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Sleeping On Trains In Japan

Updated on July 20, 2015
thealpaca profile image

This author is a former I.T. graduate turned vagabond who travelled extensively and has lived and worked in Japan for many years.

Using Overnight Trains In Japan

Using overnight trains to travel between Japanese cities can be used as another way to cut out a night’s accommodation. Yet competition from cheap domestic airlines, and cheap overnight buses has forced many of the night trains in Japan to stop running. I do not recommend traveling on the night trains if you are on a tight budget because they are not as cheap as overnight buses. For information and timetables on Japan's last few night trains that have are still running, please see the Japan Guide Website for more details on night train services.

Ikoma Kintestu Line Train Osaka Japan
Ikoma Kintestu Line Train Osaka Japan | Source

Sleeping On Local Trains In Japan

Local Trains don’t run all night. They stop at about midnight. If you plan to party all night, why not just sleep on the train the next day? I often avoid accommodation by doing this when I visit Tokyo for the weekend. Why pay for expensive accommodation when you are out for most of the night. It leaves you with more money to spend on beer. Most trains services start at about 6am. So if you can’t party all night just hang out or sleep at McDonald’s until 6am.

The seats on most trains are heated in winter, and train cabins are air conditioned in summer. Remember to sit in the middle of the train, away from the door. If the train stops for a few minutes the door may stay open until the train begins moving again, so it can get really cold in winter. Don’t ride the subway, as it’s always busy and hard to find a seat. I usually choose a JR train that is traveling away from the city, as it won’t be so crowded. Also you will be able to fully lie down and stretch out across multiple seats.

JR Train Asaka Station Osaka Japan
JR Train Asaka Station Osaka Japan | Source
JR Train Motomachi Station Kobe Hyogo Japan
JR Train Motomachi Station Kobe Hyogo Japan | Source

How to Sleep On Crowded Trains In Tokyo

Japanese people work very long hours. Therefore people need to get sleep whenever and wherever they can. Don’t be too shy to sleep on a really busy subway train. So many Japanese do this on the way home from work. I will often find myself drooling onto a stranger’s shoulder without any remorse after a hard day at work. If you find yourself feeling drowsy on a busy train here is what you should do. Find yourself a cozy seat between two people so you can stay warm, and lean on your neighbors shoulder.

Here Is A Free Amazon Application On Japanese Trains

The Application has following features:
How to find train times for Japan Rail.
How to book train tickets in Japan.
How to book a trip on Japan Rail.
How to travel on the Japanese Rail.
How to find train times for the Narita Express in Japan.

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© 2015 thealpaca

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