Akatsuki (train)

Last updated

Naha akatsuki.jpg

Naha/Akatsuki headed by EF66 electric locomotive
Service type Limited express
First service 1965
Last service 2008
Current operator(s) JR West
Line used Tōkaidō Main Line, Sanyō Main Line, Kagoshima Main Line, Nagasaki Main Line
Akatsuki at Nagasaki Station headed by ED76 electric locomotive JRkyusyuED76-94.jpg
Akatsuki at Nagasaki Station headed by ED76 electric locomotive

The Akatsuki(あかつき, Dawn) was an overnight sleeper train service in Japan operated by JR West from Kyoto Station to Nagasaki Station and return. It ran on the Tōkaido, Sanyō, Kagoshima, and Nagasaki main lines.

Sleeping car railway passenger car with private sleeping berths

The sleeping car or sleeper is a railway passenger car that can accommodate all its passengers in beds of one kind or another, primarily for the purpose of making nighttime travel more restful. George Pullman was the American inventor of the sleeper car.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.


From October 2005, the train ran coupled with the Naha sleeper between Kyoto Station and Tosu Station.

Naha (train)

The Naha (なは) was a sleeper train service operated in Japan by Kyushu Railway Company, which ran from Kyoto to Kumamoto, passing through Osaka, Okayama, Kokura, and Hakata. It once extended to Nishi-Kagoshima. The journey between Kyoto and Kumamoto was 801.4 km and took approximately 11½ hours.

Tosu Station railway station in Tosu, Saga prefecture, Japan

Tosu Station is a railway station in Tosu City, Saga prefecture, Japan. It is the junction between the Kagoshima Main Line and the Nagasaki Main Line.

Due to falling passenger numbers, both the Naha and Akatsuki services ceased following the March 15, 2008, timetable revision.


Timetable of Akatsuki, as of March 2008 before its discontinuation

kmStationTrain #31
Train #32
0.0 Kyoto 20:02Dp 7:53Ar
39.0 Shin-Osaka 20:28Ar 7:24Dp
20:35Dp 7:24Ar
42.8 Osaka 20:41Ar 7:19Dp
20:47Dp 7:17Ar
73.4 Sannomiya 21:10Ar 6:53Dp
21:11Dp 6:52Ar
130.7 Himeji 21:53Ar 6:08Dp
21:55Dp 6:06Ar
219.3 Okayama 23:00Ar 5:03Dp
23:02Dp 5:01Ar
235.2 Kurashiki 23:16Ar 4:48Dp
23:16Dp 4:47Ar
277.6 Fukuyama 23:49Ar 4:16Dp
23:50Dp 4:16Ar
297.7 Onomichi 0:07Ar
309.2 Mihara 0:20Ar
535.1 Shin-Yamaguchi 0:49Dp
560.4 Ube 0:27Dp
570.2 Asa 0:18Dp
604.0 Shimonoseki 4:22Ar 23:49Dp
4:29Dp 23:44Ar
610.3 Moji 4:36Ar 23:37Dp
4:42Dp 23:31Ar
615.8 Kokura 4:49Ar 23:24Dp
4:50Dp 23:24Ar
629.7 Kurosaki 5:04Ar 23:12Dp
5:04Dp 23:12Ar
683.0 Hakata 5:52Ar 22:31Dp
5:53Dp 22:30Ar
711.6 Tosu 6:17Ar 22:07Dp
Train #33Train #34
6:34Dp 21:48Ar
736.6 Saga 6:52Ar 21:29Dp
6:53Dp 21:29Ar
751.2 Hizen-Yamaguchi 7:05Ar 21:17Dp
7:05Dp 21:17Ar
766.2 Hizen-Kashima 7:17Ar 20:05Dp
7:18Dp 20:04Ar
812.0 Isahaya 8:12Ar 20:11Dp
8:13Dp 20:11Ar
836.9 Nagasaki 8:55Ar 19:47Dp

Source: Ekikara Jikokuhyō


Akatsuki, as an overnight limited express service, was introduced on October 1, 1965, by Japanese National Railways. It was operated between Shin-Ōsaka and two destinations in Kyūshū, namely Nishi-Kagoshima (present-day Kagoshima-Chūō) and Nagasaki. It was connected at Shin-Ōsaka with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.

A limited express is a type of express train service. It refers to an express service that stops at a limited number of stops in comparison to other express services on the same or similar routes.

Japanese National Railways, abbreviated Kokutetsu (国鉄) or "JNR", was the business entity that operated Japan's national railway network from 1949 to 1987.

Shin-Ōsaka Station railway station and metro station in Ōsaka, Ōsaka prefecture, Japan

Shin-Osaka Station is a railway station in Yodogawa-ku, Osaka, Japan. It is the western terminus of the high-speed Tōkaidō Shinkansen line from Tokyo, and the eastern terminus of the San'yō Shinkansen. The lines are physically joined, and many trains offer through service.

In the 1960s, the operation of Akatsuki was increased. Its maximum operation was 14 services (7 round-trips) a day in the mid-1970s, and all of them were connected with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.

Tōkaidō Shinkansen Shinkansen (high-speed railway) line between Tokyo and Osaka

The Tōkaidō Shinkansen (東海道新幹線) is a Japanese high-speed Shinkansen line, opened in 1964 between Tokyo and Shin-Ōsaka. Since 1987 it has been operated by the Central Japan Railway Company, prior to that by Japanese National Railways (JNR). It is one of the most heavily traveled high-speed rail routes in the world.

At the end of the 1970s, the number of Akatsuki services was reduced due to decreasing ridership.

From November 1986, Akatsuki remains as only two services (one round-trips) a day.

Due to falling passenger numbers, the service was discontinued in March 2008.

Rolling stock

Special "Legato Seat" coach exclusive for Akatsuki Oha14-303.JPG
Special "Legato Seat" coach exclusive for Akatsuki

Historically, Akatsuki used the following types of coaches:

When the train was discontinued, the train consisted of 14/15 series cars.

See also

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