The Sunrise Izumo Overnight Train

  • 6 พฤศจิกายน 2016
  • 18 สิงหาคม 2019
  • FUN! JAPAN Team


Many visitors to Japan may not know that this country has a fantastic rail system, and as such a train trip is not to be missed if you want to travel in style here.

The high speed bullet train, the shinkansen, is probably the most famous train in Japan, but the ordinary rail service is a fabulous way to get around the country and is convenient, clean, and efficient. If you buy single tickets, then the price of travelling by train can add up, but if you buy a Japan Rail Pass then you can travel all over the country at a reduced price.

Some visitors may also be wary about visiting a train station in Japan, but contrary to popular belief the names of the stations are also in English, so you will know where you are going and when to get off. This means that train travel in Japan is easier than it has ever been.

Many visitors who have taken the leap will tell you that train travel is one of the nicest ways to see Japan, and one of the best routes to take if you are in Tokyo is to travel on the Sunrise Izumo Overnight Train to delightful city of Izumo which sits in Shimane Prefecture.

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What is the Sunrise Izumo Overnight Train?

The Sunrise Izumo Overnight Train is something of a cultural and historical relic in Japan, and is actually one of the few overnight trains in the country that is still in operation to this day. The rail network in Japan dates back over 100 years, but sadly not as many overnight trains run as they used to in the past. As such, know that you will be travelling in much the same way that people have been for decades.

Where does the Sunrise Izumo overnight train go?


The Sunrise Izumo overnight train departs from Tokyo and will take you overnight to the culturally significant city of Izumo. Along the way there are a number of stops including Yokohama, Atami, Numazu, Fuji, Shizuoka and Hamamatsu. All of these are evening stops, and you will then not stop again until the morning when you get to Himeji. The train then stops again at Okayama, Kurashiki, Niimi, Yonago, Yasugi, Matsue, Shinji, and lastly at Izumo.

How long will the journey take?

The Sunrise Izumo leaves Tokyo at 10 pm and arrives in Izumo at 9.58 am the following morning.

Where will I sleep?

This depends on what you prefer and there are a range of options available. Firstly, you can book to sleep in a sleeping cabin which has either single or twin beds. The twin beds are actually bunk beds so you will not get a double bed if you book a twin, but these are individual berths so you will have some privacy. The price for a berth is not included in the basic price of your ticket, so make sure to factor this in when you are booking.

The other sleeping option is known as the nobinobi area of the train which is essentially a sleeping car which has a carpeted floor where you can sleep on a futon. The sleeping car is made up of one room, but the sections have small partitions so that you will have your own space. The great thing about the nobinobi area of the train is that it is free with the price of a ticket so you won’t have to pay anything extra if you choose this option.

What other amenities are available on the Sunrise Izumo?

It is important to note that there is no food car on the Sunrise Izumo, so you will need to plan accordingly for this. Most people bring their own food and you can pack a picnic with some snacks before you board to make sure that you have enough to eat for the duration of the trip.

Another great amenity on the train is the shower room so that you can freshen up after a night on the train, or before you go to sleep. The shower costs 300 yen and is set to a timer so that you can shower for six minutes.

What can I expect when I get to Izumo?

Many people will tell you that a trip on the Sunrise Izumo Overnight Train is an experience in itself, but the destination is also impressive in its own right.


Izumo Taisha Shinto Shrine:

The city of Izumo sits in Shimane Prefecture and is known in Japan for being the home of the oldest Shinto shrine in the whole of Japan, named the Izumo Taisha Shinto Shrine. The shrine is also one of the largest in Japan and is dedicated to Okuninushi, the god of marriage. The main hall of the shrine is famous for its ornate architecture and it is listed as one of the National Treasures of Japan.


Izumo Soba Noodles:

For those who love trying local food, Izumo is also famous for its variety of soba noodles, said to be one of the three main kinds of soba noodles in Japan. The noodles are made using fresh buckwheat flour which is ground with the husks still intact, leading to characteristic dark grey noodles that have a light fragrance to them as well as a toothsome chewy texture.

Izumo Dome:

Another claim to fame in the city of Izumo is the Izumo Dome which is the largest wooden building in all of Japan. The dome stands at an impressive 49 meters high and is the location for a whole host of sporting events. These include soccer and baseball or, if you happen to be in town at the right time, you can even catch a sumo match here. As the dome is so prominent in the Izumo skyline, you will actually be able to see it when you approach the city on the Sunrise Izumo.

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