Experiencing the 4 seasons on the Suigun Line!
Have you travelled on the Suigun Line (水郡線 Suigun-sen) before? The railway line connects JR Mito Station (JR水戸駅 Mito-eki) in Ibaraki (茨城県) and JR Asaka-Nagamori Station (JR安積永盛駅 Asaka-Nagamori-eki) in Fukushima (福島県), and all trains on the line continue onto a short stretch along the Tōhoku Main Line (東北本線 Tōhoku-honsen) before terminating at JR Kōriyama Station (JR郡山駅 Kōriyama-eki).
The railway line also features the Hitachi-Ōta Branch, which branches out from the main line at JR Kami-Sugaya Station (JR上菅谷駅 Kami-Sugaya-eki) and terminates at JR Hitachi-Ōta Station (JR常陸太田駅 Hitachi-Ōta-eki). And here’s some fun facts for you: the railway line name “Suigun (水郡)” is a combination of the first kanji characters from the name of each terminal station: JR Mito Station (水戸駅) and JR Kōriyama Station (郡山駅). A number of railway stations on the Ibaraki side of the railway line also bears the word "Hitachi" (常陸) because it is the old name for Ibaraki.
Location of Suigun Line. (Image credit: Google Maps)
The Suigun Line is one of the lesser-known railway lines in the region, passing through Ibaraki and Fukushima’s rural areas. However, there are some hidden gems and exciting spots found near railway stations on the line, which would delight visitors who are travelling by rail.
For this article, let’s explore the Suigun Line and check out some of the fascinating spots located nearby, thereby learning more about the two prefectures’ charms and beauty. Stick around if you love exploring railway lines that take you through quaint and serene countryside landscapes!
The (rail)road to recovery
The KiHA E130-0 series on the Suigun Line. (Image credit: photoAC)
The Suigun Line is a railway line that runs through Ibaraki and Fukushima's countryside, and passengers travelling on the line will get to experience the quieter scenic side of the two prefectures. The trains that run on the line are the KiHa E130 series (キハE130系 Kiha E130-kei), which has been in service since 2007.
The train series has three variants altogether: the one running on the Suigun Line is the E130-0 series; the E130-100 series is used on the JR Kururi Line in Chiba, and the E130-500 series plies the JR Hachinohe Line in Iwate. The trains are also marked by their stunning bright colours, featuring vivid yellow, red, and teal accents depending on the lines that they run on.
Kuji River. (Image credit: photoAC)
The Suigun Line bears a remarkable story when it comes to recovery. An extensive section of the railway line runs along the Kuji River (久慈川 Kuji-gawa), and on 13 October 2019, a bridge running over the river was destroyed by Typhoon Hagibis. As a result, the section between JR Saigane Station (JR西金駅 Saigane-eki) and JR Hitachi-Daigo Station (JR常陸大子駅 Hitachi Daigo-eki) was disrupted and had to be replaced with a substitute bus service until repairs on the bridge were done. Repairs were finally completed on 27 March 2021, and trains could resume running on this section by then.
Map of Suigun Line in Ibaraki and the surrounding spots. (Image credit: Google Maps)
The Suigun Line is not ridden by as many passengers as the other major railway lines in the region, but it has some surprises near the line that you can discover. Let’s see what they are, and how you can access them.
① JR Fukuroda Station (JR袋田駅)
JR Fukuroda Station. (Image credit: photoAC)
We begin our journey with JR Fukuroda Station, located in the town of Daigo (大子町) in the northern part of Ibaraki. Originally developed in 1927, the railway station currently features a quaint log cabin built in 1991 for its station building. This charming station is also the stop to a famous natural attraction that has been regarded as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Japan.
Fukuroda Falls (袋田の滝)
Fukuroda Falls. (Image credit: 大子町観光協会提供)
A few kilometres away from JR Fukuroda Station is the Fukuroda Falls, a magnificent waterfall that has been regarded as the pride of Daigo. It has been chosen as a National Place of Scenic Beauty (特別名勝 tokubetsu meishō) and one of Japan’s Top 100 Waterfalls, but perhaps most importantly, the waterfall is one of Japan’s Three Famous Waterfalls (日本三名瀑 Nihon Sanmeibaku), alongside Kegon Falls in Tochigi and Nachi Falls in Wakayama.
Fukuroda Fall’s iconic four-level cliff face. (Image credit: photoAC)
Fukuroda Falls has a height of 120m and a width of 73m, and what makes the waterfall unique is its four-tiered cliff face. Visitors can witness the water cascading over the four tiers, which makes the waterfall highly scenic. In fact, it even has another name: Yondo no Taki (四度の滝 Four-time Waterfall).
Fukuroda Falls’ viewing platform. (Image credit: photoAC)
To get to Fukuroda Falls, visitors can make their way through the 276m Kansui Tunnel (観瀑トンネル) which leads to a viewing platform where they can have unobstructed views of the waterfall. The platform features upper and lower decks, so visitors can enjoy a wider view of the waterfall from 50m above ground at the upper deck, and a more up-close look from the lower deck. Try both of them; you will be amazed at how incredible the waterfall looks from different vantage points!
Fukuroda Falls’ seasonal beauty. (Image credit: 茨城県)
The most popular time to visit Fukuroda Falls is in autumn in early November, when crimson red and golden leaves surround the waterfall, making the scenery look like a remarkable landscape painting. However, the waterfall is equally beautiful in other seasons as well. Try visiting the waterfall in the summer, when it is surrounded by lush verdant greenery, or in winter, when visitors may get a rare opportunity to see the waterfall frozen over!
Daigo Light. (Image credit: 茨城県観光物産協会)
If you’re planning to visit Fukuroda Falls towards the end of the year, then you’re in for a big surprise. From end-October to end-January, the Daigo Light (ダイゴライト Daigo-Raito) will be held, when the waterfall will be illuminated after sundown, turning it into a visual spectacle. It is a local tradition for the town of Daigo, and is a dazzling sight for all visitors.
Illuminations in the tunnel. (Image credit: photoAC)
What’s more, the Kansui Tunnel will also be adorned with intricately designed lanterns during this event. The tunnel will transform into a wondrous gallery filled with images of various themes, rendering the ambience particularly special.
Daigo Light (大子来人〜ダイゴライト〜)
Date / time:
1 October–30 November: Sunset–8pm
1 December–31 January: Sunset–7pm
Venue: Fukuroda Falls and Kansui Tunnel
Admission rate: ¥300 per adult
(Note: The last bus departing for Fukuroda Falls / JR Fukuroda Station ends at around 3pm, so visitors to the event must plan their arrangements for transportation during this period.)
Namase Falls. (Image credit: photoAC)
Want to discover another waterfall nearby? Visitors leaving Fukuroda Falls will find a pedestrian suspension bridge connected to the tunnel, which they can cross and then take a 30-minute hike to find Namase Falls (生瀬滝 Namase-daki). This secluded waterfall is known for its gentle waters and is starkly different from Fukuroda Falls’ roaring waters, making for a delightfully contrasting experience.
Fukuroda Falls (袋田の滝)
Address: Fukuroda, Daigo-chō, Kuji, Ibaraki 319-3523
Access: From JR Fukuroda Station (JR袋田駅), take a 10-minute local bus ride and get off at the Takimoto (滝本) bus stop. The entrance to the tunnel leading to the waterfall is a 5–10-minute walk from the bus stop.
8am–6pm (1 May–31 October)
8am–5pm (1–30 November)
9am–5pm (1 December–30 April)
Admission fee: ¥300 per adult
Hot spring baths at Fukuroda Onsen. (Image credit: 袋田温泉思い出浪漫館)
Interested in spending the night near Fukuroda Falls? The area around the waterfall is also known for its hot springs (袋田温泉 Fukuroda-onsen) and has several hot spring inns. Imagine soaking in a hot spring bath and being surrounded by Daigo’s serene natural splendour… sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?
② JR Hitachi-Ōta Station (JR常陸太田駅)
JR Hitachi-Ōta Station. (Image credit: photoAC)
Next, we look at JR Hitachi-Ōta Station, which is the terminus station on the Hitachi-Ōta Branch of the Suigun Line. First built in 1899, the railway station was originally named Ōta Station (太田駅) until the name was changed to the current one in 1927, and the current station building was also completed in 2011.
This serves as the main stop for one of the most breathtaking bridges in the region and the whole of Japan.
Ryujin Suspension Bridge (竜神大吊橋)
Ryujin Suspension Bridge. (Image credit: 茨城県観光物産協会 and Zekkei×IBARAKI2017)
Feast your eyes on the magnificent Ryujin Suspension Bridge, which hovers 100m above the beautiful Lake Ryujin (竜神湖 Ryūjin-ko). Spanning a total length of 375m, it is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in Japan, and its design is inspired by the legend of a dragon that is said to reside in the lake below (the lake name “ryūjin” also translates as dragon god). In fact, the shape of the lake below is also said to resemble a dragon!
Visitors to the bridge will be awe-struck by the bridge’s vivid azure colour and impressive images of dragons found on its walls. Further accentuated by the clear blue sky and pristine natural beauty of the surrounding valley that changes colours according to the season, they would get a splendid view of the bridge that will leave them speechless.
Panoramic view of the bridge in the summer (left) and autumn (right, bottom). (Image credit: 茨城県観光物産協会 (left), 茨城県 (right), photoAC (bottom))
Want to see something traditional and captivating? If you’re visiting the bridge from late April to mid-May, you will get to experience the Ryujinkyo Carp Streamer Festival (竜神峡鯉のぼりまつり Ryūjinkyō Koinobori Matsuri) where 1,000 carp-shaped streamers (鯉のぼり koinobori) are strung up on a 1km metal wire that stretches along the bridge. With the carp fluttering mid-air, it will look like they are swimming enthusiastically in mid-air amidst the summer green surroundings!
Ryujinkyo Carp Streamer Festival. (Image credit: 茨城県観光物産協会)
On top of the wonderful sights that you can get from the bridge, you can also take part in exciting outdoor activities such as canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) on the lake below. Up for something more thrilling? Try bungee jumping on the bridge. With a height of 100m, it’s one of the highest bungee jumps in Japan and is said to be one of the most incredible ways of experiencing the view all around you. Try it out if you’re not afraid of heights!
Ryujin Suspension Bridge (竜神大吊橋)
Address: 2133-6 Kegano-cho, Hitachiota-shi, Ibaraki 313-0351
Access: From JR Hitachi-Ōta Station (JR常陸太田駅), take a 40-minute Ibaraki Kōtsū (茨城交通) bus ride and get off at Ryūjin-ōtsuribashi (竜神大吊橋) bus stop. The bridge is right by the bus stop.
*Opening hours: 8:30am–5pm daily
Admission fee: ¥320 per adult
(*Note: the bridge may be closed on certain days if the weather is unfavourable.)
③ JR Mito Station (JR水戸駅)
JR Mito Station. (Image credit: photoAC)
Next, we hop on over to JR Mito Station, one of the terminal stations on the Suigun Line. The station serves three railway lines altogether, with the other two being the Jōban Line (常磐線 Jōban-sen) and the Kashima Rinkai Railway Ōarai-Kashima Line (鹿島臨海鉄道大洗鹿島線 Kashima Rinkai Tetsudō Ōarai Kashima-sen).
Not only does the station serve as a major railway terminus for Ibaraki, but it is also a starting point to several exciting spots that you can check in Ibaraki's capital city of Mito (水戸市).
Kairakuen. (Image credit: 茨城県観光物産協会)
Do you know that one of Japan’s Three Great Landscape Gardens (日本三名園 Nihon Sanmeien) is just a short bus ride away from JR Mito Station? Kairakuen is one of the most outstanding tourist spots in Mito, and this is a must-visit especially if you love seasonal views.
Autumn foliage at Kairakuen’s Kobuntei. (Image credit: 茨城県観光物産協会)
Developed in 1841, Kairakuen was conceived by local lord Tokugawa Nariaki (徳川斉昭) as a park that could be enjoyed not just by the ruling lord, but by the public. Hence, unlike the other two other Great Landscape Gardens—Kenrokuen (兼六園) in Kanazawa and Kōrakuen (後楽園) in Okayama—everyone could enjoy the garden’s beauty. This is also reflected in its name, as Kairakuen translates as “garden to be enjoyed together”. In 1922, the garden was designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty.
The garden is primarily known as a venue for viewing plum blossoms (梅 ume). Dainty and pleasing to the eyes, these flowers bloom usually from mid-February onwards, and the garden is home to up to 3,000 plum trees of 100 different varieties. The best time to catch these flowers in full bloom is the annual Plum Blossom Festival (梅まつり Ume Matsuri) when visitors will get to witness the whole garden being enveloped in beautiful shades of pink and white.
Autumn night illumination at Kairakuen. (Image credit: 茨城県観光物産協会 and ©Zekkei×IBARAKI2019秋色賞)
Although most visitors come to Kairakuen for the plum blossoms, the foliage during autumn is equally beautiful. The garden will be enveloped by stunning crimson red maple leaves, making it one of the popular places for viewing autumn foliage in Mito.
And if you're visiting Kairakuen in autumn at night, then you’re in for another treat, as you will get to witness mesmerising night illumination during this season as well. The garden will be brilliantly lit up, highlighting the already spectacular foliage and rendering them even more amazing to look at. It’s a spectacular sight that visitors would not want to miss, so it’s definitely worth checking the garden out during autumn.
Address: 1-3-3 Tokiwacho, Mito, Ibaraki 310-0033
*Access: From JR Mito Station (JR水戸駅), take a 15-minute bus ride and get off at the Kairakuen-mae (偕楽園前) bus stop.
Opening hours: 6am–6pm
Admission fee: ¥300 per adult
(*Note: During the Plum Blossom Festival, visitors can access Kairakuen by getting off at JR Kairakuen Station (JR偕楽園駅) on the Jōban Line, which is located right by the garden. The festival was held from 1–27 March this year and is subject to change for next year.)
④ JR Yamagatajuku Station (JR山方宿駅)
JR Yamagatajuku Station is our fourth station to explore on the Suigun Line. Located in the city of Hitachiōmiya (常陸大宮市), the station also serves as a local community centre, and features a small library. An interesting feature of the station building is the grey façade, which is said to resemble the scales of ayu (鮎 freshwater trout), a local delicacy.
Mijo Observatory in Hitachiōmiya. (Image credit: City of Hitachiomiya)
Visitors can get off at JR Yamagatajuku Station and explore the city of Hitachiōmiya on foot. The city is pleasant to walk through, and there are interesting things to discover here. For instance, take a short walk from the railway station and you will reach the Mijo Observatory (御城展望台 Mijō Tenbōdai). Built in 1987, the observatory sits on the site of a castle that served a senior vassal until the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1568–1600).
Visitors can climb the observatory and see a panoramic view of the city and the scenic Kuji River. What’s more, the surrounding park is also known for plum blossoms that bloom from late February to early March.
Mijo Observatory (御城展望台)
Address: 313 Yamagata, Hitachiomiya City, Ibaraki 319-3111
Access: From JR Yamagatajuku Station (JR山方宿駅), take a 20-minute walk to reach the observatory.
9am–5pm (1 April–30 September)
9am–5pm (1 October–31 March)
Closes every Monday
Admission fee: None
Fune-nattō, a local specialty in Ibaraki. (Image credit: City of Hitachiomiya)
Do you know what Hitachiōmiya’s local delicacy is? Nattō (納豆)! The fermented soybeans can be found in many parts of Japan, but the one in Hitachiōmiya has a unique twist. It is called fune-nattō (船納豆) where the soybeans are served in a boat-shaped container, and they have a particularly stringy texture and a taste that is stronger than regular nattō.
If you want to a unique experience when it comes to nattō, pay a visit to Marushin Shokuhin near JR Yamagatajuku Station. Here, their nattō is fermented with classical music being played in the background, and the shop also specialises in other varieties, such as wine, cheese, and tomato and basil flavoured natto!
Marushin Shokuhin Fune-Natto (丸真食品 舟納豆直売店)
Address: 477-1 Yamagata, Hitachiomiya-shi, Ibaraki 319-3111
Access: From JR Yamagatajuku Station (JR山方宿駅), take an 8-minute walk to reach the store.
Opening hours: 9am–5pm
Tel: +81- 120-710-593
⑤ JR Hitachi-Daigo Station (JR常陸大子駅)
Another railway station to take note of on the Suigun Line that is also in the town of Daigo is JR Hitachi-Daigo Station. It is a quiet station in the rural side of the town, but visitors will find something quite surprising at this station.
C12-187 SL train at JR Hitachi Daigo Station. (Image credit: ©Daigo Town)
Just by this humble railway station sits a historical relic in the form of a steam locomotive (SL) train. The C12-187 SL train here was built in 1938, and was operated on the railway tracks of Kyushu for approximately 30 years before finally retiring in 1970.
It has been preserved meticulously since then, and visitors can gaze at the majestic train that once traversed the railroads of Japan’s countryside. If you’re a railway enthusiast, or if you simply love SL trains, this is definitely a landmark that you don’t want to miss.
Map of Suigun Line in Fukushima and the surrounding spots. (Image credit: Google Maps)
⑥ JR Yamatsuriyama Station (JR矢祭山駅)
Plum blossoms near JR Yamatsuriyama Station. (Image credit: photoAC)
Next, we finally move up to the Fukushima section on the Suigun Line. First up, we have the JR Yamatsuriyama Station, an unmanned railway station that was first built in 1937 and is housed by a wooden station building that was last renovated in 2012. Located in the town of Yamatsuri (矢祭町), the station is the stop to get off to reach a lesser-known park that may surprise visitors with its particularly picturesque scenery.
Yamatsuriyama Park (矢祭山公園)
Yamatsuriyama Park. (Image credit: 福島県観光物産交流協会)
Get off at JR Yamatsuriyama Station and take a 2-minute walk, and you will set foot on Yamatsuriyama Park, a scenic park in the quiet town of Yamatsuri (矢祭町). The park is located on the lower slopes of Mount Yamatsuri (矢祭山 Yamatsuri-yama), and is locally famed for its beautiful seasonal beauty, such as cherry blossoms of different variants in spring, and maple leaves in autumn.
Yamatsuriyama Park in spring. (Image credit: 東北観光推進機構 (top-left), 福島県観光物産交流協会)
Visitors to the park from early to late April will be able to see up to 100 Somei-Yoshino (ソメイヨシノ Yoshino cherry) trees in full bloom, colouring the surroundings with shades of pale pink and white. On top of that, up to 50,000 azaleas (つつじ tsutsuji) make their appearance during spring as well, blooming usually from late April to early May. Imagine how glorious the scenery must be during this season!
Yamatsuriyama Park during autumn. (Image credit: 福島県観光物産交流協会)
Autumn is just as popular as spring for the park, when it is covered in vibrant hues of red and yellow from late October to November. Plus, with a serene ambience throughout the year, the park makes for a stunning respite where visitors can experience the charms of the countryside.
Ayunotsuribashi Bridge. (Image credit: 福島県観光物産交流協会)
There is another surprise for visitors to Yamatsuriyama Park: the Kuji River flows on the opposite side of JR Yamatsuriyama Station, and visitors can cross it thanks to the Ayunotsuribashi Bridge (あゆのつり橋). The 62m bridge is a beloved symbol of the town of Yamatsuri, and visitors can enjoy wonderful views of the river below and the seasonal colours all around them.
Fun fact: the riverbank is popular among anglers for catching ayu, which is also reflected in the bridge’s name (“ayunotsuri” = freshwater trout angling). On some days, you can even catch the anglers in action.
Yamatsuriyama Park (矢祭山公園)
Address: 191-25 Shimogawara, Yamashita, Yamatsuri-cho, Higashishirakawa-gun, Fukushima 963-5117
Access: From JR Yamatsuriyama Station (JR矢祭山駅), take a 2-minute walk to reach the park.
Opening hours: 24 hours
Admission fee: None
⑦ JR Higashidate Station (JR東館駅)
Our second railway station on the Suigun Line which is also in the town of Yamatsuri is JR Higashidate Station. Like JR Yamatsuriyama Station, this is a small railway station with a few passengers transiting here daily, and is housed in a rustic wooden building. However, if you love trekking for beautiful natural attractions in the countryside, then you might want to take note of this station.
Takigawa Gorge (滝川渓谷)
Takigawa Gorge. (Image credit: 福島県観光物産交流協会)
Hidden within Fukushima’s forest areas lies a gorge that has been selected as the tenth best trail in “Fukushima’s Best 50 Trails”. The Takigawa Gorge is a stunning gorge that features beautiful waterfalls, remarkable rock formations, and natural flora along a 3km walking path.
Takigawa Gorge’s iconic waterfalls. (Image credit: 東北観光推進機構)
The gorge features a series of 48 waterfalls, and is known for its untouched natural splendour in a secluded part of Fukushima. The colours of the surroundings transform according to the seasons, from the vivid greenery of the summer to the brilliant orange hues of autumn. Visitors can leisurely walk along this path and appreciate part of Fukushima’s untouched natural magnificence.
The waterfalls of Takigawa Gorge during summer (left) and autumn (right). (Image credit: 福島県観光物産交流協会)
A useful tip for visitors: although the walking path is relatively easy for beginners, it may be slippery, and thus it is highly encouraged for visitors to have proper footwear. The best time to visit the gorge is between April and November, and it may be closed in winter in the event of bad weather.
Takigawa Gorge (滝川渓谷)
Address: Yamatsuri-cho, Higashishirakawa-gun, Fukushima 963-5114
Access: From JR Higashidate Station (JR東館駅), take a 20-minute taxi ride to reach the entrance of the gorge.
Opening hours: 7:30am–4:30pm
Admission fee: None
⑧ JR Iwaki-Ishii Station (JR磐城石井駅)
JR Iwaki-Ishii Station. (Image credit: photoAC)
Our third railway station on the Suigun Line which is located in the town of Yamatsuri is JR Iwaki-Ishii Station. Featuring a modest waiting area, this railway station is worth noting if you’re a big fan of cherry blossom trees, especially the solitary kind.
Totsube no Sakura (戸津辺の桜)
Totsube no Sakura. (Image credit: 福島県観光物産交流協会)
Just a short walk from the railway station is Totsube no Sakura, an imposing cherry blossom tree that has been designated as a Natural Monument (記念物 kinenbutsu). Unlike other cherry blossom trees that are commonly grouped, this one stands on its own, and its solitariness makes it even more special, especially when coupled with a backdrop that makes its presence even more pronounced.
Totsube no Sakura’s flowers. (Image credit: 福島県観光物産交流協会)
The 18m-tall tree is said to be over 600 years old, and is one of the earliest blooming cherry blossom trees in Fukushima, blooming usually from late March to early April. In the olden days, the local farmers would also use the tree as a reference for their farming calendar.
Interestingly, Totsube no Sakura is a Edohigan (エドヒガン) cherry blossom tree, the same type as the rock-splitting Ishiwarizakura (石割桜) in Iwate and the grand Yamataka Jindaizakura (山高神代桜) in Yamanashi (山梨県)!
The Suigun Line in the background of Totsube no Sakura. (Image credit: 福島県観光物産交流協会)
The tree is one of the most loved icons in the town in spring, when it would be filled with beautiful delicate cherry blossoms. Plus, with the placid Kuji River and the Suigun Line within sight in the backdrop, it makes for a stunning scenery that visitors can’t forget the moment they lay their eyes on the tree.
Totsube no Sakura (戸津辺の桜)
Address: 19 Totsube, Nakaishii, Yamatsuri-cho, Higashishirakawa-gun, Fukushima 963-5201
Access: From JR Iwaki-Ishii Station (JR磐城石井駅), take a 15-minute taxi ride to the tree. Alternatively, you can take a 30-minute walk from the station to the tree.
Opening hours: 24 hours
Admission fee: None
With so many railway lines in Japan, it’s easy for visitors to overlook lesser-known ones that offer hidden gems in rural areas. The Suigun Line is one of them, and it enables visitors see a part of Ibaraki and Fukushima’s countryside that is abundant with natural beauty. Plus, with its recent full recovery, visitors can hop on the train and explore the line once again.
Why don’t you try checking out the Suigun Line on your next railway adventure? You will get to witness some of Ibaraki and Fukushima’s secluded treasures, and what’s more, it’s pretty accessible if you’re based in Tokyo too. Like the Agatsuma Line that I covered previously, I am very certain that this would be another railway line that would leave you mesmerised!
JR TOKYO Wide Pass
The JR TOKYO Wide Pass and where you can use it. (Image credit: JR East)
If you want to explore the Suigun Line and other parts of Ibaraki and the Tokyo Region, consider the JR TOKYO Wide Pass, an affordable pass that offers unlimited rail travel on JR East lines (including bullet trains) in the valid area for 3 consecutive days. At only ¥10,180, it makes for a great option for railway travellers covering many areas during your trip. You can also make seat reservations for bullet trains, some limited express trains and Joyful Trains online for free, up to 1 month in advance, here.
However, take note that the JR TOKYO Wide Pass only covers railway stations in the Ibaraki portion on the Suigun Line, and you have to pay a separate fee to travel on the Fukushima portion of the line.
JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)
The JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) and where you can use it. (Image credit: JR East)
If you like to explore the Suigun Line and the rest of the Tohoku Region, check out the JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area), an affordable pass that offers unlimited rail travel on JR East lines in the valid area for 5 consecutive days. At only ¥20,000, it makes for a great option for railway travellers covering many areas during their trip.
The pass can be used for automatic ticket gates, and foreign passport holders living in Japan are also eligible to use it. You can also make seat reservations for bullet trains, some limited express trains and Joyful Trains online for free, up to 1 month in advance, here.
Header image credit (clockwise from top-left): 大子町観光協会提供, 東北観光推進機構, 茨城県観光物産協会 & ©Zekkei×IBARAKI2017フォトジェニック賞, 茨城県, illustAC