The Last Train

Like many cities elsewhere in the world, trains in Japan shut down after certain time. This last train of the night is known as Shuuden. It varies of course which time it’s available at each station but my general rule of thumb was if you’re not at a station by 12:30 A.M. (00:30), you’ve likely already missed it. A great resource to help plan your evening ahead of time to make sure when you need to leave is hyperdia.com. You can use this site to find out when the last train available so you know when to be at the station.

So, what do you do if you’ve missed the last train home? Well you have a few options available depending where you are and what you want to do.

  1. Take a cab. Not recommended, especially if you’re riding solo with no one to split the fare with. One time, the last train we caught stopped about 5 or 6 stations away from Hirakata so we didn’t really have a choice. Luckily there were other students in the boat as us so we were able to split the fare 5 ways.

  2. If you’re at a club, you can keep partying until the first train starts again. Many clubs in Japan are open until 5 A.M. which is approximately when the trains start running again. Though this can get really exhausting if you’re not use to partying literally all night.

  3. Find a Karaoke bar and rent a room for the rest of the night! Many karaoke rooms are available for a set fee for the late evening hours. You and your friends can kill time singing away to your favourite songs or just do what I do and fall asleep eventually.

  4. Find a McDonald’s or other restaurant, buy a small meal and hang out for a couple hours. Alternatively, grab a few snacks from a konbini and hang around the station entrance. prepare for a long wait

  5. Finally, if you’re lucky, you may be able to find a cheap ryokan, guesthouse, or capsule hotel and hope they have availability. (2100-3000/night for a capsule hotel. Starting around 5000 for a single room hotel room).

    Click here for some capsule hotels near Shinsaibashi/Namba.

    Click here for some low cost hotels in Osaka.

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