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Sunrise IZUMO Review! Japan’s Overnight Sleeper Train
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Sunrise IZUMO Review! Japan’s Overnight Sleeper Train

The Sunrise Express Izumo is a popular sleeper train that connects Tokyo and Izumo City, and vice versa. During this trip, I opted for the most affordable option, a solo private room in the B-class sleeper cabin.

This sleeper train, which began operation on July 10, 1998, is the only one of its kind in Japan that operates daily on a regular schedule, running from Tokyo Station in Tokyo to Izumo City Station in Shimane Prefecture, traversing the Tokaido Main Line, Sanyo Main Line, Hakubi Line, and Sanin Main Line.

In this article, I will share my experience of traveling aboard the Sunrise Express Izumo from Tokyo Station to Izumo City. I’ll provide tips and insights on what to expect and how to enjoy the train journey to the fullest!

Introducing the Sunrise Express Izumo

Sunrise Izumo sleeper express stopping at Izumo City Station in Shimane Prefecture.
  1. Train Name: JR West Japan 285 Series Train – Sunrise Express Izumo
  2. Commencement of Operation: July 10, 1998
  3. Length: Approximately 21.67 meters (per car)
  4. Gross Weight: Approximately 43.57 tons (per car)
  5. Speed: 130 km/h
  6. Passenger Capacity: 158 passengers

Reservation method for the Sunrise Izumo Limited Express

Midori-no-Kenbaiki(Ticket Vending Machines)

At JR stations, you can purchase tickets using the “Green Ticket Vending Machines.” However, additional sleeper charges are required to board the Sunrise Izumo Limited Express.

Midori-no-madoguchi

You can purchase and reserve tickets including sleeper charges at the “Midori no Madoguchi” (Green Window).

If there is a Midori no Madoguchi near your location, simply inform the staff that you would like to reserve the Sunrise Izumo, and they will assist you in making the reservation smoothly!

You can find a list of stations with Midori no Madoguchi on JR’s official website.

JR Westhttps://www.jr-odekake.net/eki/receive
JR Easthttps://www.jreast.co.jp/estation/midori/
JR Shikokuhttps://www.jr-shikoku.co.jp/tel5489/uketori.htm
JR Kyushuhttps://train.yoyaku.jrkyushu.co.jp/jr/pc/consumer/SearchStationInitAction.do

Online Booking

You can make advance reservations using your smartphone or computer through the official JR website called “JR Odekake Net.”

▼ JR Odekake Net Sunrise Izumo Reservation Page

https://www.jr-odekake.net/goyoyaku/campaign/sunriseseto_izumo/form.html

Tickets reserved online can be collected at the “Midori no Madoguchi” window or from the “Midori no Kenbaiki” vending machines.

If you’ve completed the reservation with a credit card but haven’t picked up the tickets yet, you can print them out at the vending machines.

Those who reserved with a credit card need to bring the same card used for the reservation when collecting the tickets.

For those who made reservations online, you can check the payment and pickup status of your tickets on JR’s official reservation site called “e5489”

▼ e5489 Official Website

https://e5489.jr-odekake.net/e5489/cspc/CBTopMenuPC

Tips for Reserving the Sunrise Izumo Limited Express

When can you make a reservation?

Reservations can be made from 10:00 AM one month before the date of travel. However, if the same date does not exist in the previous month, reservations can be made from the beginning of the month (the 1st).

Difficulty in securing reservations

The Sunrise Izumo Limited Express is the only sleeper train in Japan and is highly popular. Despite operating daily, certain room types such as the A-class single deluxe, B-class single twin, single, and solo rooms are extremely popular. During the winter season, reservations for these private rooms may be unavailable up to one month in advance. However, shared compartment seats are relatively easier to book.

How to Secure Reservations

This method, known as “hitting at 10,” is a strategy for securing reservations through both online booking and at the Midori no Madoguchi ticket counters.

At 10:00 AM one month prior to the desired travel date, tickets for the Sunrise Izumo are simultaneously released nationwide.

As soon as it hits 10:00 AM, quickly press the reservation button to complete your booking.

For online reservations, input the necessary information such as the boarding and alighting stations and the desired train beforehand, then hit the search button precisely at 10:00 AM to make your reservation.

Sunrise Izumo Limited Express Seat Map

I’ve created a simple seat map for all the carriages inside the Sunrise Izumo and Seto trains.

It’s available for download, so I hope it can be helpful as a reference when choosing seats.

▼ Sunrise Izumo and Seto Limited Express Seat Map PDF

Downlord

Room Types & Sleeper Charges for Sunrise Izumo

Tickets and sleeper express tickets for the Sunrise Izumo sleeper express
Room Types & Price List

Room Type Room Type Sleeper Charge Sleeper Charge Remarks Remarks
A-class Single Room (1 person capacity) A-class Single Room (1 person capacity) Single Deluxe Single Deluxe 13,980 yen A-class Single Room (1 person capacity)
B-class Single Room (1 person capacity) B-class Single Room (1 person capacity) Single Twin Single Twin 9,600 yen B-class Single Room (1 person・2 person capacity)
B-class Single Room (1 person capacity) B-class Single Room (1 person capacity) Single Single 7,700 yen B-class Single Room (1 person capacity)
B-class Single Room (1 person capacity) B-class Single Room (1 person capacity) Solo Solo 6,600 yen B-class Single Room (1 person capacity)
B-class Single Room (2 person capacity) B-class Single Room (2 person capacity) Sunrise Twin Sunrise Twin 15,400 yen (for 2 persons) B-class Single Room (2 person capacity)
B-class Single Room (2 person capacity) B-class Single Room (2 person capacity) Single Twin Single Twin 15,100 yen (for 2 persons) B-class Single Room (1 person・2 person capacity)
B-class Seat (shared) B-class Seat (shared) Spacious Seat Spacious Seat 530 yen (regular period) Ordinary Car Reserved Seat

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The sleeping berth fare for the Nobinobi seat is ¥200 less than the regular fare during the off-peak season and ¥200 more during the peak season.

For those who reserve a twin room, the fare for two adults is required, but there is no charge for children who sleep with an adult.

On the Sunrise Izumo, you pay a combined fare for “fare, limited express charge, and berth charge.”

The fare varies depending on the stations you board and alight at, as well as the type of room.

Example: Tokyo to Izumo (Solo Room) *Cheapest room on the Sunrise trainFare: 12,210 yen + Limited Express Fee: 3,300 yen + Sleeping Car Fare: 6,600 yen = 22,110 yen
Example: Tokyo to Izumo (Nobinobi Seat) *Cheapest shared room on the Sunrise trainFare: 12,210 yen + Limited Express Fee: 3,300 yen + Sleeping Car Fare: 530 yen = 16,040 yen

The price difference between the private room and the shared room seat was ¥6,070.

The validity period of the boarding ticket is up to 5 days from the scheduled boarding date, but the limited express ticket is only valid on the day of boarding, so please be careful.

For those who want to ride at a reasonable price, the Nobinobi seat is recommended! (^-^)

Sunrise Izumo and Seto Duration

Tokyo 21:50 → Izumo City 9:58 – 12 hours 48 minutes

Tokyo 21:50 → Takamatsu 7:27 – 10 hours 17 minutes

Osaka 0:33 → Tokyo 7:08 – 6 hours 35 minutes

Sunrise Izumo Departure Platform, Stops, and Timetable

Tokyo Station at night illuminated

Sunrise Seto sometimes operates extended services to Kotohira Station after arriving at Takamatsu Station.

Timetable after the timetable revision on March 16, 2024.

From Tokyo to Izumo City & Takamatsu.

Pref. Route Station Sunrise Seto Sunrise Izumo Sunrise Izumo No.91
東京都
(Tokyo)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
東京
(Tokyo)
21:50 21:50 22:21
神奈川県
(Kanagawa)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
横浜
(Yokohama)
22:15 22:15 22:44
静岡県
(Shizuoka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
熱海
(Atami)
23:23 23:23
静岡県
(Shizuoka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
沼津
(Numazu)
23:39 23:39
静岡県
(Shizuoka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
富士
(Fuji)
23:53 23:53
静岡県
(Shizuoka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
静岡
(Shizuoka)
0:20 0:20
静岡県
(Shizuoka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
浜松
(Hamamatsu)
1:12 1:12
大阪府
(Osaka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
大阪
(Osaka)
6:04
兵庫県
(Hyogo)
山陽本線
(Sanyo Main Line)
三ノ宮
(San-nomiya)
6:27
兵庫県
(Hyogo)
山陽本線
(Sanyo Main Line)
姫路
(Himeji)
5:25 5:25 7:19
岡山県
(Okayama)
山陽本線
(Sanyo Main Line)
岡山
(Okayama)
6:27 6:27 8:48
岡山県
(Okayama)
山陽本線
(Sanyo Main Line)
倉敷
(Kurashiki)
|| 6:46 9:06
岡山県
(Okayama)
伯備線
(Hakubi Line)
備中高梁
(Bitchu-Takahashi)
|| 7:14 9:36
岡山県
(Okayama)
伯備線
(Hakubi Line)
新見
(Niimi)
|| 7:43 10:23
鳥取県
(Tottori)
山陰本線
(Sanin Main Line)
米子
(Yonago)
|| 9:05 12:02
島根県
(Shimane)
山陰本線
(Sanin Main Line)
安来
(Yasugi)
|| 9:16 12:12
島根県
(Shimane)
山陰本線
(Sanin Main Line)
松江
(Matsue)
|| 9:33 12:36
島根県
(Shimane)
山陰本線
(Sanin Main Line)
宍道
(Shinji)
|| 9:47 13:26
島根県
(Shimane)
山陰本線
(Sanin Main Line)
出雲市
(Izumoshi)
|| 10:00 13:39
岡山県
(Okayama)
本四備讃線
(Honshi-Bisan Line)
児島
(Kojima)
6:52
香川県
(Kagawa)
予讃線
(Yosan Line)
坂出
(Sakaide)
7:09
香川県
(Kagawa)
予讃線
(Yosan Line)
高松
(Takamatsu)
7:27
香川県
(Kagawa)
土讃線
(Dosan Line)
多度津
(Tadotsu)
(8:25)
香川県
(Kagawa)
土讃線
(Dosan Line)
善通寺
(Zentsuji)
(8:32)
香川県
(Kagawa)
土讃線
(Dosan Line)
琴平
(Kotohira)
(8:39)

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出雲市・高松から東京(上り)

Pref. Route Station Sunrise Seto Sunrise Izumo Sunrise Izumo No.91
香川県
(Kagawa)
予讃線
(Yosan Line)
高松
(Takamatsu)
21:26
香川県
(Kagawa)
予讃線
(Yosan Line)
坂出
(Sakaide)
21:44
岡山県
(Okayama)
本四備讃線
(Honshi-Bisan Line)
児島
(Kojima)
22:01
島根県
(Shimane)
山陰本線
(Sanin Main Line)
出雲市
(Izumoshi)
|| 18:57 13:52
島根県
(Shimane)
山陰本線
(Sanin Main Line)
宍道
(Shinji)
|| 19:10 14:24
島根県
(Shimane)
山陰本線
(Sanin Main Line)
松江
(Matsue)
|| 19:26 14:47
島根県
(Shimane)
山陰本線
(Sanin Main Line)
安来
(Yasugi)
|| 19:43 15:15
鳥取県
(Tottori)
山陰本線
(Sanin Main Line)
米子
(Yonago)
|| 1953 15:25
岡山県
(Okayama)
伯備線
(Hakubi Line)
新見
(Niimi)
|| 21:19 17:16
岡山県
(Okayama)
伯備線
(Hakubi Line)
備中高梁
(Bitchu-Takahashi)
|| 21:49 18:21
岡山県
(Okayama)
山陽本線
(Sanyo Main Line)
倉敷
(Kurashiki)
|| 22:16 18:51
岡山県
(Okayama)
山陽本線
(Sanyo Main Line)
岡山
(Okayama)
22:34 22:34 19:26
兵庫県
(Hyogo)
山陽本線
(Sanyo Main Line)
姫路
(Himeji)
23:33 23:33 21:04
兵庫県
(Hyogo)
山陽本線
(Sanyo Main Line)
三ノ宮
(San-nomiya)
0:11 0:11 21:52
大阪府
(Osaka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
大阪
(Osaka)
0:33 0:33 22:29
静岡県
(Shizuoka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
浜松
(Hamamatsu)
静岡県
(Shizuoka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
静岡
(Shizuoka)
4:38 4:38
静岡県
(Shizuoka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
富士
(Fuji)
5:09 5:09
静岡県
(Shizuoka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
沼津
(Numazu)
5:25 5:25
静岡県
(Shizuoka)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
熱海
(Atami)
5:43 5:43
神奈川県
(Kanagawa)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
横浜
(Yokohama)
6:44 6:44 5:56
東京都
(Tokyo)
東海道本線
(Tokaido Main Line)
東京
(Tokyo)
7:08 7:08 6:23

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Sunrise Seto, Sunrise Izumo Difference

Map of the interior of the Sunrise Izumo and Seto sleeper express trains

The Sunrise trains consist of cars 1 through 7 for the Seto service and cars 8 through 14 for the Izumo service.

At Okayama Station, the train separation procedure takes place.

The train separation process at Okayama Station is a famous event associated with the Sunrise trains.

Despite the early hour, many people come to witness the separation procedure.

For those planning to watch the separation of the Sunrise trains, pay attention here!

“From Tokyo to Izumo City or Takamatsu”Only passengers of Sunrise Izumo are allowed to watch.
“Izumo City or Takamatsu to Tokyo”Only passengers of Sunrise Seto are allowed to watch.

“Depending on the direction of travel, passengers on Sunrise trains may not be able to witness the train separation process. The train departs at the time of separation.

Comparing the most affordable shared room and the most affordable private room on Sunrise Izumo:

Nobi-Nobi Seat (Cheapest shared room)

Novi-Novi seats on the Sunrise Izumo sleeper express

Room

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Facilities

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Amenities

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B Class Bed Solo (Cheapest Private Room)

B Class Solo private room on the upper row of the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

Room

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Facilities

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Amenities

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Neck pillows are very useful when riding in a knobby seat!

Making a pillow using the neck pillow I brought with me at the NOBI-NOBI seat on the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

I knew before boarding the Novinobi seat that there were no pillows, so I brought an inflatable neck pillow.

I placed a folded towel on top of the inflated neck pillow and used the white cloth provided in the Novinobi seat as a sheet.

Advantages and disadvantages of upper and lower bunks

It depends on the room type, but most seats are in similar circumstances, so maybe it applies to you.

Upper Bunk

  • Advantages: Better view, less noise than below
  • Disadvantages: smaller rooms than below, more swaying than below, only stairs to stand on.

Lower column

  • Advantages: wider than the upper level, smoother entry and exit, less shaking than the upper level
  • Disadvantages/views are not as promising as the above, eyes from the platform when stopping at each station (curtains are available), train motor noise is noisy

If you want to take a bath, you need a shower card.

Shower card for the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

Each shower card costs 330 yen.

Each card is valid only once and can be used for 6 minutes.

The card has an illustration of the Sunrise train.

Location of Shower Card Vending Machines

Shower card vending machine in the mini lounge of the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

One shower card vending machine is located next to the lounge on cars 3 and 10.

The location of the shower card vending machines is closer to those entering through the doors of Cars 1 and 11 due to the structure of the cars.

If you want to win the battle for the shower card, try boarding from Car 4 and 11.

Shower cards must be purchased as soon as you board the train, or they will sell out quickly.

As mentioned earlier, one shower card is located next to the lounge of Car 3 and Car 10, but due to the capacity of the water tank, the number of cards sold per unit is limited to 20.

The total number of cards for the entire train is 40.

I actually went to the platform one hour before the Sunrise train was scheduled to depart because I really wanted to purchase a shower card, but there were already more than 10 people waiting in line (OMG)

Sunrise Izumo Train Update and Operation Status

The Sunrise Izumo train may be cancelled depending on weather conditions in each prefecture.

You can check the operation status of the Sunrise Izumo train, including information on delays, from the official website operated by West Japan Railway Company.

▼The latest information on the Sunrise Izumo

https://trafficinfo.westjr.co.jp/sp/express.html?id=23

Introduction to the Onboard of the Sunrise Izumo

Entrance/exit inside the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

Deck

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View from the mini lounge inside the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

Mini Lounge

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Shower room inside the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

Shower Room

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Vending machine inside the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

Vending machine

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Washbasin inside the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

Washbasin

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Toilet inside the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

Toilet

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Multi-purpose toilet inside the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

Barrier-Free Toilet

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Stickers with numerous awards attached to the windows of the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo

Stickers

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My impressions after riding the Sunrise Izumo

I recently took a trip from Tokyo to Izumo City Station aboard the Sunrise Izumo train, and I’d like to share my experience with you. Despite opting for the most budget-friendly and compact private room available on the Sunrise train, I found it surprisingly comfortable. Being able to lie down horizontally in a private space made the journey quite enjoyable, and the changing scenery along the way added to the experience, making it feel like a luxurious adventure.

While the train’s movement caused a few bumps as I walked through the aisle, it wasn’t enough to disrupt my overall experience. I was still able to comfortably enjoy my meals in the mini lounge. I hope my experience serves as a helpful reference for those planning to ride the Sunrise Izumo or Sunrise Seto trains in the future, heading towards Izumo City or Takamatsu.

To those embarking on their journey, I wish you a safe and pleasant train ride ahead!

※The posted information is as of the time of publication on February 11, 2024.
※Since the original text of this site is Japanese, other languages are automatically translated, so there is a possibility that there is an error in the translation content.
※This site is intended for entertainment and education, and is not intended for discrimination, slander, or copyright infringement.
※Currency conversions displayed on this site are based on exchange rate information obtained from search engines, and may differ from actual spot transaction rates. ※Business hours may change depending on the store or facility.
※The current contents, plans and prices may change, so be sure to check the information again on the official website etc. before you go out.
Although we strive to ensure the accuracy of the information posted on this site, we cannot guarantee it.
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