The Spacia Kinu is a Limited Express train that runs between Tobu Asakusa Station and Kinugawa-Onsen Station. Kinugawa Onsen is a popular hot spring resort town close to Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. There are two Spacia trains that run regular services from Tobu Asakusa Station. The other is the Spacia Kegon which runs between Tobu Asakusa Station and Tobu Nikko Station.
The Spacia Kinu takes about 2 hours to complete the journey between Asakusa and Kinugawa Onsen. There is also a similar limited express service called the Spacia Kinugawa, which runs between JR Shinjuku Station and Kinugawa-Onsen Station and that takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes.
At Tobu Asakusa Station the Spacia Kinu departs from platforms 3 and 4. There is an information desk at the entrance to these limited express platforms where you should show your ticket before boarding.
The Spacia Kinu and the Spacia Kegon follow the same route until they reach Shimo-Imaichi Station. After this station the Spacia Kinu goes on to Kinugawa-Onsen Station, but the Spacia Kegon continues onto Tobu Nikko Station. The Spacia Kinu makes stops at the following stations, but not all trains stop at Sugito-Takanodai or Tobu World Square stations.
Tobu Asakusa – Tokyo Skytree – Kita-Senju – Kasukabe – (Sugito-Takanodai) – Tochigi – Shin-Kanuma – Shimo-Imaichi – (Tobu World Square) – Kinugawa-Onsen Station
The key destinations with example train times and rail fares (including limited express surcharges) are given below.
Tokyo Skytree Station
This is the most convenient station for the Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower at 634 meters high. The Skytree is a major tourist destination with plenty of shopping and dining facilities, and upper level observation decks.
Train fare: 660 yen
Train time: 3 minutes
Transfer here to the JR Joban Line, Tokyo Metro’s Chiyoda and Hibiya lines and the Tsukuba Express.
Train fare: 710 yen
Train time: 12 minutes
Exit here for Tochigi City which has many preserved historical buildings and “kura” warehouses. You can see many of these buildings on the Reiheishi Road and there are three 200-year-old warehouses which have been converted into the Tochigi Kuranomachi Museum of Art. For more details of Tochigi’s sightseeing attractions download a PDF sightseeing map. Transfer at Tochigi Station to the JR Ryomo Line.
Train fare: 2,100 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 8 minutes
Transfer here to the Tobu Kinugawa Line. Tobu now operate special 35 minute steam locomotive rides between Shimo-Imaichi and Kinugawa Onsen stations on Saturdays and public holidays.
Train fare: 2,700 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 39 minutes
Tobu World Square Station
Tobu World Square is an architectural theme park with 102 scale model replicas of famous buildings from all over the world including 45 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The theme park is 1 minute walk from the station.
Train fare: 2,700 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 56 minutes
Kinugawa Onsen is best known as a hot spring resort town with many traditional hotels. Boat trips on the River Kinu are possible from April till November and there is a hiking trail through the nearby scenic Ryuokyo Gorge. Kinugawa Onsen is also convenient for the Edo Wonderland amusement park which is a 15 minute bus ride from the station. This theme park immerses visitors in the culture, life, and architecture of Japan’s Edo era. Edo Wonderland’s attractions include street shows, ninja workshops, seasonal festivals, and colorful parades.
Train fare: 2,890 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 59 minutes
On Board Facilities
All cars on Spacia limited express trains are non-smoking and there is also a free Wi-Fi internet service available on board. In addition to regular seating there are also six private compartments which can seat up to four people. These compartments cost an additional 3,090 yen on weekdays and 3,700 yen on weekends and holidays. The Spacia has an on board cart service selling drinks, sandwiches, bento-style lunch boxes, and Spacia-themed souvenirs. There is also a soft drinks vending machine in car 3. Some trains also have a kiosk in car 3 where you can buy drinks (including draft beer), snacks, and souvenirs.
Eight Spacia Kinu services run from Tobu Asakusa Station on weekdays, and nine services run on weekends and holidays. Please note that the last three services of the day do not stop at Tobu World Square Station.
|Service Number||Tobu Asakusa||Tobu World Square||Kinugawa-Onsen|
|Spacia Kinu #107||8.00||9.56||9.59|
|Spacia Kinu #115||10.00||11.57||12.00|
|Spacia Kinu #119||11.30||13.38||13.41|
|Spacia Kinu #125||13.30||15.29||15.32|
|Spacia Kinu #127
(Weekends & holidays only)
|Spacia Kinu #133||16.00||18.05||18.08|
|Spacia Kinu #135||17.00||–||19.01|
|Spacia Kinu #139||18.00||–||20.03|
|Spacia Kinu #143||19.00||–||21.02|
Eight Spacia Kinu services run the return journey from Kinugawa Onsen to Asakusa on weekdays, and nine services run on weekends and holidays. Please note that only four services stop at Tobu World Square Station: #120, #130, #138, and #142.
|Service Number||Kinugawa-Onsen||Tobu World Square||Tobu Asakusa|
|Spacia Kinu #110||6.42||–||8.49|
|Spacia Kinu #112||7.22||–||9.33|
|Spacia Kinu #116||9.11||–||11.15|
|Spacia Kinu #120||10.12||10.15||12.15|
|Spacia Kinu #130||13.08||13.11||15.15|
|Spacia Kinu #138||15.43||15.46||17.45|
|Spacia Kinu #142
(Weekends & holidays only)
|Spacia Kinu #146||18.36||–||20.45|
|Spacia Kinu #150||19.25||–||21.35|
Limited express trains require seat reservations, so you will have to pay a limited express surcharge as well as paying for your train ticket. You can buy limited express tickets from automated machines on the 1st and 2nd floor of Tobu Asakusa Station, or you can buy them from the ticket office on the 1st floor.
Tobu Railway is a private rail operator so the Spacia Kinu is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. However there are some discount passes available for this route. These passes give a 20% discount on limited express tickets and on private compartment fees. They also give discounts on tourist facilities, shops, and restaurants in the Kinugawa Onsen and Nikko areas as well as unlimited bus and train rides within a decided zone. There are three passes to choose from. Click on the links below for more details.
The Nikko City Area Pass is a 2 day pass that costs 2,670 yen for adults and 1,340 yen for children.
The Nikko All Area Pass is a 4 day pass. From April to November this pass costs 4,520 yen for adults and 2,280 yen for children. From December to March this pass costs 4,150 yen for adults and 2,070 yen for children.
The Theme Park and Nikko City Area Pass is a 2 day pass that includes entry to the Tobu World Square and Edo Wonderland theme parks. This pass costs 8,010 yen for adults and 4,010 yen for children.
These passes can be purchased from the Tourist Information Office on the 1st floor of Tobu Asakusa Station or you can purchase them in advance from the official Tobu Railway website.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.