka Station and Takayama Station. Both services are fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass. In this article we will look at the service from Osaka Station.
The Hida runs along the Tokaido Main Line from Osaka Station stopping at the following stations:
Osaka – Shin-Osaka – Kyoto – Kusatsu – Maibara – Ogaki – Gifu
At Gifu Station the train from Osaka is coupled with the train from Nagoya before continuing on the Takayama Main Line to these destinations:
Unuma – Mino-Ota – Shirakawaguchi – Hida-Kanayama – Gero – Hida-Hagiwara – Hida-Osaka – Kuguno – Takayama
The following stations are the locations you are most likely to visit en route. Train times and fares are given from Osaka Station.
Gifu is the capital city of Gifu Prefecture. The city is best known for its castle which sits atop Mount Kinka in the middle of the city. Also on the mountain is a restaurant with an observation deck offering dramatic views over the city, and a “Squirrel Village” where visitors can enjoy close encounters with the different species of squirrel that live on the mountain. Among the city’s other points of interest are its many museums, the Gifu Great Buddha Statue in Shohoji Temple, and summertime cormorant fishing in the Nagara River.
Train fare: 5,180 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 53 minutes
The town of Gero is best known as a hot spring spa resort. In fact, Gero Onsen is traditionally counted as one of Japan’s three top hot spring resorts, along with Arima Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture, and Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma Prefecture. Surrounded by mountains the town is renowned for its scenic views which can be enjoyed in all seasons while bathing in an open air rotemburo style bath.
Train fare: 6,810 yen
Train time: 3 hours and 26 minutes
The city of Takayama is a popular sightseeing location, known for its beautifully preserved wooden buildings, temples, museums and the colorful Takayama Festival which takes place twice a year in the spring and autumn. One of the biggest attractions is the Hida-no-Sato Folk Village, an outdoor museum with traditional thatched roof farm houses and demonstrations of local crafts and traditional farming life. In winter, Takayama is a popular destination for ski trips in the surrounding mountains.
Train fare: 7,780 yen
Train time: 4 hours and 16 minutes
Departure times are given for the main stations en route and arrival times at the final stops of Takayama and Osaka.
|Saturday & Sunday||8.02||8.07||8.34||10.10||11.29||12.14|
|Weekdays & Weekends||15.35||16.19||17.36||19.20||19.45||19.51|
The Limited Express Hida #25, bound for Takayama, departs from Osaka Station’s Platform 11, Shin-Osaka Station’s Platform 12, and from Kyoto’s Platform 0.
To look up connection times quickly and easily use the JR West Timetable and Fare Finder.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.