285 series EMU on a Sunrise Seto service, May 2009
|Service type||Limited express|
|First service||10 July 1998|
|Current operator(s)||JR Central, JR West|
|Distance travelled||804.7 km (500.0 mi)|
|Average journey time||approx. 9 hours 30 minutes|
|Service frequency||1 return working daily|
|Sleeping arrangements||Private compartments/open-plan sleeping areas|
|Rolling stock||285 series EMUs|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC|
|Operating speed||130 km/h (80 mph)|
The Sunrise Seto (サンライズ瀬戸 Sanraizu Seto) is an overnight sleeping car train service in Japan operated jointly by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West) since July 1998.
The Sunrise Seto runs daily between Tokyo and Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, taking about 9 hours 30 minutes for the 804.7 km (500.0 mi) journey. The service operates in conjunction with the Sunrise Izumo service to Izumoshi between Tokyo and Okayama. The combined 14-car train departs from Tokyo, and stops at Yokohama, Atami, Numazu, Fuji, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu (final midnight stop), Himeji (first morning stop), and arrives at Okayama, where the train splits, with the Sunrise Izumo half of the train heading to Izumoshi. Between Okayama and Takamatsu, the 7-car Sunrise Seto train stops at Kojima and Sakaide, before arriving in Takamatsu. The return train departs from Takamatsu, and is coupled with the Sunrise Izumo from Izumoshi at Okayama Station, departing together from there, and arriving at Tokyo Station in the next morning.
There are seasonal extended services which Sunrise Seto trains from Tokyo run beyond Takamatsu, to Kotohira on the Dosan Line. These extended service trains run during particular seasons (Differs each year), and during the holidays.
|Ward / City||Prefecture /
|Tokyo||東京||-||0.0||22:00 Departure||07:08 Arrival||Chiyoda||Tokyo|
(Decouple and separate from Sunrise Izumo)
(Couple with Sunrise Izumo)
|Takamatsu||高松||21.3||804.7||07:27 Arrival||21:26 Departure||Takamatsu|
|Seasonal extended services (from Tokyo) to Kotohira|
- Trains make brief stops for several reasons, here being crew changes at JR region boundaries. Passengers cannot board or get off the train when it makes such stops.
Trains are formed of dedicated 7-car 285 series Sunrise Express electric multiple units (EMUs) owned by both JR Central and JR West. They are formed as shown below, with cars numbered 8 to 14 in the down (westbound) direction, with car 14 at the Tokyo end, and 1 to 7 in the up (Tokyo-bound) direction, with car 7 at the Tokyo end.
|Numbering||KuHaNe 285||SaHaNe 285||MoHaNe 285||SaRoHaNe 285||MoHaNe 285||SaHaNe 285||KuHaNe 285|
|Accommodation||B single berths||B single berths||B solo berths||Single DX berths||B single berths
Nobinobi floor space
|B single berths||B single berths|
|B single/ single-twin berths||B single/ single-twin berths||Sunrise twin berths||B single/ single-twin berths||B single/ single-twin berths|
|Facilities||Mini saloon area, vending machine, shower||Vending machine|
- Car 2/9 has a wheelchair-accessible compartment
- Each car has toilet facilities at one end.
- Smoking is permitted in car 6/13, and some compartments in car 4/11.
Accommodation, Ticketing and Facilities
The Sunrise Express consists of six types of accommodation, namely A Single Deluxe, B Sunrise Twin (2-person use), B Single Twin (1 or 2-person use), B Single, B Solo and the Nobinobi sleeping area.
There are three types of tickets associated to the Sunrise Express. First, there's the Berth Ticket (寝台券 Shindai ken), which charges fixed fees for the different compartments with berths (see table below), regardless of starting or ending point. The Berth Ticket is usually combined together with the Limited Express Ticket (to be explained below), and it is not required for Nobinobi sleeping area users.
|1-person use berth||A Single Deluxe||13730 yen|
|B Single Twin||9430 yen for 1 person|
|B Single||7560 yen|
|B Solo||6480 yen|
|2-people use berths||B Sunrise Twin||15120 yen for 2 people|
|B Single Twin||14830 yen for 2 people|
|1-person use seating||Nobinobi sleeping area||520 yen seat reservation charge
(+200 yen for peak seasons)
(-200 yen for off seasons)
Next, there's the Basic Fare Ticket (乗車券 Jousha ken) and the Limited Express Ticket (特急券 Tokkyu ken), whose prices are based on the distance travelled. These two tickets are required to board the Sunrise train. A 520 yen (see table above) seat reservation charge (座席指定料金 zaseki shitei ryoukin) will be added to the Limited Express Tickets for Nobinobi sleeping area users, in order to reserve their individual sleeping area. Foreign tourists can use Japan Rail Pass as a Basic Fare Ticket, while the Limited Express Ticket (and Berth Ticket if necessary) has to be purchased separately.
Note that tickets for the Sunrise Express cannot be purchased online. One must either visit a Midori no Madoguchi (Ticket Office), a travel agency in Japan, or phone-in to JR Customer Service, in order to purchase their tickets. Purchases can be done as early as 1 month before the trip.
A shower is located in cars 3 and 10. Passengers using the A Single Deluxe compartments are provided with a free shower card to use the showers on the train, while other passengers have to pay 320 yen for a shower card if they desire to use the showers. Lounges are also located in cars 3 and 10. Drink vending machines are available in cars 3, 5, 10 and 12.
The Sunrise Seto services were introduced together with the Sunrise Izumo on 10 July 1998. Previously, the Seto operated as a separate "Blue train" service connecting Tokyo with Takamatsu. The Sunrise Izumo was intended to attract more passengers to train transportation by introducing newly designed trains and by reducing the journey time.
Ridership on overnight trains in Japan continues to decline, and from March 2009, the Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto became the only overnight sleeping car trains to operate west of Tokyo via the Tokaido Line.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sunrise Seto.|
- JR West Sunrise Izumo / Sunrise Seto (in Japanese)