The Chuo Main Line runs between Nagoya and Tokyo but actually no trains run along the complete length of the line. From Nagoya Station most Chuo Main Line trains run eastward as far as Nakatsugawa Station or to stations in between Nagoya and Nakatsugawa. The only exception is the Limited Express Shinano which runs beyond Nakatsugawa to Shiojiri Station before diverting to the Shinonoi Line and heading north to Nagano. The western portion of the Chuo Main Line is run by JR Central and fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass. At Nagoya Station services on the Chuo Main Line depart from platforms 7, 8, 10, and 11.
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Chuo Main Line services from Nagoya Station stop at the following stations:
Nagoya – Kanayama – Tsurumai – Chikusa – Ozone – Shin-Moriyama – Kachigawa – Kasugai – Jinryo – Kozoji – Kokokei – Tajimi – Tokishi – Mizunami – Kamado – Takenami – Ena – Mino-Sakamoto – Natatsugawa
Below are the key destinations and transfers on this line with example fares and journey times given from Nagoya Station.
Exit here for the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Transfer here to the JR Tokaido Main Line, to Meitetsu Railway services, and to Nagoya Municipal Subway’s Meijo and Meiko lines. Kanayama Station is an important transportation hub in Nagoya and Meitetsu Railway express train services to and from Chubu Centrair Airport stop here.
Train fare: 170 yen
Train time: 3 minutes
Exit here for Tsurumai Park which is a popular cherry blossom viewing location in the spring. Transfer here to Nagoya Municipal Subway’s Tsurumai Line.
Train fare: 190 yen
Train time: 7 minutes
Exit here for Takumu Shrine and its ancient well. According to local legend the spring water of the shrine will bring romance to those who drink it. Transfer here to Nagoya Municipal Subway’s Higashiyama Line.
Train fare: 200 yen
Train time: 10 minutes
Exit here for Tokugawa-en Garden and the Tokugawa Art Museum, both of which are a 15 minute walk to the south. Transfer here to Nagoya Municipal Subway’s Meijo Line and to the Meitetsu Seto Line.
Train fare: 200 yen
Train time: 13 minutes
Transfer here to the Johoku Line.
Train fare: 240 yen
Train time: 19 minutes
Transfer here to the Aichi Loop Line.
Train fare: 410 yen
Train time: 33 minutes
Tajimi’s attractions include the beautiful Zen temple and garden of Eihoji which was founded in 1313, the traditional pottery stores of Honmachi Oribe Street, and the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu. Transfer here to the Taita Line.
Train fare: 670 yen
Train time: 46 minutes
Exit here for the scenic Ena Gorge, the Hiroshige Museum of Art, Ena is also a good base for hiking on the historic Nakasendo highway. Transfer at Ena Station to the Akechi Line which is bound for the castle town of Iwamura, and the preserved Taisho era buildings of Akechi.
Train fare: 1,140 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Nakatsugawa is another good base for hikes along the scenic Nakasendo highway. There is a Nakasendo History Museum in the town, and many preserved Edo era buildings. Nakatsugawa is also famous for its many kabuki theaters and for its chestnut-flavored confectionery in the autumn. Transfer here to Chuo Main Line services bound for Kiso-Fukushima in Nagano Prefecture.
Train fare: 1,320 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 17 minutes
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.