questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

overnight train tokyo - fukuoka

Overnight train Tokyo - Fukuoka

We are arriving into Narita Airport on the 17th November at 7:30pm for a 15 day holiday. We were hoping to see the Sumo wrestling in Fukuoka but thought that might be a bit hard with our itinerary. However we are now considering trying to do an overnight sleeper train the night we arrive and head to Fukuoka and then work our way back and finish in Tokyo.

So I guess we are wondering if this is doable on the night we arrive (saving a hotel stay) and what sort of transfers and times are we looking at from the airport.



Hi there,

Unfortunately there is no night service between Tokyo - Fukuoka. That means you will have to take the bullet train by day.

There's a sleeper train called to Sunrise express that you could use from Tokyo to Okayama and take the bullet train from there, however this may be hard to book.

For more on night trains, please see: Night trains and the JR Pass.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

A sleeper train really isn't practical these days. It'd be easier to buy a cheap air ticket on Jet Star or Peach and get there in 90 minutes. But then you'd miss a lot of great places between Tokyo and Fukuoka - Kyoto and Nara are the crown jewels of traditional Japan, and well worth seeing if you haven't seen them already - they'd also make a nice break from a long train trip.

A 14 day Pass would probably serve you very well - plus no need to get in line to buy tickets all the time.
Fukuoka has many good places in addition to the sumo (this year, Nov 8-22). Look at this site as a good guide. Be sure to go see the Nanzoin Temple which is one of Japan's finest, and just a 20 minute train ride from Hakata Station. The Rakusuien and Yusentei Gardens are both very beautiful and relaxing, like an oasis inside the city.

Good luck.


Thanks for the replies, the hardest thing is to try and find the right balance of what to see without too much rush.

We are spending (at this stage) 5 nights in Tokyo (side trip to Nikko), 5 nights in Kyoto (side trip to Nara), 1 night in Miyajima and we are also trying to stop in Kanazawa for 2 nights and Jigokudani 1 night to see the snow monkeys.... but then we realised there was Sumo wrestling in Fukuoka while we are there which got us thinking.

Thanks again for the help.


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