The Cassiopeia and Hokutosei are limited express trains with sleeper cars, spanning the distance from Ueno to Hakodate and Sapporo on the northern island of Hokkaido. The Cassiopeia debuted in 1999 as a train with all private sleeping rooms, each with a private lavatory and water closet. Each room is prepared with a beverage to welcome passengers aboard. Also, the dining car has a pleasant atmosphere for eating while enjoying the scenery from the windows, and the lounge provides a space for passengers to spend time in their own way. The Cassiopeia is a cruising train, which is not often seen in Japan. Check dates and times of operation for further details.
The Hokutosei debuted in 1988 as a limited express train with premium sleeping berths, popular for its wide range of choices, from private sleeping rooms to open berths. With a dining car and showering facilities, this is a great way to travel to Hokkaido at night.
Information : All operation of the Hokutosei ended on August 23, 2015.
The Train Line-up
- Series 24
Hokutosei: Ueno - Sapporo
- Series E26
Cassiopeia: Ueno - Sapporo
In addition to the basic fare, a limited express and sleeper car fee are charged when riding the Cassiopeia train. The tracks used by the Cassiopeia between Morioka and Aomori are not owned by JR East, but IGR Iwate Galaxy Railway and Aoimori Railway. Also, tracks owned by JR Hokkaido are used for the interval between Naka-Oguni and Sapporo Stations. The JR EAST PASS can be used on IGR Iwate Galaxy Railway and Aoimori Railway trains. An additional fare is therefore required for holders of JR EAST PASSES for JR Hokkaido's portion. Please confirm the days of operation in advance. Tickets may be purchased at Narita Airport station, JR Ticket Offices (Midori-no-madoguchi) and Travel Service Centers (View Plaza). Online reservation service is not available for these trains.
Interior Layout of Cars
The Cassiopeia Series E26: 12-car trains
Notes: All cars have sleeping rooms. Inquire for further details. The placement of the engine differs depending on the interval.
Private sleeping room with bed folded up for sitting
Private sleeping room with bed folded out
The Hokutosei Series 24: 12-car trains
Notes: All cars have sleeping beds. Inquire for further details. The placement of the engine differs depending on the interval.
Private sleeping room
Places of Interest
- Hakodate lies on a southern peninsula on Hokkaido, looking across the Tsugaru Strait to Honshu Island. When Japan opened its doors to the world 150 years ago, Hakodate was designated as a port for foreign ships, leading to a blossoming of Western culture. To this day, buildings made of red brick still give testament to the Westerners who lived here. A town with a number of charming attractions, Hakodate also has several hills, and the romantic night view from Mount Hakodate is counted among the three great night views of the world, along with Naples and Hong Kong. A picturesque sight to not be missed are the lights used by fishing boats to attract fish, bobbing in the Tsugaru Straits. Hakodate is famed for its seafood as the town is surrounded on three sides by ocean. The morning market close to Hakodate Station is a popular draw for both locals and tourists.
Access: Take the Cassiopeia to Hakodate Station.
- Sapporo is the central hub for the northern island of Hokkaido. Historical buildings are interspersed throughout the city including the Sapporo Clock Tower, generally considered to be the landmark of the city. The boulevard park Odori Koen, with its rows of acacia trees is just one of the beautiful attractions to be discovered. For cuisine, Sapporo is a wonderful place to eat, with fresh ingredients brought in around the island of Hokkaido. Not far from Sapporo are Otaru—famous for its canal, mostly now gone—and Jozan Valley, a wonderful location for its hot springs.
Access: Take the Cassiopeia to Sapporo Station.