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1077 Comments to “Forums”

  1. Janice says:

    Dear Takeshi San, thanks for your reply.

    Regarding the train from Osaka to KIX, does it mean that if i take Nankai, i do not need to go to Shin Osaka from Namba?

    I have purchased a 7 day Japan Rail Pass but will not use this pass until i leave Kyoto. Based on calculations, the 7 day pass will expire on the day i leave Osaka. Can i use the pass for the train from Namba to KIX then? As i understand the pass is only valid for Haruka or JR trains?

    Thank you.


  2. Janice says:

    Dear Takeshi San, thanks for all your posts. Can’t wait for my trip in May. Would appreciate some advise pls.

    1. Are special bentos available for all Shinkansen or limited express wide view hida trains?
    We traveling quite a bit on trains and would like to know how we can rake care of our food needs.

    2. For Osaka from Hiroshima seems that best choice is to use subway to Namba direct?

    3. From Namba is there a easy way to get to KIX using trains or should we resort to airport limo bus? After 10 days trip I think it would be tiring to try and change platforms or stations. As Osaka is the last stop also most likely will do more shopping

    4. Takayama to Tateyama alpine route – I have used Hyperdia and got a few answers. Last train dep after 6 pm arriving Takayama 9.30pm. Then I used Toyama to Takayama and got options for 2 departures which will arrive Takayama after 6pm which is better. But when I tried to match w Tateyama alpine schedule, got confused bcos of many symbols of weekday, special dates. So if I want to return Takayama at 6.30pm, it means I must arrive in Toyoma by 2.30. Is that correct pls?

    Thanking you in advance for your replies.


    • Hi Janice,

      1. I don’t rely on the cart service in the train so much. Because sometimes the selection is very limited. I usually grab some foods before boarding.

      2. Do you mean that you will get subway from Shin-Osaka to Namba after trip to Hiroshima? If so. yes. Subway Midousuji line is only direct access to Namba from Shin-Osaka.

      3. Nankai train is the best.

      4. As far as I checked it at Hyperdia, local train (Toyama 16:10 – 17:01 Inotani 17:15 – Takayama 18:26) is the last train to get there by 18:30. However I think Wide View Hida 18 (15:10 Toyama – 16:38 Takayama) is better choice. It you take local trains, you have to transfer at Inotani. And also if you take these trains in weekday, train will be crowded by high school students.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Dr Abhijit says:

    Dear Takeshi,
    Thanks for your help. We have purchased 7 day JR pass.
    We want to purchase Kansai area pass for three days.
    Your help is appreciated and will consult for any clarification.
    Best regards,

  4. Sun says:


    I need some suggestions for travelling in Kyushu and would be most grateful if you could please provide some advices.

    I will be travelling to Kumamoto to attend my friend’s wedding on 1 June. After the wedding, I plan to travel around in Kyushu. I have visited to Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Oita in 2010 and wish to visit other places in Kyushu this round. Please kindly provide any suggestions on the itinerary below, particularly what other places I can visit on 4 and 5 June, and in Kagoshima:

    1 June: Friend’s wedding in Kumamoto
    2 June: Kumamoto to Kagoshima
    3 June: Kagoshima – Sakurajima
    4 June: No plans yet –> open to suggestions
    5 June: No plans yet –> open to suggestions
    6 June: Fukuoka
    7 June: Leave Fukuoka for flight at 10 am

    Could you please also advise how to organise it so we can use the rail pass in the best way?

    Thank you so much! ^_^

    Lee Sun

  5. Dr Abhijit says:

    I am planning for 11 days stay at Osaka from July 1 to July 11, 2014.
    I am confused regarding JR pass. Is it better to purchase 7 days JR pass and take local tickes for visiting or take Kansai pass for 3 days of JR. Not able to understand if the any pass will be available for subway travel in Osaka or Tokyo. We would like to Mt.Fuji and as much places possible. We plan to travel back to Osaka for night rest since we have booked the hotel in Osaka for the entire period.
    Will be grateful for help and support.
    Best regards,

    • Hi Dr Abhijit,

      There is no deals to cover everything, like JR , subway and private trains.

      First of all, if you use JR Pass 7 days, Osaka-Tokyo round trip is minimum requirement. Otherwise single ticket is cheaper. IF you intend to Mt. Fuji, JR Pass 7 days gives you better than single ticket. However it will be a long trip as day trip. Please see the following link:
      Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone are popular to see Mt. Fuji. Lake Kawaguchi is about 2 hours away from Tokyo and you will spend another 3 hours to get Tokyo.
      Hakone is a bit closer. You have to get Odawara first. But you will spend at least 2.5 hour to get there. It’s located on the way to Tokyo. After arrival Hakne, you have to take other trains that are not covered by JR Pass. Please see the following link:

      So these trips are not impossible as day trip. But it will be very tight from Osaka as day trip. Please keep it in mind.

      You have to purchase other deals to take subway trains. You can purchase subway pass or simply single ticket.

      For other 4 days, stay in Kansai area and visit Kyoto, Nara, and other areas in Kansai. There are lots of deals in Kansai. But before you choose, you have to make a detail itinerary. For example, when you visit Kyoto, which temples/shrines/attractions you will visit? You have to find how many train trips you will make. Otherwise you can’t compare single ticket and pass. Basically if you intend to travel lots, Kansai Thru Pass is the best choice. Because this deal covers everything other than JR trains in Kansai area. You can go Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Mt. Koya, Himeji and many more areas. You can also take subway trains in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.

      When you use JR Pass, try to get outside of Kansai and make a long trip. That way gives you a great deal.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Michael Foo says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Again many thanks for your help and really sorry for the inconvenience caused just now.

    Refer to the link below and hope you can give me some comments, feedbacks & corrections.


  7. Michael Foo says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    First of all, many thanks for your help on my Japan itinerary planning. This website is SUPERB and great website to obtain informations on Japan travelling. With your help and pointers previously, I’ve manage to draft out my itinerary in full. However, I wish I can let you have a look at my itinerary and give me some feedback and corrections to it.

    I can’t attach or post it over here, due to very large file (about 7MB), i wish i can email to you directly. Drop me an email if you are convenient to help me check.

    Once again, many thanks for your great effort !


    • Hi Michael,

      First of all, I deleted your email address in your inquiry. I don’t want to show any personal info in public, even not mine.
      And I can’t answer to your inquiry by email. Once I accept inquiry by email, I have to accept inquiries from anybody. In this site, I want to share all Q&A with everybody.

      If you can paste your itinerary here, I have no problem to check it.

      Please understand my policy in this site.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Michael Foo says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        I understand the policy. Sorry for inconvenience caused.

        However, i manage to use Google Doc to share out my excel file, can I post the sharing file link over here so that you can have a look?


  8. Pornpan Anstruther says:

    Good Morning Takeshi,

    Thank you very much for your help. I will have a look all the web sit you suggest and in the mean time I will look for the accommodation as well.

    Thank you.


  9. Pornpan Anstruther says:

    We would welcome any suggestions on the itinerary below, particularly how to organise it so we can use the rail pass in the best way. Whilst we’re in Tokyo, and then also once we leave Tokyo on 24th July, which rail passes would be best to use please?

    Many thanks for your help!

    15-Jul Arrive at Narita Airport 8.55 am
    16-Jul Tokyo -Tour of Yanaka and Japanese Culture
    17-Jul Tokyo – both the traditional and contemporary sights of Tokyo
    18-Jul Tokyo – Yokohama
    19-Jul Tokyo – Kamakura
    20-Jul Tokyo – Mt. Takao-san
    21-Jul Tokyo – Nikko – Visit Buddhist shrines, Lake Chuzenji-ko, Kegon Falls and Ryuzu no Taki Falls (UNESCO)
    22-Jul Tokyo
    23-Jul Tokyo
    24-Jul Tokyo to Hakone
    25-Jul Hakone
    26-Jul Tokyo toTakayama
    Travel to Takayama via Nagoya by Shinaknsen Hikari and JR limited express train Hida ( start using rail pass)
    27-Jul Takayama
    28-Jul Shirakawa- Kanazawa
    Morning market, Gassho-zukuri and Katamachi district, Ogimachi
    29-Jul Kanazawa – Castle Town
    30-Jul Kanazawa
    31-Jul Osaka – Mount Koya
    01-Aug Miyajima (Travel via Osaka & Hiroshima)
    02-Aug Hiroshima to Kyoto
    03-Aug Kyoto – Uji and Nara (UNESCO)
    04-Aug Kyoto – Fushimi Inari
    05-Aug Kyoto
    06-Aug Kyoto
    07-Aug Kyoto
    08-Aug Kyoto or Osaka
    09-Aug Kyoto or Osaka (Penelope flight leave 9.30 am take train from Kyoto 4.30-6.06 or 5.30-7.06Terminal 1 or Osaka)
    10-Aug Osaka
    11-Aug Osaka – Himeji
    12-Aug Osaka
    13-Aug Leave Osaka Kansai for flight 10.45am

  10. miki says:

    Hi Takeshi-san

    How are you doing? Trust you had a great time in Japan with your family recently. I saw your several posts related to that trip – each are written very nice; making me to wish I were there too. In particular, I like the Yunokami Onsen visit. The straw roof Yunokami Onsen Station is very very Japanese. I am waiting to read more ^^.

    Here, I am writing to you to seek your advice for my coming trip next Wednesday to Osaka. This is a sudden and unplanned trip, so now I am hastily trying to fill up my free time slots during this 4-day trip. I went to Osaka before but it is very big and there are so many choices of transportation and train passes….I wonder if I could trouble you again this time to take a look of the transportation I chose?

    A. 1st Day (Thursday) – most probably arriving at Itami (Osaka Airport) instead of Kansai Airport.
    From there, I would need to go to Kyoto to pick up some items and off to Tenkawa Jinja.

    1. Itami Airport to Kyoto Eki: Airport Bus or Haruka (JR) or JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service (JR)
    To buy single ticket

    2. Kyoto Eki to Tenkawa Jinja (Shimoichiguchi Eki): Kintetsu Train and Nara Kotsu Bus
    To use 3-Day Kansai Thru Pass (KTP) for Kintetsu and single ticket for bus

    3. Tenkawa Jinja (Shimoichiguchi Eki) to Hotel @ Osaka (Watanabebashi Eki): Nara Kotsu Bus and Kintetsu Train
    To use Kansai Thru Pass (KTP) for Kintetsu and single ticket for bus

    Question: I read that KTP user must pay additional fee for taking limited express train. How do I know how much is the additional fee?

    B. 2nd Day and 3rd Day
    I would have to be at Toyonaka area in the morning and evening. But I would have free time from 1PM to 6PM, and I am planning to go to Takedao Onsen on 2nd Day and Kibune – Kurama Onsen on 2nd Day during the free time of these two days.

    1. Toyonaka Eki to Takedao Eki: Hankyu Railways and JR
    To use KTP for Hankyu and single ticket for JR

    2. Toyonaka Eki to Kurama Eki: Hankyu, Keihan and Eizan Railways
    To use KTP for Hankyu,Keihan, and single ticket for Eizan.

    C. 4th Day
    I am heading back to Tokyo. Most likely I would go to Itami Airport and take a flight to Haneda.

    I have read and tried to compare Kintetsu Pass, Kansai Wide Pass and Kansai Thru Pass. Considering the number of trips I would be taking with other railways other than JR, and for I would be landing at Itami (no selling of Kintetsu Pass at Itami), I am considering buying Kansai Thru Pass for this time. I am not really sure if it would pay off, mainly because of the additional fee when taking limited express train, and I cannot find exactly what are the applicable restrictions on those railways covered under Kansai Thru Pass.

    Takeshi San, I am sorry for troubling you again, but would you spare me some times to see if the choices are good?



    • Hi Miki san,

      I’m really sorry to get back to you. I thought I’ve already replied. It’s my mistake.
      I hope you will see my reply before you leave.

      The easiest way to get Kyoto from Itami is airport bus.
      However you can purchase KTP at Itami and start to use there. You can take Osaka Monorail from Itami to Minami-Ibaragi and transfer to Hankyu Railway to Kyoto (Karasuma or Kawaramachi)
      And Shimoichiguchi station is out of coverage area of KTP. Additional single fare is 330 yen for one way.
      If you take Kintetsu Limited Express, you have to pay surcharge. If you check the timetable at Hyperdia, seat fare will be shown. That is an additional.

      So KTP is the best choice. It will be much cheaper than single fares. Even though it does not cover limited express surcharge, base fare will be covered. Even if you can purchase Kintetsu pass, I don’t recommend it. It does not cover all part of Kansai. Your side trip will be very limited by Kintetsu pass. Visiting Kurama in 5 hours will be tight. But it’s not impossible. (I think you knew that)

      It’s very busy trip, but I hope you enjoy it. :D


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • miki says:

        Hello Takeshi-San

        Thank you for coming back to me. Don’t worry, it is allright. I think it must be some IT problems.

        I am lucky to see your reply just after I arrived at Japan, because afterwards my mobile phone could not connect to internet and I could not use the phone even I went to free wifi areas. I could not reply you earlier as I wish to due to this problem.

        Like you said, the bus from Itami to Kyoto is very convenient and I took the same kind of bus from Osaka to Itami. The subway and train are not really convenient due to transfer.

        Thank you for confirming that KTP is the good choice as I was wondering earlier on f I should take Kintetsu package 3700Yen. I managed to go to Tenkawa Jinja and Takedao, but not Kurama as there was a change of event. Anyway, I took quite a number of subways and trains covered under KTP, so even it was a bit under-utilized, the convenient of carrying the KTP beats the downside.

        Although the local bus going to Tenkawa Jinja is irregular, I loved the jinja and nice quiet surrounding of it. There is a nice hot spring nearby so it was really perfect.

        Again, thank you, Takeshi-San. You are really good with all of this important things and make our travel a lot much easier.

        I would wait for your stories again.

        With warmest thought,


        • Hi Miki san,

          I’m very glad that you saw my reply before starting trip.
          I hope you will get Kurama in your next trip.

          I have been very busy to write the article in Japanese for last weeks. Now I will have time to write about my own trips.
          As you saw, Watarase Railway was so good. I strongly recommend this local railroad. And Aizu Railway and Yunokami onsen were good too. I really love these places and I with I will be there in different season.


          Takeshi / JP Rail

          • miki says:

            Hello Takeshi San

            I would definitely try to get to Watarase next time I go to Japan. It must be very lovely to enjoy the ride in autumn.

            Also, I want to try to explore Niigata, Matsumoto and Matsuyama another time.

            I look forward to your travel stories again, as always.

            With warmest thought,

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