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Overnight train to/from Sapporo and Aomori. Express Hamanasu

Overnight train Hamanasu

Overnight train Hamanasu

This overnight express train is operated between Aomori and Sapporo. If you want to save your time and you don’t want to spend your money for Hotel in Sapporo, this overnight train is the best choice. Especially when you want to transfer to Tokyo from Sapporo as early as possible, this train is connected with the first “Hayabusa” on Tohoku Shinkansen at Shin-Aomori.

Be careful! This overnight train “Hamanasu” arrive and depart at Aomori. Aomori is one station away from Tohoku Shinkansen station, Shin-Aomori. When you transfer to Hayabusa from Hamanasu, you need to take Limited Express Tsugaru 2 that depart from Aomori station at 5:46. You have only 6 minutes to transfer.

Most of the night train have only sleeper class. This express train has Type B sleeper class. But this train has two types of reserved seats too. If you take these reserved class, you can take this train without any extra pay by Japan Rail Pass. Okay, let’s see the accommodations and interior of Hamanasu.

I got on Hamanasu in mid March, 2012. I hope my passengers’ report, “My trip from Aomori to Sapporo on March 19, 2012 by Hamanasu Carpet car.” help you.

View Hamanasu in a larger map


Type B sleeper class

Additional fare 7,560yen (Express surcharge 1,260yen + Accommodation charge 6,300yen)
This is very basic sleeper in Japan. 4 beds are in one compartment. Lower berth is 195 cm X 70 cm X 111 cm. (Length/Width/Height) Upper berth is 195 cm X 70 cm X 95 cm. Lower berth has a little more head room.
Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu

Dream Car

No extra charge
One of those reserved seats is called “Dream Car”. This seat provide you same grade of comfortably as Green classr.
Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu

Carpet Car

No extra charge
The other reserved seat is called “Carpet car”. This seat is the same kind of seat as Nobi Nobi seat on Sunrise Seto and Sunrise Izumo. It is like a berth. You can lie on the seat. This berth is better than Nobi Nobi seat because this accommodation provides you a pillow, linen and the Heated Carpet in winter time. Please click the following images. You will see the purple carpet on the berth. That is the Heated Carpet.
Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu
As you see the images, Upper section has more privacy. Try to get it!

Non Reserved seat

Of course, no extra charge
If you cannot get the reserved seat, you can take a non reserved seat, if you like. This seat is very very common seat. If you need to take overnight train from Sapporo to Aomori, you have to take this. Otherwise I don’t recommend you.
Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu Overnight train Hamanasu

Other facilities

This train has several the vending machine. You can buy some refreshment.
Overnight train Hamanasu
Several change rooms are equipped in the train. And you will have a small space to take a break, drink and eat. But there is no shower facility.
Overnight train Hamanasu
Be careful! This train has Japanese style washroom only!
Overnight train Hamanasu


Station Aomori to Sapporo Sapporo to Aomori
Aomori (青森) 22:42 5:40
Hakodate (函館) 1:00-1:23 2:52-3:22
Oshamanbe (長万部) 3:08 1:03
Date-Monbetsu (伊達紋別駅) - 0:17
Higashi-Muroran (東室蘭) 4:17 23:50
Noboribetsu (登別) - 23:35
Tomakomai (苫小牧) 5:01 23:04
Minami-Chitose (南千歳) 5:25 22:41
Chitose (千歳) 5:30 22:36
Shin-Sapporo (新札幌) 5:55 22:11
Sapporo (札幌) 6:07 22:00

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114 Comments to “Overnight train to/from Sapporo and Aomori. Express Hamanasu”

  1. Kolaxiong says:

    Thank you , but I don’t understand the 4 min transfer part. Cos when I check hyperdia , train reach Aomori at 5.39 then take Chuo line at 6.00 , reach shin-Aomori at 6.04 and Shinkansen will leave at 6.17 for Tokyo ? Or I read wrongly ?

    • Hi Kolaxiong,

      Actually there is a train, “Tsugaru 2″ at 5:43. Check just aomori-shinaomori segment on hyperdia. You will find it.
      You can transfer this train easily.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. Kola xiong says:

    Hi Takeshi, need your advice again. At first I was planning to go back to Hakodate from kutchan but the local train trimming is very bad. If I leave at 1345 I will reach Hakodate ard 7pm++. So I was thinking if that is the case , I might as we’ll take a train to supporo ( funny up going train is more frequent ) then take the 2200 train and back Tokyo at 930 am. This way I can save 1 night of hotel.

    Q1) I got a jr green pass. Do I need to top up any $ if I choose to take this exp hamanasu ?
    Q2) it will reach Aomori at 0539 then leave shin-Aomori at 0617 ( if I read correctly ) will this be enough for transfer ?


    • Hi Kola xiong,

      1. If you take berth, you have to pay both express surcharge and accommodation fee. Other class, Carpet car, Dream car and non reserved seat are covered. But Carpet car is too popular to book. Don’t expect that you can book it. Dream car may be okay, but this class sometimes sold out. Remember there is no online reservation. So you have to book this train right after you exchanged JR Pass. If you cannot make any seat, you have to take non reserved seat. In this case, you have to show up at Sapporo station earlier to wait on line.I would say one hour earlier. Otherwise you will be standee on the train.
      It is very hard to guess how busy this train will be. It will be very busy and sometimes it’s empty.

      2. You will have only 3 or 4 minutes to transfer at Aomori. But it will be okay. Many passengers will transfer.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Helen says:

    Hi, I know I’m a little late after reading this website. What are my chances of reserving carpet seats on 15 March 2014. I only know that I can reserve but just got to know that it is difficult getting one last min. I’m bring 2 young children with me, therefore would prefer to let them rest properly. :,(

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Helen.

      As you guess, it will be very tiny chance. Hamanasu’s carpet car is one of the hardest to book in all JR trains. Usually all seats are sold out right after on sale.
      Honestly I don’t recommend you to use this train with young children. It’s too risky.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Catherine says:

    Hi, Im planning to travel to Hokkaido 28/9 – 4/10. I will buy 7 days JR pass and activate from Tokyo 8.20am to Shin – Amori. I intend to return to tokyo by train Hamanasu at 22.00pm, transit to shin-Amori – Tokyo. Understand that train will reach tokyo 9.25 am. In this case, my JR pass considered expire at Tokyo? Need to pay extra?

    If I miss the connecting Express from Amori to Shin- Amori (abt 6 min) as below, what is the next express arrival time?

    When you transfer to Hayabusa from Hamanasu, you need to take Limited Express Tsugaru 2 that depart from Aomori station at 5:46. You have only 6 minutes to transfer. – See more at: http://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/overnight-trains/hamanasu.html#sthash.GCclP0SN.dpuf

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Catherine,

      If you take Hamanasu on Oct 4 (day 7 of JR Pass), your pass cover Hamanasu to Aomori. But after you get off Hamanasu, JR Pass covers only base fare. If you take Hayabusa from Shin-Aomori to Tokyo, reserved seat fee 7,000 yen is extra. Base fare is around 10000 yen. This will be covered.

      Timetable will be revised in March and sometimes October. So please get the updated timetable at Hyperdia.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Catherine says:

        If I return on 3 October, need I top up the reserved seat of yen 7000? How do I fully utilized my Jr pass without extra fee? I’m on budget trip. Thanks

        • JPRail says:

          Hi Catherine,

          If you take Hamanasu on Oct 3, it will be covered.


          Takeshi / JP Rail

          • Catherine says:


            Really appreciate your prompt reply and shared information. By the way, my travel period considered as off peak season which can I assume shouldn’t be any problem to get for reserved seat, right?

          • JPRail says:

            Hi Catherine,

            I worry about only Hamanasu. Other trains, such as Shinkansen, is very easy to book. Those trains run very frequently. If you miss the train, other one will come in next 30 minutes.

            But Hamanasu run only once. Especially if you intend to take Carpet car, it’s almost impossible. Those seats are sold out usually right after on sale one month prior to departure date. Next option is Dream car. Usually this one is easier but if it’s sold out, no surprise.

            Non reserved seat will not be busy. So you will take a seas somewhere anyway. But don’t expect to get Carpet car. It’s one of the toughest to book in all JR trains.


            Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. keen says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    Is 6 Feb 2014 hard to book for Hamanasu from Aomori – Sapporo?

    We reach Kansai Airport on 4 Feb.

    Understand from your site that we can book Hamanasu carpet car or dream car thru phone call. Do they speak English ? if yes, what is the contact number.

    FYI , we are from Malaysia

    Thanks for your advice!

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Keen,

      Unfortunately it’s going to be super hard because of Sapporo snow festival from Feb 5 to 11. This will be the busiest period.
      JR West Odekake net (078-341-7903) may be able to speak English. I’ve heard English speaker is available but not full time. And there are some conditions. For example, you have to pick up a ticket in JR West, Shikoku and Kyushu area, such as Osaka, Kyoto, Kyushu area. You can’t pick up it in Tokyo. Please see the following link:
      Even if there is English speaker, they may not take a reservation. I am not 100% sure at this point. But this is only way to make a booking over the phone.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Daan says:

    I’m thinking about taking the overnight Hamanasu from Aomori to Sapporo on December 28 (I know it will be very busy due to winter holidays).

    I will be travelling with the 北海道&東日本パス. I think I can board the Hamanasu if I pay extra charge?

    Also, since it will be very busy I think it will be hard to find an un-reserved seat. Should I arrive very early at the station? In case all seats are taking, can I still ride the train?

  7. Barffie says:

    Hi Takeshi san,
    Will December 23 (Emperor’s Birthday) be hard to book for Hamanasu from Aomori – Sapporo?

    We will only be able to make reservations when we reach Japan in another 3 weeks! :(

    Thanks for your advice!

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Barffie,

      Hamanasu Carpet car is always hard to book. But another reserved car, Dream car is not very hard to book. And also December 23 is not a peak period yet. It will be easier than New Years holidays.

      All I can say is just try right after you arrive. Wish you have a good luck!


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Barffie says:

        Hi Takeshi san,
        Thank you so much for your reply!

        I may consider getting the Type B sleeper instead as my back is no good – so sleeping on hard carpet might be problematic for me.

        I really love your site and all the detailed information that you have provided for non-Japanese speaking travellers! Thank you so much :)

        >>> BTW I was unable to call the JR West Odekake line to book the Hokutosei, perhaps they were closed :(

        • JPRail says:

          Hi Barffie,

          I’m very happy to hear that my website help you to build your itinerary. :)

          I think type B is the easier than any reserved seat. Because this is most expensive accommodation in Hamanasu. Most of passengers don’t want to pay. Anwway I wish you get a space on Hamanasu.

          I checked Odekake net. They open as usual from 8:00 to 22:00. But it’s very hard to connect around 10:00 am.


          Takeshi / JP Rail

  8. Cindy says:


    So glad I found this and so far has been helpful in answering all my questions. I plan on taking the overnight Hamanasu route into Tokyo. The part where I have to transfer leaves me only 6 minutes, will this transfer be hard to find?


    • JPRail says:

      Hi Cindy,

      Do you mean transfer at Aomori station? If so, it’s easy. Mostly both trains arrive/depart at same platform. All you have to do is moving 10m between trains.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Jessica says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Thank you so much for all the hard work you’ve done on this site. Because of you, I’ve been able to enjoy two trips utilizing the JR pass to the fullest and have just started my third today.

    I didn’t know if I would be able to take enough time off of work to use my pass this trip or not until yesterday (!) and I didn’t have enough time to go to midori-no-madoguchi yesterday – so I made all my reservations today. I didn’t think I would have a chance to ride Hamanasu again, but somehow I managed to get a carpet car ticket for less than a week from now. And even better – it’s a second floor seat! I’m so shocked and happy!

    Thanks to your site, I’ve been able to get second floor tickets three times in the past 2 years! (The second time, unfortunately, I couldn’t board the Hamanasu because I was on the Twilight Express and it got stuck in Aomori-ken for 8+ hours due to a snowstorm) I really appreciate all the effort you put into making this a fantastic resource for English-speaking rail fans!

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Jessica,

      I’m very happy to hear that! I have never got second floor of Hamanasu. You are so lucky!
      All overnight trains, Akebono, Hokutosei, Cassiopeia and Twilight Hokkaido will be discontinued in next three years because Hokkaido Shinkansen will be open. Hamanasu may be discontinued too. So enjoy your trip by overnight trains. It will be memorable and historical moment.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  10. William says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Is there any spaces to store medium/large size suitcase in the carpet car?


  1. Overnight by Train in Japan: Tokyo to Northern Honshu and Hokkaido « Jose's Japan Tips

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