is the sole service running on the Nagano Shinkansen
. It began running in October 1997 for the Nagano Olympics
. The only train type used on the line is the E2 Series
, although one 200 Series
train was modified to provide extra services on the line during the 1998 Winter Olympics, and has since been withdrawn from service. Four E4 Series
trains were specially built for seasonal use on the Nagano Shinkansen as Max Asama
services, but only two are capable of travelling as far as Nagano because the line west of Karuizawa
runs on a 60 Hz power supply, unlike the rest of the line that runs on a 50 Hz power supply.
From the start of the revised timetable in December 2005, Asama services were made entirely no-smoking.
The name was formerly used by the conventional limited-express services running between Ueno and Nagano.
Asama is the name of an active volcano (Mt. Asama) near Karuizawa on the boundary between Gunma and Nagano Prefecture.