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Family on Sunrise Seto / Izumo


My family of five would like to travel on the Sunrise Seto/Izumo from Tokyo overnight.

Is it possible for a family (mum, dad, 15yo son and daughters 10 and 7) to do this?
Can we use the nobinobi sections?
Are males and females separated?
Is there a way we could fit into the private cabins?
Could the two younger ones pay for their fares but share a bunk?

Thank you very much



  • edited March 2017
    Hi Homer,

    For JR Pass users the “Nobi Nobi” sections can be used free of charge. These are carpeted seats to lay down on, with blankets provided. I don't think males and females are separated.
    There are also single bed “type A” compartments and twin bed “type B” compartments. These compartments require an additional fare, starting at 10,800yen per person. Cabins are for one or two people, a family could not fit into one cabin, and I doubt JR staff would let children share a bunk.

    The hardest part of getting on the Sunrise express is reserving seats. With only one service each night, seats are very limited and sometimes sell out days, if not weeks in advance. Especially the nobi nobi places!

    The best way to make reservations is to ask for seats the moment that you are in Japan and have activated your JR Pass. As you may already know, it's not possible to reserve seats outside of Japan or online for the Japan Rail Pass. Ticket reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance and are required in order to travel on this train. Weekend days and holidays are especially hard to book.

    Good luck!

    Japan Experience
  • Hello. One more question. Can you use the JR Pass on the Sunrise Izumo on the last day of the pass. So if I boarded the overnight train on the seventh day of the pass but arrive into Tokyo the next day is that still okay?
  • edited May 2017
    Hi Homer,

    We've tried looking into this for you, and we believe it should be fine to use a JR Pass to ride on the last day, since you will be starting the journey while your pass is valid and will not be getting off the train in the meantime. However, we unfortunately can't find any definite information on this that lets us know for sure.

    Since you will have to make an advanced reservation for this overnight train at the ticket office, JR staff will check your JR Passes at this point, and will be able to inform you if you can't ride the train due to your pass expiring overnight.

    Sorry we can't be of more help with this!

    Japan Experience
  • Thank you very much.

    Today we went to JR Ueno Office and after much polite and helpful consultation I was able to use the pass on the last day arriving in Tokyo the morning after.

    Thank you.
  • That's great to hear - thank you for letting us know!

    Japan Experience
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