Japan Rail offers very convenient and fast services throughout Japan. The JR Pass is also great value. Trying to book a JR Sleeper train on the other hand is quite difficult. You need to find a person or travel agent in Japan to book it for you. It can only be booked one month before hand, so it makes it somewhat difficult to plan an itinerary. For those who are inters ted JR East does offer Shinkansen and and some limited express bookings online.
We are trying to book the Cassiopeia, Japan’s dream journey from Ueno to Sapporo. So please cross your fingers and hope we can get our booking on 16 July 2009.