All posts by Takeshi / JPRail.com

Takikawa station guide. How to catch a local train to Furano.

Takikawa station building exterior. The traffic loop in front of the station was under construction when I visited there in February, 2017.

Takikawa is not well known as the tourist spot. And this station is not a mega terminal station. But this station is the junction of Sapporo, Asahiawa and Furano. If you travel to Furano from Sapporo, you may need to transfer train at this station, Takikawa. If you do so, you may want to know what this station looks.

In this post, I would like to explain about Takikawa station with some photos. Continue reading

Asahikawa station guide. Guide to change trains and buses to Asahiyama Zoo and Sounkyo.

Asahikawa station from north side

Asahikawa is the second biggest city in Hokkaido. Asahikawa is well known as Asahiayama zoo which is one of most popular zoos in Japan. And also Asahikawa is the gateway to Biei, Furano, Sounkyo and Daisetsu mountain.

Many trains runs between Sapporo and Asahikawa. And also train which goes to Wakkanai and Abashiri stop at Asahikawa. You may change trains at Asahikawa.

In this post, I would like to explain about Asahikawa station and surrounding the station with many photos. Continue reading

Schedule of 2017 summer seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Rapid train, Kira Kira Uetsu runs between Niigata and Sakata on Uetsu line along the coast.

I cannot say that summer is the best season to visit Japan. It’s very hot and very humid. But it’s vacation season anyway. School summer break kick off on July 20 in most of area. And mid August is called “Obon”. It is one of the busiest period in the year. If you travel in this period, train may be booked out quickly. Please see the details in the link below:

2017 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even busy period

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during summer season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of September.

*Autumn seasonal train schedule (October to November) will come up in late August. But you will find all schedules until February, 2018 for trains in Kyushu. Continue reading

How to make the itinerary of Tokyo – Osaka one way trip

The view of Tokyo Skytree from near Asakusa. It is new icon of Tokyo. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO

I have shown some simple itineraries which include Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

Basic itinerary of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo in 7 days
Basic itinerary of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka in 7 days

But many travelers want to stay in Tokyo and Osaka only and make day trips to surrounding area, like Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Yokohama.

If you intend to do this type of simple itinerary which include Tokyo and Osaka, you will combine several local deals and regular ticket.

In this post, I will explain about choosing the deals and tickets for this Tokyo-Osaka one way trip. I will mention two ways, Tokyo in/Osaka out and Osaka in/Tokyo out. Continue reading

Seishun 18 kippu, Unlimilited ride deal of local and rapid trains on all JR lines

Seishun 18 Kippu. The price is shown at 11,500 yen on this ticket. But now it is sold at 11,850 yen.

I have been asked about Seishun 18 Kippu by readers many times. This ticket gives you unlimited ride for 5 days at only 11,850 yen. It seems to be very very attractive. But it covers local train and rapid train only. It is very affordable. However it has many restrictions too.

In this post, I explain how to use Seishun 18 Kippu. Continue reading

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 8, Hakodate to Tokyo

Hakodate Liner is a rapid train which connect Hakodate and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto.

This post is continued from Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 7, Noboribetsu Onsen to Hakodate via Lake Toya.

I will write about the last day of this trip on day 4 from Hakodate to Tokyo. 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 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

Schedule of 2017 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Genbi Shinkansen that runs between Echigo-Yuzawa and Niigata is called the world fastest art gallery.
Genbi Shinkansen that runs between Echigo-Yuzawa and Niigata is called the world fastest art gallery.

Spring is the best season to visit Japan because of the cherry blossom. And also between late April and the beginning of May is one of the busiest period in the year. It is called “Golden Week” in Japan. April 29, May 3, 4, and 5 are National holidays. If you travel in this period, train may be booked out quickly. Please see the details in the link below:

2017 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even busy period

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during all spring season. Especially JR Group add lots of the extra trains in Golden Week. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of June.

*Summer seasonal train schedule (July to September) will come up in late May. But you will find all schedules until February, 2018 for trains in Kyushu. 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 Hakone, Takayama, Shirakawago and Kyoto in 7 days by Japan Rail Pass

Very popular scene of Shirakawago from Tenshukaku view point

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

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

2017 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even busy period.

(C) Calendar* / DafneCholet
(C) Calendar* / DafneCholet

Many readers have asked me about busy period to travel. I wrote about the calendar of the peak period in 2016 season. Now I would like to tell you about 2017. And also I would like to give you some tips when you travel in the peas season. 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