Japan Railways have operated many overnight trains before. But in these days, many of those overnight train services were discontinued. Now the choice is very limited.
The list of overnight trains
Japan Rail Pass does not cover any accommodation fee for overnight trains. Most of overnight trains have berth and bedroom. So if you want to take this train, you have to pay extra for this accommodation on top of JR Pass. But these following trains have an accommodation that you can take by Japan Rail Pass without any extra charge. Please find more details on each page of trains.
Limited Express Sunrise Seto and Sunrise Izumo
“Seto” runs between Tokyo and Takamatsu and “Izumo” runs between Tokyo and Izumoshi. These trains run as coupled between Tokyo and Okayama. Those trains offer Nobi Nobi seat which is very simple berth. This Nobi Nobi seat is covered by JR pass fully. Please see the links below to learn more:
Overnight train to/from Tokyo and Takamatsu via Okayama, Sunrise Seto. JR Pass user can take with no extra charge!
Overnight train to/from Tokyo and Izumoshi via Okayama, Sunrise Izumo. JR Pass user can take with no extra charge!
Rapid Moonlight Nagara
This train is operated as a seasonal train. It usually runs in spring break, summer break and winter break. These periods are mostly same as Seishun 18 Kippu sales period.
Seishun 18 kippu, Unlimilited ride deal of local and rapid trains on all JR lines
Therefore the train is mostly packed by Seishun 18 Kippu holders. Please see the link below to find more information about Moonlight Nagara.
Save money and time to go to Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka from Tokyo by train. Overnight rapid train Moonlight Nagara
Rapid Moonlight Shinshu 81
This is another seasonal train. It usually runs in same period as Moonlight Nagara. But in most of season, the number of trips is smaller than Moonlight Nagara. This train runs from Shinjuku to Matsumoto. There is no trains to Shinjuku from Matsumoto.
Reservation for overnight train
Actually this is a big issue. There is no online booking available. You have to book a seat after you arrive in Japan. That means you may not be able to get a space. You must have a back up plan if you use overnight train in your trip plan.
Need your advice, i bought return ticket 28 oct 2016 – 6 nov 2016 from indonesia to osaka kansai airport. we plan to go to kyoto, tokyo, shirakawago, fujiQ highland and back to kansai airport at 6 nov.
how can i use the 7 days JR pass to the maximum because i’ll be in japan for more than 7 days.
is JR pass covers a direct train from tokyo to kansai airport?
Thank you so much for the help.
I think you will stay in Kyoto for the first few days. If you start using JR Pass when you leave Kyoto, 7 days pass covers the rest of your trip. Is it correct. As long as you use the pass for Kyoto-Tokyo, Tokyo-KIX, it will work.
There is no direct trains to KIX from Tokyo. But you can take Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka and airport access express “Haruka” from Shin-Osaka to KIX.
You can take Haruka when you go to Kyoto from KIX. You can purchase a discount deal.
Takeshi / JPRail.com
Hello Takeshi San!:)
Your posts are interesting and very helpful!
I have a question, if I want to take a night trip from Osaka to Tokyo to save on accommodation expense, can I take the Limited Express “Twilight Express” (runs between Osaka and Sapporo)?
Unfortunately Twilight Express was discontinued. Only Sunrise Seto/Izumo run on this segment now.
Takeshi / JPRail.com
I am reading your posts and I find them very useful. Still, I have some questions. I will be in Japan from 21 to 28 September and I will be traveling from Osaka airport to Kyoto, then Kobe, Yamaguchi and finally to Nagasaki, form where I fly back to Europe. I am wondering if buying a JR Pass would be cheaper than paying all these tickets individually. I hope you can share some of your opinions.
Your total fares may be slightly cheaper than JR pass 7 days in my rough calculation. If you want to save your cost as much as you can, single ticket will be cheaper. But if you want convenience, JR pass may be better choice.
Takehsi / JPRail.com
thank you very much for your quick and very useful answer.
No worries, Natasa.
Takeshi / JPRail.com