I had a trip to Japan in this past October. I had lots of train troubles in this trip. The train operation is usually very stable and reliable in Japan. But a train suspension and/or a train delay may happen on your trip.
As I mentioned in the last post, Visited Seikan Train ferry Museum, Memorial ship Hakkodamaru, I gave up on visiting Hokkaido because of the typhoon. I spent one whole day moving to Kii-Katsuura, and on the next day, I went Kumano Sanzan (Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine, Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine, Kumano Hayatama Taisha shrine). I had many places to visit when I decided to give up Hokkaido. But I had to move to the west because of the typhoon. The weather was very rough by typhoon from the Sea of Japan side to the Tohoku area in northern part of Japan. Kumano-Nachi area had been on my wish list for a long time. And this area was one of the sunny places on that day. It was worth spending one whole day to move to get this area.
I went to Japan in early October. I was supposed to visit Hokkaido but a typhoon hit there. I was in Aomori but I gave up on visiting Hokkaido. I had some extra time in Aomori and spent this time to visit Seikan Train Ferry museum.
Winter used to be a shoulder season to travel. However in these days, many foreign travelers visit Japan all year long. Especially northern Japan, such as Hokkaido is very popular for Asian tourist to see the snow. And New Year’s holidays from late December to Early January is the busiest season in Japan. This is very challenging to book a seat in New Year’s holidays period. Do not forget that early February is also busy season in Hokkaido because of Sapporo winter festival.
JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during a winter season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of February.
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 more interesting.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: