In march 2016 the Shinkansen will link Honshu to Shin-Hakodate. According to JP Rail's website the Hokutosei is already discontinued and Japan Guide says the overnight Cassiopeia and Hamanasu services will be discontinued in 2016.

If this chart from Wiki is to be believed the journey will still take around 7+ hours to Sapporo from Tokyo.

Are there any plans to maintain any overnight train service to Hokkaido beyond march 2016 ?


1 Answer 1


No, there are no plans to retain sleeper service to Hokkaido.

Overnight trains of any kind are very much an endangered species in Japan: here's the full list on Wikipedia. Once Cassiopeia and Hamanasu get the ax there will only be two (2) regular services left in the entire country, namely the Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto services from Tokyo to Izumo and Takamatsu respectively. There are also a few irregular services that operate only during high season though, plus the odd superluxury cruiser like Seven Stars.

  • Is this just a conclusion based on the current trend or did JR make it public ?
    – blackbird
    Dec 6, 2015 at 17:51
  • 2
    The cancellation of Cassiopeia and Hamanasu is public. There are no other sleepers to Hokkaido left, nor any plans that I know of to introduce any. It's hard to prove a negative, but this is about as good as it gets... Dec 6, 2015 at 23:13

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