JR East and JR Central have announced Moonlight Nagara is no longer service on January 22nd, 2021. Since 185 series using for Moonlight Nagara will be retired in March, 2021, this train has been discontinued.
Moonlight Nagara (ムーンライトながら) is the overnight rapid service train that is operated between Tokyo and Ogaki (大垣). This train is operated as the seasonal train. It is usually operated in spring break (two weeks from late March to early April), summer break (late July to the end of August) and Christmas to New Year holidays. These periods are the seasons when “Seishun 18 ticket” is sold. This ticket covers any rapid and local train’s non reserved seat throughout Japan for 5 days at 11,850 yen. This train can be used by this ticket with additional charge for reserved seat fare. Therefore this train runs for busy period only and it is very hard to book.
This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. But online reservation is not available for overseas visitor and ticket is on sale one month prior to departure date. It is very hard to book and not realistic to put this train in your plan.
Route and timetable
This train connects Tokyo with Ogaki. Ogaki is 30 minutes away from Nagoya to the west. This train is a rapid service train. That means a kind of local train. But this train stops at only 8 stations. It is very similar to limited express train service.
This train is connected with other local trains to/from Osaka/Kyoto at Ogaki. But if you will use Japan Rail Pass, you can take Shinkansen from/to Nagoya. But if you go to Himeji or other cities to the west from Himeji, Sunrise Seto or Sunrise Izumo is better. This train is a scheduled train, more comfortable and faster. But if you are looking for overnight transfer to Nagoya, this train is better choice. If you want to go to Takayama as soon as possible by Japan Rail Pass, this train is connected with the first Wide View Hida to Takayama that depart from Nagoya at 07:43am.
If you are single ticket traveller, you can take the first Nozomi from Tokyo is connected with Wide View Hida. You don’t need to take overnight train. Japan Rail Pass user can take Hikari or Kodama. The first Hikari is not connected with the first Wide View Hida.
*Only train to Ogaki stop at Odawara and train to Tokyo stop at Toyohashi.
This train is a seasonal train. It is operated in the peak season only. Please check the most updated schedule and timetable at Seasonal Trains Schedule.
Accommodation and train formations
This train is operated by 185 series. 185 series was used for many limited express train around Tokyo area. At this point, this fleet is used for only Odoriko as limited express train. But this fleet is still very good as the rapid train. All cars are reserved ordinary seat. It does not have any berth, compartment, and even green cars. And this train does not have any non reserved cars either. You need to get a reserved seat before you ride.
*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.
R=Reserved ordinary seat