Overnight train to/from Sapporo and Aomori. Express Hamanasu

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

Hamanasu was discontinued in mid March, 2016. There is no overnight train service options available to Hokkaido.

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.

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

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

  1. I’m traveling in July this year & I want to go to Sapporo from Akita. Is there a train available ? I will be using the JR Pass

    1. Hi Catherine,

      There is no overnight train available. But daytime trains are available. You can use limited express Hokuto to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, take Hokkaido/Tohoku Shinkansen to Morioka and then you need to take Akita Shinkansen. You can find the timetable at hyperdia:


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi.
    In my opinion, JR should have considered to keep Hanamasu service running at least Sapporo-Hakodate until the Shin-HakodateHokuto(SHH) direct to Sapporo shinkansen line completes.
    With this service keeps running, those who is from Sapporo can catch the first Hayabusa at SHH(may get stranded at Hakodate at 3+am LOL till 1st connecting train is open) , or from Tokyo they can take the last Hayabusa to SHH and continue with Hanamasu to Sapporo overnight.

    I did tried the Hokutosei back in 2014 but only Sapporo-Hakodate.
    I am planning to do Sapporo – Zao(Yamagata) this coming end of march. So without the Hanamasu, I need to overnight in Sapporo and take the first express to Hakodate (4hrs), then SHH to Sendai (~3hrs), and ends with Sendai-Yamagata(1hrs). If the Hanamasu still runs, at least i dont spend my whole day in the train (i can save 4hrs daytime)

    1. Hi Ejump,

      I miss Hamanasu too. But the carriage is so old and JR Hokkaido cannot invest any more. JR Hokkaido has released their financial report. All lines in Hokkaido are in red, even around city of Sapporo. They are losing money every single day. And the population in Hokkaido are decreasing.

      JR Hokkaido should be owned by government. Otherwise JR Hokkaido will lose most part of lines.

      I still love Hamanasu. But I also understand that JR Hokkaido is facing the very very difficult financial issue.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi-san.
        Thanks for the info about financial reports. It was not included in the wiki so i did not know about that. I have to agree that if something is not profitable to company, its best to retire it.
        I will be traveling with the JRpass, so i also consider a n Alternative-Plan to take a night bus connecting Sapporo-Hakodate to minimize day-time lost. But chances of the ticket availability might be close to zero since theres only 1 night bus per day and i will only arrive in Hokkaido 3days prior to heading down Tohoku.
        I am not considering to fly since i want to ride the new H5 Shinkansen :3

        ps: nice E7 avatar. I have rode the new E7 last year.

  3. hi takeshi,
    does the hokkaido rail pass cover the hakodate-aomori trip? what do you think is the best way to get to tokyo from hakodate? direct flights are all so pricey but going back and forth via sapporo is too much of a waste of time. if the hokkaido pass covers hakodate-aomori trip, my option would only be to fly or rail to tokyo. please advise, thanks!

    1. Hi Elgy,

      At this point, you cannot get Aomori by Hokkaido Rail Pass. But if you travel after March 26, 2016, that pass may cover the trip to Aomori because Hokkaido Shinkansen will open and it belongs to JR Hokkaido. But the official announcement has not been placed yet. So I’m not sure 100%.

      If you travel in southern Hokkaido and make train trip to Tokyo, the following deal suit your plan.

      Hokkaido Rail Pass does not cover the trip from Aomori to Tokyo anyway.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. hi takeshi,
        thanks for the info above but the ticket is available starting april only and i’m traveling next week. it seems like the nationwide jr is the best option to go about. i will travel around hokkaido and then to and around tokyo. purchasing hokkaido pass and hakodate-tokyo ticket separately amounts to about the same as buying a nationwide pass, minus the inconveniences. if you could suggest others, please advise. thanks again!

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