Sleep in a Train in the Heart of Tokyo

A peaceful night's sleep in a train berth without leaving Tokyo: this is what awaits travellers at Train Hostel.


WordsSolenn Cordroc'h

Female dormitory. Courtesy of Train Hostel.

The Hokutosei train, dismantled in 2015, resumed its service in 2016, or almost. It became the source of inspiration for a youth hostel named Train Hostel, the interior of which recreates the charm of this much-missed train.


The experience of a luxury train at an affordable price

The hotel managed to salvage a few authentic pieces to satisfy railway nostalgics, such as the door to the dining car, the reading lamps, and the bunk beds, in order to reproduce the old train as faithfully as possible. The East Japan Railway group was determined to evoke pleasant memories for former passengers, but also to allow foreign tourists to enjoy the history of this express train. The compartments are spread over four floors and can accommodate up to 78 people. The price for a bed in a dormitory starts at $22, which is cheaper than most train tickets.

From its launch in 1988 until its final journey in 2015, the Hokutosei train won the hearts of the Japanese people. This express train became known for being the first to use the Seikan tunnel to link Ueno Station in Tokyo to Sapporo. The luxury sleepers and the French cuisine in the dining car endowed the train with a certain prestige. However, the time came to bid a sad goodbye to the train in December 2015, due to the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen line and the fact that the Hokutosei train cars had become old and worn out.


More information on the Train Hostel is to be found on its website.

Male dormitory. Courtesy of Train Hostel.

Mixed dormitory. Courtesy of Train Hostel.

Male dormitory. Courtesy of Train Hostel.

Front desk. Courtesy of Train Hostel.