Japan is famous for its great railway services, including the superfast Shinkansen bullet train. There are also a number of sleeper trains that add some extra romance to rail travel.
Until the early 2000s there were many overnight routes available in Japan, but they have dwindled in number as low-cost airlines and buses became more popular. One of the last surviving night trains is the Sunrise Seto/Izumo, which run from Tokyo to Okayama before separating. The Seto heads south to Takamatsu, while the Izumo continues north to its namesake city. You can choose between a private compartment or a carpeted sharing cabin. If you are traveling on a Japan Rail Pass, be aware there is a supplement for the overnight service.
Another sleeper train is the Twilight Express Mizukaze, a deluxe tourist train that runs a number of routes around Kyoto and Osaka. It offers observation cars for sightseeing and luxury accommodations.
Next up is the Seven Stars train, another luxury service that runs around Kyushu island in the south. Join a four-day/three-night tour or the shorter two-day/one-night option.
You can also get from Tokyo to Ogaki on the overnight Moonlight Nagara service, which runs late March–early April, late July to September and the Christmas holiday season.
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