Overnight train to/from Sapporo and Aomori. Express Hamanasu

Overnight train Hamanasu at Aomori station
Overnight train Hamanasu at Aomori station

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 earliest Tohoku Shinkansen at Shin-Aomori.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

Hamanasu will run until the end of February with a few suspension dates and some schedule changes. And this trail will be discontinued in March 2016. Please find more info at the post, Schedule of 2015 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railways.

However Hamanasu will be discontinued in March before Hokkaido Shinkansen open. The demand of this train is getting bigger and bigger because many local travellers and train fans want to take this train before discontinue. It is very very hard to book this train. Unfortunately I do not recommend you to put this train in your itinerary. It is too risky to use this train in your plan.

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) 22:18 5:39
Hakodate (函館) 0:44-1:23 2:52-3:27
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

225 thoughts on “Overnight train to/from Sapporo and Aomori. Express Hamanasu”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    Me and my partner are planning to travel to Sapporo from Aomori on 28 Dec 2015 using Hamanasu overnight train, understand the tics are selling fast, is there a way we can pre-book the seats before we arrive at Japan? Or what are the chances of getting a non-reserved seat since its a first come first serve basis? looking forward to hear for you, thank you!

    1. Hi Samantha,

      Unfortunately there is no way to book before you arrive in Japan. Actually even residence in Japan cannot book this train online.
      It’s very hard to find how busy this train will be. This train will be discontinued in next spring. Since this news has been released, this train is very very busy. Most of travellers want to have berth or reserved seat. And December 28 will be busier than usual because of New Years Holidays. So your chance to book reserved seat is very very slim.

      If I were you, I go to Aomori station at least one hour prior to departure time. You may take this train anyway even if it’s full. But this means you need to stay on isle without seat. So if you cannot make it, please go to Aomori station early and check how it goes. If it looks busy, go to the platform to wait for train comes.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. My plan is to take train from Sapporo to Aomori or from Hakodate to Aomori on 25/3/2016 to attend a wedding event in Akita on 27/3/2015. What is your advise? Which one is the best choice?

    1. Hi Christine,

      Actually all trains will be suspended between March 22 and March 25, 2016 because Hokkaido Shinkansen will open on March 26 between Shin-Aomori and Hakodate. Final inspection will be scheduled. You cannot go to Aomori from Hokkaido by any trains in this period. Only ferry service is available between Hakodate and Aomori.

      You can take newly open Hokkaido Shinkansen from Aomori to Hakodate on March 27. But it may be crowded because it’s just opened.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you for your prompt reply and updated information. I reschedule my trip is as follows:
        23/3 Arrive Sapporo
        24/3 Sapporo to Otaru by train
        25/3 Otaru
        26/3 Otaru to New Chitose Airport. Heading to Akita by air.
        27/3 Akita
        28/3 Akita to Nyuto Onsen by train
        29/3 Lake Tazawa to New Aomori by train
        30/3 New Aomori to Hakodate by Shinkansen
        31/3 Hakodate
        1/4 Hakodate to Noboribetsu by train

        Can i use JR PASS for my whole trip? Thank you.

        2/4 Hakodate to Sapporo by train
        3/4 Sapporo to New Chitose by train

        1. Hi Christine,

          You can use JR Pass 7 days from 28th March. Single ticket is okay for the first part in Hokkaido, New Chitose – Sapporo – Otaru – New Chitose. 14 days pass is too much to include this part. Using single ticket is much more affordable.


          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. My sister will travel from Tokyo to Akita by Shinkansen on 26/3. Then join my trip to Onsen. Back to Tokyo on 29/3. Is the JR EAST PASS flexible 5 Day can cover the train fare including shinkansen? Thank you.

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