Monday, 29 October 2012

Sleeping On The Move

Sleeper trains are awesome in our books. We get to travel to a destination while sleeping through the night. Sleep at one city and wake up in a different one. Plus, using the JR Pass, that means saving on a paying for a night's stay in a hotel!

While travelling from Shikoku to Okayama, Zaini asked me whether I'm up to something crazy. That crazy was taking a night train from Osaka to Tokyo, then continue on to Aomori before travelling to another island and arriving at the southernmost tip of Hokkaido - Hakodate. 

And that's what we did! But not before spending the day in Nara, Kyoto and Osaka first, before making our way to the train station to wait for our midnight train.
An almost deserted train station. Well, no more trains unless you're boarding a sleeper train at this time.
Our train! Sunrise Izumo/Sunrise Seto that runs in tandem between Tokyo Station and Okayama Station. From Okayama, this train stops at Himeji, Sannomiya, Osaka, Shizuoka, Fuji, Numazu, Atami and Yokohama before arriving in Tokyo.
Walking towards our berth. Drawn curtain = occupied. Don't go peeping in!
Our place to sleep for the night. It's warm. They provide you with a blanket and a cloth to place under your head and not much else.
Don't go sleeping naked here! You neighbours can see you! There aren't any curtains to close off on the side, just at the opening.
This is what you sleep on. A carpeted area. We didn't mind. In fact, I had quite a good sleep in this train.
If you can't entertain the notion of sleeping on the floor but still want to take this sleeper train, fret not. There are single deluxe room available too. If you're using JR Pass, this room is chargeable. That carpet berth is free with JR Pass.

This wasn't the first time we took sleeper trains during our vacation in Japan. Sadly, travel in these trains continue to decline, such services are cut-down or stopped.

21 comments:

  1. Oh, that looks confortable space. I have never tried it. I should try it. :)

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    1. We've tried a couple of midnight train and this one is good and comfortable! :)

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  2. The carpeted areas are impossible for me to sleep on. While it isn't terrible, I end up waking up every 20 minutes because of a lack of feeling in my limbs. I did that on a trip to Shikoku. I had a black brick as a pillow and a blanket. Pretty much the same thing, but it was an open room. Even less privacy! I would start on one side, and wake up with no feeling in my arm and leg. Turn over, and 20 minutes later, wake up again. Repeat all night and that is how I slept. Not the best sleeps ever. I slept better in a chair on a plane than that carpet, but I did feel more rested on the carpet. Go figure. Guess sleeping horizontally is important.

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    1. I'd rather sleep flat on a carpet than sitting up in a chair. Oh, man, I just hate long flights. Hate 'em hate 'em hate 'em. (>_<) That horizontal thing? That's an important thing, methinks.

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    2. I wonder if they would ever do a "double decker" style chair in economy. Double up, but allow you to lie flat. Front goes under, back goes over. Something like that. Probably not as you'd be fighting with someone over who gets the top, as well as not being able to co-ordinate your sleep times. :P

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    3. Dru,
      Double decker chair? Now that's an idea eh?

      I sleep in any position if I'm tired enough. I'm quite easy on the sleeping part (where I sleep, I mean. heh) but never ever get me hungry. II don't do hungry while traveling very well. ;p

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  3. "Midnight train". That sounds sooo romantic! (Thus speaketh a true train lover.)

    I don't mind sleeping on a carpet, but the lack of privacy would really bother me. The way to go to Hokkaido is on Cassiopeia! Link here.

    This specific train is one of my dreams. Bit more expensive than an ordinary sleeper train, but I'm going to do it, one day, come hell or high water! :D

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    Replies
    1. Someday, when we have more $$$ to burn - we do intend to ride on the Cassiopeia. That's why it's taking ages for us to plan for our Hokkaido trip! ;p

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  4. I've yet to try a sleeper train in Japan. Did take an over night bus from Nagoya to Niigata to see the Fuji Rock Festival one year.

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    1. I haven't done an overnight trip on buses in ages! Used to do it a lot when I was a student. ;p

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  5. How do you do that 'sleep moving' haha. Lucky you reminded Bananaz else may sleep naked. Nice and clean like train.

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    1. Sleep walking? xD

      How to sleep if stay at dorm like that? Scared away other guests with Bananaz peeling of his outer skin! LOL

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  6. I used a sleeper train when I would go to Toyooka(San-in-Honsen). But the sleeper train had abolished.
    It's agood experience for you and your family.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Too bad the route and the train you took had been abolished. Sleeper train of popularity is on a decline in Japan. It's a pity. :(

      Have a great week ahead too, Minoru! :)

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  7. Wahhhh that looks soooo comfy ..air conditioned ke?

    Heheheheheeh sorry for the lack of visits and commenting. With my 15 month old baby ni, its soooooo difficult to browse nor blog. Log in je kejap a pair of chubby fingers are tapping on my keyboard LOL, one day I will post a photo of her doing that. Hope all is well for you and family.

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    1. Time sejuk.... ada heater. Nice, warm and comfy in the train. Rasa macam taknak keluar je... hehehe

      Nice to see you back dearie. :)

      15 months already? My, my... your lil princess already celebrated her first birthday dah!

      Hope to see a new post of her soon!

      Keep in touch ye? :)

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    2. Ehhhhhhhh i realllly want to go to Japan now my hubby said he will plan it but I request autumn time hehehehehe by then Isabella will be 2 years old perfect age kan ..will post very soon. She celebrated her 1st birthday dah but a rather simple quiet one back in the UK, ni balik Brunei this Saturday I will do another one for her with my big family so its more meriah for my munchkin hehehe ..will definitely keep in touch!!

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    3. Goodie!!!!

      Raimie first trip to Japan was when he was 3 and he was such an angel that time. Almost properly toilet-trained and was happily basking at the attention given by random obachan there. ;)

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  8. Sounds quite interesting to spend a night on a train ^^

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    1. It is. And can save a bit of $$$ on hotel rooms too. :)

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  9. I was going to ask where are the curtains or dividers, but I guess it's no different than sleeping on the plane, but at least here you can lie all the way down. I hope neighbors don't snore. :P

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