Category Archives: Travel information

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matsumoto station guide. How to catch the bus to Takayama, Hotaka and Kamikochi. How to take a train to Nagano, Hakuba, Shinano-Omachi.

Matsumoto station from Oshiro-guchi (east side)
Matsumoto station from Oshiro-guchi (east side)

Matsumoto is the second biggest city in Nagano prefecture. But the station is not a huge terminal station, like Tokyo. But Matsumoto is the junction of many destinations by trains and buses. If you travel this area, you may have to change the trains and the buses at Matsumoto.

In this post, I would like to explain about Matsumoto station and Matsumoto bus terminal with many photos of this station. Continue reading

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

Tsuzumi Gate at Kanazawa station Kenrokuenguchi (east side). This gate is now one of the icons of Kanazawa.
Tsuzumi Gate at Kanazawa station Kenrokuenguchi (east side). This gate is now one of the icons of Kanazawa.

Kanazawa is most popular place in Hokuriku region. There are many tourist spots in this city, such as Kenrokuen garden, Kanazawa castle. Especially since Hokuriku Shinkansen opened in 2015, Kanazawa is much more accessible from Tokyo and it has been getting more popular. Kanazawa is also known as the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shirakawago.

In this post, I would like to explain about Kanazawa station’s structures with many photos of this station. And I also show you how to take the bus to the tourist spots in town and to Shirakawago. Continue reading

Let’s take the train! Easily accessible places to see fall foliage!

m_164901

Fall season is round the corner. There are huge number of the spots to see fall foliage in Japan. But many of them are not accessible for overseas tourist. In this post, I would like to show you easy access spot to see fall foliage in Japan by regions. You can get the places to see fall foliage by train only. All places are located within walking distance from the station. You do not need to take a local bus. You do not need to drive! The route is very simple and you can enjoy gorgeous view by easy access! Continue reading

Nagoya station guide. How to transfer among Shinkansen, Kintetsu, Meitetsu, subway and JR local trains.

Nagoya station from Taiko-Dori side.
Nagoya station from Taiko-Dori side.

Nagoya is one of major cities in Japan and also this station is the gateway to many places, such as Takayama, Nagano, Matsumoto, Ise. Even if you will not intend to drop by Nagoya, you may need to change the trains in Nagoya. If you arrive in Chubu airport, you have to change the trains in Nagoya station.

In this post, I would like to tell you about Kyoto station. Nagoya station is a huge station and there are many trains arriving and departing. I will show you the structure of Nagoya station and how to transfer among many trains in this station. Continue reading

Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 11, Visit Kurashiki and go back to Osaka by 500 TYPE EVA Shinkansen

Kurashiki Bikan area
Kurashiki Bikan area

This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 10, Trip from Nagano to Tokyo and taking Sunrise Seto.

On the last day of my trip, I disembarked from Sunrise Seto at Okayama. After that, I visited Kurashiki and went back to Shin-Osaka by specialized Shinkansen train, “500 TYPE EVA”. Continue reading

Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 10, Trip from Nagano to Tokyo and taking Sunrise Seto

Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto are only scheduled overnight trains in Japan.
Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto are only scheduled overnight trains in Japan.

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 8, winter light up event in Kanazawa.

I would like to tell you about the second half of 6th day of my trip in this post. I went to Tokyo from Nagano via Matsumoto. And I got on the overnight train, Sunrise Seto from Tokyo. Continue reading

Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 9, Visit Snow Monkey Park in Nagano

Monkeys enjoy  natural hot springs at Snow Monkey Park.
Monkeys enjoy natural hot springs at Snow Monkey Park.

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 8, winter light up event in Kanazawa.

On 6th day, I dropped by Nagano on the way to Tokyo to see snow monkey. I have been to Nagano many times. But actually it was the first time to visit snow monkey park. I would like to show how I accessed there. Continue reading