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Enjoy premium Japanese Sake on board. Cruising train Koshino Shu*Kura

You can enjoy Jazz performance and great view of Sea of Japan on board. (C) James Chuang

You can enjoy Jazz performance and great view of Sea of Japan on board. (C) James Chuang

This train, “Koshino Shu*Kura (越乃Shu*Kura)” was introduced in this past summer as seasonal cruising train. This train runs in Niigata prefecture. Niigata is known for one of the biggest production of rice in Japan. And also many kinds of premium Japanese Sake (rice wine) are produced by this rice in this district. This train has theme of Japanese Sake and you can taste many kinds of Sake on board. This train’s name, “Koshino Shu*Kura” means Echigo district (=Koshino) where the area train runs, Japanese Sake (=Shu), snow flake(=*) and brewery (=Kura). And also this train runs along the coast of Sea of Japan. You also can enjoy the beautiful scenery.

My reader, James Chuang posted many photos of this train. He allowed me to use these photos and I was very impressed! I would like to share the photos and information with you.

Thank you, James for sharing the beautiful photos. Read More

Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.

I have received many inquiries about Nagoya-Osaka or Kyoto trip. There are lots of travellers who arrive in Chubu (Nagoya) airport and depart from Kansai (Osaka) airport or reverse or arrive in/depart from Chubu. Even if you have round trip between Nagoya and Osaka, JR Pass is too expensive choice. And there is no options …

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Sample itinerary of Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka classic route in 7 days

Some of you are wondering if you should use JR pass or not for one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka via Hakone and Kyoto. Actually JR pass does not meet this trip. The price of 7 days JR pass is 29100 yen. One way base fare from Tokyo to Kyoto or Shin-Osaka plus Shinkansen …

Category: 7 days
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Day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima from Osaka/Kyoto

Hiroshima and Miyajima are very popular and obviously these are “Big Name”s in Japan. Some of you want to visit these place but you may be hesitating to visit there because of tight schedule.
If you stay in Osaka or Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima can be visited as day trip. If you can stay there for …

Category: 1 day
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Schedule of 2014-15 winter seasonal trains of Japan Railways

In Japan, New Year holidays are the busiest period in entire year. Most of Japanese go back to hometown in this season. So the trains depart from major cities, like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya will be very busy. Most of companies will be closed from Dec 30 to Jan 3. In this coming season, I expect …

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How to build the itinerary and choose the deals for Osaka stay 5 to 7 days.

I think many travellers prefer to stay in one place and visit surrounding areas as day trip. I have received many inquiries about Osaka stay and visit surrounding areas, like Kyoto, Kobe, Nara as day trip. I understand that it’s quite easy to stay in one place and enjoy the trip with luggage free.
But many …

Category: 5 days, 7 days
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Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass. Perfect deal to get Takayama, Kanazawa, Shirakawago from Nagoya or Osaka

I have received many inquiries about trip to Takayama and Shirakawago from both Nagoya and Osaka. We have never had a deal for Takayama from Kansai area, such as Osaka and Kyoto. Now JR Central and JR West have released Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass. This pass includes not only train trip to Takayama …

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Visit Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe for 5 to 7 days sample itinerary

I have received inquiries about the trip to Kansai area many times. So I make a basic itinerary that includes Kansai area, such as Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara only. This is 7 days itinerary. But you can shorten or extend as you can.
Now I would like to tell you the best route and most …

Category: 5 days, 7 days
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Schedule of 2014 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Fall season is very popular to travel in Japan. Fall foliage is amazing. Weather is very nice. It’s highly recommended to train in this season.
Many seasonal trains will run during this season. I show you seasonal trains information mostly for September, October and November, 2014 in this post.
It is too many to introduce all …

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Suspension and schedule change of overnight trains, Hokutosei, Cassiopeia and Hamanasu

JR Hokkaido and JR East have just announced that overnight trains that go through Seikan tunnel will be suspended or schedule changed in this coming fall and winter. As you probably know, Hokkaido Shinkansen will be open in spring 2016. JR Hokkaido will inspect and maintain the tracks and tunnels. That is the reason why …

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Toreiyu Tsubasa. First ever Shinkansen train that has foot bath.

Shinkansen run as fast intercity transfer. But this train, “Toreiyu Tsubsa” shows us completely different concept as Shinkansen train. This Shinkansen train does not run very fast. It stops at all stations and it gives you warm atmosphere to spend the time in the train with your family or friend.
My reader, James Chuang gave …

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Kyoto station guide. How to transfer among Shinkansen, Kintetsu, Subway and JR local trains.

Kyoto is the biggest name in Japan. Most of you will visit Kyoto. JR Kyoto station is probably the first step to Kyoto for you. There are so many trains, such as Shinkansen, Limited Express Haruka from Kansai airport, Limited Express Thuderbird to Kanazawa, commute trains to Osaka, Kobe and Nara, Kintetsu train, Kyoto city …

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How to access to Himeji and Kobe from Osaka

Himeji castle is National Treasure, National Heritage Building, one of the best 100 castles in Japan and UNESCO World Heritage Site. I think this castle is most well known and popular castle in Japan and I believe everybody agree with me.
Himeji castle is still under restoration work. But in this past June, whole part of …

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How to access to Nikko from Tokyo. There are three ways from Tokyo, Shinjuku and Asakusa.

Nikko is one of the popular destinations from Tokyo. You can visit there as day trip. Of course if you stay there, you can visit many places in outside of Nikko city and also can enjoy hot springs in Kinugawa Onsen too.
I have written about access to Nikko by JR Pass before. At that time, …

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How to access to the newest World Heritage Tomioka Silk Mill

“The Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Industrial Heritage” is the newest World Heritage in Japan. It is listed in this year, 2014. It is not very well known for overseas tourist. Please refer the official site of Tomioka Silk Mill to learn more about this site.
There are several sites in this World Heritage. Most …

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Takasaki station guide. It’s junction to Nagano, Niigata, Kusatsu and Tomioka Silk Mill.

Takasaki station is the biggest station in Gumma pref where is located in northern Kanto region. But it is very easy to find the way in this station because it is not like major station in Tokyo. This station is the junction point to Kusatsu, Minakami, Nagano and Niigata. You may need to transfer at …

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The list of deals for access to downtown Tokyo from Narita airport

It you use JR Pass, JR East Pass or Kanto Area Pass right after you arrive in Narita, you don’t need to purchase any more deals or passes. But some of you stay in Tokyo for the first several days and activate JR Pass or other deals. In this case, you might think about additional …

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Alternatives of Overnight train Twilight Express, in case that you cannot make a reservation.

***Twilight Express will be discontinued in March, 2015.***

Twilight Express is very popular. Many tourists might think about taking this luxury overnight train. But you have a problem. Twilight Express cannot be reserved online. The only way to reserve it from outside of Japan is calling Odekake net 078-341-7903 in Japanese and you have to pick …

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Overnight Express Train Twilight Express, most popular overnight train between Osaka and Sapporo

***Twilight Express will be discontinued in March, 2015. Now it is almost impossible to book for this train’s ticket. All tickets are sold out in less than one second right after on sale. Simply it is no chance to book from oversea. Please avoid to take this train and consider other trains.***

Twilight Express is operated …

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Save time and money to go to Niigata from Tokyo by train. Overnight rapid train Moonlight Echigo

***This train usually runs in peak periods. But in this summer peak season, this train will not run. It seems that this train service is discontinued.***

Moonlight Echigo (ムーンライトえちご) is the overnight rapid service train that is operated between Shinjuku (新宿) and Niigata (新潟). This train used to be a scheduled train. But it was changed …

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Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket is back in 2014. Perfect choice for just trip to Fuji san!

This deal, Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket was on sale in 2013 during summer season only. Now this deal has just been back in 2014 season. If you have a plan to Mt. Fuji and other place, like Nikko or Kusatsu, Kanto Area Pass is better chocie. But if you need a deal for trip …

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Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass), good choice for sightseeing in Tokyo.

When you explore in Tokyo, which pass do you use? I think the first choice is Tokyo Metro 1-Day Open Ticket (710 yen) or Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway (1000 yen). These passes cover most of places in downtown Tokyo. Only Tokyo Disney Land / Disney Sea and Odaiba are not …

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Shinagawa station guide. Transfer among Shinkansen, Keihin Kyuko to Haneda, Narita Express

Shinagawa is one of the terminal station in Tokyo. It is the transfer point of Tokaido Shinkansen (Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka), Keihin Kyuko (Haneda airport), Narita Express (Narita airport), Yamanote line (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo) and many more lines.
There are many railway lines and it seems to make you be overwhelmed. But this is not very …

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Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen (Bullet Train), Most popular train to Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Hakata from Tokyo.

Tokaido Shinkansen is the oldest and busiest Shinkasen line and it is operated between Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka. Sanyo Shinkansen is operated between Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima and Hakata (Fukuoka). Both lines are connected each other. Many trains, “Nozomi” that is the fastest train on Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen, run from Tokyo to Hiroshima and some of …

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Schedule of 2014 summer seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Summer is not the best season to visit Japan except Hokkaido because of climate. It is very hot and humid. But local demand is quite high. Especially Obon season is one of three busiest period in Japan. Obon period is usually from August 13 to 16. In this year 2014, August 17 is Sunday. So …

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This website is unofficial website about Japan Rail Pass, other rail passes and rail travel in Japan. It explains you how to use Japan Rail Pass and assists you to use Japan Rail Pass to its maximum! And also this site explain about many more rail passes, gives you tips and supports you to enjoy rail trip in Japan.

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