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.

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

Accommodations

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

Timetable

StationAomori to SapporoSapporo to Aomori
Aomori (青森)22:185:39
Hakodate (函館)0:44-1:232:52-3:27
Oshamanbe (長万部)3:081:03
Date-Monbetsu (伊達紋別駅)0:17
Higashi-Muroran (東室蘭)4:1723:50
Noboribetsu (登別)23:35
Tomakomai (苫小牧)5:0123:04
Minami-Chitose (南千歳)5:2522:41
Chitose (千歳)5:3022:36
Shin-Sapporo (新札幌)5:5522:11
Sapporo (札幌)6:0722:00

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

  1. Hello Takeshi, how are you?
    I’ll be leaving Otaru on February 11th, i was planning to stop at Noboribetsu and continue my journey to Aomori later in the day. I’d like to use the Hamanasu, although I know it’s risky!

    How early can I book from the station?
    If I don’t get to book, do I still have a chance to get a non-reserved seat?
    If so, how early should I get to the station to get one?

    I’ve seen on Hyperdia that I can also travel overnight using the Super Hokuto and Super Hakucho. And I’ve seen they are covered by the JR Pass. Do you recommend this alternative? Could it be sold out too?

    Looking forward to your reply! Thanks you very much!

    1. Hi Babun,

      The ticket is already sold. It was started to be on sale one month prior to departure date that is January 11th. You can book it when you get Japan. I strongly recommend you to book right after you arrive in Japan. You can book it at Midori no Madoguchi. Most of major stations have Midori no Madoguchi that is reservation window.

      If you intend to take Hamanasu at Noboribetsu, you don’t need to show up early. I think there are very few passengers who take Hamanasu at Noboribetsu. If you take this train at Sapporo and need to have a seat in non reserved car, you have to show up early.

      Super Hakucho and Super Hokuto are daytime train. You cannot stay overnight on these trains. Your choice is only Hamanasu.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. We have booked a 7 day nationwide jr pass. We will go to japan on january 19, 2016. Is there a big chance for us to get the carpeted floor bed during those days?

  3. Hi there,

    Seems like you can be my life saver trying to figure out a way to get to Osaka from Sapporo.

    I read your post about the overnight train via Hamanasu. I understand its closing in MaRCH 2016. I am going to be in Sapporo Febuary 5-8. (You mentioned in Febuary there might be blocked off dates or schedule changes?) Im guessing my best bet is to catch the 10pm train as mentioned in your article. However, there is no way to make a reservation online or anything but I’m afraid that this route would be my only chance to get to Osaka and stick to my itinerary. What do you think my chances are getting a spot on this train, on this date, at that time (10pm schedule)? Do you recommend an alternative route? Seems like plenty of the other overnight trains stopped working but I am also willing to travel on feb 8th at any time to get to osaka by Tuesday-the 9th.

    I plan on purchasing the 14 day JR pass.
    MY itinerary is as follows: (tentatively)
    Febuary 2- arrive in Narita Intl Airport
    Feb 2-5- stay in Tokyo (will the JR pass allow us to use the pass for most of the train lines???)
    Feb 5-8- Sapporo for the Snow Festival
    Feb 8-9 (take the train to Osaka)
    Feb 9- Arrive in Osaka early morning if possible
    Feb 9-11- Osaka (will the JR pass allow us to use the pass here on most train lines? I read somewhere that there metro lines are different)
    Feb 11-12- Kyoto (same question as above… Getting to Osaka to Kyoto, will we be able to use the JR pass?
    Feb 12- Back to Tokyo for the night
    Feb 13- Go to NRT to fly back home

    Would love to hear your input because this is very confusing to me as to what the JR pass includes and doesn’t include. I don’t know if its even worth it to buy the JR pass or is it cheaper to just buy a plane ticket from Sapporo to Osaka and purchase separate day passes in each city? I don’t mind the over night trains and long rides as long as its the cheapest route.

    Thank yoU!!!
    Hope to get answers from you asap.
    <3
    =]

    1. Hi Mika,

      First of all, you can use 14 days JR pass anyway. I believe it’s most affordable way to trip to Sapporo. But actually it’s hard to say about comparison between air ticket and JR Pass. Because price is not fixed for air ticket.

      Anyway I answer your questions one by one.

      1. Hamanasu
      It will be busy but I cannot say how busy. Usually all trains are busy in snow festival period. Now Hamanasu is busy everyday because it will be discontinued in next March. It will run as usual in this period but in my opinion, it’s very very slim to chance to book reserved seat. In worst case, you have to take non reserved seat. In this case, you have to go to the platform at least one hour before departure time. One hour may not be enough to get a seat. So if you don’t want to take any risks, I recommend you to use daytime train instead of Hamanasu. The following link shows you about access to Sapporo from Osaka or Tokyo.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/hokkaido-area/how-to-get-sapporo.html

      2. Coverage in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto by JR Pass
      Please see the links below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/best-way-efficient-how-much-can-we-use-japan-rail-pass-in-downtown-tokyo.html
      https://jprail.com/destinations/how-to-transfer-among-kyoto-osaka-and-kobe-compare-japan-railway-and-private-lines.html
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-osaka-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      You need to have subway or bus deal/ticket to see Kyoto. Because you need to take subway or bus to explore in Kyoto. Subway and bus are not covered by JR pass. But in Tokyo and Osaka, you can explore many places by JR pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi there
    My boyfriend n me planning to go sunday 13.12.15 early morning from hiroshima all the way up to aomori and would like to catch a carpet car at the hamanasu train until sapporo.
    Do you guys know if we can get all tickets / reservation allready in hiroshima saturday evening?

        1. Yes, Celine. I talked about Hamanasu between Aomori and Sapporo. This trail will be discontinued in next March. Now this train’s ticket is sold out right after on sale. Especially it’s almost impossible to book carpet car.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

              1. Hi agaiin

                Everything went perfectly:) we had normal seats for sleeping but did the hole trip with the jr pass 😉
                It is Beautiful up here!!

                One last question 🙂 we gonna go after niseko to hakuba:) do you have a tip how we can do that again just with useing our jr passes without additional payment?
                We thought about doing a stop in hakodate for lunch the 16th n than take another night train back direction hakuba… If possible

                Thanks for your help

                1. Hi Celine,

                  There is no overnight train other than Hamanasu. You have to get back to Tokyo anyway. And then take Limited Express Azusa to Matsumoto and transfer to local train to Hakuba.
                  But if you leave Hakodate after lunch, it’s very hard to get Hakuba on same day. Try to find the schedule at Hyperdia:
                  https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/hyperdia-perfect-guide-train-timetable-and-route-search-engine.html

                  Cheers,

                  Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. I will plan to Sapporo on April 2016 but I would like to catch HAMANASU from shin-Hakodate to Sapporo. Is there a night train on April next year? Can we use JR pass for HAMANASU?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Khan,

      Hamanasu will be discontinued by mid March. There will be no overnight train options to Hokkaido in April unfortunately.
      Hokkaido Shinkansen will be open in late March. You can get Hakodate from Tokyo by Shinkansen directly. I think JR pass will cover this trip too.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. 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.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. 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.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/another-idea-of-overnight-transfer-to-hokkaido-using-ferry-service-between-aomori-and-hakodate.html

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

      Cheers,

      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.

          Cheers,

          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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