sunrise seto takamatsu station

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

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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
Tokyo22:00
Yokohama22:24
Atami23:23
Numazu23:40
Fuji23:54
Shizuoka0:20
Hamamatsu1:12
Osaka
Sannomiya
Himeji5:25
Okayama6:27
Kojima6:52
Sakaide7:09
Takamatsu7:27
Stationto Tokyo
Takamatsu21:26
Sakaide21:44
Kojima22:01
Okayama22:34
Himeji23:55
Sannomiya0:13
Osaka0:34
Hamamatsu
Shizuoka4:38
Fuji5:09
Numazu5:26
Atami5:43
Yokohama6:44
Tokyo7:08

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.

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.

e.g.
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.

e.g.
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.

Accommodations

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.

Single

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

Solo

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.

Bathroom

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 culculate 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
CoveredCoveredCovered
Compartment
by the JR pass
CoveredRequiredRequired
Nobi Nobi seat
by a regular ticket
RequiredRequiredNot required
Compartment
by a regular ticket
RequiredRequiredRequired

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 culculate 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.

Assessment

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.

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

  1. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I want to travel from Tokyo to Takamatsu on Oct 4 which is the day I arrive in Japan (along with my wife). Just wondering – do you think we can secure overnight tickets for general class using JR pass for the same night we arrive in Japan?

    thanks,
    Sanchit

    1. Hi Sanchit san,

      I don’t recommend you to do so. It’s hard to find the availability before the train departure. This train is sometimes busy even on weekdays in the shoulder season. It is too risky.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hello Takeshi-San
    Thank you for all of this excellent information.

    I have two questions for you:

    We”ll be travelling in the second week of October 2019 – is this a peak time?

    We’ll be at Narita at 16th October. How dificult could be to reserve three nobi nobi for 19th October from Yokohama to Takamatsu?

    Thank you for your help

    1. Hi Alarcia san,

      October is not a super busy season. But October 22nd is a holiday. October 19th is Saturday of this weekend. So it will be busier than usual.
      It’s hard to day how difficult you will be able to reserve Nobi Nobi. It is sold out sometimes even in weekdays. You must have a back up plan in case that you cannot make it.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Dear Takeshi-San
    Thank you for all of this excellent information.

    Three questions for you:
    Does the train operate on every day of the week?
    I will be travelling in the last week of September 2019 – is this a peak time?
    I will definitely not be using a JR Pass – does that mean that someone in Japan can make a booking in my name?

    Thank you for your help

    1. Hi Clare san,

      This train runs everyday and the last week of September is not a peak season.
      Someone can make a booking for you. Name and other personal info are NOT required at the time of the booking. You can ask someone in Japan to book a ticket. You can pay someone when you receive a ticket. That’s all you have to do.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hello Takeshi-san,
    Regarding the free fare on the Sunrise Seto with the JR pass, is this free fare for any JR pass holders or for specific JR passes. For eample, if I were to have a JR Kansai Area Pass versus having a JR Kansai Wide Area Pass, would both of them still enable me to have free fares on the Sunrise Seto?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Chi san,

      This applies to the pass which covers the reserved seat fee. Kansai Wide Area Pass does not cover the reserved seat fee. Kansai Area Pass does not cover any limited express trains except Haruka. Only Sanyo Sanin area pass covers reserved seat fee other than JR Pass. But you cannot stay overnight on the train by Sanyo Sanin Area Pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi-San,

        Thank you for the information, and sorry for the amount of questions

        A follow up question,
        I’m planning to spend the last week of May in Japan, so if I buy tickets for the Sunrise Seto from Osaka to Tokyo 3 days in advanced, would you say this is possible, or will it be too late?

        Also, how full will the tickets be for Nobi Nobi, solo and single rooms during the end of May?

        Many thanks again!

        1. Hi Chi san,

          Late May is a shoulder season. So usually it is not difficult to book any type of seat/compartment. I believe you can make in 3 days. But I cannot say that you can make it easily. This train is sometimes very busy even on weekday in shoulder season.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Hi Takeshi-San
            Thanks for the notice.

            I also want to ask whether there it is possible to bring a small suitcase on board the Sunrise Seto, and whether we can possibly put it in our rooms or sleeping area? More specifically, if I were to reserve a Single Twin room, how much space is there to move around in, because in the pictures above, it seems there is a small open area in the Single Twin room where I could potentially put my small suitcase.

            Again, thank you very much!

            1. Hi Chi san,

              This room does not have any luggage space. You may be able to place the small suitcase between bed and door. I think the width is about 30 cm. You may see more in the link below. It’s Youtube movie which is recorded by Japanese traveler.
              https://youtu.be/DAwagOZ3V_I

              If you stay in Single, the space is same. If you stay in Solo, the space is much tighter. If you stay in Twin, you have some more spaces. But it is super hard to book this type of compartment.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hello. Is June a peak month in Japan? We plan to take the Sunrise Seto on the first week of June using JR pass and quite worried about not getting a space.

  6. Hello Takeshi san!
    Im traveling on the first week of july, is this a very busy season for the sunrise seto?
    Do I have a chance of reserving nobi nobi seats one week before I need them?

    Thank you!

  7. Hi Takeshi san,

    I plan to take the Sunrise Seto express train from Osaka to Tokyo this coming May after Golden Week (May 11), I had researched that it is technically possible to purchase tickets in Japan and later have them refund (at a small fee) and re-booked under the JR Pass. However, the forum was dated back in 2015, is it still possible to do it now?

    Thank You!

    Warm Regards,
    Jack

    1. Hi Jack san,

      You can do it same way. The cancellation fee is 330 yen before 3 days. If you do it in two days, 30% of the ticket will be charged.
      It is very small risk but you may lose your space when you cancel it. Because if the train is completely booked out and someone try to get a space, someone will take your space just between cancel and rebook. Your space will be returned to the system and then you will rebook it by JR pass. This is small risk but it may happen. Please keep it in your mind.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I will travel with Sunrise Seto express train from Osaka to Tokyo and from Tokyo to Takamatsu in about a month with a Japan Rail Pass (10th April). I read that the nobinobi zaseki / stretch-out seats are free with JRP free but should be reserved in advance.

    Can I send a friend to the station now to reserve it for me or the Japan Rail Pass / or any data from its voucher is needed for making the reservation?

    Unfortunately I will receive my Japan Rail Pass only when arriving to Japan (end of March).

    Thank you!

    Best regards,
    Andor

    1. Hi Andrew san,

      Unfortunately you cannot ask someone in Japan to book it for you. Because you will use JR pass. You can book it after you exchange an actual pass. You cannot book it before you exchange the pass. It’s gamble but you have to accept it unfortunately.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Takeshi-san,
    I am traveling to Takamatsu for a cycling trip with an obvious luggage question. I usually make this trip on the shinkansen but this time I would like to try the sleeper train. There will be 2 of us. If I can book a twin would it be possible to stow the bikes in the cabin? (They will of course be bagged and Im aware they will take up space) If so, which twin would be the most spacious and what are the fees involved.

    1. Hi Dean san,

      I don’t have any info about the space between the beds. But it may be tight to put the bike bag. Please see youtube movie in the link below. You will find how big the cabin is.
      https://youtu.be/ym1CYl7gnEM?t=70

      Single Twin is smaller than Twin. I’m sure that Single Delux can accommodate extra things but you need two compartments.

      At last, it is very hard to book Twin because of the limited number of compartments.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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