Category Archives: Tokyo

Yokohama and Kamakura access guide. Find the right deal and route from your place to stay.

Red Brick Warehouse is very popular shopping site in Yokohama Waterfront Area. (C) Y.Shimizu / JNTO
Red Brick Warehouse is very popular shopping site in Yokohama Waterfront Area. (C) Y.Shimizu / JNTO

Yokohama and Kamakura are very popular places to visit from Tokyo as day trip. Of course you can visit these places from other places, like Osaka and Kyoto. But there are several routes to get Yokohama and Kamakura from Tokyo. If you visit these places from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya, you will consider to drop by these places on the way to Tokyo. But is this a right way. Should we go to Tokyo first and then go back to Yokohama?

In this post, I show you the major access to Yokohaama and Kamakura from Tokyo. And I show you how to get Yokohama and Kamakura on the way to Tokyo from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. Continue reading

Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by train to get the major spots?

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You may be overwhelmed by train system in Tokyo. It is very complicated because there are many train lines and many different railway companies. There are lots of deals available but you may not be able to find the coverage of the pass.

In this post, I will show you all subway lines and JR lines in downtown core of Tokyo. And I will also tell you about train system surrounding in Tokyo too. Because some of trains that come from outside Tokyo go to downtown Tokyo via subway line. This is actually one of the reason why it is so difficult to understand train system in Tokyo

Let’s see and learn it together! Continue reading

Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 3. Visiting Tokyo DisneySea with small child.

Volcano is the icon of Tokyo DisneySea.
Volcano is the icon of Tokyo DisneySea.

This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 2. Visiting Tokyo Disneyland with small child.

I spent 2 days for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. In this post, I would like to tell you about my second day at Tokyo DisneySea. I have already explained about ticket and planning at the previous post. I will talk about my experience in Tokyo DisneySea only. Continue reading

Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 2. Visiting Tokyo Disneyland with small child.

Cinderella's castle is the icon of Disneyland.
Cinderella’s castle is the icon of Disneyland.

This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 1. Preparation and access from Narita.

I would like to share my experience of visiting Disneyland. But also I would like to tell you about planning. I think this is very important to visit Tokyo Disneyland. First of all, I would like to tell you what I did before visiting. And then I will tell you about visiting there. Continue reading

Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 1. Preparation and access from Narita.

Cinderella castle is the icon of Tokyo Disneyland.
Cinderella castle is the icon of Tokyo Disneyland.

I visited Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea with my daughter who just became 6 years old when she was there. It was the first time to visit there in last 20 years for me. I did not remember about the last trip 20 years ago. And also it was the first time to visit there with small child. So I was almost the first timer almost, maybe same as you.

I usually talk about train trips and other transportation in this website. But I have learned many things about Tokyo Disney Resort (Disneyland and DisneySea) as “the first timer”. Even though I am not the expert of Tokyo Disneyland, I believe the things that I have learned will help you to prepare and build the plan to visit the wonderland, Tokyo Disney Resort.

I would like to share my experience and tips about visiting Tokyo Disney Resort in three parts. In this first post, I would like to show you access from Narita airport and preparation before I was there. Continue reading

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

Narita Airport departure floor © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO
Narita Airport departure floor © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO

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 deal for the transfer to Tokyo from Narita.

In this post, I will show you the discount fare, budget type bus services and deals/passes. Continue reading

Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket is back in 2015. Perfect choice for just trip to Fuji san!

Mt. Fuji from Lake Motosu  	©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Mt. Fuji from Lake Motosu ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

This deal, Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket was on sale in 2013 and 2014 during summer season only. Now this deal has just been back in 2015 season. If you have a plan to Mt. Fuji and other place, like Nikko or Kusatsu, Kanto Area Pass is better choice. But if you need a deal for trip to Mt. Fuji only, this pass is most suitable.

I show you the the detail about this pass and compare with other deals. Continue reading

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

JR's Yamanote line (left) and Tokyo Metro (right)
JR’s Yamanote line (left) and Tokyo Metro (right)

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 in coverage area. I agree that subway system is the best and cheapest option for most of travellers in Tokyo.

But how about JR deals? When I visited in Tokyo, I recognized JR trains are much easier to ride and faster. And JR East offers Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass). This ticket is very useful.

In this post, I would like to show you how to use this pass and compare with subway deals. Continue reading

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

Shinagawa station Takanawa Exit side (C) JP Rail
Shinagawa station Takanawa Exit side (C) JP Rail

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 complicated, actually. In this post, I will show you how to transfer among these trains in this station, Shinagawa. Continue reading

Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 2, Stay in First-Cabin Akihabara

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This post is continued from Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 1, from Narita Airport to Tokyo.

I don’t usually write about hotel in this website. But this hotel, First-Cabin Akihabara is very unique and it is different from common hotels. I can’t recommend everybody. But this hotel may be suitable for some of you. I show you this accommodation and make sure what the difference is. Continue reading

Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 1, from Narita Airport to Tokyo

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I visited Japan in mid February. In this trip, I went to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone as you see the above map. I also have taken several attractive trains in this trip. I would like to share my experience.

First of all, I arrived at Narita airport by Japan Airline flight from Vancovuer, Canada. I would line to tell you about the first day in Tokyo. Continue reading

Complete access guide to Ghibli Museum from Tokyo and Shinjuku.

Laputan robot stands up at the roof of the museum.
Laputan robot stands up at the roof of the museum.

I visited Ghibli Museum in this past spring and I realized how popular this site is for overseas travellers. It is not very difficult to access this museum. But some of you worry about language, direction, storage and exact location to catch a bus to the museum. In this post, I use lots of picture to explain about access by train and bus. Continue reading

Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 2, Tokyo station

Tokyo station Marunouchi building. (C) JP Rail
Tokyo station Marunouchi building. (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 1, from Narita airport to Ueno.

After I stored my suitcase in the coin operated locker, I walked around Tokyo station. First of all, I wanted to see Tokyo station Marunouchi side. The above picture is exactly I wanted to see. This heritage building had been completed to restore in last October. A part of this building was open as high-end hotel, Tokyo Station Hotel. Continue reading

Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 1, from Narita airport to Ueno

2013 winter trip route map (Click to enlarge)
2013 winter trip route map (Click to enlarge)

I had a trip to Tohoku area and Nagano area in this past January and February. I stayed there for only three nights. But fortunately I have got many trains, like Overnight Limited Express Akebono, Skyliner, Resort Shirakami, Fuji Kyuko, Ueda Railway, Limited Express Hakutaka. This following list is what I wanted to do in this trip:

  • Try to book and take overnight train on arrival day.
    I wanted to check how long we spend to change the pass, book and transfer to Ueno/Tokyo.
  • To take Resort Shirakami and Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway.
    I wanted to see some spots and trains in Tohoku area.
  • To go to Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) station from Shinjuku via Fuji Kyuko Railway.
    I wanted to take both Fujisan Limited Express and Fuji Tozan Densha on Fuji Kyuko Railway.
  • To take a train between Nagano and Naoetsu.
    This section will be transferred to non JR lines in 2015. Because it will be transferred to third sector companies, Shinano Railway and Echigo Tokimeki Railway after Hokuriku Shinkansen will open. JR Pass will not cover this section.
  • To take Limited Express Hakutaka.
    This express train will be discontinued after Hokuriku Shinkansen will open in 2015.

Continue reading

Tokyo station guide. How to change the trains, Shinkansen, Narita Express and other local trains.

Looking to track#9 and 10 (Tokaido Rapid trains) from track#20 for Tohoku Shinkansen at Tokyo Station (C) JP Rail

Tokyo station is the biggest station in Japan. And most of you use this station to get on Shinkansen, Narita Express or Tokyo local trains. But this station is very complicated because it is too big and too many platforms.

In this post, I would like to explain about this station and how to change the train in Tokyo station. Continue reading

How to take Tokyo Monorail or Keihin Kyuko for late arrival and early departure at Haneda

If you arrive at Haneda by Tokyo Monorail, the station is located at same level as departure floor. (C) JP Rail
If you arrive at Haneda by Tokyo Monorail, the station is located at same level as departure floor. (C) JP Rail

Since I have received many inquiries regarding late arrival and early departure at Haneda on my previous post, How to access from Haneda airport to downtown Tokyo, I show you more detailed time schedule and how to get on Tokyo Monorail and Keihin Kyuko at Haneda Airport. Continue reading

How much can we use Japan Rail Pass in downtown Tokyo?

Yamanote line is the busiest train service in Japan.
Yamanote line is the busiest train service in Japan.

I wrote the post about Tokyo subway long time ago. I mentioned that Subway is the best for sightseeing in Tokyo. But some of you travel in Japan for 7 days that include Tokyo. You still can use Japan Rail Pass 7 days pass to explore in Tokyo. So I would like to explain more about Japan Railways local trains in Tokyo. And also I will tell you which popular spot you cannot access by Japan Railway. Continue reading

No express surcharge! Fast, economical and convenient! Rapid service network in Greater Tokyo

Tokyo rapid lines map (Click to enlarge)
Tokyo rapid lines map (Click to enlarge)

Japan Railway operate Rapid trains throughout Japan. Especially lots of Rapid trains are operated in urban area, such as Greater Tokyo. In Tokyo, these trains are operated basically for commuters. But there are many operation routes. Of course you can use these trains for your exploring in surrounding Tokyo area. These trains connect Tokyo (=東京) and Shinjuku (=新宿) with Yokohama (=横浜), Kamakura (=鎌倉), Odawara (=小田原) (for Hakone (=箱根)), Utsunomiya (=宇都宮) (for Nikko (=日光)), Mito (=水戸), Narita airport (=成田空港) and even Atami (=熱海) (Izu peninsula hot springs (=伊豆半島)). These trains are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. If you have Japan Rail Pass Green, most of Rapid trains in Greater Tokyo have double decker Green cars. You will feel same type of atmosphere in a commute train. Continue reading

Narita Express, Most popular transfer from Narita airport to Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinagawa and Yokohama

E259 series is the fleet for Narita Express.
E259 series is the fleet for Narita Express.

Narita Express may be your first train in Japan. It is operated between Narita airport and Greater Tokyo area, such as Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Shibuya. And also service is extended to Yokohama, Totsuka, Ofuna and Omiya. This train stops both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 in Narita airport. Continue reading

How to access to Asakusa. Can we get Asakusa by Japan Rail Pass?

Nakamise street has lots of shops on the road to Senso-ji temple in Asakusa. ©Taito City/©JNTO
Nakamise street has lots of shops on the road to Senso-ji temple in Asakusa. ©Taito City/©JNTO

Asakusa (浅草) is very popular district in Tokyo. We have Senso-ji, Buddhist temple there. We also have some more temples, so many Japanese souvenir shops and Ryokan (Japanese style accommodation that has Tatami room).

Asakusa is nice place to stay. But if you access from downtown core of Tokyo, such as Tokyo or Shinjuku station, I recommend you to take subway. JR does not have a station in Asakusa. JR has “Asakusa-bashi” station. But it might make you be confused. This station is not located in Asakusa. It takes at least 20 minutes walk. Both Tokyo Metro and Tokyo Toei subway lines have stations in Asakusa.

In this post, I will show you the access to Asakusa from major stations in Tokyo Continue reading

How to access to Tsukiji Market by Japan Rail Pass

Tsukiji Market is the biggest fish market in Japan. ©JNTO
Tsukiji Market is the biggest fish market in Japan. ©JNTO

This is the most popular destination for the foreign travellers in Metro Tokyo. Tsukiji Market (築地市場) is the biggest wholesale market in Japan. You can see “Seri” that means the auction. Especially viewing Seri for Tuna is very popular. It is held from 5:00 am to 6:30 am on weekdays. You can taste very fresh sushi at the reasonable price!

You can get Tsukiji Market by Japan Railway. But you need to walk. So I show you how to get there by Japan Railway only for Japan Rail Pass user. And also I show you most popular and convenient way that is using subway. Continue reading