Category Archives: Basic information

How to make reservations, how to read ticket

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

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

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

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

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

Kobe Sannomiya stations guide. Check the location and connections between many Sannomiya stations.

JR Sannomiya station north side
JR Sannomiya station north side

If you make a trip to Kobe, you may disembark a train at Sannomiya station. Sannomiya is downtown core of Kobe and you may access to many places from this station. There are three major railway’s stations, JR, Hankyu Railway and Hanshin Railway. And there are three more stations, two of Kobe subway and one of Port Liner. Each station is not a big station and structure is quite simple. But there are many stations and it may be complicated for you. And you may be overwhelmed.

In this post, I would like to share the information about all stations in Sannomiya. I would like to show you how to move among these stations. And also Sannomiya is the gateway to other areas. I would like to show you some information about bus stops around Sannomiya station. Continue reading

Himeji station guide. How to get Himeji castle from the station

Himeji station terminal building at north side.
Himeji station terminal building at north side.

Himeji station is the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Himeji Castle. It is very popular day trip destination from Kobe and Osaka. You can get Himeji by JR trains, Shinkansen and Sanyo / Hanshin Railway.

How to access to Himeji and Kobe from Osaka

I would like to explain about these station’s structures and show you some images of Himeji station. And I also show you how to get Himeji castle from the station too. Continue reading

How to find seat availability of trains. JR Cyber Station guide.

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You might be nervous about booking of trains. Online booking is very limited. Most of you have to book your train after you arrive in Japan. Especially if you travel in peak season, such as Golden Week (late Apr to 1st week of May), Obon period (mid Aug) and New Years holidays (late Dec to early Jan), many trains are booked out. You may want to know how busy trains will be before you leave.

Unfortunately there is no way to find it online in English. But we have it in Japanese that is “JR Cyber Station”.

In this post, I show you how to use this site. I know that most of you do not understand Japanese. I believe that you will be able to use this site and find the seat availability of the trains after you read this post even if you do not understand Japanese, . Continue reading

Namba stations guide. How to change the trains among Nankai, Kintetsu, Hanshin, subway and JR.

Nankai Namba station building (C) By Own work (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Nankai Namba station building (C) By Own work (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Namba is one of two downtown cores with Umeda in Osaka. This is popular spot to shop and sightseeing. And also some of you may transfer trains at Namba. But there are many railways and stations in Namba. You may be overwhelmed to understand the location and station structure.

In this post, I would like to show you the locations of each Namba stations. And you will learn how to change the trains in Namba. Continue reading

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

Karasuma central exit is the main entrance of Kyoto station. (C) JP Rail
Karasuma central exit is the main entrance of Kyoto station. (C) JP Rail

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 subway and many many more to depart and arrive in this station.

Now I would like to explain about Kyoto station. I will show you how to transfer among many trains there. Continue reading

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

The west side of Takasaki station. The shopping complex building is connected to the station.
The west side of Takasaki station. The shopping complex building is connected to the station.

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 this station when you go to Kusatsu Onsen or Minakami Onsen.

And also local private railway line, Joshin Railway shares Takasaki station with JR trains. If you go to the newest World Heritage site, Tomioka Silk Mill, you will transfer to Joshin Railway. 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

Odawara station guide. How to transfer to the train to Hakone.

Hakone 075

Odawara is the gateway to the one of most well known Onsen resort, Hakone. If you take JR trains, you have to change the trains to Hakone at this station, Odawara. Odawara station is not a mega terminal station. But there is JR Tokaido line, Shinkansen and Odakyu/Hakone Tozan Railway. It may make you be confused. Continue reading

Utsunomiya station guide. How to transfer to Nikko train.

(C) JR Utsunomiya Station - Tnk3a
(C) JR Utsunomiya Station – Tnk3a

Utsunomiya station is the station to transfer to Nikko line. If you use JR Pass to get Nikko, you take Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo and transfer here at Utsunomiya. Utsunomiya is the major terminal station in Tochigi prefecture. Even though Utsunomiya station is not a mega size terminal, if you are the first time traveller, you really know how to transfer the trains. Continue reading

What is Shinkansen (bullet train)? Most convenient and the fastest train service throughout Japan.

Shinkansen

Shinkansen (新幹線) is high speed train service that is operated by JR. It is one of the fastest train in world and sometimes called “Bullet Train”. JR has this high speed train network throughout Japan. You can save lots of your trip time by using this train system.

Most of you use this train system in your trip. I would like to share the basic information about this train system, Shinkansen. Continue reading

Hyperdia perfect guide, train timetable and route search engine

hyperdia1

If you want to build your itinerary by yourself, Hyperdia will help you a lot. This site is transportation search engine. You can search the timetables and routes of all trains, flights and airport shuttle bus. I think this site is most convenient site. But this site may be too many functions and options for you. You may be overwhelmed to use this site.

In this post, I will show you all functions of Hyperdia to understand using this site. I hope you will be a good friend of this site after reading this post. Continue reading

For non JR pass travellers. Guide to use JR single ticket, basic rules, validity and stopover

Typical JR ticket is like this.
Typical JR ticket is like this.

I have received many inquiries about Tokyo-Osaka one way trip. I always recommend to use single ticket for long distance transfer. like from Tokyo to Kyoto, Tokyo to Osaka or Osaka to Nagoya. Because it is cheaper than Japan Rail Pass 7 days pass. I wrote about fare calculation before. But I think it is not enough. I need to explain much more about JR single ticket rule. It is very complicated for the tourists from oversea. But you don’t need to understand everything. If you understand some basic rules, single ticket is more useful and it may save your cost.

In this post, I show you some basic rules of single ticket for long distance transfer and how to use and purchase it. Continue reading

Otsuki station guide. How to transfer from JR train to Fuji Kyuko train.

I took this picture from overpass between #3 and #4/#5 platform. Red brown color train (left) is Fuji Kyuko's Fuji Tozan Densha. (C) JP Rail
I took this picture from overpass between #3 and #4/#5 platform. Red brown color train (left) is Fuji Kyuko’s Fuji Tozan Densha. (C) JP Rail

Otsuki station is the station where you change to/from JR train and Fuji Kyuko train. If you travel to Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) and Mt. Fuji by train, you will transfer at this station. Many limited express trains to/from Tokyo and Shinjuku stop at this station. Some rapid trains go through Fuji Kyuko railways to Lake Kawaguchi via this station, Otsuki.

In this post, I would like to show you some images and explain about this station. You will find how to transfer the trains here at Otsuki station. Continue reading

Guide for train access to Nagano, Matsumoto and other places in Shinshu and surrounding area.

Hokuriku Shinkansen was opened in mid March 2015. It connects Tokyo, Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa without changing trains.
Hokuriku Shinkansen was opened in mid March 2015. It connects Tokyo, Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa without changing trains.

Shinshu region is located in the heart of Japan. You might have heard Nagano where held winter Olympic games in 1998. There are lost of popular cities in this region, such as Nagano, Karuizawa and Matsumoto. And also Shinano-Omachi is well known as the gate way station to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route. Hakuba is very popular ski resort in winter season.

In this post, I summarize train access information to Shinshu and surrounding areas. You can find the information about access to Shinshu region from Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kanazawa and Toyama. Continue reading

Sanin area train access guide. How to access to Kinosaki, Izumo, Matsue, Tottori and other major cities in Sanin area.

Limited Express Hamakaze crossing one of famous bridge, Amarube Bridge. (C) RSA - JR West KiHa 189 series DMU on a Hamakaze limited express service crossing the Amarube Viaduct on the Sanin Main Line
Limited Express Hamakaze crossing one of famous bridge, Amarube Bridge. (C) RSA – JR West KiHa 189 series DMU on a Hamakaze limited express service crossing the Amarube Viaduct on the Sanin Main Line

I published several post about the limited express trains to Sanin area, such as Super Oki, Super Matsukaze, Super Inaba, Super Hakuto and Hamakaze. But there are some more trains from Osaka and Kyoto to Kinosaki-Onsen area. And there are several gateway stations. You might be confused.

This post shows you all trains to Sanin area, such as northern part to Hyogo and Kyoto, Tottori, Shimane and northern part to Yamaguchi. I hope you will find the right way to the place where you want to go. Continue reading

Shin Osaka station guide. How to change Shinkansen, Haruka, Thunderbird and local train access to Osaka, Umeda and Namba

Conventional lines platform (front), Shinkansen terminal (back) (C) Outside view of the Shin Osaka station/Ariake

Shin-Osaka station is the place where you change to/from Shinkansen. If you travel in Osaka, you may use this station at least once. All Shikansen trains stop at this station and many limited express trains on conventional lines stop or depart from this station, Shin-Osaka.

In this post, I would like to show you some images and explain about this station. You will get the information about transfer among trains. Continue reading

Osaka and Umeda stations guide. How to change JR trains, subway trains and other private railways

Osaka station platforms (C) Asacyan

Osaka station is the biggest station in west part of Japan. Osaka station is located at one of two biggest downtown cores, Umeda. This may make you be confused. JR Osaka station is completely same as Umeda station. You can transfer JR trains and other trains at Osaka and Umeda stations.

Even though Shinkansen does not stop at JR Osaka station, many limited express trains depart and arrive at this station. And three subway lines (Midousuji line, Tanimachi line and Yotsubashi line) and two private railways (Hankyu and Hanshin) have stations as “Umeda” station.

In this post, I would like to explain about JR Osaka station and other Umeda stations. You will find the information about Osaka and Umeda station. And also you will find some idea about transferring among JR trains, subway lines, Hankyu and Hanshin lines at Osaka station. Continue reading