Tag Archives: Beppu

How to choose Rail Pass for trip in Kyushu. Many choices for both visitors and residents in Japan.

Nagasaki is one of the highlight in Kyushu.
Nagasaki is one of the highlight in Kyushu.

Kyushu is located in south part of Japan. That’s why the climate is very mild and it is very popular destination in all season. Some of the travellers may arrive/depart at Fukuoka airport or other airports and travel only in Kyushu.

In this post, I would like to show you several kinds of Kyushu rail passes for both visitors and resident in Japan. It is impossible to get same deals as visitors for residents. But there are some deals for the residents too. I will tell you about the pass that anyone can purchase. Continue reading

Luxury overnight cruising train trip in Kyushu

JR Kyushu have been planning to operate a deluxe overnight train. According to some major newspapers in Japan, JR Kyushu seem to complete the plan. They may start to take a reservation in this coming summer.
This is the first multi-day cruising train trip in Japan. Probably this is much more luxury than Twilight Express and Cassiopeia. I don’t think I can afford this train trip. But it is very interesting. So I would like to share all information that I know at this point. Continue reading

Throughout Japan 14 days sample itinerary by Japan Rail Pass 14 days pass

Light-up at Kiyomizu-dera temple
Light-up at Kiyomizu-dera temple

This itinerary includes many popular spots throughout Japan in 14 days. This itinerary starts from Tokyo. But if you want to start from Osaka, you can start from Day 11 to Day 14, and then start from Day 1 to Day10. Actually 14 days in not enough to see all popular spots in Japan. I include Hokkaido in this itinerary. But it does not include Shiretoko because of not enough time. I could not include south part of Kyushu, Hakone and Mt. Fuji either. If you can give up Tohoku part, you can get more time in Hokkaido. Of course you can go to Shiretoko.

Anyway this is a sample. I hope this sample itinerary help you When you make your own plan. Continue reading

Sample itinerary Kyushu 7 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days pass

Former Glover Residence is one of the popular spot in Nagasaki. ©Nagasaki City/© JNTO
Former Glover Residence is one of the popular spot in Nagasaki. ©Nagasaki City/© JNTO

This itinerary includes all part of Kyushu and covers many popular spots in Kyushu island in 7 days. So you can simply use Japan Rail Pass 7 days. You may start this itinerary either from Tokyo or from Osaka. But if you can start this from Tokyo, you need to skip Sasebo and Saikai National Park because of the time. And also you need to take the overnight train Sunrise Seto/Izumo if you start this from Tokyo on 7th day. Otherwise you cannot complete this itinerary. As long as you catch “Nobi Nobi seat” on Sunrise Seto or Izumo before the date change, you can continue to travel without any extra charge. (Please refer Japan Rail Pass official site, “Notes regarding use” point 6.)

If you start this trip from Osaka, you can add sightseeing in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe before or after trip. You don’t need to use Japan Rail Pass for Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. You can take the private railway company, such as Hankyu Railway (Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe), Keihan Railway (Osaka-Kyoto), and Hanshin Railway (Osaka-Kobe). You can buy a single fare or day pass. And also JR West sell JR West Kansai Area Pass. This pass covers Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Kansai Airport. If you want to take an easy ride, this pass lets your trip easier. Continue reading

Intercity train between Oita/Beppu and Miyazaki. Limited Express Nichirin / Hyuga

JR Kyushu's best train 787 series was started to use for Nichirin on Mar 12, 2011.
JR Kyushu’s best train 787 series was started to use for Nichirin on Mar 12, 2011.

Nichirin (にちりん) connects Beppu (別府) and Oita (大分) with Miyazaki (宮崎) and Miyazaki airport (宮崎空港). A few of Nichirin are extended to operate to Nakatsu (中津) and even Hakata (博多). Hyuga (ひゅうが) is an intercity train in Miyazaki prefecture. This train is operated on same route as Nichirin. But it is operated between Nobeoka (延岡) and Miyazaki airport. If you travel along the east coast of Kyushu, you may need to take these trains.

Both Nichirin and Hyuga can be used by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction. Let’s see about route, schedule and accommodations of these trains. Continue reading

Access to Mt. Aso, Beppu and Hitoyoshi from Kumamoto and Oita. Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu) / Kumagawa

Limited Express Trans Kyushu Limited Express and Kumagawa are operated by KIHA 185 series.
Limited Express Trans Kyushu Limited Express and Kumagawa are operated by KIHA 185 series.

Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu=九州横断特急) connects the most famous hot springs resort, Beppu (別府)/Oita (大分) with Hitoyoshi (人吉) via Kumamoto (熊本). The biggest volcano, Mt. Aso is located between Oita and Kumamoto. This is the train that you need to take to Mt. Aso. Kumagawa (くまがわ) is operated between Kumamoto and Hitoyoshi on same route as Trans-Kyushu Limited Express.

Both Trans-Kyushu Limited Express and Kumagawa can be used by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction. So let’s learn about route, schedule and accommodations of these trains. Continue reading

West Japan (Kyoto, Hiroshima and Kyushu) 7 days sample itinerary by Japan Rail Pass 7 days

Kyoto Imperial Palace ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Kyoto Imperial Palace ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

This itinerary includes Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima and North part of Kyushu (Hakata, Nagasaki, Aso and Beppu). This starts from Tokyo and your Japan Rail pass will be started to use from Tokyo station. You may start this itinerary from Shinagawa station, if you arrive at Haneda airport early morning. And of course, you can start this itinerary from Osaka or Kansai airport too. Osaka and Kansai airport are much closer to Kyoto than Tokyo. If you start this itinerary from Osaka, the itinerary is more smooth and easier. Continue reading

Access to Oita and Beppu from Fukuoka (Hakata). Limited Express Sonic

Limited Express Sonic (883 series)
Limited Express Sonic (883 series)

This limited express train is one of most popular limited express train that is serviced by JR Kyushu. This connects Hakata and Kokura with Oita and Saeki. If you go to the popular hot springs resort, Beppu, this train is that you need to take after you get off Shinkansen at Kokura or Hakata. Of course this train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass.

This train is operated by JR Kyushu’s newest fleet 885 and 883 series. I would like to share the information about the accommodations. Let’s see the details about this train.

Route, schedule and trip time

This express train connect Hakata with Oita in 2 hours and 30 minutes, and connect Kokura with Oita in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Sonic services run every 20 to 40 minutes for daytime. 32 round trips a day are operated.

You can check the timetable at JR Kyushu website (English).


View Sonic in a larger map

Stations

Hakata (博多) x
Yoshizuka (吉塚) *
Kashii (香椎) *
Fukuma (福間) *
Togo (東郷) *
Akama (赤間) *
Orio (折尾) x
Kurosaki (黒崎) x
Yahata (八幡) x
Tobata (戸畑) *
Kokura (小倉) x
Shimosone (下曽根) *
Yukuhashi (行橋) x
Unoshima (宇島) *
Nakatsu (中津) x
Yanagigaura (柳ヶ浦) *
Usa (宇佐) *
Kitsuki (杵築) *
Kamegawa (亀川) *
Beppu (別府) x
Oita (大分) x
Tsurusaki (鶴崎) x
Ozai (大在) x
Kosaki (幸崎) x
Usuki (臼杵) x
Tsukumi (津久見) x
Saiki (佐伯) x

x:All trains stop *:some trains stop

Accommodation

Kamome is operated three types of trains, 885 series and 883 series. 885 is the newest and fastest. But 883 series has better interior and seat. So if you have a time when you book a reserved seat, check which train will be used for your train. Try to avoid 885 series.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.

885 series

Limited Express Sonic (885 series)
Limited Express Sonic (885 series)

Sonic serviced by this series is called “White Sonic” (=白いソニック=Shiroi Sonic). 885 series equip the leather seat for both Green and Ordinary. It looks good and have very sophisticated atmosphere, but this seat is very slippery and has very strong leather smell.

The seat configuration on Green class 1+1+1 and the seat pitch is 1150mm. The seat pitch on Ordinary class is 980mm. Every single ordinary class seats on car #2 have the power outlet. If you want to charge your batteries or use your laptop, try to get the seat on car #2. Car #3 is called “Ochitsuki Kukan” (=落ち着き空間=Calm and quiet space). This car has dark painted wall and less lighting. And you will see lots of Japanese modern art in this car. You can enjoy this car as Art Gallery.

Train formation

1 2 3 4 5 6
G R R R NR NR NR

Images
Green seat Sonic 885 series Green seat Sonic 885 series Green seat Sonic 885 series Green seat Sonic 885 series Green seat Sonic 885 series Green seat

Ordinary seat Sonic 885 series Ordinary seat Sonic 885 series Ordinary seat Sonic 885 series Ordinary seat

Sanitary space Sonic 885 series sanitary space Sonic 885 series sanitary space Sonic 885 series sanitary space Sonic 885 series sanitary space Sonic 885 series sanitary space

Common space Sonic 885 series common space Sonic 885 series common space Sonic 885 series common space Sonic 885 series common space Sonic 885 series common space Sonic 885 series common space Sonic 885 series common space

883 series

This train is called “Wonderland Express”. When this train was introduced, the eccentric design was in the news. But now this train was renovated. This eccentric design had gone. But you will still see some originative items in the car. Green class has a lounge space just behind cockpit. You will get the power outlet at window seat on car#1, both Green and Ordinary. If you want to charge your batteries or using the laptop, try to get a window seat on car#1.

Train formations

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
G R R R NR NR NR NR

*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat
Smoking is not allowed on this train.

Images
Green seat Sonic 883 series Green seat Sonic 883 series Green seat Sonic 883 series Green seat Sonic 883 series Green seat Sonic 883 series Green seat Sonic 883 series Green seat Sonic 883 series Green seat Sonic 883 series Green seat Sonic 883 series Green seat

Ordinary seat Sonic 883 series Ordinary seat Sonic 883 series Ordinary seat Sonic 883 series Ordinary seat Sonic 883 series Ordinary seat Sonic 883 series Ordinary seat Sonic 883 series Ordinary seat Sonic 883 series Ordinary seat Sonic 883 series Ordinary seat Sonic 883 series Ordinary seat

Sanitary space Sonic 883 series sanitary space Sonic 883 series sanitary space Sonic 883 series sanitary space Sonic 883 series sanitary space Sonic 883 series sanitary space

Common space Sonic 883 series common space Sonic 883 series common space Sonic 883 series common space Sonic 883 series common space

Compare Japan Rail Pass and regular fare. Which one has a greater value or cheap?

Tokaido Shinkansen
Most common fleet of Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen N700 sereis, a.k.a. Bullet train.

When you think about buying Japan Rail Pass, you may compare the price of Japan Rail Pass and a single fare. But it is very hard to get an exact fare because the fare rule of Japan Railway is so complicated. So I will give you some examples and consider which way has greater value. Continue reading