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. c.k.Lam says:

    Thanks , The information is so details for help

  2. Therese Sayers says:

    Is May ..AFTER Golden week … usually a peak time? And are any nights less busy than others in a week?

    Therese S.

  3. Melissa says:


    Do you know, do you have to get off basically right away when the Sunrise Seto/Izumo arrives in Tokyo? When I took the Caledonian Sleeper in the UK, you had about 20 minutes after arrival until you had to be off the train.



  4. Nico says:


    I am quite sure it says it correctly, but I just want to confirm that the stop in Osaka is Osaka as in the station near Umeda and not Shin-Osaka where the Shinkansen run.


  5. James says:

    Excellent, so much help here!
    I live in Japan and already have tickets between Okayma and Yokohma, but I would like more details regarding the rooms. I would like to match the car/’seat’ numbers on my tickets to the actual place in the train. Is there any detailed ‘seat’ plan available? My tickets say
    Car 3  4
    Car 3  5
    Car 3  9
    Car 3 20
    It looks as though the last 2 might be in different rooms?
    Thanks for any further info you have.

  6. Malcolm WIGMORE says:

    Good day
    Which station in Tokyo does the Sunrise Seko depart from, please?
    I’m visiting Japan in April/May and hope to use this train to travel west towards Osaka.

  7. Sara Louis says:

    I want to know if late Oct is high season there and if I manage to exchange my JR Pass one week early, is there any chance of securing a nobi nobi seat from Osaka to Tokyo?

    • Hi Sara,

      Late October is very nice season to travel. It is not the highest season but it is very popular season to travel.

      It’s hard to say how many days you should book in advance. Sometimes it’s booked out very quickly. But sometimes you can find the space even one day before. In my experiece, you will be able to book it but I’m not 100% sure.

      Your chance is not small and you should try it. But please prepare the substiture plan in case of booked out.


      Takeshi /

  8. Jon says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    Thanks so much for the article on Sunrise Express. I would take the train from Izumoshi to Tokyo on 12 December 2020. Is it a peak period during that time? I may only have 7 days before 12 December to book since I will probably get a 7 day JR pass. And I will need 3 tickets in total.

    But the more important question is does my JR Pass need to be valid till 12 December (when I board the train) or it needs to be valid till 13 December (when I got off the train in Tokyo)? Hope you can help. Thanks.

    • Hi Jon san,

      December 12th is not a peak season. Usually it’s not hard to book a space.

      Regarding another question, actually I’m not 100% sure. JR pass covered until you get off the train. So in this case, even the pass which is valid until 12th covered the train arrive in Tokyo on 13th. It was written in JR Pass official site before. But it’s not in official site any more.

      According to JR basic ticket rule, the ticket or the pass covers to the last destination of the train. In my understanding, JR pass which is valid until 12th covers Sunrise arriving in Tokyo on 13th. But I’m not 100% sure.

      Sorry for unclear reply. But that’s all I can say now.


      Takeshi /

    • Jon says:

      Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. 🙂

  9. Jean says:

    Takeshi-san, why does Japan Rail not allow online ticket purchase? It seems that making purchasing rail tickets easier would encourage more visitors to Japan! Why does JR make it harder? This makes no sense!
    Arigato gozaimasu!

    • Hi Jean san,

      Actually Sunrise Seto cannot be booked in Japan either. The biggest reason is the system of JR companies. JR seems to be one company but it is formed by six different passenger train companies. Sunrise Seto runs from Tokyo to Takamatsu. This train runs on four different JR companies, JR East (Tokyo to Atami), JR Central (Atami to Maibara), JR West (Maibara to Kojima) and JR Shikoku (Kojima to Takamatsu). JR was Japan’s national railway before. But it was privaterized and divide into seven companies (6 passenger companies and 1 freight company). At this point, six JR companies shared the booking system. But online booking was not in this world.

      Now online booking is very common. But it is not easy to share the online booking among six passenger companies. But it’s been improving day by day. JR East booking system (in Japan only) has just stared to take Nobi Nobi seat.

      I hope all JR booking system take any kinds of booking for oversea tourist as well.


      Takeshi /

      • Jean says:

        Thank you for the explanation, Takeshi-san! Wow, that is so complicated! It makes more sense now that I know the history of JR.

        Do you know if there are travel agencies that can help an overseas visitor purchase JR tickets?


        • Hi Jean san,

          I don’t know any travel agents who make a reservation for you. Because I have heard that the travel agent cannot make a profit to book a ticket. But you may ask the travel agent near your place. You can find the travel agent which sells JR Pass. These travel agents are familiar to the travel to Japan. They might do it for you.


          Takeshi /

          • Jean says:

            Thank you, Takeshi-san! I have contacted JTB. We need to purchase our JR Passes so we can do that with JTB, too!

            • No worries, Jean san.


              Takeshi /

              • Jean Hilde says:

                Hello again, Takeshi-san!

                Sadly, JTB does not sell train tickets for overseas visitors, only JR Passes. But I found which does!

                However, I am having trouble understanding their ticket-buying system. What I need is tickets for three passengers, one Sunrize Twin cabin (for two passengers) and one Single cabin (for one passenger.)

       is telling me the two passengers for the Sunrize Twin cabin must EACH pay 28,000 yen (even though one Sunrize Twin cabin only costs 22,000 yen, according to Hyperdia.)

                Is this true? Why would a cabin that is meant for two people cost twice as much if two people are using it?

                I can understand needing to buy tickets and express tickets for each passenger, but it does not make sense to me that the same cabin costs twice as much when two people are in it. (After all, there are no meals or other amenities provided.)

                Can you please help me understand this?

                Arigatogozaimasu and Happy New Year!
                ~ Jean

                • Hi Jean,

                  I think they add the handling fee. As you think, the compartment fee and the limited express fee are 22,000 yen in total for two. But this is a net price. If they sell a ticket at this price, they cannot make any profits. But I think this handling fee is rip off.

                  Anyway they decided to sell a ticket at this price. It’s up to you to buy a ticket from them or not.


                  Takeshi /

                  • Jean Hilde says:

                    Thank you, Takeshi-san, that’s what I think, too. They are trying to charge twice as much for the same cabin by telling me “that is the rule”, like that is JR’s rule.

                    I guess I need to find another agency or just give up. 🙁

                    Cheers and Happy New Year!

  10. Alyssa says:

    I will be traveling to Japan in Mid-November. Is this considered peak time for this train ? I will need a ticket for Saturday. Also, can I make a reservation at the Narita airport on the day arrive in Japan?

    Thank you

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