city in Mie Prefecture, Japan
Asia > East Asia > Japan > Kansai > Mie > Kuwana

Kuwana (桑名) is the fifth largest city in Mie by population, and lies within easy commuting distance of Nagoya.

Nabana no Sato Illuminations

Get in edit

By plane edit

Nagoya-Centrair is about an hour away by car. Mie Kōtsū (Sancō)[dead link] run three buses a day to and from Nagashima Onsen and Kuwana Station, taking 1hr 30 min and costing ¥1600. Otherwise, take a Meitetsu train to Nagoya and change there to either Kintetsu (using the dedicated interchange gate) or the JR Kansai Line.

By train edit

Kuwana is connected to Nagoya by two competing lines.

  • The JR Kansai Line usually runs four trains per hour (two local, two non-stop rapid) at a cost of ¥350, taking between 20 and 30 minutes. On the hourly Mie Rapid trains, you have the option of paying an extra ¥520 for a reserved seat.
  • The Kintetsu Nagoya Line runs three Express trains per hour (taking 20 minutes) and two Semi-Express trains per hour (taking 26 minutes), costing ¥440. There are also three Limited Express trains per hour which run non-stop in 16 minutes, but these cost ¥950.

From Tokyo, allow 2hrs 20mins and ¥11,510 (via the JR Kansai Line) or ¥11,730 (via Kintetsu) (slightly longer and cheaper if avoiding Nozomi trains).

Kintetsu runs one direct Limited Express per hour from Osaka-Namba, taking just over 2 hours and costing ¥3730 (about 30 minutes longer than taking the Shinkansen and going through Nagoya, but roughly half the price). Alternatively, you can take a Limited Express to Ise-Nakagawa or Tsu and change there for a train to Kuwana. If you want to take Kintetsu from Osaka but avoid Limited Expresses, it will take about 3 hr 20 min but cost only ¥2120.

Kuwana is also served by the JR Nanki Limited Express four times a day. From Nagoya this is no faster than the JR Rapid trains, and at ¥1820 is far more expensive than any other train; in the other direction, however, it serves Owase, Kumano, Shingū, and Kii-Katsuura (about 3 hr 20 min and ¥7050 from the latter). The JR Mie Rapid trains compete with Kintetsu on the route to Ise and Toba, which is roughly 1 hr 30 min away.

(Note that between Yokkaichi and Tsu, Nanki Limited Express and Mie Rapid trains run on the non-JR Ise Railway. If you are using a Japan Rail Pass, you must pay a surcharge of ¥510 for Mie trains and ¥820 for Nanki trains.)

Kuwana also sits at one end of the Yōrō Railway, which runs to Ōgaki (via Kaizu and Yōrō) in 1 hr 10 min for ¥830 – cheaper, but about 10 minutes slower, than going through Nagoya.

By bus edit

Despite being so close to Nagoya, Kuwana is served by three overnight buses a day:

  • Two buses to Tokyo and Ōmiya (one to Tachikawa, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and Ōmiya, the other to Yokohama, Ikebukuro, and Ōmiya), taking between 4 hr 15 min and 7 hr 15 min (depending on service and destination) and costing between ¥5700 and ¥10,000 (depending on destination and day of travel). Operated by Seibu Kankō Bus and Mie Kōtsū[dead link].
    • Kuwana is the first stop of 10 in Mie Prefecture, so buses leave for Tokyo after 23:30 and arrive in the morning before 05:00. It may be more sensible to take an overnight bus to Nagoya and take the train from there.
  • A bus to Tokushima, Takamatsu and Matsuyama, taking between 5 hr 10 min and 10 hours and costing between ¥5500 and ¥12,000. Operated by JR Tōkai Bus and JR Shikoku Bus[dead link].
    • This bus leaves Kuwana for Shikoku at 23:45 and arrives before 05:30; the departure and arrival times for Tokushima in particular are equally inconvenient.

Get around edit

See edit

Kyuka Park
  • 1 Kyūka Park (九華公園) (20 minutes walk east from Kuwana Station), +81 594-21-9932. This park and water course, which lies at the site of Kuwana Castle, boasts its own outdoor sumo rink.
  • 2 Rokkaen (六華苑), Kuwana 663-5 (15 minutes walk from Kuwana Station East Exit). 09:00-17:00 (last admission 16:00), closed Mondays. An Important Cultural Property, built for a local businessman called Seiroku Moroto (1888-1969) and completed in 1913, it consists of a Japanese-style building and a Western-style building, the latter being the only example in the area of the work of the influential British architect Josiah Conder (1852-1920). ¥310.

Do edit

  • 1 Nagashima Spa Land (ナガシマスパーランド) (25 minutes and ¥530 by bus from Kuwana Station Stop 2; buses also run from Nagoya (Meitetsu Bus Center Stop 22), taking 55 minutes and ¥1060 (¥1900 return)). This venue is an amusement park and a shopping outlet mall that hosts one of the world's largest rollercoasters. In summer the amusement park also has various waterslides on offer.

Buy edit

Eat edit

The city's specialty dish is Kuwana Curry, which features beef curry and pork curry separated by rice.

Drink edit

Sleep edit

Go next edit

While it is easy to return to Nagoya on the train, you can also continue on to Yokkaichi or Suzuka (home of the Suzuka Circuit) to the south.

Routes through Kuwana
NaraYokkaichi  W   E  Nagoya
KameyamaYokkaichi ← Junction ←  W   E  Nagoya-Nishiinto Nagoya Expwy
Higashi-Meihan expwy  W   E  Nagoya-MinamiToyota

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