Category Archives: Travel information

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

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

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 transfer 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