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I'm a little confused with this. I know it will be discontinued in 2016 after Shinkansen arrives to Hokkaido but I'm not sure if it's running now or not, and if so, how reliably it's running.

JR Hokkaido has a pdf about Tokyo-Sapporo routes that mentions the Hamanasu but I'm not sure how to read that, is it running only 3 days in October ? (Can't copy paste from the pdf)

Hyperdia doesn't list it as an option. (I've even tried explicitly between Aomori and Sapporo, but then again it doesn't list Cassiopeia either)

search result snapshot

JPRail however, says that it does and the impression I get is that it's more frequent than the JR PDF suggests. (Article dated Aug 2015)

jp rail article snapshot

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The Hamanasu runs every day. As indicated at the bottom of the page on Hyperdia, it is presently current only up to September 30. If you do a search on or before September 30, the Hamanasu appears. Also, in order to go to Aomori from Tokyo, you need the Hayabusa.

EDIT: Hyperdia has been updated yesterday (September 29), and now the Hamanasu does appear with the search settings in OP plus the Hayabusa.

  • Anything special about the Hayabusa ? – blackbird Sep 24 '15 at 13:32
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    It's the only Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori. ;) I say that because on your screenshot, you have it disabled. – fkraiem Sep 24 '15 at 13:35
  • I unchecked that because my understanding is I can't take Nozomi and Mizuho with a JR pass, Hayabusa's ok though right ? – blackbird Sep 24 '15 at 14:58
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    Yes, Hayabusa is OK. However, it has only reserved seats, so you must obtain a reserved seat ticket at a ticket counter before boarding. It's free, but you must do it. – fkraiem Sep 24 '15 at 14:59
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According to the PDF:

  • express trains Hakucho no. 71, Hakucho 77, Hakucho 78, and Hakucho 78 run only on specified days (weekends and long weekends), while other Hakucho trains, like no. 22 or 90, operating at different hours run daily)
  • night sleeper Cassiopeia runs only on days specified on the last page
  • night express Hamanasu (column "3") runs between Aomori and Sapporo daily

PDF does not mention New Year period as it shows only schedule until Nov 30th.

PDF also does not mention shorter stop in Aomori until Sep 30th. I checked current schedule and it shows 6:19 arrival today, so it seems PDF is accurate.

  • Where does it say Hamanasu runs daily ? – blackbird Sep 23 '15 at 20:19
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    It doesn't say explicitly. All trains listed in the PDF run daily unless specified otherwise (like four Hakucho trains and Cassiopeia). If you need confirmation, this Wikipedia page states clearly "1 return service daily" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamanasu_(train) – macraf Sep 23 '15 at 20:26

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