There are a number of overnight train services which operate on the main island of Honshu, as well as services which link Shikoku and Hokkaido.
Seats on night trains are covered by the JR pass (please note that note all night trains have seats), but it does not cover shared or private compartments. You have to pay for these separately and also pay the (limited) express fee of around 3,000 yen and in some instances additional fees on top of this.
The most popular night travel for travellers tends to be the Hokutosei and Cassiopeia trains that run from Ueno station in Tokyo to Sapporo in Hokkaido.
Other night trains are:
- Hanamasu (Aomori-Sapporo) – Covered by JR Pass
- Akebono (Ueno-Aomori) – Covered by JR Pass
- Moonlight Echigo (Shinjuku-Niigata)
- Moonlight Shinshu (Shinjuku-Matsumoto)
- Twilight Express (Osaka-Sapporo)
- Nihonkai (Osaka-Aomori)
- Kitaguni (Osaka-Niigata) – Covered by JR Pass
- Moonlight Nagawa (Tokyo-Ohgaki)
- Sunrise Izumo (Tokyo-Okayama-Izumo) – Covered by JR Pass
- Sunrise Seto (Tokyo-Okayama- Takamatsu) – Covered by JR Pass
You can make reservations for night trains at JR tickets offices. For more information visit, www.japan-guide.com.