Express vs limited express train

特急 vs 急行
Limited express train vs express.
We don’t have trains where i live can someone explain diference between those. I keep getting them wrong.
Thanks in advance. Also i didn’t know which category is appropriate so campfire it is…


In order of number of stops, from greatest to least, it goes:

普通 (Local)
快速 (Rapid)
急行 (Express)
特急 (Limited Express)
超特急 (Superexpress - i.e. the shinkansen)

Depending on the company, other train types that slot in around those ones can include:

通勤 (Commuter express)
準急 (Semi-express)
準特急 (Semi-limited express)
新快速 (Special rapid)


Brings back memories of running around the station and trying to find the right train that’s departing in a few minutes…

Eh, remember there used to be a thing called travelling?


There are too many types of trains in Japan, methinks… >_>

Considering there are only normal train (local train) and express train (less stations) here, there really isn’t much to compare with the Japanese system.

I guess there is the commute train in Stockholm, but that’s a special case.

Does anyone know if there are night trains with sleep cars in Japan or what they would be called at least in Japanese? I just got curious… ^^

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I moved it to Japanese Language: Questions category.


How literal of you Japanese. :rofl:

Yeah, those exist too - they’re called 寝台列車, though with the advent of the shinkansen, they’re all being closed down one by one…

I don’t get it?

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It’s the pleasantly fast train.

Thanks. :slight_smile: Learnt a new word there ^>^ (寝台 しんだい bed, couch)

(night trains are actually being under threat of closing down here as well…and we don’t have Shinkansen. It’s just not cost efficient, I get that, but still, it might be the only alternative for some (planetickes here are expensive). >_> )


Yeah. They used to go to quite a few places, but the only remaining ones today are the Sunrise Izumo (Tokyo - Izumo, Shimane) and the Sunrise Seto (Tokyo - Takamatsu, Kagawa).

Another name for them is ブルートレイン.


Aha, the blue train. :eyes:


Wonder if it has anything to do with Le Train Bleu - Wikipedia

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It might be that the trains were inspired by them, but the only thing I can find is that it’s simply based on the color of the train cars. ブルートレイン (日本) - Wikipedia

If someone knows, please do correct me! I love this kind of trivia!

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Most of the night trains have been discontinued since the Shinkansen have been built. There’s a couple of extremely expensive (like a ticket costs hundreds of thousands to over a million yen) “cruise trains”, and the joint JR Central/JR West 「サンライズ瀬戸」(Sunrise Seto) and 「サンライズ出雲」 (Sunrise Izumo), which are classified as 「寝台特急」, or “sleeper limited express”. They run combined from Tokyo to Okayama, then split. Half the train goes to Takamatsu, the other half to Izumo.

The JR Pass covers the Sunrise Seto/Izumo, but only for the cheapest「ノビノビ座席」, which are just an open, carpeted platform. If you want a private berth, you have to pay the accommodation supplement.


Most of the time the actual number of types of trains is quite limited. Usually you’re just deciding between 普通 and one other. What that other one is might depend on the time of day.


If you want to get detailed, this article tells you what lines have 特急 and whether they incur a surcharge.


What’s it like to have trains right next to you and have to use them between districts and such?
I’ve only ever seen it via a video game…

I live in an area where travel by train isnt feasible. If I would ever have to travel, it would be by car or by plane.
The US isnt divided into districts like that.

… Sorry, “districts”? Run that one past me again?

Literally noone’s looking at a train and going “ah, I’m in this district, but I have to get to that district”. It’s “I’m here, and I want to be there”.

I think they just mean the smaller parts of a city, which have names. Whatever term best applies to that in Japan or elsewhere (neighbourhoods I think here). At least I do think for example “Where is this address? Aha, it’s in XXX-neighborhood, I can take the train there.”

Plenty of US cities have train systems…?

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