questions & answers: itinerary check

jr pass from tokyo to hokkaido

JR Pass from Tokyo to Hokkaido

Hi

I will be arriving in Tokyo Narita Airport on Feb 3 and leaving from Tokyo Haneda Airport on Feb 13.

Planning to go Hokkaido (by 7-day JR Pass) and Hakone. Below is my itinerary.

1) Could you please confirm that the tickets I chose using HYPERDIA are free covered by JR Pass?
2) Overnight train on Feb 9, boarded before midnight but the train arrives on Feb 10. Is it still ok to use the JR Pass?
3) How can I secure the overnight ticket from overseas?
4) Your advice on the itinerary is very much appreciated.

Feb 3
Narita - Tokyo (LTD. EXP NARITA)
Overnight train: Ueno - Hakodate (LTD. EXP. HOKUTOSEI)

Feb 4
Hakodate - Sapporo (LTD. EXP SUPER HOKUTO)
Sapporo - Abashiri (LTD. EXP OKHOTSK)

Feb 5
Abashiri - Asahikawa (LTD. EXP OKHOTSK)

Feb 6
Asahikawa - Sapporo (LTD. EXP SUPER SOYA)

Feb 7
Sapporo

Feb 8
Sapporo - Noboribetsu (LTD. EXP SUPER HOKUTO)

Feb 9
Noboribetsu - Toya (Muroran) - Hakodate (LTD. EXP SUPER HOKUTO)
Overnight train: Hakodate - Ueno (LTD. EXP CASSIOPEIA)

trinatree
trinatree

Hi there!

Unfortunately the night trains Hotokusei and Cassiopeia are not covered by the JR Pass. The JR Pass does give you a small discount on them (the basic fare is covered) but you have to pay extra surcharges which amount up to a rather high amount. Also, night trains can only be reserved once you are in Japan which will make booking them - sorry to say - almost impossible, because they are very popular and can sell out weeks in advance.

Instead I would recommend looking at using day trips with the JR Pass, they are all covered and you'd be making some very good savings. Traveling from Tokyo - Hakodate is quite a ride but distances in Hokkaido are all very decent and will give you enough time to see and explore the island, even if you travel by day.

You can find more information about night trains and fares here

Sorry to bring you bad news!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel.

Yup, it is a real bummer, I have worked out a new itinerary though.

Feb 3
Fly from NARITA to SHIN CHITOSE

Feb 4
CHITOSE - OBIHIRO - KUSHIRO (LTD. EXP SUPER OZORA)

Feb 5
KUSHIRO - ABASHIRI (JR SENMO LINE)
ABASHIRI - ASAHIKAWA (LTD. EXP OKHOTSK)

Feb 6
ASAHIKAWA

Feb 7
ASAHIKAWA - BIEI - FURANO (JR FURANO LINE)
FURANO - NOBORIBETSU

Feb 8
NOBORIBETSU - TOYA - HAKODATE (LTD. EXP. HOKUTO)

Feb 9
HAKODATE - SAPPORO (LTD. EXP SUPER HOKUTO)

Feb 10
Night train: SAPPORO - AOMORI (EXP. HAMANASU)
AOMORI - ODAWARA (JR OU LINE - SHINKANSEN HAYABUSA - SHINKASEN HIKARI)

Questions:

1) Is the night train on Feb 10 (day 7 of JR Pass) arriving on Feb 11 free covered by JR Pass?

2) Is there any heating system on the night train?

3) Since you mentioned that day trains are free, I believe those that I have selected are safe. Somehow the HYPERDIA site highlighted that some routes are not suitable for JR Pass.

Thanking you in advance for your advice.

trinatree
trinatree

Hi again,

Glad to see that you've re-worked your itinerary.

1&2.) The Hamanasu train is covered by the JR pass and has heating systems in place. Do note that it can still cold due to low temperatures outside. Be sure to reserve it as soon as you arrive in Japan though, as the Hamanasu is very popular.

3.)I checked the rest of your itinerary as well and all these lines are covered! So you can travel worry free!

Hope this helps!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi, Daniel

Thanks for your reply.

However, while I was trying to book the JR Pass online, I stumbled upon an info about boarding the train before midnight on the 7th day. Please see below from http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361.html.

What happens if I am on a train when the pass expires at midnight?

If you happen to be on board of a train at midnight, the Japan Rail Pass remains valid until the end of your journey, i.e. until you leave your final station through the ticket gates. This is true even if you transfer trains after midnight. However, if you transfer to a shinkansen, limited express or express train after midnight, the pass will not cover the express supplement for that train anymore.

Could you please confirm the below is fully covered? Thanks!

Feb 10 (arriving Feb 11)
Night train: SAPPORO - AOMORI (EXP. HAMANASU)
AOMORI - ODAWARA (JR OU LINE - SHINKANSEN HAYABUSA - SHINKASEN HIKARI)

trinatree
trinatree

Hi Again!

You are right about that! You would have to pay the full Shinkansen fare (which is pretty high) if you did that. I assumed that you would use your JR Pass from day 4-10 and be on the train to Tokyo on the 10th day.

However what you could do instead of traveling back to Sapporo on day 9 is take the Akebono night train from Aomori to Tokyo. This makes much more sense route wise, as traveling back to Sapporo just adds a lot of travel-time, though I'd understand if you want to experience the Hamanasu. You could of course use the Hamanasu on day 8 instead either to Toya or sleep a little longer and take a train from Hakodate to Toya.

I hope this helps you!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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