Schedule of 2015-16 winter seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Seasonal trains schedule
Asahiyama Doubutsuen train runs betwen Sapporo and Asahikawa. It has Azahiyama Zoo specialized seats.
Asahiyama Doubutsuen train runs betwen Sapporo and Asahikawa. It has Azahiyama Zoo specialized seats.

Asahiyama Doubutsuen train runs betwen Sapporo and Asahikawa. It has Azahiyama Zoo specialized seats.

In Japan, New Year holidays are the busiest period in entire year. Most of Japanese go back to hometown to stay with family in this season. This is Japanese traditional and classic.

Therefore the trains depart from major cities, like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya will be very busy in the beginning and opposite direction is busy in the end of holidays. Most of companies will be closed from Dec 30 to Jan 3. In this coming season, I expect Dec 29 and 30 will be busy. And everybody come back on January 2 and 3. So you should avoid to take a train on those days. In some of the trains, the occupancy rate may be more than 200%. As long as trains have non reserved seat, you can get on anyway without any reservation. But you will be forced to stay on the isle or passenger’s deck without seat. We see many passengers without seats in the train during those busiest days.

The movie below shows you the station and train in new year in 2013. You can find how it goes in New Year holidays.

JR Hokkaido (Hokkaido area)

Ryuhyo Norokko train is at Kitahama station. This is very small station, but there is small cafe in the station.

Ryuhyo Norokko train is at Kitahama station. This is very small station, but there is small cafe in the station.

Ryuhyo Norokko train

Shiretoko is very popular destination in winter time for Ryuhyo (流氷=Drift Ice) viewing. This train is operated in Drift Ice season for viewing by “Torokko” (open air type passenger’s car).

Operation dates
January 30 – February 28


#2Shiretoko-Shari 08:55Abashiri 10:00
#1Abashiri 10:25Shiretoko-Shari 11:22
#4Shiretoko-Shari 11:54Abashiri 12:55
#3Abashiri 13:57Shiretoko-Shari 14:55

*This train stop at Kitahama, Hamkoshimizu and Yamubetsu. Only train #1 stops at Katsuradai, Masuura, Mokoto and those three stations.

If you need more information about this train, please see this post, Ryuhyo Norokko train.

SL Fuyu no Shitsugen train (Winter train to Kushiro marsh by Steam Locomotive)

This train is operated by steam locomotive. This is a cruising train that goes through Kushiro marsh. It is similar type train to Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train. But this train is not operated by Norokko train. There are reserved seat only. You need to book it before boarding.
*On some of the days in February, trains pulled by Diesel Locomotive.

Operation dates

January 30,31
February 4-14,18-21,25-28


Kushiro 11:08Shibecha 12:37
Shibecha 13:55Kushiro 15:29

This train stops at Higashi-Kushiro, Kushiro Shitsugen, Toro, and Kayanuma.

Limited Express Asahiyama Dobutsuen

This train connects Sapporo with Asahikawa and is operated by Asahiyama Zoo featured train. Asahiyama Zoo is the most popular and the best zoo in Japan. The interior of this train is designed by Dr. Abe, former chief zoo keeper of Asahiyama Zoo. I am sure kids will love it! If you travel with your kids, try to get on this train!

Operation dates
November 1,3
December 20,23,26-29
January 2,3,9-11
February 6-11

Sapporo 08:30 – Asahikawa 10:07
Asahikawa 16:04 – Sapporo 17:46
Train makes a stop at Iwamizawa and Takikawa.

Limited Express Niseko

This train connects Sapporo and Niseko via Otaru.

Operation dates
February 6,7,11

Sapporo 07:57 – Niseko 10:20
Niseko 11:10 – Otaru 12:40
Otaru 14:35 – Niseko 15:54
Niseko 16:00 – Sapporo 18:27
Train makes a stop at Teine, Otaru, Yoichi, and Kucchan.

Overnight Express Hamanasu

This is not a seasonal train but this train will be suspended on some dates because of Hokkaido Shinkansen inspection, test run and maintenance.

Suspension dates
Hamanasu to Sapporo will not run on the following dates:
December 31
January 1
February 14,21
Hamansu to Aomori will run on all dates until the end of February in 2016. But the schedule of Hamanasu to Aomori will be changed after October 1.


Until Sep 30

After Oct 1


JR East (Tohoku and Kanto area)

Overnight Limited Express Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia will still run as seasonal train. But operation dates are a bit different from original one. Please find the date as follows:

Operation dates
To Sapporo :
November 1,3,6,8,10,13,15,17,20,22,24,27,29
December 1,4,6,8,11,13,15,18,20,22,25,27,29
January (2016) 2,4,6,8,10,12,15,17,19,22,24,26,29,31
Feruary (2016) 2,5,7,9,12,14,16,19,21,23,26,28
To Ueno :
November 2,4,7,,9,11,14,16,18,21,23,25,28,30
December 2,5,7,9,12,14,16,19,21,23,26,28,30
January (2016) 3,5,7,9,11,13,16,18,20,23,25,27,30
Feruary (2016) 1,3,6,8,10,13,15,17,20,22,24,27,29

Operation date in March has not been announced yet. But this train will be discontinued in mid March, 2016. This train might not run in March any more.

Ueno 16:20 – 11:15 Sapporo
Sapporo 16:12 – 9:25 Ueno

If you need more information about Cassiopeia, please see the post, Overnight express train Cassiopeia, very popular overnight train between Tokyo and Sapporo.

Toreiyu Tsubasa

The first ever Shinkansen cruise train, Toreiyu Tsubsa. (C) James Chuang

The first ever Shinkansen cruise train, Toreiyu Tsubsa. (C) James Chuang

This is the first ever Shinkansen train that has foot Onsen bath in the car.

Operation dates
November 1,3,7,8,14,15,21-23,28,29
December 5,6,12,13,19,20
January 9-11,16,17,23,24,30,31
February 6,7,13,14,20,21,27,28


StationToreiyu Tsubasa #1StationToreiyu Tsubasa #2

You can find more information about this train at the post, Toreiyu Tsubasa. First ever Shinkansen train that has foot bath.

SL Ginga

It is the newest SL train. It connects Hanamaki and Kamaishi. The interior is amazing. It display the world of Kenji Miyazawa who is a poet and author of children’s literature.

Operation dates
For Kamaishi
November 7,14,21,28
For Hanamaki
November 1,8,15,23,29
*This train does not run in witer time.




This train is the newest cruising trains of JR East. It runs between Nagano and Tokamachi on Iiyama line. It has old style Japanese housing interior.

Operation dates
November 3,7,8,14,15,23,28,29
December 5,6,12,13,19,20,26,27
January 1-3,9-11,16,17,23,24,30,31
February 6,7,13,14,27,28

In November


From December to February



Shu*Kura is one of the newest cruising train of JR East. It promote Niigata local product, especially Japanese Sake (pure rice wine). It is like Sake tasting train. You can enjoy many kinds of Sake on board.

This train runs in Niigata prefecture. But route and schedule are not fixed. There are three routes in this fall.

Koshino Shu*Kura
November 1,3,6-8,20-23,27-29


Yuzawa Shu*Kura
November 13-15


Yoino Shu*Kura
Decmber 10,11


You can find more information about this train at the post, Enjoy premium Japanese Sake on board. Cruising train Koshino Shu*Kura.

Rapid Holiday Kaisoku Fujisan

This train connects Shinjuku and Lake Kawaguchi. But if you use this train by Japan Rail Pass or JR East Pass, basic fare between Otsuki and Lake Kawaguchi is not covered.

Operation dates
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays until February 29
Train also runs on December 30 and 31.


Some of Resort Shirakami are operated by the newest Hybrid train.

Some of Resort Shirakami are operated by the newest Hybrid train.

*Rapid Holiday Kaisoku Fujisan makes a stop at Mitaka, Tachikawa, Hachioji, Takao, Sagamiko, Uenohara, Shiotsu, Otsuki, Tsurushi, Tsuru-Bunkadaigakumae, Mitsutoge, Fujisan and Fujikyu-Highland.

Rapid Resort Shirakami

This train connects Akita with Aomori through Gono line that has one of the greatest scenery. This train is operated by the specialized train or the newest Hybrid train. This train has only reserved seat.

Operation dates and timetable

Station/train#AkitaAomoriOperation date
#1 (Akita to Aomori)8:2813:35October 1-January 8
January 8-11,15-17,20-31
February 1,2,5-7,10-14,19-21,26-28
#5 (Akita to Aomori)14:1719:26>October 1-January 2
January 8-10,15,16,20-31
February 1,5,6,10-13,19,20,26,27
Station/train#AomoriAkitaOperation date
#2 (Aomori to Akita)8:0213:31>October 1-January 3
January 9-11,16,17,21-31
February 1,2,6,7,11-14,20,26,27
#4 (Aomori to Akita)13:5519:00>October 1-January 8
January 8-11,15-17,20-31
February 1,2,5-7,10-14,19-21,26-28

This train makes a stop at Oiwaki, Hachirogata, Moritake, Higashi-Noshiro, Noshiro, Akita-Shirakami, Iwadate, Juniko, WeSpa-Tsubakiyama, Fukaura, Senjojiki, Ajigasawa, Mutsu-Morita, Kizukuri, Goshogawara, Mutsu-Tsuruta, Itayanagi, Kawabe, Hirosaki and Shin-Aomori. If you need more information about this train, please refer Rapid Resort Shirakami.

Rapid Resort Minori

This train connects Sendai with Shinjo via Naruko Onsen. It is operated by specialized train. You can see some images at JR East Sendai branch site.

Operation dates
November 1-3,5-8,13-15,20-23,27-29
December 5,6,12,13,19,20,23,26-31
January 2,3,9-11,16,17,23,24
February 6,7,11,13,14,20,21,27,28

Sendai 09:13 – 11:00 Naruko Onsen 11:25 – Shinjo 12:26
Shinjo 15:00 – 15:58 Naruko Onsen 16:00 – Sendai 17:39

This train makes a stop at Matsuhima, Kogota, Furukawa, Iwadeyama, Yubikan, Kawatabi-Onsen, Naruko-Gotenyu, Naruko-Onsen, Nakayamadaira-Onsen, Akakura-Onsen, Mogami and Semi-Onsen.

Rapid Resort View Furusato

This train connects Nagano with Minami-Otari via Matsumoto, Shinano-Omachi and Hakuba. It is operated by Hybrid train. You can see some images at JR East Nagano branch site.

Operation dates
November 2,3,6-9,13-16,20-23,27
December 5,6,12-14,23-31
January 1-4,8-11,23,24,30,31
February 6,7,11-14,27,28

Nagano 09:04 – 10:29 Matsumoto 10:41 – 10:59 Hodaka 11:26 – 11:47 Shinano Omachi 11:51 – 12:23 Hakuba 12:29 – 12:47 Minami Otari
Minami Otari 15:16 – 15:31 Hakuba 15:37 – 16:13 Shinano Omachi 16:18 – 16:40 Hodaka 16:51 – 17:15 Matsumoto 17:23 – 18:28 Nagano

Rapid Kirakira Uetsu

This train connects Niigata and Sakata on Uetsu line. You can enjoy local foods and beautiful coast scenery of Sea of Japan. It is operated by specialized train “Kirakira Uetsu”. You can see some images at JR East Niigata branch site.

Operation dates
November 1,3,6-8,20-23,27-29
December 4-6,11-13,18-20,23,25-31
January 1-3,8-11,15-17

Niigata 10:12 – 12:51 Sakata
Sakata 16:11 – Niigata 18:32

Overnight Rapid Moonlight Shinshu 81

This is very popular and hard to get the seat. This train does not have any non reserved seat. This train is operated by old type Limited Express cars. But there is no berth or compartment.

Operation date
November 20,21
December 25,26,29,30

Shinjuku 23:54 – Hakuba 05:40
*There is no train to Shinjuku from Hakuba
This train makes a stop at Tachikawa, Hachioji, Otsuki, Shioyama, Kofu, Kobuchizawa, Chino, Kamisuwa, Shimosuwa, Okaya, Tatsuno, Shiojiri, Matsumoto, Toyoshina, Hodaka, Shinano-Omachi and Kamishiro.

JR Central (Chubu, Tokai and Hokuriku)

Overnight Rapid Moonlight Nagara

This is very popular and hard to book a seat. This train does not have any non reserved seat. You cannot take this train without seat reservation. This train is operated by old type Limited Express train set. But there is no berth or compartment.

Operation dates
To Ogaki – December 224 to January 2
To Tokyo – December 23 to January 3



If you are looking for more information about Moonlight Nagara, please see the post, Rapid train Moonlight Nagara.

JR West (Kansai, Hokuriku and Chugoku)

Hanayome Noren

This is new train that will start to run in this fall in Kanazawa. This train takes you to Wakura Onsen in Noto peninsula.

Operation dates
November 1-3,6-10,13-17,20-24,27-30
December 1,4-7,11-15,18-23,25-29
January 1-3,9-11,16,17,23,24,30,31
February 6,7,11-14,20,21,27,28


KanazawaWakura Onsen
Wakura OnsenKanazawa

The train makes stops at Nanao and Hakui. All seats are reserved. You cannot take this train without booking.

Belles montagnes et mer

This is new train that will start to run in this fall in Takaoka. This train runs on both Himi line and Johana line.

Operation dates
Himi line (between Takaoka and Himi)
November 7,14,21,28
December 5,12,19,26
January 9,16,23,30
February 6,13,20,27
Johana line (between Takaoka and Johana)
November 1,8,15,22,29
December 6,13,20,21
January 10,17,24,31
February 7,14,21,28



Train #4 runs between Himi and Takaoka only. It does not go to Shin-Takaoka.
Train makes stops at Takaoka, Fushiki and Amaharashi.


Train makes stops at Shin-Takaoka, Tonami, Fukuno and Fukumitsu.

Sanyo Shinkansen 500 TYPE EVA

This is one of scheduled Kodama train that is operated by specialized “Neon Genesis Evangelion” wrapping fleet.

Operation dates
November 7-26,28,29
December 2-17,19,20,23-31
January 1-6,9-11,13-27,30,31
February 2-17,20,21,23-29


Kodama 7306:368:16/8:249:45/9:5210:2811:14
Kodama 74111:3212:1012:39/12:4014:01/14:0216:07

This train stops at all stations between Shin-Osaka and Hakata on Sanyo Shinkansen line.

Rapid Setouchi Marine View

This train runs between Hiroshima and Mihara via Kure line by specialized train. Please check the images at the following links (JR West official site): Exterior | Reserved seat | Non reserved seat

Operation dates
All weekend and holidays until February 28
It also runs on December 30 to January 1

Hiroshima 10:06 – Kure 10:52 – Mihara 12:27
Mihara 13:25 – 14:59 Kure 15:19 – Hiroshima 16:07
This train also makes a stop at Hiro, Awa-Kawajiri, Yasuura, Akitsu, Takehara and Tadanoumi.

Misuzu Shiosai

This train runs between Shin-Shimonoseki and Senzaki via San’in line along the coast line by specialized train. Please check the images at the following links (JR West official site): Exterior | Interior

Operation dates
All weekend and holidays until February 28
It also runs on December 30 to January 1

Shin-Shimonoseki 9:59 – 10:08 Shimonoseki 10:21 – 12:26 Nagatoshi 12:28 – 12:32 Senzaki
Senzaki 12:46 – 12:50 Nagatoshi 12:55 – 15:13 Shimonoseki 15:17 – 15:26 Shin-Shimonoseki
This train stop all stations between Shimonoseki and Senzaki.

JR Kyushu (Kyushu)

Limited Express Yufuin-no-Mori

It is very popular train that connect Hakata and Yufuin. One round trip of this train goes to Beppu. Please see the post, Very popular train to Yufuin from Hakata and Oita. Limited Express Yufuin no Mori / Yufu to get the details.

Operation dates and timetable
This train runs everyday. But it is operated by ordinary express train fleets as “Limited Express Yufu” on the specific dates. In this case, train’s interior is quite different. It is okay but it’s common fleet and you may be disappointed. If you do not want to have common fleets, please avoid to take this train on the day in “Remarks” below.

#109:2411:35Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Oct 5-9, Dec 15-17, In 2016, Feb 29
#310:2512:3413:2113:35Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Sep 15-17, Nov 30-Dec 4, In 2016 Feb 16-18
#514:3616:44Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Oct 5-9, Dec 15-17, In 2016, Feb 29
#212:0914:16Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Oct 5-9, Dec 15-17, In 2016, Feb 29
#414:4115:0315:5018:07Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Sep 15-17, Nov 30-Dec 4, In 2016 Feb 16-18
#617:0719:17Operation as “Yufu” by ordinary fleets on Oct 5-9, Dec 15-17, In 2016, Feb 29

This train makes a stop at Shin-Suizenji, Suizenji, Higo-Otsu and Akamizu too.

Limited Express Aso Boy!

This train is operated to Mt. Aso from Kumamoto by the train that have the panoramic windows at the both end. This train has only reserved seat. Please see the post, Access to Mt. Aso from Kumamoto. Kids friendly train, Limited Express Aso Boy! to get the details about this train.

Operation dates
Nov 1-3,6-8,13-15,20-23,28,29
Dec 5,6,12,13,19-31
Jan 1-3,9-11,16,17,23,24,30,31 (in 2016)
Feb 6-14,20,21,27,28 (in 2016)



This train makes a stop at Shin-Suizenji, Suizenji, Higo-Otsu and Akamizu too.

Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi

This train goes through Nichinan coastline. Please see the details at my post.

Operation dates
Nov 1-3,7,8,14,15,21-23,28,29
Dec 5,6,12,13,19-31
Jan 1-3,9-11,16,17,23,24,30,31 (in 2016)
Feb 6,7,11,13-14,20,21,27,28 (in 2016)


Stationsto Nangoto Miyazaki
Miyazaki (宮崎)10:0717:14
Minami-Miyazaki (南宮崎)10:1117:09
Tayoshi (田吉)10:1517:06
Kodomonokuni (子供の国)10:2516:51
Aoshima (青島)10:2816:48
Kitago (北郷)10:5616:23
Obi (飫肥)11:06-11:1616:00-16:13
Nichinan (日南)11:2315:54
Aburatsu (油津)11:2615:50
Nango (南郷)11:4215:35

Rapid SL Hitoyoshi

This train is connects Kumamoto with Hitoyoshi by steam locomotive and specialized passenger’s cars.

Operation dates
Nov 1-4,6-9,13-16,20-23


Station/train#From Kumamoto
to Hitoyoshi
From Hitoyoshi
to Kumamoto
Kumamoto (熊本)09:4517:14
Shin-Yatsushiro (新八代)10:2516:30
Yatsushiro (八代)10:30/10:3816:24/16:25
Shiraishi (白石)11:21/11:2615:23/15:28
Isshochi (一勝地)11:41/11:5114:58/15:08
Hitoyoshi (人吉)12:1314:38

A Ressha de Iko (A列車で行こう=Take the ‘A’ train)

This train connects Kumamoto with Misumi. Misumi is the gateway station for Amakusa. JR Kyushu add one more trip after March 16.

Operation dates
Sep 4*,5,6,7*,11*,12,13,14*,18*,19-23,24*,25*,26,27,28*
Oct 1*,2*,3,4,5*,6*,7*,9*,10-12,13*,16*,17,18,19*,23*,24,25,26*,30*,31
Nov 1,2*,3,4*,6*,7,8,9*,13*,14,15,16*,20*,21-23,24*28,29
Dec 5,6,12,13,19,20,21*,22*,23,24*,25*,26-31
Jan 1-3,9-11,16,17,23,24,30,31 (in 2016)
Feb 6,7,8*,9*,10*, 11,12*,13,14,20,21,27,28 (in 2016)
Dates have *mark has only two round trips, #1,#2,#5 and #6.




  1. Carl says:


    First let me say how helpful your website has been. I do not know how I would have planned my trip without it! Thank you so much! I found the page where I can make a small donation and have done so. I encourage others to do the same to honor all of your hard work. Thank you!

    I have a few questions as I finalize my itinerary. We would really like to take the Rapid Resort Shirakami from Aomori to Akita. It fits into our schedule on Sunday December 27th. I’m concerned about getting a ticket with it being a weekend and right before the New Years Holiday. I fly into Narita on Dec 13th and plan to book most of my trains before I even leave the airport. It shows in your article above that the train will be running at that time but I have not been able to find it on hyperdia on the 27th. If I search November 27th, it will show the Shirakami, do you know why that could be? In your opinion, will my husband and I be able to get on the train on December 27th if the earliest I can book it is the 13th?

    We would also like to to take the Limited Express Ibusuki no Tamatebako on December 23rd. If we book on the 13th do you think we will be able to get seats?

    Thanks again!

  2. Don says:

    Thank you very much for posting this, Takeshi, it makes my winter journey much easier and more enjoyable!!!

    May I ask can the cruising trains be reserved with JR pass?

    Many thanks,


  3. Ong Chiak Yin says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    We are coming to Japan from Dec 12-28 (Dec24-25 have to be back in Tokyo for Disneyland ).

    We have yet to confirm our route but these are the places we like to visit
    Hakone/Mt. Fuji/Gotemba

    We will like to take a night train to Aomori from either Tokyo or Kyoto or Osaka.

    Can you suggest a possible train route and the pass they we should buy? Esp. For the night train?

    What is the duration from Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka to Aomori by night train and what time does it depart?

    Thank you very much!

  4. Casey says:

    Dear Takeshi,

    I would like to check any JR from Sapporo to Furano during December? Where can i check the schedule?

    Thanks & Regards,

  5. Marvin says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I’d like to say first that your website has been a great help with my trip planning. I have a couple of questions regarding my train schedule and rail pass.

    My trip will be three weeks, but part of it will fall over the New Year’s holiday. Here is the planned itinerary for that time period:

    Dec. 27: Yufuin to Hiroshima
    Dec. 29: Hiroshima to Yudanaka
    Jan. 3: Yudanaka to Kanazawa
    Jan. 6: Kanazawa to Takayama

    As far as pass goes, I’m leaning towards the ordinary JR pass. I know that the ordinary pass has free seat reservation but will getting a green pass increase my chance of getting a seat reservation? I’m arriving on Dec. 18 and I’m not sure if I can get all my seat reservations by that time.

    Dec. 27 – I plan to take the Yufuin no Mori part of the way. How popular is this train at this time of the year?

    Dec. 29 – Part of this route I plan on taking the Sunrise Seto from Okayama to Tokyo. A friend in Japan offered to reserve the sleeping accommodation for me. If I get the reservation, will I still have to pay the base fare, even though the JR pass covers it?

    • Hi Marvin,

      If you are very flexible, you will be able to get a seat anyway. I think Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano on Dec 29 is most difficult. In this year, outgoing traffic on Dec 29 and 30, and incoming traffic on Jan 2 and 3 will be the busiest days. But if you are okay with any trains, I believe you will make it. Green pass may help you to book a seat easily. But it’s not a big different.

      But Sunrise is very tough. You are lucky you have a friend to book it for you. You can ask your friend to book compartment only. You don’t need to ask to purchase a base fare ticket. Your friend can buy only accommodation ticket. You may use JR pass for base fare.


      Takeshi /

      • Marvin says:

        Thank you for the information. I think I will ask my friend to try to reserve the Sunrise Seto. I have an additional question, if you don’t mind. If I decide to ask my friend to reserve additional tickets, like the shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano, is it possible get a refund after showing them my JR pass when I pick up my tickets?

  6. Matt says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Between Jan 12-14, we would like to travel from Osaka to Kanazawa then to Tokyo on the shinkansen (Thunderbird and Kagayaki) using JR Pass. Are there any winter seasonal issues we need to take into account with this plan?

    Thanks for your excellent website,


    • Hi Matt,

      In Hokuriku region, sometimes winter storm hit this area. Train sometimes delay due to weather, but suspension is very few. Especially Hokuriku Shinkansen is designed with updated technology and it runs when even other trains suspend.


      Takeshi /

  7. Joanne says:


    I just wanted to check I can travel by train from Nara to Osaka on 1st January?

    Thanks for your help.

  8. Simone says:

    Are the seasonal trains fully or partially covered by the JR Pass? I was specifically interested in taking the Asahiyama Dobutsuen train, and was hoping to catch the Evangelion Shinkansen between Okayama and Himeji. I can’t find any info on the JR sites about passes covering these tickets.
    Thank you for your help.

  9. Venessa says:

    Hello, I intend on taking the Hayabusa shinkansen from Ueno to Shin-Aomori, then changing to the Super Hakucho to Hakodate on 27 December. I also intend on taking the Super Hokuto from Hakodate to Sapporo on 28 December.

    After that, I intend on taking the train all the way from Sapporo to Tokyo on 31st December.

    Will seats be available or will the trains on those dates (27/28/31 December) be full? Thanks a lot for your website, I found it a big help when planning for my trip.

    • Hi Venessa,

      I think you will be okay. I expect the busiest day is 28th and 29th from Tokyo. But you will leave Tokyo on 27th. It’s much different from 28th and 29th. I believe Hakodate-Sapporo on 28th is busy but not very serious. 31st is actually slow.


      Takeshi /

      • Venessa says:

        Hello Takeshi, thank you for your quick reply. May I know if it would be better if I take the first train in the morning (at around 6am) or if I wait until the afternoon? Which would have more space?

        I am thinking of taking the Hayabusa 1 (at 6.38am) to Shin-Aomori, then changing to the Super Hakucho 1 (at 10:17am) to Hakodate. Are these timings fine, or should I change to a later train instead? Thank you.

  10. Peter says:

    Thanks for doing this each year.

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