questions & answers: general japan travel

travel from fukouka to tokyo - any night train?

Travel from Fukouka to Tokyo - any night train?

Dear Sir,

My husband and I will travel from Fukuoka to Tokyo on 16th April 2012.

We are JR pass holders.

We would like to know if there any night trains from Fukuoka to Tokyo? We are thinking to save one night hotel by travelling at night.

What time is the night train? Is there any direct train, without changing the trains?

Many thanks.
Catherine

Catherine
Catherine

Hi there,

There are no sleepers that go direct to Tokyo from Fukuoka, but if you make your way to Okayama by bullet train, you can board the 10:33 Sunrise Izumo or the Sunrise Seto sleeper train that will take you into Tokyo for 7am the following day. These trains run daily and you can see a sample itinerary and sample timetable here.

Both of these sleeper trains offer have carpeted areas "nobi nobi seat" that are free for Japan Rail Pass holders, but you can also book private rooms for ¥9500 per person with a Japan Rail Pass.

As places on these trains must be reserved, you should reserve as soon as you have activated your rail pass in Japan.

As an alternative to this, you could take the bullet train to tokyo, which has 1 change in the Kansai area (eg shin-osaka). Here's a sample itinerary. Total journey time on the bullet train is 6hrs, however these trains are only operational during the day.

Hope you have a great trip!

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mari
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Hi Mari,

Many thanks for your feedback.

I have another question: I will be in Tokyo for 5 days. Is it worth to buy a JR pass? Do you sell daily JR pass?

Rgds, catherine

Catherine
Catherine

Hi there,

For inside Tokyo, the best option is to use the prepaid metro cards I think called 'suica' or 'pasmo'. If you think you'll travel outside of Tokyo, then it may be worth looking at rail passes, but only if you think that's a possibility.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Dear Mari,

Thanks for your feedback.

I would like to ask a question related to my first question above on travel from Fukuoka to Tokyo.

How do I travel from Fukuoka to Okayama? Is this train cover by JR pass?

Many thanks again.

Catherine
Catherine

Hi there!

Yes - from Fukuoka, you can use a Sakura or Hikari bullet trains to get to Okayama. Here's a sample itinerary. Please note that the station in Fukuoka is called "Hakata". This leg is also fully covered by the JR Pass.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Dear Mori,

Many thanks for your feedback. It really helps.

I have another question: how do I make seat reservation?
I will purchase JR pass order in my country and when I reach Japan, I will convert to JR pass. Can I make on-line reservation now? If not, how do I go about making the reservation?

Rgds, Catherine

Catherine
Catherine

Hi Catherine,

Not a problem!

For trains that you mention you will have to reserve these once you get to Japan.

To reserve seats, present your activated rail pass at the JR ticket counter and the JR staff will be happy to place your free reservations.

We have a blog post on reserving seats for JR pass holders here.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Dear Mari,

Thanks again for your feedback.

I would like to know if I can use JR pass to travel to Sapporo?

I understand that JR pass cannot use the NOZOMI train. Why?

What is the difference between nozomi train and other trains?

Rgds, Catherine

Catherine
Catherine

Hi Catherine,

Yes, you can use the rail pass to get up to Sapporo - A common use is the Hayabusa shinkansen from Tokyo up to shin-aomori and then from there using JR-Hokkaido up to Sapporo.

The JR Pass is not valid on all shinkansen except the Nozomi and Mizuho trains - I'm afraid these are the rules laid down by JR. In practice, the alternative shinkansen on these affeced lines (Hikari, Railstar and Sakura) are extremely fast, and typically do the journey from Tokyo to Kyoto 15-20 minutes after the Nozomi as they stop at slightly more stations. For tourism purposes this shouldn't be a problem - the Hikari, Railstar and Sakura are the same trains as the Nozomi and Mizuho and run at the same top speeds.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Dear Mari,

Thanks for your feedback.

I would like to seek your advise on my following travel plan in Japan:

I will travel from Hakata to Tokyo on 13th April night as per your suggestion above (travel from Hakata to okayama and then travel from okayama to Tokyo. Arrive tokyo on 14th April at 0708.)

After arriving tokyo as stated above, I would like to continue travel to Sapporo on the following route:

Tokyo to Shin - aomori: 0732-11:09 Shinkansen Hayate 15
Shin-aomori to Hododate: 11:35-13:44 Ltd exp super Hakucho 15
Hakodate to Sapporo JR : 1400-17:29 Ltd exp Hokuto 11

I would like to know your comments. Is above plan possible? The concern is when I arrive Tokyo from Okayama, it will be 0708 hrs, is it enough time to travelt to the platform travelling to Sapporo? I will only have less than 30 minutes in between two trains. Is the time table very accurate? How far is the platform when I arrive from Okayama and the platform that I will take train to sapporo?

Is it advisable to travel with long time in the train? Is there any place for me to stretch my hands and legs and do simple exercise as I will be sitting long time in the train.

How about wash room in the train, is it big enough to wash face, brush teeth?
How about food on the train? Is there any food catering services on the train? Can we see the menu on the line?

Many thanks for your feedback and comment.

Rgds, Catherine

Catherine
Catherine

Hi Catherine,

Now that's going to be quite an experience, and quite possible (though long distance). The timetables are incredibly accurate (Average lateness on JR trains last year was 5 seconds), so you can be sure you'll make your connection in Tokyo. Once in Tokyo you'll have to change areas to the Shinkansen Bullet terminal, but this is clearly signposted, and will be easy to access once you get up into the main station.

On the sleeper train there will be a suitable washroom for you to get ready, brush teeth etc, and also on the bullet train there are washrooms regularly placed between cars. You'll be able to stretch your legs in these areas too.

As you are in a bit of a hurry, you should wait to buy some food until once you are past the bullet train ticket barrier. Once inside the shinkansen terminal you'll be able to purchase bento lunch boxes and other food to keep you busy during the day. I recommend purchasing food in the station rather than on the train, although if you are in a real hurry you will be able to purchase snacks, drinks and simple lunchboxes onboard the bullet from a waitress with a trolly. Please note that these are likely to be more expensive than buying at Tokyo station.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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