Sunrise Seto train guide and timetable: Overnight sleeper train runs between Tokyo and Osaka, Takamatsu, fully covered by the JR Pass

sunrise seto takamatsu stationKobe, Himeji

Sunrise Seto is an overnight train that runs between Tokyo and Takamatsu in Shikoku. This train is coupled with Sunrise Izumo between Tokyo and Okayama. This train depart late night and arrive early morning. It helps you to save your travel time and an accommodation cost.

This train has many kinds of accommodations. One of these is called “Nobi Nobi Seat” which is not a seat but like carpet section. This Nobi Nobi Seat is fully covered by JR pass. This is not a regular berth and the floor is a bit hard. But you can lie on the space and it is much more comfortable than sleeping on a seat. And you have minimum privacy because there is a small partition between the sections.

But some of Japan Rail Pass users want to take a bedroom or another choice even though additional will be charged.

In this post, I will explain you about Sunrise Seto with lots of photos.

Timetable and route

First of all, I show you the route and timetable.

Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto operation route map (click to view large)
Stationto Takamatsu
Stationto Tokyo

As you see the timetable, you can use this train from Osaka to Tokyo as an overnight train. On the other hand, the train from Tokyo does not stop at Osaka. If you want to get on this train from Tokyo as a overnight train for Osaka, you have to get off this train at Himeji and then take a rapid train to Osaka.

As of August 5th, 2020, the timetable is the following:

Tokyo 22:00 (Sunrise Izumo or Sunrise Seto) 5:25 Himeji
Himeji 5:45 (Special Rapid train) 6:48 Osaka

The Sanyo Shinkansen runs between Himeji and Shin-Osaka and the Shinkansen train is usually faster. But it is too early to catch the Shinkansen train. The Special Rapid is the fastest way to get to Osaka. The Special Rapid is a sort of a commuter train but it is not crowded because it is very early morning.

If you take this train between Tokyo and Okayama, you can take Sunrise Izumo too.

How to reserve this train

You can book a seat online if you buy the JR Pass on the official site.

If you understand Japanese, you can book a seat at JR East online reservation Eki-net (えきねっと) and JR West e5489. But these website are available only in Japanese. You must register before using these online reservation in Japanese. JR Pass users can also book a seat on Eki net, but this is not an official method. It may not cover the JR Pass, so please use at your own risk. The e5489 does not cover the JR pass. These online methods are basically for non JR pass users.

Otherwise you have to book it at the ticket office in Japan.

Book a space on Nobi Nobi seat on JR Pass online reservation site

The Japan Rail Pass new reservation site was launched on June 1st, 2020. If you buy the JR Pass on this site, you can book a space on Nobi Nobi seat in this site. You cannot book a space on other compartmens unformately. But you can secure a space on Nobi Nobi seat at the time of booking. And if you want to change to other compartment, you can try to book a space on other compartment when you exchange a pass after arrival in Japan. In the worst case, you have a space on Nobi Nobi seat so you can’t miss a train.

You must accept the higher price of JR Pass on JR Pass official site. But this is only way to book a space online before you go to Japan.

Please see the link below to find more information:

If you buy the JR pass at the travel agent or other official vendor’s online site, you cannot book a space online. You must book a space after arrival and that means it may be booked out when you will get to Japan.

How to book a space on Surinse Seto at a ticket window

If you do not use JR Pass or you do not want to buy the JR Pass online, you have to book at the reservation window that is called Midori no Madoguchi. Please find more information about booking at the link below:

If you plan to use this train, you have to consider the risk of booked out. If you do not want to have any risks, do not plan riding on this train. It is very hard to find how busy this train is. This train is sometimes booked out in even weekdays of the shoulder season. You must prepare a back up plan in case of booked out.

Can I ask someone in Japan to book a space on this train for me?

If you have a friend or someone whom you can ask, you can ask him/her to book a seat for you. The booking is open at 10:00 am one month before a travel day.

If you travel on August 10th, the booking is open at 10:00 am July 10th.

He/She must go to a reservation window in most major JR stations to book it. He/She cannot do it online.

If you use the JR pass, you cannot use this method because when he/she book a seat at the ticket window, he/she has to pay and buy a ticket. The copy of the JR Pass exchange order and a copy of your passport are not accepted. The JR Pass will not be valid until you arrive in Japan and exchange it for yourself.

If you plan to use the JR Pass and really want to secure a space before you go, buy the JR Pass at the higher price online.

This method only works if you are traveling at a regular fare.

How to make a back up plan

If you will not use the JR Pass and you have no one ask to book a seat for you in Japan, you must try to book a space after you arrive in Japan.

First of all, you must have a few days between an arrival date and a travel date on Sunrise Izumo. It is too risky to take this train on the arrival day.

Please search the hotel in your departure place of the travel on Sunrise. And try to find the hotel which allows you to cancel before two days without any cancellation fees.

Right after you arrive in Japan, try to book a space on Sunrise Izumo. If you can make it, just cancel the hotel. If you cannot make it, stay overnight in the hotel and travel on next day.

If you plan to take this train from Osaka to Tokyo on November 10th, book a hotel in either Tokyo or Osaka for November 9th, one night. Please remember that Sunrise Izumo leaves Osaka after midnight. The date when you get on the train is one day after the hotel check-in date.
If you book a hotel in Tokyo and you cannot book a space on Sunrise Izumo, take the last Shinkansen to Tokyo from Shin-Osaka and overnight in Tokyo. If you book a hotel and you cannot make it, stay overnight in Osaka and take the earliest Shinkansen on next day.

In my experience, I could make it 4 times and could not make it only once. But I have never traveled in the peak season.


You find the interior of this train in my trip report in the movie below:

As I mentioned above, a JR Pass user can take a reserved seat that is called Nobi Nobi seat without any extra. But you have to pay accommodation fee and surcharge if you take other accommodation. Please see the below to see the details of all types of accommodation and extra charge.

Nobi Nobi seat

No extra charge on top of JR Pass

This is only choice which is covered by JR pass fully. It is not a compartment but it is like a berth. The space is 190 cm length and 80 cm width. You can lie on the space and it is much more comfortable than the seat. But it is very hard to reserve this seat since this is most affordable choice in this train. Of course you must try to book right after you arrive in Japan.

There are upper section and lower section. In my opinion, upper section is bette choice.
There is a small partation (about 50cm) between the spaces. But there is no curtains between the spaces. You cannot get 100% privacy. Beside the window, a small plactic cup is on the cup holder. No power outlet is equipped.
It is just a carpet. You may feel that is hard to sleep. If you bring a small mattress (such as a camping thin air mattress), you can sleep much more easily.
A small blanket and a small pillow cover are included. It does not include a pillow. You have to prepare something to use as a pillow.

Single Deluxe

Express surcharge and compartment fee are required on top of JR Pass.

This is the best room in this train. The bed size is 196 cm length and 85 cm width. These rooms are located in the upper deck in the double decker car. So you will have a better view than the other class. The desk, chair and sink are equipped in the room. There is no rooms that has a washroom or shower in the compartment of this train. But the shower room is in the same car. The shower card is included in Single Deluxe compartment fee. I will explain you about the shower room later in this post.

There are only six rooms available in Sunrise Izumo. This is most expensive room but this is very popular and it is very hard to book.

Overview of the compartment
The window is a big and you can cover this by the blind.
A small desk, small sink and a chair are in the compartment.
Night wear is included. The window is closed by the blind.
A power outlet is equpped beside the sink.
The large desk is equpped in this compartment.
Many items are offered for Single Deluxe passenger.


Express surcharge and compartment fee are required on top of JR Pass.

This is most common comparment of Sunrise Izumo. All compartments are located in the bi-level car. The bed size is 196 cm length and 70 cm width. Since the compartment is in the bi-level car, the height is about 180 cm. It is a bit tight for a tall passenger.

The isle of Single rooms car. At the left side of the phoso is stairs to the lower area.
Upper compartment. A blanket and nightwear are included.
Upper compartment. The power outlet is equipped in the compartment.
Lower compartment
Lower compartment


Express surcharge and compartment fee are required on top of JR Pass.

This is another type of the single compartment. The bed size is 196 cm length x 70 cm width. But the width is 56cm in some part of the bed. This compartment is located in the single level car. But there are compartments in upper and lower area. The height is very limited. The space where you can stand up is very limited in the upper level. In the compartment at the lower level, you cannot stand up. The space is much smaller than Single. In my opinion, Single is more recommended.

Upper compartment. Blanket and nightwear are included. You have to put your luggage on these stairs and there is a small space above the stairs. You cannot bring a full size suitcase in this comparment.
The stairs to the bed in the upper compartment. You can stand up on these stairs area only. When you leave the compartment, you can input four digit number to lock the door. You can input same four digit number to unlock. Of course you can lock the door from the inside. All compartments have same lock system.
The bed in the upper compartment. The power outlet is located beside the bed.
The bed in the lower compartment. You have to put your luggage between the bed and the door. It is very limited. And you cannot stand up in the lower compartment.
The stairs to upper compartment is streached out in the lower compartmnet. The power outlet is available beside the door.

Single Twin

Express surcharge and compartment fee are required on top of JR Pass.

This room can be used as a single room or a twin room. The bed size is 196 cm length and 70 cm width. The floor space of this room is almost same as Single. The upper berth is for the second pessenger. The bed is a bit smaller than the lower berth. The lower berth can be converted to a seat.

This is most affordable compartment for two travelers.

The stairs to the upper berth
There are windows at upper and lower berths.

Sunrise Twin

Express surcharge and compartment fee are required on top of JR Pass.

This room is the standard twin room. The bed size is 196 cm length and 75 cm width. This size bed are side by side in the compartment. The space is much bigger than Single Twin. This rooms are located at the lower level in the bi-level car.

Only four compartments are available. It is very hard to book. Usually is is booked out right after a reservation is open.

Sunrise Twin interior
Small luggage space beside the door

Lounge space

The lounge space is located at car #3 and #10.

This small lounge space is open public. There are eight stools.
This is a good space to eat and drink.
The vending machine is available in the lounge space. Only cold soft drink is available.

Shower room

Shower room is located at car #3 and #10. You have to buy a shower card at the vending machine in car #3 and #10. It is slod at 320 yen for 6 minutes. But the number of the card is limited because of the water supply.

If you stay in Single Deluxe, you may use the shower room at car #4 and #11. These shower rooms are located at same cars as Single Deluxe compartments. And these shower room at car #4 and #11 are available exclusively for Single Deluxe passengers only. Other passengers must use the shower room at car #3 and #10.

The way of using the shower room is same at all shower spaces. Single Deluxe includes small towel. But other compartments and Nobi Nobi seat passengers cannot get any towels in the train. If you intend using shower room, you must prepare some towels. The shampoo and soap are available in the shower room.

Changing space of the shower room. You can insert the shower card in the light blue color slot. You get 6 minutes when you intert the card. There are instructions beside the slot. It explains you how to use the shower room.
It is inside of the shower room. You may find red color digital numbers in the photo. You will see 6:00 when you go in this room. Once you start using the shower, the timer starts to count down. But if you stop using the shower, the time stops. So when you wash your hair and body, you can stop the shower to save your time. But you cannot split the time. Once you exit the shower space (means going out from the changing space), you will lose your time even if you still have time.


It is available in all cars. But in the morning, this space is busy.

You can brush your teeth here.
There are western style and Japanese style washrooms.

Train formation

Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto are coupled between Tokyo and Okayama.

Click to view large

The train from Tokyo, car #1 to #7 is Sunrise Seto and #8 to #14 is Sunrise Izumo. The train to Tokyo, car #1 to #7 is Sunrise Izumo and #8 to #14 is Sunrise Seto.

Fare and accommodation fee

As I mentioned, JR Pass covers Nobi Nobi Seat fully. But you have to add some more extra on top of the pass if you want to book a compartment.

How to calculate the fare

Three kind of fares are required to take this train.

Ticket, Pass / FareBase fareLimited express surchargeAccommodation fee
Nobi Nobi seat
by the JR Pass
by the JR pass
Nobi Nobi seat
by a regular ticket
RequiredRequiredNot required
by a regular ticket

Nobi Nobi seat is a sort of a regular reserved seat. It does not require any accommodation fees.

Base fare

Departure / Arrival stationTokyoYokohama
Osaka8,910 yen8,580 yen
Sannomiya9,640 yen9,130 yen
Himeji10,010 yen9,790 yen
Okayama10,670 yen10,340 yen
Kojima11,000 yen10,670 yen
Sakaide11,150 yen10,820 yen
Takamatsu11,540 yen11,210 yen

A limited express surcharge

If you want to use a compartment by the JR Pass, you must add this surcharge on top of the accommodation fee on top of the JR pass. If you use the JR pass to take Nobi Nobi Seat, this fee is not required.

If you use a regular ticket and book a compartment, you have to pay this surcharge on top of the base fare and the accommodation fee. If you use a regular ticket and use Nobi Nobi seat, you have to pay base fare, this limited express surcharge and add 530 yen.

Departure / Arrival stationTokyo, Yokohama
Osaka, Sannomiya2,960 yen
Himeji, Okayama, Kojima, Sakaide, Takamatsu3,300 yen

Accommodation fee

This fee is required if you want to use a compartment. All accommodation fee is per room.

Single Deluxe13,980 yen
Single Twin (single use)9,600 yen
Single Twin (twin use)15,100 yen
Single7,700 yen
Solo6,600 yen
Sunrise Twin15,400 yen

Only one adult passenger is allowed in each compartment other than Single Twin and Sunrise Twin.

How to calculate child passenger cost

If you travel with a child who is 5 years old under and share your space with a child, it is free of charge.

If you travel with a child who is 6 to 11 years old and share your space with a child, it is not free of charge for a child. A child passenger requires half amount of the limited express surcharge and half amount of the base fare. If you use the JR Pass, this age range of child required JR Pass child. The JR Pass child covers all. If you use Nobi Nobi seat, a child passenger can take own space by the JR Pass child or half amount of the limited express surcharge and half amount of the base fare.

Preparation before boarding

I would like to share a few tip for your trip on this train. Especially if you take Nobi Nobi Seat, please read the following tips.

You should bring something to eat and drink.

This train does not have any dining services and on board sales. There is a soft drink vending machine only. Please buy something to eat and drink before boarding. You may drink and eat anywhere. You may drink beer, wine, whatever. There is no restrictions. But do not have a party.

Is this train okay to travel with a small child?

If you share your space with child who is 5 years old or younger, it is free of charge. You can share a young child in even Nobi Nobi seat. I have seen a mother and a young child to share one spot of Nobi Nobi seat a few times. However if you ride this train with baby, I recommend you to stay in the compartment. If you stay in Nobi Nobi seat with a baby, both you and other passengers may be stressful because a baby may cry.

Is Nobi Nobi Seat safe for woman traveling alone?

In my experience, a female solo traveler can ride on Nobi Nobi Seat. I have seen many female solo travelers in Nobi Nobi seat. Of course most of travelers are male. But I have seen many types of travelers in Nobi Nobi Seat, like senior couples, a mother and a small child, and some female travelers.

There is no privacy but if you are okay with it, you can get on Nobi Nobi Seat.

Does this train offer Wi-Fi and power outlet?

This train does not offer any Wi-Fi service. If you want connection, please bring a mobile router or slot a SIM card into your phone. Please find more informaion in the post below:

All compartments equip a power outlet. But Nobi Nobi Seat does not have any power outlets. You should bring a mobile battery.


We have lots of restrictions to take this train. Especially a booking may be an issue fr you. But this train is only scheduled overnight train in Japan now. You can save your time and save your cost of the accommodation. You may take this train from Osaka to Tokyo. I believe that Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto offer very memorable ride.

I hope this post encourages you to take this train and enjoy your the ride.


  1. Maru says:

    Ohaiyo Takeshi-san

    If i wan to take the Sunrise Seto frm Tokyo-Takamatsu in Feb’19, the chance of getting a seat on the same day i touch down is low right?

    I know for nobi nobi seats, probably the chance of getting one is like almost near to zero, but what about Solo/Single? Would the chance of getting one be higher?

    Arrigato Gozaimasu!

    • Hello Maru san,

      It’s very hard question. When I tried to book for Sunrise Izumo in February, 2016, all Solo and Single were booked out for Tokyo to Kurashiki. At that time, there were lots of spaces available on Nobi Nobi. But I wanted to book for Solo or Single. I tried to book for Sunrise Seto, Tokyo to Okayama, I could make it. But most of compartments were booked.

      So sometimes, it’s easier to book for Nobi Nobi than compartments. However I have seen that Nobi Nobi were booked out many times. If you try to book for Sunrise Seto, Tokyo to Takayama and will not make it, you can try to get a space on Sunrise Izumo for Tokyo to Okayama. You may be able to make it.


      Takeshi /

      • Maru says:

        Thanks Takeshi-san

        Guess the only way is to get my japan counterpart for help. Since i wont be using JRpass, maybe i should ask them to get the tickets (nobi-nobi/solo) for me in advance then. Since i read that there’s no name printed on the tickets and not using JRPass, they can get one for me, that would be the best way.

        Worse come the worse, i take the shinkansen to Shizuoka and then try to find a internet cafe to put me up for the night before the 1st shinkansen in the morning 🙂

        Hontoni Arrigato-gozaimasushita!

  2. Amarjit Sandhu says:

    Hello Takeshi:
    Thanks for your past help. I have another quite detailed question. I will be using 7 Day JR Pass and want to try as many different Shinkansen types as I can between Tokyo and Nagasaki (eg. N700, E types, W7 and 800 Series). I have done quite a bit of research on this. I would really like to ride on the 800 Series. I think this is only on the JR Kyushu company. I can ride on this line from Shin-Tosu to Hakata, either on Tsubame or Sakura. It seems the 800 Series is usually the Tsubame service … but is that for sure and always the case? Thank you.

    • Hi Amarjit,

      Most of Tsubame are operated by 800 series. But some of them are by N700. Sakura is usually by N700. So try to take Tsubame and avoid to take Sakura. This makes be the chance maximize.


      Takeshi /

  3. Wfw says:

    May I call to reserve a seat for solo or single room and pay by credit card on the phone?

    • Hi Wfw,

      Unfortunately you cannot. You need to be at the window in the station.


      Takeshi /

      • Wfw says:

        May I ask if there still have reservations available for any single, double / solo room can seat 4 people on april10 .2018 from Osaka to Tokyo ? If u do , I can ask my friend buy ticket for me at the station .
        Thank you

        • Hi Wfw,

          I cannot say that. There is no ways to find the availability online. You or someone have to check it at the station. Please ask your friend to find it.


          Takeshi /

  4. Amarjit Sandhu says:

    Hello Takeshi:
    I plan to take Sunrise Seto on April 12 from Tokyo to Takamatsu using a JR Pass. I would like to try the nobinobi seat but for my adult daughter it might be uncomfortable so I will probably get her the single compartment and pay extra fee. Plus we have a full day of sightseeing so we need to be rested.
    My question is about reservations. My nephew lives in Tokyo. Would it be possible for him to reserve the seating for us in our names in advance of our arrival. That way we are sure that seats will be booked. Would he have to pay at the time of reservation and can we get the refund when we arrive in Tokyo and obtain our JR Pass.
    Thank you.

    • Hi AS,

      You may ask your nephew to book if you want single compartment. When you ask him, make sure that he will purchase only compartment ticket. Base fare will be covered by JR pass. He can buy only compartment ticket. This portion is not covered by JR pass anyway. You just pass your money to your nephew. And also in Japan, there is no names on the ticket. So anyone can use it.

      If you use Nobi Nobi, you need to book it by yourself.


      Takeshi /

      • Amarjit Sandhu says:

        Thanks for that information … it is helpful. We will arrive on April 8 and I will get the JR Pass on same day and try to make a nobi nobi reservation for April 12. What in your opinion is the chance that I will get the reservation.

        • Hi AS,

          It’s hard to say. Whenever I book for Nobi Nobi by JR pass, I prepare back up plan. I have never been optimistic to book for Nobi Nobi. It’s sometimes full even on weekdays.


          Takeshi /

  5. Yuriy Evdokimov says:

    Hi! I don’t understand well – can I board this train at Okayama to take an overnight trip to Tokyo? Should I reserve Sunrise Seto or Sunrise Izumo? And say please, 5may is Hi Season?

  6. CY says:


    I am planning to ride on the Sunrise Seto/Izumo line to Himeji on May 24, 2018 right after I arrive in Tokyo on the same day. Can you please tell me whether it will be low, shoulder or high travel season for the Sunrise line at that time? Since I cannot reserve my seats for the Sunrise line until I arrive in Tokyo on May 24, I wonder about my chance to ride the train. Thank you!


    • Hi CY,

      It will be shoulder season. But it’s very hard to find how busy this train will be. If it’s sold out even in shoulder season, I’m not surprised.


      Takeshi /

      • CY says:

        Thank you so much Takeshi. Can you also tell me if some of the accommodation units (specifically the Sunrise Twin, Single Twin, Solo and Single classes) are designated as non-smoking?


        • Hi CY,

          Smoking is allowed in some compartments in car #4 and #11. And also it’s allowed in all compartment on car #6 and #13.
          Smoking is not allowed in other areas and compartments which includes Nobi Nobi seat.


          Takeshi /

  7. KD says:

    Hi. I want to try experience the sunrise izumo/seto but i cant fit it in my travel route. So i was thinking is it possible for me to ride the train from tokyo to yokohama only?

    • Hi KD,

      Yes, you can. If you use JR pass and try Nobi Nobi seat, it’s fully covered. But if you use other compartment, such as Solo, Single, you have to pay full amount of compartment fee.


      Takeshi /

  8. Tania Leung says:

    If I would like to book the Sunrise Seto 12/26 pm from Himeji to tokyo for the Nobi Nobi seats while in the US. Which jr station can I call to reserve and pay for the ticket, and when I get to japan get a refund on it to activate the reservation with my JR pass? Is the cancellation fee still 300-500 yen per a ticket? And would they truly allow this cancellation and rebook it with JR pass?

    • Hi Tania,

      Unfortunately there is no ways to book this train on the phone and any other ways from outside Japan now. You need to book it after you arrive in Japan. But it may be sold out.


      Takeshi /

  9. Stephanie Stephanie says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    I understand that passengers are able to secure a ticket a month in advance. Since train from Osaka to Tokyo leave at 00:34, what is the earliest date I will be able to purchase the ticket if I want to travel on 28th October? Will I be able to buy the ticket from Kyoto Station?

    Thank you for your kind response

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Are you traveling on December 28th or October 28th?
      If Dec 28, you can purchase it Nov 28th. If Oct 28, you can purchase it Sep 28. But please remember that train depart from the original station, Takamatsu on Dec 27. Because you will take train at Osaka after midnight. The ticket is on sale on Nov 27.
      You can purchase and book at Kyoto station. Most of JR stations have reservation window which is called “midori no madoguchi” in Kansai area.


      Takeshi /

  10. Stephanie Hadi says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    I would like to take the JR Seto from Osaka to Tokyo (using the Single class ticket) on 28th Dec. Is it possible to buy the ticket in Kyoto Station? Since the train leave Osaka station at 00:34, what is the earliest date to secure the ticket (28th or 29th?)

    Thank you for your assistance

    • Hi Stephanie,

      You can book and purchase a ticket at most of JR stations. Of course you can purchase it at Kyoto station.
      Ticket is on sale at 10:00 am on one month prior to departure date. If you take this train at Osaka at 00:34 on Dec 29, ticket is on sale on Nov 28 because train originally depart on Dec 28.

      I highly recommend you to book and purchase as soon as possible. It will be busy day.


      Takeshi /

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