Naoshima, Takamatsu, Okayama, Kurashiki, Tottori, Kinosaki and Amanohashidate 5 days trip plan by Kansai WIDE Area Pass

Pumpkin at Naoshima island

If you want something different on your trip to Kansai area, Kansai Wide Area Pass is highly recommended. I always recommend to use Kansai Thru Pass and Kansai Area Pass to travel within Kansai area, such as Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Osaka, Wakayama, Himeji. But Kansai Wide Area Pass covers outside these areas, such as Shingu, Okayama, Kinosaki Onsen, Takamatsu. And this pass is valid for 5 days. It makes your trip be more interesting.

In this post, I would like to show you a sample itineraries which include Naoshima, Takamatsu, Okayama, Kurashiki, Tottori, Kinosaki and Amanohashidate in 5 days. You will find the way to maximize using this pass.
Continue reading Naoshima, Takamatsu, Okayama, Kurashiki, Tottori, Kinosaki and Amanohashidate 5 days trip plan by Kansai WIDE Area Pass

How to transfer between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto by train

Which one is better, Shinkansen (left) or Kintetsu (right) ?

If you have to move between Nagoya and Osaka (or Kyoto), you have two choices, Shinkansen or Kintetsu railway. I would like to compare these two choices and tell you pros and cons of each choice. Continue reading How to transfer between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto by train

Summary of 2018 fall seasonal trains of JR trains

Renovated E3 series for Toreiyu Tsubasa

Autumn and spring are the good season to travel in Japan. In fall season, you may see the fall foliage in most part of Japan. You will be impressed by this amazing scenery.

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains in the fall season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots in October and November.

*The schedule of some trains, such as Resort Shirakami are not available yet. I will update it when it is available.

*Winter seasonal train schedule (December to February) will come up in late October. But you will find all JR Kyushu seasonal trains’ schedules until February, 2019. Continue reading Summary of 2018 fall seasonal trains of JR trains

What is IC card, Suica, ICOCA, Pasmo? How to use these cards?

Suica is one of major IC cards in Japan. (C) suica card
by bitmask

IC card is a rechargeable smart card which is issued by railway companies. It is getting very common ways to travel in these days. Once you have this card, ticket purchasing is not required. It gives you convenience. But there are many types of card available. And it is so hard to find which train and bus are covered by these cards.

In this post, I will show you the list of major IC cards, the difference of these cards, and coverage area. Continue reading What is IC card, Suica, ICOCA, Pasmo? How to use these cards?

Sample itinerary of staying in Osaka, Kyoto and Osaka 8 days

Torii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

I have made two sample itineraries of Osaka and Kyoto before. The first one is staying in Kyoto and them moving to Osaka.

Visit Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe for 5 to 7 days sample itinerary

Another one is staying in Osaka first and then moving to Kyoto.

Visit Osaka and Kyoto for 5 to 7 days sample itinerary

But I have received some inquiries about Osaka to Kyoto, and go back to Osaka again. I would like to show you this type of itinerary and think about most effective deal. Continue reading Sample itinerary of staying in Osaka, Kyoto and Osaka 8 days

Peach / Vanilla Kita Hokkaido Free Pass

Cape Soya is northernmost point in Japan. (C) By Rsa [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

I introduced Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass in the previous post. That covers eastern Hokkaido and available for anybody who arrive in New Chitose airport or Kushiro airport by Peach Air or Vanilla Air. In this post, I will show you very similar deal which is Peach / Vanilla Kita Hokkaido Free Pass. This is designed for the trip to northern part of Hokkaido. If you are under 25 years old, you can get this pass at U25 discount rate.

I would like to show you how you use this pass. Continue reading Peach / Vanilla Kita Hokkaido Free Pass

Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass

Farm near Furano, typical scenery in Hokkaido (C) Furano / JNTO

I explain many deals in this site but these are mostly available for overseas tourist only. In this post, I would like to show you the deal for both resident and overseas tourist in this post. This deal, Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass is designed for the trip to eastern part of Hokkaido. If you are under 25 years old, you can get this pass at U25 discount rate.

I would like to show you how you use this pass. Continue reading Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass

Furano Biei Rail Ticket is the perfect choice for the trip to Furano, Biei and Asahikawa.

Patchwork Hill is one of popular spots in Biei. (C) JTA/ JNTO

If you think about making a day trip or a few days trip to Furano and Biei from Sapporo, this deals, “Furano Biei Rail Ticket” is the best deal. This ticket includes unlijmited ride in these areas and round trip from Sapporo.

In this post, I will tell you the detailed information about this deal. I also show you the comparison between this ticket and Hokkaido Rail Pass. Continue reading Furano Biei Rail Ticket is the perfect choice for the trip to Furano, Biei and Asahikawa.

HIGH RAIL 1375, the train runs JR’s highest point

Specialized fleet of HIGH RAIL 1375 (C) D-s-yama [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

This is one of JR East’s “Joyful Trains”. Joyful Train is operated by the specialized fleet with many attractions.

HIGH RAIL 1375 runs on Koumi line between Kobuchizawa and Komoro. Koumi line goes on the highest point in all JR lines. Koumi line is also known the line with beautiful mountain scenery.

I would like to tell you the detailed information about this train in this post.

Continue reading HIGH RAIL 1375, the train runs JR’s highest point

Summary of 2018 summer seasonal trains of JR trains

Specialized fleet of HIGH RAIL 1375(C) D-s-yama [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Summer is very hot and humid in Japan. It is not the best season to travel. However summer is very busy travel season. In Japan, most public schools have summer break from July 20 to August 31. This period is busier than usual. Especially mid August is called “Obon”. This is one of the busiest season. Many of Japanese go back to hometown and spend the time with families. It is Japanese tradition. Many of trains are booked out very quickly. Please see the link below to learn more:

2018 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even busy period

All JR companies add lots of seasonal trains during all summer season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of September.

*Fall seasonal train schedule (October and November) will come up in late August. But you can find many of JR East train schedules until September, 2018. You also can find JR Kyushu train schedules until February, 2019. Continue reading Summary of 2018 summer seasonal trains of JR trains

Sample itinerary Tokyo to Osaka one way trip with Alpine route, Takayama, Shirakawago, Hiroshima, Osaka and Kyoto 9 days by JR Pass 7 days

Kurobe dam (C) Nagano Prefecture/JNTO

I would like to show you 9 days sample itinerary which includes very popular places with Tokyo to Osaka one way trip. The basic plan is Tokyo arrival and Osaka departure. I show you how to convert the reverse plan, Osaka arrival and Tokyo departure. And also you may find the way to change Tokyo arrival/departure and Osaka arrival/departure.

This itinerary has been created by timetable in March, 2018. If you try to do this plan, please check the updated timetable before you go. Continue reading Sample itinerary Tokyo to Osaka one way trip with Alpine route, Takayama, Shirakawago, Hiroshima, Osaka and Kyoto 9 days by JR Pass 7 days

Fuji and Hakone two days trip sample itinerary

View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi
View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi

I have shared a day trip sample itinerary of Fuji and Hakone before.

Fuji Hakone one day trip sample itinerary. You can visit both Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone by day trip from Tokyo!

But this itinerary covers both Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone areas in one day. It is very tight and many places are not covered. If you can spend two days, you can enjoy Fuji and Hakone areas one day each. You can visit many more places easily.

In this sample itinerary, I tried to put most of popular spots in these areas. And also this plan includes Fuji Shibazakura festival which is most popular event in spring. You can do this trip from Tokyo to Tokyo. You also can squeeze this trip between Tokyo and Osaka. You can drop by this area on the way to Osaka or Kyoto from Tokyo or versa.

This itinerary has been created by timetable in March, 2018. If you try to do this plan, please check the updated timetable before you go. Continue reading Fuji and Hakone two days trip sample itinerary

Greater Tokyo Pass offers unlimited ride of Tokyo Subway and major Non JR lines in Tokyo and surrounding area.

Downtown Tokyo (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO

In March, 2018, new rail pass, “Greater Tokyo Pass” was launched in overseas tourist market. This new deal covers all subway lines in Tokyo and major non JR railway services in Tokyo and surrounding area. Both Haneda and Narita airports are covered by this pass. You can start using this pass right after you arrive in Japan.

In this post, I would like to share the information about Greater Tokyo Pass. You will find how you use this pass and what type of travel you can get the worth by. Continue reading Greater Tokyo Pass offers unlimited ride of Tokyo Subway and major Non JR lines in Tokyo and surrounding area.

How to build the trip plan to Fuji area. Various sample itineraries of Fuji Five Lakes and 5th station

Mt. Fuji from the shore of Lake Kawaguchi

Mt. Fuji is one of most popular spots. Because it is the highest mountain in Japan. And also Mt. Fuji is very accessible from Tokyo. It is about 2 hours away from Shinjuku, Tokyo by train or highway bus. You can visit there as day trip from Tokyo easily.

In this post, I would like to show you several trip plan to Fuji Five Lakes area which includes Mt. Fuji 5th station. When you go to Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko) is the gateway. I will show you the access to Lake Kawaguchi.

Continue reading How to build the trip plan to Fuji area. Various sample itineraries of Fuji Five Lakes and 5th station

How to build the trip plan to Hakone. Various sample itineraries of Hakone

Hakone Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Ashi

Hakone is very popular spot. It is 1.5 hours away from Tokyo by train and bus. Many travelers want to visit there as day trip from Tokyo. Hakone is located on the way to Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya from Tokyo. You may add Hakone between Tokyo and Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya.

I have received many inquiries about the trip plan to Hakone. I would like to show you the various trip plans to Hakone. I hope you will find the trip plan which you need in this post. Continue reading How to build the trip plan to Hakone. Various sample itineraries of Hakone

Schedule of 2018 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways

EVA Type 500 train runs as regular scheduled Kodama on Sanyo Shinkansen.
EVA Type 500 train has been running as regular scheduled Kodama on Sanyo Shinkansen for a few years. But it will be done on in this coming May.

Spring is the best season to visit Japan because of the cherry blossom. Spring break of public school in Japan usually starts from the last week of March to the first week of April. This two weeks period is much busier than usual. And also between late April and the beginning of May is one of the busiest period in the year. It is known as “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:

2018 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even busy period

All JR companies add lots of seasonal trains during all spring season. 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 can find JR East train schedules until September, 2018. You also can find JR Kyushu train schedules until February, 2019. Continue reading Schedule of 2018 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Wakayama and Wakayamashi stations guide. The difference of these stations and which station is more convenient for travelers?

JR Wakayama station building

When you plan to visit Wakayama, you will notice two stations there. Those are Wakayama station and Wakayamashi station. Both stations are located in Wakayama city but the locations are different.

In this post, I would like to show you these two stations’ layout and location. You will find the difference of these stations and which one the better location is. Continue reading Wakayama and Wakayamashi stations guide. The difference of these stations and which station is more convenient for travelers?

Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 5 – small trip by Medetai Densha

This train is Medetai Densha and it is one of the reason why I visited Wakayama.

This post is continued from “Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 4 – small trip by lovely trains of Wakayama Dentetsu“.

I wrote about the train of Wakayama Dentetsu. In this post, I would like to show you Nankai Railway’s “Medetai Densha”.
Continue reading Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 5 – small trip by Medetai Densha

Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 4 – small trip by lovely trains of Wakayama Dentetsu

Wakayama Dentetsu’s Tama train

This post is continued from “Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 3 – from Namba to Wakayama by limited express Southern“.

The reason why I visited Wakayama is taking some lovely trains. I would like to show you one of those trains which is Wakayama Electric Railway (a.k.a. Wakayama Dentetsu) in this post.
Continue reading Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 4 – small trip by lovely trains of Wakayama Dentetsu

Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 3 – from Namba to Wakayama by limited express Southern

At Wakayamashi station

This post is continued from Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 2 – sightseeing in Koyasan.

After I visited Mt. Koya (Koyasan), I went back to Namba. I had Yakitori dinner near Namba station. And then I moved to Wakayama.
Continue reading Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 3 – from Namba to Wakayama by limited express Southern

Tengachaya station guide. How to transfer among Nankai Railway and Subway line

Tengachaya Station East Exit

Tegachaya is one of the stations on Nankai Railway. It is located in southern part of Osaka and a few stations away from Namba.

Tengachaya is not a mega terminal station but this station is very convenient transfer point of Nankai Railway and Osaka Subway Sakaisuji line. You will change trains at this station from Kansai airport to some locations in downtown Osaka. And also Subway Sakaisuji line goes through Hankyu Railway Kyoto and Senri lines. You also may use this subway line to get some places on Hankyu Railway lines.

This station’s structure is quite simple. But you may want to see how you transfer the trains at this station. In this post, I would like to show you many photos of this station. You will see how easy to change trains at Tengachaya station Continue reading Tengachaya station guide. How to transfer among Nankai Railway and Subway line

2018 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even busy period.

(C) Calendar* / DafneCholet
(C) Calendar* / DafneCholet

Time goes by very quickly. Next year will be coming soon. I started to write the post about the busy period in 2016. Now I would like to show you the calendar of 2018. You also find some tips when you travel in the peas season in this post. Continue reading 2018 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even busy period.

Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 2 – sightseeing in Koyasan

Approach to Okunoin temple

This post is continued from Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 1 – Namba to Koyasan.

I visited several spots in Mt. Koya (Koyasan). I would like to show you these places in this post.

Continue reading Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 2 – sightseeing in Koyasan

Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 1 – Namba to Koyasan

When I stayed in my parents place near Osaka, I had two days trip to Mt. Koya (Koyasan) and Wakayama. Actually I had never been to Koyasan before this trip. This was very memorable trip. I really would like to tell you how I felt in Mt. Koya. I also got on many interesting trains. If you are a train lover, you will be impressed. Continue reading Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 1 – Namba to Koyasan

Schedule of 2017-18 winter 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.

Most of winter is shoulder season to travel. But New Year’s holidays from late December to Early January is the busiest season in Japan. And also early February is busy season in Hokkaido too because of Sapporo winter festival.

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during winter season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of February.

*Spring seasonal train schedule (March to May) will come up in late January. Continue reading Schedule of 2017-18 winter seasonal trains of Japan Railways