A local train trundling through mountains and villages
The 105.4 km-long Oito Line connects Itoigawa City with Matsumoto city in Nagano Prefecture. JR West Company operates the northern part from Itoigawa Station to Minami Otari Station (also called Oito North Line), while the JR East Company operates the southern part from Minami Otari Station to Matsumoto Station (Oito South Line). The joint operation is rare in Japan. Since the line was built to connect the cities of Itoigawa and Ōmachi, the line was named by combing the names of the two cities.
The Oito North Line is not electrified, so diesel trains KIHA120 are used. Although the Oito-line may be a little bit slow comparing to other local lines, you can enjoy the archetypal Japanese landscape outside the window as you please, which is a great chance for you the experience a slow travel in rural Japan.
The Oito Line stops at serval leisure spots such the Hakuba village, Shinano Omachi, and the three lakes of Nishina (Lake Kizaki, Lake Nakatsuna, Lake Aoki). If you are planning to visit Tateyama Kurobe in Toyama Prefecture, add Oito Line to your travel plan!
※The Hokuriku Arch Pass only covers the Oito North Line. (2022 time).
※You can only buy the train ticket up to Minami Otari station at the ticket machine at Echigo Tokimeki Railway side, if you want to go further, you have to buy the ticket at the Shinkansen side.
Train operation may be suspended due to sudden weather change.
Check the below link for the current train status information of Oito Line. (Japanese Only)
From Itoigawa Station to Minami Otari Station:
From Minami Otari Station to Matsumoto Station: