The Midori (みどり, lit. "Green") is a limited express train service which runs between Hakata and Sasebo in Kyushu, Japan, operated by the Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu).

JR783 Midori.jpg
783 series train on a Midori service, January 2008
Service typeLimited express
First service1961
Current operator(s)JR Kyushu
Former operator(s)JNR
Distance travelled117.0 km (72.7 mi)
Rolling stock783 series EMU
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification20 kV AC
Operating speed130 km/h (80 mph)

Service patternEdit

Midori services run between Hakata and Sasebo, often combined with Huis Ten Bosch services between Hakata and Haiki.[1]

In the past, services were also combined with some Kamome services between Hakata and Hizen-Yamaguchi.[2]

Rolling stockEdit

Services are formed of 4-car 783 series electric multiple unit (EMU) sets with Green car (first class) accommodation.[2]


Services are normally formed of 4- or 8-car 783 series EMU formations as shown below.[1] All cars are no-smoking.[1]

4-car formationsEdit

Car No. 5 6 7 8
Accommodation Green Reserved Reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved

8-car formationsEdit

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Accommodation Green Reserved Reserved Reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Green Reserved Reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved


The Midori name was first used from 1 October 1961 on limited express services operating between Osaka and Hakata using 12-car KiHa 80 series diesel multiple unit (DMU) sets.[3] Timings were as shown below.[4]

  • Down: Osaka 13:40 → Hakata 22:35
  • Up: Hakata 07:25 → Osaka 16:20

From 1 October 1964, with the opening of the Tokaido Shinkansen, services operated between Shin-Osaka and Kumamoto and Oita.[3] Although the route was now electrified, services continued to use KiHa 80 series DMU sets formed as 13 cars.[4]

  • Down: Shin-Osaka 10:30 → Kumamoto 21:35 / Oita 21:10
  • Up: Kumamoto 08:30 / Oita 09:10 → Shin-Osaka 19:35

From 1 October 1965, the services operated between Shin-Osaka and Sasebo and Oita.[3] From 1 October 1967, services were once again modified to run between Shin-Osaka and Oita, this time using new 581 series EMUs.[4] The 581 series units were used for only a year on these services, however, replaced by 11-car 485 series EMU formations from October 1968.[4]

A 485 series EMU on a Midori service, circa 1985

With the opening of the Sanyō Shinkansen to Okayama in October 1973, Midori services were increased to two return workings daily, operating between Okayama and Oita.[4] From April 1974, the Nippo Main Line to Minami-Miyazaki was electrified, and the Midori services were reorganized as shown below, with one working daily extended to and from Miyazaki.[4]

  • Down Midori 1: Osaka → Oita
  • Down Midori 2: Okayama → Miyazaki
  • Up Midori 1: Oita → Okayama
  • Up Midori 2: Miyazaki → Osaka

These services were discontinued from March 1975 following the completion of the Sanyō Shinkansen to Hakata.[4]

Refurbished JR Kyushu 485 series EMU with "Midori Express" branding, March 1994

From 1 July 1976, following electrification of the route from Hakata to Nagasaki and Sasebo, the Midori name was revived for new services operating between Kokura, Hakata and Sasebo, using 4-car 485 series EMUs running as 12-car formations in conjunction with Kamome services between Kokura/Hakata and Hizen-Yamaguchi.[3] Initially 6 return workings daily were operated, increased to 10 daily from October 1980, and further increased to 13 return workings daily from November 1982.[4] From November 1986, the Midori services were rescheduled to operate separately from the Kamome services. Following privatization of Japanese National Railways (JNR), the 485 series EMUs used on Midori services were refurbished between 1990 and 1991, receiving all-over red liveries and "Midori Express" branding.[4] By March 2000, all services were operated with 783 series EMUs.[4]


  1. ^ a b c JR時刻表 [JR Timetable]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. March 2012. p. 1011.
  2. ^ a b JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 56. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6.
  3. ^ a b c d 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Teramoto, Mitsuteru (July 2001). 国鉄・JR列車名大辞典 [JNR & JR Train Name Encyclopedia]. Tokyo, Japan: Chuoshoin Publishing Co., Ltd. pp. 538–541. ISBN 4-88732-093-0.

External linksEdit