questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

night train reservation on the same day...

Night Train Reservation on the same day...

my friend and me are going to go see a sumo match in Fukuoka on the 13th or 14th of November. We are going to arrive in Tokyo Narita Airport around 3pm on the 12th. (I know we should've flew directly to Fukuoka but we didn't know about the sumo matches when we reserved our tickets for Japan)

We will both have a JR pass and were wondering what are the odds that there will have seats left on the Seto/Izumi night train on the same date we arrive(Nov 12th). I am aware that Nobi-Nobi seats go fast and that its nearly impossible to reserve in advance. What about the other seats? I know they cost extra but is there chances that there's space left.

I was thinking about buying plane tickets since they are only around 50$ but I was hoping we could save on an hotel night and after flying for nearly 17 hours I really don't want to spend more time on a plane.

Also we wouldn't be able to experience the sleeper train as plane tickets are not refundable.

We could also take the shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka, spend the night in Osaka and leave early in the morning to Fukuoka. But that would be a lot of our day spent riding the train.

TLDR; I would like to know if its worth risking waiting to reserve a place on the sleeper train at the last minute ( if there's no space we will have to spend most of our day traveling) Or we shouldn't risk it and just buy 2 plane tickets.

What are your opinion/thoughts ?


Hi there,

Honestly, I don't think that you'll be able to get a seat on the same day. I am not a bookmaker but odds are definitely not good. Still you could try it and if that does not work, take a Shinkansen during the day. I still think this is the best option because you already have a JR Pass and you can use the Shinkansen to travel on to Fukuoka without any additional cost.

Also there's no guarantee that you will make the flight connection to Fukuoka, flights can be delayed, immigration may be busy and there are other reasons. So going with the train is the safest option.

Alternatively you could look at a night bus from Tokyo - Fukuoka bus I would avoid this if possible.

These are my thoughts :)

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