Moonlight Nagara: Night train with the JR Pass

Moonlight Nagara train

The Moonlight Nagara sleeper train between Tokyo and Ogaki in Gifu prefecture has now been suspended. March 29, 2020 marked the last day of operations for this cheap and convenient service.

Nevertheless, the popular Sunrise Express overnight train, which connects Tokyo with the Izumo and Sea of Seto areas, is still in operation and included in the Japan Rail Pass.

Furthermore, you still can travel by day from Tokyo to Nagoya with the Tokaido Shinkansen using a JR Pass.

Moonlight Nagara itinerary

This train ran seasonally during the busy periods of spring (two weeks from late March to early April), summer (late July to the end of August), and the Christmas and New Year holiday season.

This train, which started operating seasonally in 2009, was an overnight rapid transfer between Tokyo, Nagoya, and Ogaki, very close to Hikone. As it is connected to other local trains, it also facilitated the connections between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.

It had 11 stops in total: Tokyo, Shinagawa, Yokohama, Odawara, Numazu, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Toyohashi, Nagoya, Gifu, and Ogaki. However, only the train to Ogaki stopped at Odawara station, and only the train to Tokyo stopped at Toyohashi station.

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Moonlight Nagara schedule

Tokyo to Ogaki Time Ogaki to Tokyo Time
Tokyo Station 23:10 Ogaki 22:48
Shinagawa 23:18 Gifu 22:59
Yokohama 23:36 Nagoya 23:20
Odawara 00:31 Toyohashi 00:17
Numazu 01:08 Hamamatsu 00:55
Shizuoka 01:50 Shizuoka 01:55
Hamamatsu 03:11 Numazu 03:19
Nagoya 05:24 Yokohama 04:41
Gifu 05:43 Shinagawa 04:58
Ogaki 05:50 Tokyo Station 05:05

How to book a seat

Despite being included in the JR Pass, it was not possible to reserve a seat online and the tickets went on sale one month prior to departure date.

You needed to get a reserved seat before you took the train. However, it was actually very hard to reserve a seat as all cars were reserved seat only, which meant that there were no green cars or even non-reserved cars either. To reserve a seat, it was necessary to visit one of the JR offices in one of the main stations of Tokyo or Nagoya.

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