Did you know? There are only two sleeper trains left in Japan: the Sunrise Seto and the Sunrise Izumo. Together, they travel as one long, 14-car train from Tokyo to Okayama.
The sleeper trains are a relic of the 1970’s when the form of commuting was at its peak. As Bored Panda reports, the country’s expanding network of domestic air routes, cheap night buses, and bullet trains, nearly wiped out the form of travel. Fortunately, the Sunrise Seto and Sunrise Izumo are still functioning. Most importantly, both trains have swoon-worthy interiors.
When the Sunrise Seto and the Sunrise Izumo pull into the Okayama station, they separate into two 7-car trains. Each train then continues on its own, eventually reaching different stations. The Sunrise Seta heads toward the city of Takamatsu on the island of Shikoku. The sunrise Izumo goes to the city of Izumo in Shimane Prefecture.
On the return journey, both trains run separately from their starting points. But, they couple again when they reach Okayama and stay that way until they reach the final stop at Tokyo.
The trains depart Tokyo each day at 10 PM. By 7:28 (Takamatsu) am and 9:58 am (Izumoshi), they arrive at their destinations. By traveling throughout the night, travelers are saved the time and expense of spending a night in a hotel.
As the photos reveal, the Sunrise Seto and Izumo trains don’t offer regular seating. Instead, the carts are equipped with private cabins. In an open area called “nobi nobi,” travelers are invited to lay day on carpeted ground.
Bored Panda reports:
“Depending on the compartment type, Japan Rail Pass holders will have to pay an additional supplement up to about 17,000 yen (~$153) to ride in the cabins, but usually will be able to use the “nobi nobi” without paying extra.”
The trains feature many facilities, including toilets, vending machines, and lounges. Showers are also available to passengers. One token can be used for a 6-minute shower. However, there is a limited supply of the tokens, so travelers are encouraged to buy one early.
Now that you’ve seen the interior of these sleeper trains, will you make an effort to travel on the Sunrise Seto or the Sunrise Izumo the next time you visit Japan? Comment your thoughts below and share this news!
h/t Bored Panda