Overnight express train Cassiopeia, very popular overnight train between Tokyo and Sapporo

Cassiopeia is most popular overnight train in Japan.Overnight Trains
Cassiopeia is most popular overnight train in Japan.
Cassiopeia is most popular overnight train in Japan.

Cassiopeia is most popular overnight train in Japan.

*This train was discontinued in March 2016.

Cassiopeia is operated between Ueno and Sapporo. This train is like Japanese version Oriental Express and is the most luxurious in three luxurious overnight trains (other two are Twilight Express and Hokutosei) in Japan.

If you want to take this train by Japan Rail Pass, you need to pay some extra charges. You have to pay Limited Express surcharge and the accommodation fee. And also this train goes through non Japan Railway line between Morioka and Aomori. So you have to pay the basic fare for this non Japan Railway line. Even though you have to pay lots of the extra on Japan Rail Pass, many Japan Rail Pass user are interesting in this train. So I tell you that the extra cost, timetable, checking the availability and the types of accommodations.

Extra charges for Japan Rail Pass user

Japan Rail Pass cover only basic fare on Japan Railway. So you have to pay these extra charges.

Extra basic fare: 5,330 yen (for non Japan Railway line between Morioka and Aomori)
Extra express surcharge: 2,940 yen (between Ueno or Omiya and any stations in Hokkaido)

And also you have to pay the accommodation fee. Please see the next chapter.

Types of Accommodation

Welcome drink for Cassiopeia Suite and Cassiopeia Deluxe

Cassiopeia Suite with View

  • Rate: 25,490 yen per person, based on two persons.
  • TV, clock, private shower, private washroom, welcome drink (a bottle of wine, a small bottle of whiskey, water and soft drink), coffee, Yukata (Japanese night wear), bath towel, facial towel
  • There is only one room in the train. This room has a huge glass window. It is so hard to get this room.
  • Images:

    These following images are facilities. Cassiopeia Suite, Maisonette type has same as these things.

Cassiopeia Suite, maisonette

  • Rate: 25,490 yen per person, based on two persons.
  • TV, clock, private shower, private washroom, welcome drink (a bottle of wine, a small bottle of whiskey, water and soft drink), coffee, Yukata (Japanese night wear), bath towel, facial towel
  • There are six rooms in the train. This room is two levels. The first floor is the bedroom and the second floor is the living. The extra bed can be put in the living room and can be used for 3 persons. The extra charge for third person is 13,350 yen.
  • Images:

Cassiopeia Deluxe

  • Rate: 17,180 yen per person, based on two persons.
  • TV, clock, private shower, private washroom, welcome drink (a bottle of wine, a small bottle of whiskey, water and soft drink), coffee, Yukata (Japanese night wear), bath towel, facial towel
  • There is only one room in the train. This room is one level suite and has a higher ceiling than Cassiopeia Suite maisonette. The sofa can be converted to the extra bed and can be used for 3 persons. The extra charge for third person is 9.540 yen.
  • Images:

Cassiopeia Twin (double decker)

  • Rate: 13,350 yen per person, based on two persons.
  • TV, clock, private washroom, welcome drink (soft drink), coffee, Yukata (Japanese night wear), facial towel (No private shower in the room. need to use the shared shower room at 310 yen for 6 minutes.)
  • This type of rooms are main stream in this train. This is like a standard twin room. These rooms are in the double decker car. Those rooms are located at the both lower level and higher level. But some of these rooms are located at the single level of this train. A few of these rooms at single level can be used for 3 persons. The extra charge for third person is 9.540 yen.
  • Images (Lower floor):
  • Images (Upper floor):
  • Images (located at single level):
  • Images (Triple type):
  • Images (Facilities):

Cassiopeia Compart

  • Rate: 22,890 yen per room, based on two persons.
  • TV, clock, private washroom, welcome drink (soft drink), coffee, Yukata (Japanese night wear), facial towel (No private shower in the room. need to use the shared shower room at 310yen for 6 minutes.)
  • This room is designed for the handicapped person. We only have one room in the train
  • Images:

Train Formation

123456789101112
CSV/CSMCSM/CDXDCC/CTCTCTCTCTCTCTCTL

*CSV=Cassiopeia Suite with View CSM=Cassiopeia Suite Maisonette CDX=Cassiopeia Deluxe CT=Cassiopeia Twin CC=Cassiopeia Compart D=Dining Car L=Lounge Car
*Smoking is permitted on Car#2, 3, 5, 6 and 11.

Dining Car / Lounge Car

Meal is not included in the rate. And the reservation for dinner must be done by 23:00 on three days prior to the departure date. But simply you can make a reservation at the same time as booking for the room. You can choose Kaiseki Gozen (懐石御膳=Traditional Japanese style cuisine) or French four course. Japanese dinner is 5,500 yen. French course is 7,800 yen. And also you have to choose dinner time from 17:15-18:15 or 18:30-19:50 or 20:10-21:30. Dining car is the pub after 20:30. You don’t need to make a reservation.

If you take Cassiopeia Suite or Cassiopeia Deluxe, Room service is available for only the first dining time, 17:15-18:15. And Also you can choose Cassiopeia Tokusei Bento (カシオペア特製弁当=Cassiopeia Special Dinner Box) at 3,500 yen. Of courese you need to order this dinner box three days before the boarding.

You don’t need to make a reservation for the breakfast. They open at 06:30. They have Japanese style and Western style. Both breakfast are same price at 1,600 yen.

They sell regular dinner box (Japanese Bento, Sandwich and so on) and drinks. If you cannot make a reservation for the dining car, you still can get something to eat. Of course you can get something before boarding.

Image (Dining car interior) :

Image (Pub time menu) :

Image (Breakfast menu) :

Image (Cassiopeia Bento) :

Lounge car is open for the public. You can enjoy the view through the panoramic glass windows. You can see the iamges of Dining car and Lounge car here on JR East website.

And also smoking is not permitted in Lounge car, but it is permitted in and dining car. Please don’t upset that!
*Since March 17, 2012, smoking is not permitted in both dining car and lounge car.

Image (Lounge car) :

Image (Public washroom) :

Image (Shared shower room) :

Reservation and space availability

It is very difficult for Japan Rail Pass user to make a booking. Because you cannot make a reservation online. All you can do is going to the station to take it. Japan Railway starts to sell the ticket 30 days prior to the departure date. Most of Japan Rail Pass user start to use the pass right after arrival. So if you have a plan to take this train, you need to think about the back up plan. You have to expect that you won’t be able to make it!

*If you have a friend who speaks Japanese, you can ask to make a call to JR West odekake net at 078-341-7903. This reservation center can take a reservation for all JR trains. However you need to pay surcharge and accommodation fee. Japan Rail Pass do not cover any surcharge and accommodation fee on overnight trains. So it is not a big issue. And also you have to pick up your ticket in JR West, Shikoku or Kyushu’s stations. You cannot pick up ticket in other areas, like Tokyo, Niigata, Aomori, Hokkaido.

But you can check the availability online. Please access this page on JR East website. It is in Japanese but it is not complicated. You will see like this table.

曜日上野発札幌発
117O
18O
19O
20
21
22X
23

From left to right, Month (月), Day (日), Week-day (曜日), Departure from Ueno (上野発), Departure from Sapporo (札幌発). So the second row means January 17, Monday. Cassiopeia is not operated from Ueno to Sapporo. So you see “-“. On the other hand, you see “O” from Sapporo. It means that lots of rooms are still available. Please see the sixth row. You see “△” departure from Ueno. It means almost sold out. If you see “X”, it means completely sold out. Please check in last minutes before you depart from your country.

Operation dates will be different after March 14, 2015. Please find it at Schedule of 2015 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways. I wrote the dates until September, 2015.

But you need to think about alternative in case that you cannot make it. If you need any ideas about a back up plan, please refer the post, Alternatives of overnight train Cassiopeia and Hokutosei. I suggest several itineraries.

Timetable

Timetable will be different after March 14, 2015. Please find it at Schedule of 2015 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways. I wrote the dates until September, 2015.

station/directionUeno to SapporoSapporo to Ueno
Ueno (上野)16:2009:25
Omiya (大宮)16:4509:00
Utsunomiya (宇都宮)17:5007:50
Koriyama (郡山)19:1306:15
Fukushima (福島)19:5205:36
Sendai (仙台)20:5904:33
Ichinoseki (一ノ関)22:08
Morioka (盛岡)23:16
Hakodate (函館)05:0221:12
Mori (森)05:5220:18
Yakumo (八雲)06:1819:51
Oshamanbe (長万部)06:4319:15
Toya (洞爺)07:1318:42
date-Monbetsu (伊達紋別)07:2518:28
Higashi-Muroran (東室蘭)07:4417:57
Noboribetsu (登別)08:0017:37
Tomakomai (苫小牧)08:3317:06
Minami-Chitose (南千歳)08:5516:46
Sapporo (札幌)09:3216:12

Comments

  1. I don’t understan d- how do I book this train

    I wish to go this May

    thank you

  2. I have a question please. I wish to travel Ueno-Sapporo at the end of May – I am alone. All your prices said “based on two persons” What is the fare for one Person?

    Thank you.

  3. The cost of flying jal or Ana is cheaper than using the train from Tokyo to Sapporo. Is this correct?

    What is the attraction of traveling long hours by this train? Pls advise.

  4. REX LEE says:

    Hi,

    I have one question except the JR transpotaion, if I wonder to use Free WiFi hot spot at OSAKA/Hakata/Tokyo ,do you have the AP name list ? If it’s not popular ,what about the
    3G short term charge fee ? please share me the relative information,thanks.

    REX LEE

  5. Bdoon says:

    This train goes through Fukushima? How safe is that?

  6. PAO says:

    I want to know the exactly extra charge for both of the train. And there are any train that no need to pay extra charge from Sapparo to Toyko on 27th December 2011.

  7. Bella says:

    Thank you Takeshi san!!

  8. Bella says:

    Hi there,
    I am interested in travelling on December 29th, 2011 Ueno to Sapporo and returning January 5th, 2012. Are you able to confirm whether the Cassiopeia is operating this day and whether the 16:20 timetable still applies?
    Thanks!
    Bella

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hello Bella,
      I cannot confirm so far. The winter schedule will be released. But usually Cassiopeia is operated from Ueno on Sun, Tue and Fri, from Sapporo on Mon, Wed and Sat. So both of your dates are not operation date. Please think about another dates.
      And this period is the busiest season. Especially Dec 28-30 will be SUPER busy. If you want to take the train in this periods. I recommend you to book it as soon as possible. The ticket will be started to sell one month prior to departure date.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Amy says:

    Is the Cassiopeia suspended until May 2011 or May 2012? I intend to travel in late 2011 or early 2012 and would like to go to Sapporo on an overnight train.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hello Amy,
      It is operated as usual. It was suspended after the big earthquake. But it was back to normal in this past May.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  10. Good morning you people in Japan i have a question for you people. I wish to book a Cassiopeia Suite with View

    and will only travel alone. Can you please make me a price for my self? I will make the payment on the same bank draft of my airline ticket japan rail pass and my first six night in tokyo. I will apreciated very much. I am writing you from Canada.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hello David,
      I hope someone can do it for you. (I cannot do it because I’m in Canada too.)
      By the way, Cassiopeia will be suspended until May 16 and may continue to be suspended. When are you going to take it?
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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