My experience from taking Sunrise Izumo, a popular overnight sleeper train
Connecting Tokyo Station and Izumoshi Station in Shimane Prefecture, JR Sunrise Izumo is the only overnight sleeper train currently under regular operation.
I will report my trip of about 12 hours on this popular overnight train, which attracts train travel lovers!
The train left Tokyo Station at 22:00. The retro-looking direction sign lifted up my spirits.
The passage inside the train. You can feel the warmth of the wood with the relaxing interior design.
To get on this train, you need to pay the berth charge in addition to the regular fare and express fare. The total price varies depending on the type of room you choose.
The highest-grade A-type berth (Single Deluxe) has a lavatory and a desk in a spacious private room, which is worthy of the name of “deluxe.” There are some other types of rooms, including the B-type berth (Single, Solo), which has the largest number of available rooms, and some rooms available for two passengers. Choose one best for your trip. If you don’t need to have your own private room, there are some seats, for which you don’t have to pay for the berth charge. Tickets are available one month ahead of the trip. The tickets for popular days, such as before holidays, are often sold out quickly.
I was in the lower B-type berth (Solo). The bed was big enough for me (164 cm) and there was a bit of space left. It was like a secret base, so I was very excited.
I could control the light, radio, and alarm with the buttons next to the window. There was also an electric outlet and a drink holder.
On my way back to Tokyo, I used a different type of berth (Single). It was a bit larger than the Solo type, with enough space at the desk and at the foot on the bed, where I could leave my stuff.
As you cannot see outside at night, I explored inside the train. Each car has a washroom and lavatory. With a shower ticket purchased, you can take a shower.
4:30 The train is passing empty Osaka Station.
I was too excited to keep sleeping, but I didn’t get bothered by the sound of the running train nor any sound from other rooms. I could comfortably stay on the train.
The morning glow
6:27: The train arrived at Okayama Station. Half of the train was “Sunrise Seto,” which was destined for Takamatsu Station in Kagawa Prefecture, crossing the Great Seto Bridge over the Seto Inland Sea. That half was separated and departed for the other way. I would like to travel on “Sunrise Seto” someday!
My train departed the station. The changing view from the window never bored me. It was great to see the view while reclining on my bed. It was a privilege of having a private room!
The view of Lake Shinji, which I had been looking forward to. It is the 7th biggest lake in Japan, known for specialties such as freshwater clams.
Lastly, the train arrived at the destination, Izumoshi Station. It was enjoyable that the 12 hours went by very quickly.
Another advantage of Sunrise Izumo is that you can do lots of things after the train arrives early in the morning. I fully enjoyed sightseeing in Shimane!
Izumo Taisha Shrine, which is famous as the abode of the god of marriage.
“Shimanekko,” a tourism character of Shimane Prefecture
Wagashi (traditional sweets) in Matsue
Writer: Chiyo, who loves travelling alone
*The information herein is as of June 2021.