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Sunrise Express: Discover rural destinations with Japan’s last regularly-operating sleeper train

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By Laura Payne

Running between Tokyo and off-the-beaten-path prefectures like KagawaShimane and Tottori, the overnight train Sunrise Express lets passengers fall asleep in the city and awake in the countryside.

The Sunrise Express is also a living piece of history. Sleeper trains were once a common way to traverse Japan, but they dwindled with the rise of bullet trains and domestic flights. Luxury sleeper trains still operate on limited runs, but the Sunrise Express is the only regularly scheduled sleeper train left in the country — operating daily with affordable ticket prices.

Train Accommodations

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Get a good night’s rest. Image: PIXTA/ハマ

A Sunrise Express ticket reserves a bunk space or private room. The cheapest accommodation is the nobi nobi zaseki (stretch and relax seat)—a semi-private carpeted bunk.

Private rooms are more expensive but afford dedicated luggage storage spaces and beds. Options for these rooms include:

  • Sunrise Twin (Room with two twin beds)
  • Single Twin (A bunk bed room)
  • Solo (Small room with one twin bed)
  • Single (Room with a single bed)
  • Single Deluxe (The most expensive room with a single bed, desk and sink)

A Japan Rail Pass covers the entire cost of a nobi nobi zaseki and provides a discount for private rooms.

Train Amenities

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Watch the scenery from the lounge. Image: PIXTA/you

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

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