Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station guide. How to change Hokkaido Shinkansen to/from train to Sapporo and Hakodate

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station exterior (C) Rsa GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is the hub to Hakodate and Sapporo when you get Hokkaido. This station is connected with Sapporo and Hakodate by conventional train, and Tokyo, Sendai and Aomori by Hokkaido Shinkansen.

I would like to show you how to change the trains in Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station with many photos. Continue reading

Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 7, Noboribetsu Onsen to Hakodate via Lake Toya

Express bus connects Noboribetsu and Lake Toya

This post is continued from Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 6, Takikwa to Noboribetsu Onsen.

On day 3, I visited Biei and Nobotibetsu Onsen. In this post, I would like to show you the last stretch of day 3 trip which is the trip to Hakodate via Lake Toya. Continue reading

Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 6, Takikawa to Noboribetsu Onsen

Limited Express Okhotsk by KIHA 183 series

This post is continued from Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 5, Asahikawa to Takikawa via Biei.

On day 3, I dropped by three places, Biei, Noboribetsu and Lake Toya. In this post, I show you the second place, Noboribetsu. Continue reading

Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 5, Asahikawa to Takikawa via Biei

Furano line local train at Asahikawa station

This post is continued from Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 4, Sapporo Snow Festival and stay in Asahikawa.

On day 3, I started my trip from Asahikawa and my destination was Hakodate. On the way to Hakodate, I dropped by Bibaushi (Biei area), Noboribetsu and Lake Toya. In this post, I would like to show you the first part of day 3 trip which is walking in Biei. Continue reading

Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 4, Sapporo Snow Festival and stay in Asahikawa

This post is continued from the post, Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 2, from Sendai to Oshamanbe

After arrival in Sapporo, I proceeded to Sapporo Snow Festival. I would like to show you this snow festival and move to Asahikawa. Continue reading

Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 3, from Oshamanbe to Sapporo by Hakodate line

Mt. Yotei is the highlight of this train trip.

This post is continued from the post, Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 2, from Sendai to Oshamanbe

I supposed to tell you about the second half of my trip on day 2. But I have too many things to tell you in one post. I will divide this part into a few posts. I will tell you the train trip from Oshamambe to Sapporo in this post. Continue reading

Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 2, from Sendai to Oshamanbe

Super Komachi and Hayabusa at Sendai station

This post is continued from Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 1, from Narita Airport to Sendai.

On day 2, I started my trip from Sendai and landed in Hokkaido. I traveled to Asahikawa via Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, Oshamambe, Sapporo. In this post, I will write about the first half of my trip on day 2 from Sendai to Oshamambe. Continue reading

Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 1, from Narita Airport to Sendai

First night in Akihabara, Tokyo. It was rain and wet snow mixed.

I usually have quick trip to Japan in mid February. In this year, I had another quick trip, 3 nights 4 days and visited Hokkaido. In this trip, I visited Sapporo snow festival, Biei, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya and Hakodate. This was super busy trip and this is not recommended for all travelers. However you may get some idea from my trip report. I hope my trip experience help you to build your plan. Continue reading

The world fastest art gallery, Genbi Shinkansen

Genbi Shinkansen is operated by remodeled E3 series that was used for Akita Shinkansen before.

Genbi Shinkansen (現美新幹線) is one of Shinkansen trains but it is very unique train. Many artworks are displayed in the carriages. It is like running art gallery. Exterior is also very cool. Fireworks displays are drawn on the trains.

Genbi is short word of Gendai Bijutsu. That means Modern Art. This train offers many modern artwork on board of high speed train, Shinkansen. That is why this train is called “The World Fastest Art Gallery”.

One of my reader, Tak has taken this train and he offered me to use his brilliant photos. I would like to tell you the details of this train with his photos. Thank you very much for your support, Tak san!

Continue reading

Cruising train Izu Creile offers you very comfortable train experience to Izu peninsula from Odawara.

Izu Creile runs along very scenic shoreline in Izu peninsula.

Izu Creile was introduced in summer 2016. It runs between Odawara and Izukyu-Shimoda via Atami, Ito, other major spots in Izu peninsula as seasonal cruising train. It has very nice interior and you can enjoy very scenic view of shoreline from the large panoramic window.

I have received many photos of this train from my reader, James. Now I can write about this train with many beautiful pictures from James. Thank you very much for your support, James!

Continue reading

Sample itinerary Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hokkaido 10 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days

Clock Tower is Sapporo’s icon.

I have posted the sample itinerary that includes Kyoto, Osaka and Hokkaido before. But at that time, Hokkaido Shinkansen was not open. Current train schedule and operation are completely different from that time. At this time, I revise all train schedule and update the information. And I add many more detailed information and help you to build your plan much more.

In this post, I would like to share this new itinerary. It is 10 days trip plan but I used 7 days JR pass. Local deals are added at the beginning and the end of the trip to shrink the total cost. But mostly JR pass covers the trip. Actually JR Pass 7 days gives you super saving! Continue reading

All Shikoku Rail Pass. The best deal to visit Shikoku and covers all train services in Shikoku.

At Matsuyama castle. Plum trees were blooming.

All Shikoku Rail Pass is only deals that is provided by JR Shikoku. It covers all railway services in Shikoku. If you plan to visit Shikoku but JR pass is too much, this deals may be your perfect choice.

In this post, I would like to share the information about All Shikoku Rail Pass. Continue reading

Sample itinerary Tokyo to Osaka plus Nikko and Himeji in 7 days by Japan Rail Pass

Torii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto
Torii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

7 days JR Pass price is almost same as round trip fare between Tokyo and Osaka by Shinkansen. That means if you have one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka or reverse, JR Pass is not worthwhile using. However if you add some trips when you stay in Osaka and Tokyo, you may use JR pass 7 days.

In this post, I add Nikko and Himeji at the both end to get the worth of JR pass 7 days. Continue reading

Hamamtsucho station guide. How to trasnsfer JR, Tokyo Monorail and Subway lines

JR Hamamatsucho stations platforms
JR Hamamatsucho stations platforms

Hamamatsucho is one of the stations on Yamanote line in downtown Tokyo. This station is not a mega station, such as Tokyo, Shinjuku. But this station is the hub of local transportation in downtown Tokyo. JR Yamanote line and JR Keihin Tohoku line connects many places in downtown Tokyo. Tokyo Monorail connects Haneda airport and Hamamatsucho.

And there is subway Daimon station. This stations is different name from Hamamatsucho station. But actually these stations are located in same place. You can catch Toei subway Asakusa line and Oedo line at Daimon station.

I believe many of travelers who visit Tokyo may use this station. I would like to tell you about these stations in this post Continue reading

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Kyoto

Kiyomizu-dera temple is one of most popular temple in Kyoto Higashiyama area. (C) Sue Ann Simon / JNTO
Kiyomizu-dera temple is one of most popular temple in Kyoto Higashiyama area. (C) Sue Ann Simon / JNTO

There are several deals for sightseeing in Kyoto. I would like to show you the deals for the tourist who stays in Kyoto and want to visit the places there. I believe you will find most suitable for your trip.

By the way, if you intend to have a day trip to Kyoto from other cities, such as day trip to Kyoto from Osaka, from Kobe, Kansai thru pass and other deals are available. Please find the detailed information about the deal that covers Kyoto and other cities in the link below:

How to choose discount railway ticket and pass in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) area Continue reading

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

Osaka castle, icon of Osaka (C) Osaka Government Tourism Bureau / JNTO
Osaka castle, icon of Osaka (C) Osaka Government Tourism Bureau / JNTO

There are many deals for sightseeing in Osaka. I would like to show you the deals for the tourist who stays in Osaka and want to visit the places in Osaka. I believe you will find most suitable for your trip.

By the way, if you intend to have a day trip to Osaka from other cities, such as day trip to Osaka from Kyoto, from Kobe, Kansai thru pass is most recommended. Because Kansai Thru Pass and other deals are available. Please find the detailed information in the link below:

How to choose discount railway ticket and pass in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) area Continue reading

Platt Kodama, one way deal among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka by Shinkansen

Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. Kodama is the slowest train on Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line.
Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. Kodama is the slowest train on Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line.

When you move among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka, you may think to take Shinkansen (a.k.a. bullet train). If you have round trip between Tokyo and Kyoto/Shin-Osaka, JR pass is the best choice. But even 7 days JR pass price is almost equal to round trip fare and seat fee of Shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. JR pass is not the best choice for one way movement.

Platt Kodama is a sort of Shinkansen one way trip discount ticket among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka. I would like to show you this ticket in this post. Continue reading

Reserved seat VS Non reserved seat. How to get a seat on non reserved car?

Common ordinary car interior (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Common ordinary car interior (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Most of trains in Japan have reserved seat and non reserved seat in ordinary cars. But some of you do not understand the difference between reserved seat and non reserved seat. And you may worry that all seats are full if you use non reserved seat.

In this post, I will explain you difference between reserved seat and non reserved seat. You will find pros and cons of both reserved and non reserved seat. Continue reading

Schedule of 2016-17 winter seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Seasonal overnight train Moonlight Nagara is operated by this 185 series.
Seasonal overnight train Moonlight Nagara is operated by this 185 series.

Autumn is the best season to travel in Japan. The climate is very mild and the scenery of fall foliage is breathtaking. JR will operate many seasonal trains for autumn high volume demand.

It is too many to introduce all seasonal trains. So I pick up the trains that run in the popular spots only. Continue reading

Hiroshima station guide. How to change the trains, Shinkansen and local train to Miyajima. How to catch tram and loop bus Meipuru-pu.

Overview of Hiroshima station south side (C) Taisyo [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.1 jp ], via Wikimedia Commons
Overview of Hiroshima station south side (C) Taisyo [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.1 jp ], via Wikimedia Commons

Hiroshima is one of most popular places to visit in Japan. Many of you use Hiroshima station to visit not only Hiroshima but also Miyajima and Iwakuni.

In this post, I would like to explain about Hiroshima station’s structures with many photos. And I will also explain you to transfer to the local train to Miyajima and Iwakuni, streetcar to downtown and how to catch tourist loop bus. Continue reading

Fuji Hakone one day trip sample itinerary. You can visit both Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone by day trip from Tokyo!

View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi
View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi

I actually do not recommend to visit Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone in one day. There are many places to see. One way is not obviously enough to visit these places. But some of you have very tight schedule. You cannot choose which one you visit. You may be wondering if you have to visit one of Lake Kawaguchi or Hakone. This sample itinerary may be suitable for you. It is very very tight schedule and you have to give up many places. But you can visit most of highlights at both side of Fuji, Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi. You may be okay to see these places in Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi.

This itinerary has been created by timetable in September, 2016. If you try to do this plan, please check the updated timetable before you go. Continue reading

Hokkaido train operation status in fall 2016. Guide for substitute train and bus service.

Limited Express Okhotsk is suspended currently.
Limited Express Okhotsk is suspended currently.

Tomamu – Obihiro segment will open on 22nd December.

Hokkaido was hit by very severe typhoon in late August. Many train lines are closed by this storm and many trains are suspended currently. Substitute bus service and tentative train are operated but trip time is much longer than original schedule. And also the accommodation of some trains are totally different from Limited Express train interior. It offers just commute train accommodation. It is obviously inconvenient. If you cannot accept this situation, I recommend you to change your trip plan. It may not be a right time to visit there.

Anyway I will guide the substitute train and bus service in this post. Continue reading

Nagano station guide. How to catch the bus to the tourist spots. How to change between Hokuriku Shinkansen and other local trains.

Exterior of Nagano station from Zenkoji-guchi side
Exterior of Nagano station from Zenkoji-guchi side

Nagano is known as Winter Olympic Game host city. That means this place has very good snow. Nagano has many ski slopes, such as Shiga-Kogen, Hakuba, Nozawa-Onsen. Nagano station is the gateway to Shiga-Kogen. In these days, the express bus runs between Nagano and Ogizawa where is the base of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. And please do not forget that Nagano is the gateway to world famous “Snow Monkey” place, “Jigokudani”, a.k.a. “Snow Monkey Park”.

In this post, I would like to explain about Nagano station’s structures with many photos of this station. And I also show you the bus stops around Nagano station and Nagano Dentetsu Nagano station. Continue reading

Schedule of 2016 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Fall foliage light up at Ninose station of Eizan Railway in Kyoto (C) Nkensei GFDL  or CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Fall foliage light up at Ninose station of Eizan Railway in Kyoto (C) Nkensei GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Autumn is the best season to travel in Japan. The climate is very mild and the scenery of fall foliage is breathtaking. JR will operate many seasonal trains for autumn high volume demand.

It is too many to introduce all seasonal trains. So I pick up the trains that run in the popular spots only. Continue reading

Japan Rail Pass and rail travel in Japan complete guide. Let's use the Japan Rail Pass to its maximum!!!