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Overnight trains and other questions

over 10 years ago
2 responses


I will be traveling in Japan for 3 weeks starting April 23rd. I already ordered my 21-days JR pass from this website and will be using it mostly from a base in Kobe (with a few days in Hokkaido if I can).

After playing with Hyperdia a bit, I have a few questions:

  1. I'm having trouble finding overnight trains. Is there a particular trick to use in Hyperdia to accomplish that? From the results I've obtained it looks like there are very few routes where that is an option, but looking in this forum I get the feeling there should be much more. Alternatively, is there a rail map that highlights such routes?

  2. I'd like to do a few day trips from Kobe, possibly as far away as Tokyo. Is that overly ambitious? I realize I would be spending 7+ hours on the train and only a few hours in the city (without Nozomi it looks like there are few choices for early trains and late trains back). I guess I'd like to hear others' experiences doing something like that.

  3. I don't see an option to show only routes that have Green cars. Is there another resource I could look at?

Thanks a lot!

P.S: There are many places online to order a JR pass and the price is pretty close everywhere. I chose jrpass.com because of the quality of the forums and the very helpful, knowledgeable and quick replies from the staff. Keep up the good work!

1950 posts
over 10 years ago

Hi Dada,

Thanks for the kinds words - it's great to hear we're doing the right thing :)

Here are some answers for you:

1) For night trains, I recommend using the following settings in Hyperdia:

sleeper search

This will should pick out the sleeper trains you need. the trick is to select sleeper trains that arrive at around 7 or 8am.

2) A day trip to Tokyo is totally doable from Kobe, especially if you use the Sunrise Izumo or Seto sleepers to return. There's no doubt that it is a long way, but the alternative is to spend around 3.25hrs each way from Shin-kobe. How about doing a stopover on the way, such as in Hakone or Shizuoka?

3) I'm afraid I don't know of any resource for green car availability except to check on Hyperdia. In general there is 1 green car equipped Hikari or Sakura bullet every hour, and you'll find green cars on all LTD Express trains. They are generally not available on local or commuter trains however.

I hoep this helps!

2 posts
over 10 years ago

Thank you for your reply!

The settings you suggest generally return routes that are not fully covered by the JR Pass though... What I was hoping for is trains with comfortable Green seats that would allow me to cover a good distance overnight while sleeping.

After reading some more it looks like there is no such thing as Green cars at night, and there's only a few night trains that I would be able to use with just the JR Pass (Hamanasu, Akebono). When using these trains, holding a Green pass doesn't afford any extra comfort: a normal pass would do just fine.

But that's ok, I think I will still enjoy having the Green pass on day trains if only to have a easier time finding seats. I hear Golden Week is particularly busy.

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