Overnight transfer to Aomori/Akita from Tokyo, No extra charge on Japan Rail Pass! Overnight limited express Akebomo


***This train scheduled service was discontinued in March, 2014 due to small demand.***

Overnight train "Akebono"
Overnight train Akebono

This overnight train is operated between Ueno and Aomori. Japan Railway operate 3 overnight trains between Tokyo and Tohoku or Hokkaido. But only “Akebono” has the reserved seat. The other two trains, “Hokutosei” and “Cassiopeia”, have only the sleeper. If you take sleeper class by Japan Rail Pass, Japan Rail Pass is valid for the basic fare only. You have to pay not only sleeper class surcharge but also limited express surcharge. That means you do not need to pay the extra to get “Akebono” because this train has the reserved seat.

Akebono’s reserved seat gives you a great deal. This reserved seat is called “Goron-to-seat”. It is completely same as the bank bed type sleeper. The only difference is that this class does not give you any bedding sheet and pillow. But some Japan Rail Pass users are interested in the other choices. I show you all types of accommodations and the extra charges for Japan Rail Pass.

Accommodations and extra charge for Japan Rail Pass user

Single Deluxe

Additional fare 15,660yen to 16,500yen (Express surcharge 2,310yen to 3,150yen + Accommodation charge 13,350yen)
*If you take the train from Ueno to Akita, Express surcharge is 2,830yen. to Aomori from Ueno, it costs 3,150yen.
This is the best room in this train. The bed size is 196 cm X 80 cm. (Length/Width). This compartment has a small desk, a sink, TV (usually 2 video programs) and a power outlet. The desk is so small. It is even hard to use a mini notebook. There is no room that has a washroom or shower in the room in this train.

This room has a upper berth. If you want to use for 2 persons, extra charge for the second person is 9,540yen. And the lower berth can be converted to the sofa.

Isle Overnight train Akebono

Single use Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono

Amenities Overnight train Akebono

Converted to sofa Overnight train Akebono

Twin use Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono

Solo

Additional fare 8,610yen to 9,450yen (Express surcharge 2,310yen to 3,150yen + Accommodation charge 6,300yen)
*If you take the train from Ueno to Akita, Express surcharge is 2,830yen. to Aomori from Ueno, it costs 3,150yen.
This is the basic type of single room. These rooms are located lower and upper level. The room height is so tight. You cannot stand up at the lower compartment. You may be able to stand up at the stair in the upper compartment. The upper compartment has a huge glass window above the bed. You may enjoy to see the stars when weather is clear. This room has a small table and mirror. it does not have any sink and power outlet. You cannot charge any batteries.

Exterior Overnight train Akebono

Isle Overnight train Akebono

Lower compartment Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono

Upper compartment Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono

Desk Overnight train Akebono

Type B compartment

Additional fare 8,610yen to 9,450yen (Express surcharge 2,310yen to 3,150yen + Accommodation charge 6,300yen)
*If you take the train from Ueno to Akita, Express surcharge is 2,830yen. to Aomori from Ueno, it costs 3,150yen.
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 Akebono Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono

Goron-to-seat

No extra charge
The size of bed is the exactly same as type B compartment. But you don’t need to pay any extra charge. So this one has the biggest deal in this train.

Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono

Other facilities

This train does not have any public space. When you eat and drink, you have to stay your compartment or seat. And there is no shared shower space in the train either.
I show some images of the washrooms. This train has both Japanese style and western style.

Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono Overnight train Akebono

Train formation

123456789101112
LGBBBB1B1A1GBBBB

*LG=Goron-to-seat (reserved seat) for women B=Sleeper class B1=Basic compartment sleeper class A1=Deluxe compartment sleeper class G=Goron-to-seat (reserved seat)
Smoking is not allowed on this train.

Timetable

StationUeno to AomoriAomori to Ueno
Ueno (上野)21:156:58
Omiya (大宮)21:406:29
Takasaki (高崎)22:485:12
Niitsu (新津駅)1:34
Shibata (新発田)1:07
Murakami (村上)3:190:38
Atsumi-Onsen (あつみ温泉)4:0723:53
Tsuruoka (鶴岡)4:3423:28
Amarume (余目)4:5123:12
Sakata (酒田)5:0423:01
Yuza (遊佐)5:1722:48
Kisakata (象潟)5:4022:25
Nikaho (仁賀保)5:5122:14
Ugo-Honjo (羽後本荘)6:0622:01
Akita (秋田)6:4521:23
Hachirogata (八郎潟)7:1420:55
Moritake (森岳)7:3620:39
Higashi-Noshiro (東能代)7:4820:29
Futatsui (二ツ井)8:0620:13
Takanosu (鷹ノ巣)8:1820:02
Odate (大館)8:3519:45
Ikarigaseki (碇ヶ関)8:5719:23
Owani-Onsen (大鰐温泉)9:0519:14
Hirosaki (弘前)9:1719:05
Shin-Aomori (新青森)9:4818:35
Aomori (青森)9:5618:25


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30 thoughts on “Overnight transfer to Aomori/Akita from Tokyo, No extra charge on Japan Rail Pass! Overnight limited express Akebomo”

  1. Dear Takeshi-san,

    I read here that Akebono has stopped, why does it still appear as option from Niigata (Niitsu) to Tokyo Ueno for the night May 3rd when I search the train timetable?
    Is there any other way from Niigata-ken (with Transfer inbetween) to have a Train overnight back to Tokyo (from 3rd may to 4th)? Or do I have to search for a bus?

    Thank you for your Kind reply

    1. Hi Isen san,

      Akebono will run on that day. Akebono now runs as seasonal train. May 3 will be one of the day in golden week.
      However this train will not have any common seats. It’s not an economical way to get Ueno from Niitsu. Moonlight Echigo will run on that day too.
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/overnight-trains/rapid-train-moonlight-echigo.html

      This train will be very busy and hard to book it. I’m not familiar with the bus. But I believe there are lots of overnight bus service between Niigata and Tokyo. These bus services will be very busy too because of golden week.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. Hi,

    I’m intending to take the Akebono on 14 March 2014. I just saw that it is the last train. I’ll still be able to board the train from Ueno to Aomori on 14 March night, right? Is it advisable to change to Resort Shirakami in the middle? Because of the season now, I do not know if it is worth taking a longer time to reach Aomori or is time better well spend to explore Aomori?

      1. Ohh.. In that case, how should I travel to Akita from Tokyo if I’m not able to travel on Akebono? I was planning to travel while sleeping.. I’m holding a rail pass by the way.

        1. Hi Helen,

          Unfortunately there is no way to get Akita by overnight train. You can take Akita Shinkansen if you use JR pass with no extra cost. You have two choices.
          1) Stay in Tokyo and take the first Akita Shikansen to get Akita.
          2) Take the last Akita Shinkansen to get Akita and stay in Akita.
          You will find the timetable of Akita Shinkansen at the following link:
          http://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/english/wb/common/timetable/index.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Hi, I read this train will be discontinued this March, is that right?
    Are these overnight trains expensive to operate? or do they have to pay bigger salaries to the people to operated them -because is night shift-? if not, what is the reason behind these cancelations?
    If it is because of low demand they should also get cancelled most of the kodama shinkansen; with almost nobody inside (with only a few exceptions).

    Anyway thanks for your website, is REALLY informative, especially for us who can’t read nihongo…

    PS: I really hope they won’t cancel Hamanasu in the near future

    1. Hi Mauro,

      Yes. This train, Akebono will be discontinued in this coming March. There are several reasons.

      1. Low demand
      2. Old fleet
      3. Night shift staff

      All reasons are that you think.
      When I took this train in last Feb, B berth was almost empty. Only Gorontos were full. As you said, Kodama carries always just air. But Shinkansen is very special. There are lots of political issue. If they just think demand, they needed to open station in major cities only, like, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka. But lots of politicians were involved. That’s why some of Shinkansen stations are located at inconvenient place.

      Second, the fleet, 24 series, are more than 30 years old. If JR continue Akebono service, they have to introduce new fleet. But JR doesn’t want because of low demand.

      At last, actually it’s not operator and conductor. It is other side, station staff. If overnight trains don’t run, JR can close station from last train to the first train completely.

      I love overnight trains. But according to major news papers, other overnight trains that go to Hokkaido, Hokutosei, Cassiopeia and Twilight Express are expected to discontinue before Hokkaido Shinkansen open in 2015. Nobody talked about Hamanasu. But the fleet is quite old too. I think it will be discontinued sooner or later.

      Probably only Sunrise Seto and Izumo will be only scheduled overnight train in near future.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Thanks. I’d like to ride the Akebono to Aomori with my husband and child. Based upon when our flight gets in, we will not be able to ride the one to Sapporo, but we can definitely take the late night Akebono.

        We will have JR pass. Is it easy to reserve seats in late June? In your article, you mentioned that this would be an alternative to Cassiopeia or Hokutosei. I guess if we can’t take this, we will stay overnight in Tokyo and ride the regular trains up.

        Thanks.

        1. Sorry! I think you just answered similar post. I guess it’s not likely we will get the Goronto seat.

          We arrive at Narita around 3:30pm. So there is airport access to content with.

          I tried to use hyperdia to figure out schedule but can’t seem to get the choice route that you state. What parameters do I need to put in to narrow down to a specific train and route? Thanks!

          1. Hi Lydia,

            Actually I’m going to Japan tomorrow. I will be Narita around 16:00. So it will be very similar to your itinerary.

            After I arrive at Narita, I exchange my pass, get tickets that I’ve already reserved and make a booking for Akebono. I don’t think I can get Goronto but I will try it. My second choice is B solo. It is very small compartment. But it is the cheapest compartment and has privacy. It costs 9130 yen to Akita from Ueno. If I still cannot make it, I will take B berth. It is very basic berth and same price as B solo. There is only drapes and minimum privacy.

            If you will be okay with B berth, you will get it. Everybody wants to get B solo. So B berth is the most unpopular berth/compartment on Akebono.

            Anyway, I will feed back from my trip and share my experience soon. I will post it on this site. But I share the experience on Facebook page first. You will see how it would goes. I hope you will get some ideas from it.

            Please wait for another couple of days.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. I want to take this train from Ueno to Aomori May 24th, we want 2 seats, don’t have to be together, and we want the goron to shito because we have the JR rail pass. However we will only be able to reserve our seats when we arrive may 24th at 10:00am. Do you think this is an option? If not what do you recommend we take, we would prefer a night transport but we will take absolutely anything (as long as it is not too expensive like a plane) to get there!

    1. Hi Goe, (or Jo?)

      I have received same question from you and Jo. I think it’s same person. Anyway, I reply to this question from Goe.
      It will be very tiny chance to get a seat. Goron to seat is very popular because of affordable price. Sometimes it is sold our right after booking started. So don’t be optimistic. You need to have an option in case of sold out.

      If you are going to Hokkaido, I recommend you to take Tohoku Shinkansen and Hamanasu.

      Ueno 19:02 (Shinkansen Hayate 39) 22:24 Shin-Aomori 22:33 (Local train) 22:39 Aomori 22:42 (Hamanasu) 06:07 Sapporo

      See the details about Hamanasu.

      Hamanasu is very popular train but it has some non reserved seats too. In the worst case, you can go for this train without booking. However I recommend you to take one more earlier Shinkansen (18:02 dep from Ueno) because of too short transfer time at Aomori. Otherwise you may not be able to get any seat on Hamanasu.

      If you just want to go to Aomori, there is no overnight trains option. You need to take Shinkansen and book your hotel in Aomori. You may find other accommodation on Akebono, like type B berth. However, hotel rate is cheaper than type B berth.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. I want to take this train from Ueno to Aomori May 24th, we want 2 seats, don’t have to be together, and we want the goron to shito because we have the JR rail pass. However we will only be able to reserve our seats when we arrive may 24th at 10:00am. Do you think this is an option? If not what do you recommend we take, we would prefer a night transport but we will take absolutely anything (as long as it is not too expensive like a plane) to get there!

  6. Hello

    I plan on going to Sapporo from Kyoto by using JR Rail Pass on 29 of December 2011.
    When I search web Hyperdia, all I have is that I have to linger in Tokyo station from 23 pm to 6am and I don’t want that but I don’t want to pay extra fee too. Can this Akebomo solve my problem? Do you have any suggested routes from Kyoto to Sapporo using Akebomo?

    Thank you for your reply

    1. Hi Song,
      Have you read one of my post, How to get Sapporo?
      I showed several ways to get there from Tokyo. If you want to get there from Kyoto, get Tokyo by Shinkansen first. And then you can take one of those ways in the post that you want.
      We have two night trains to Sapporo from Osaka/Kyoto, Nihonkai (Osaka-Aomori) and Twilight Express. (Osaka-Sapporo). But you probably know, you need to pay extra by Japan Rail Pass to take these trains.
      So Akebono and Hamanasu are the best way.
      But December 29 will be one of the busiest days in the year. Once you arrive Japan, try to reserve your seat ASAP.
      Takeshi / JP Railf

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