An exceptionally priced Western Japan unlimited ride ticket for residents of Japan: “Dokodemo Door Kippu”

(C) JR West

JR West has tied up with the blockbuster “Movie Doraemon Nobita’s New Dinosaur” and the upcoming movie “STAND BY ME Doraemon 2”, and the campaign of “where shall we go with Dokodemo Door? ” will be launched from October.

The highlight of the campaign will be the “Dokodemo Door Ticket”. Although there is a condition that “two or more people can use the same journey”, it is an exceptional ticket that you can ride all JR West lines for 2 days for 12,000 yen per person. In addition, there is also a ticket that allows unlimited rides on all JR West, Kyushu, and Shikoku lines for 3 days for 18,000 yen per person.

I will explain about this ticket that can be used by residents in Japan in this article.

Continue reading An exceptionally priced Western Japan unlimited ride ticket for residents of Japan: “Dokodemo Door Kippu”

When can we travel to Japan? Future outlook on travel ban

The Covid-19 infection is still spreading, and there is no prospect for the future.

This website provides information on rail travel in Japan. However, I think everyone is wondering when we can go to Japan. I myself cannot help but want to go early.

So this time I will explain about the current immigration restrictions on Japan and prospects for lifting restrictions. I will also show you about domestic travel circomstance in Japan, status of international and domestic flights, the operating status and congestion of Japanese railways, accommodations and attractions.

Continue reading When can we travel to Japan? Future outlook on travel ban

The Limited Express Kamui and Lilac: Inter-city express between Sapporo and Asahikawa

Limited express train Kamui
The limited express train Kamui

These limited express trains, Kamui and Lilac connect Sapporo and Asahikawa. Kamui and Lilac run on exactly same route. The only difference is accommodation. Lilac has Green seat and Kamui does not. But the reserved ordinary seat of Kamui is called “U seat”. It offers a better seat with some extra equipments. But it is a sort of a reserved ordinary seat, so JR Pass Ordinary covers this seat.

In this post, I will explain about these Lilac and Kamui.

Continue reading The Limited Express Kamui and Lilac: Inter-city express between Sapporo and Asahikawa

The limited express Shinano: Inter-city express connecting Nagoya and Nagano

Limited Express "Shinano"
The limited express Shinano operated by 383 series.

The limited express train Shinano runs between Nagano (長野) and Nagoya (名古屋). When you go to Japan Northern Alps, take this train to Matsumoto (松本), and transfer to a local train on Oito line bound for Shinano-Omachi (信濃大町), Hakuba (白馬) and Minami-Otari (南小谷). And also this train goes through the Kiso vallery which has some small histrical post towns, such as Tsumago, Magome

I will explain about this train in this article.

Continue reading The limited express Shinano: Inter-city express connecting Nagoya and Nagano

The Limited Express Shirayuki: Intercity express between Joetsu-Myoko and Niigata

This fleet E653 series will be used for Limited Experss Shirayuki. (C) James Chuang

The limited express Shirayuki operates between Niigata and Joetsu-Myoko of the Hokuriku Shinkansen. If you move between Kanazawa or Toyama and Niigata, you take the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Kanazawa or Toyama and Joetsu-Myoko. And take the limited express Shirayuki to get to Niigata.

In this post, I will explain about this limited express train.

Continue reading The Limited Express Shirayuki: Intercity express between Joetsu-Myoko and Niigata

Sunrise Izumo train guide and timetable: Overnight sleeper train runs between Tokyo and Osaka, Izumoshi, fully covered by the JR Pass

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Sunrise Izumo is an overnight train which runs between Tokyo and Yonago, Matsue and Izumo-shi in Sanin area. This train is combined with Sunrise Seto between Tokyo and Okayama.

This train has many kinds of accommodations. One of these is called “Nobi Nobi Seat” which is not a seat but like a carpet section. This Nobi Nobi Seat is fully covered by the JR pass. This is not a regular berth and the floor is a bit hard. But you can lie on the space and it is much more comfortable than sleeping on a seat. And you have minimum privacy with a small partition between the sections.

But some of Japan Rail Pass users want to take a bedroom or another choice even though additional will be charged.

In this post, I will explain you about Sunrise Izumo with lots of photos.

Continue reading Sunrise Izumo train guide and timetable: Overnight sleeper train runs between Tokyo and Osaka, Izumoshi, fully covered by the JR Pass

Sunrise Seto train guide and timetable: Overnight sleeper train runs between Tokyo and Osaka, Takamatsu, fully covered by the JR Pass

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Sunrise Seto is an overnight train that runs between Tokyo and Takamatsu in Shikoku. This train is coupled with Sunrise Izumo between Tokyo and Okayama. This train depart late night and arrive early morning. It helps you to save your travel time and an accommodation cost.

This train has many kinds of accommodations. One of these is called “Nobi Nobi Seat” which is not a seat but like carpet section. This Nobi Nobi Seat is fully covered by JR pass. This is not a regular berth and the floor is a bit hard. But you can lie on the space and it is much more comfortable than sleeping on a seat. And you have minimum privacy because there is a small partition between the sections.

But some of Japan Rail Pass users want to take a bedroom or another choice even though additional will be charged.

In this post, I will explain you about Sunrise Seto with lots of photos.

Continue reading Sunrise Seto train guide and timetable: Overnight sleeper train runs between Tokyo and Osaka, Takamatsu, fully covered by the JR Pass

The limited express Hokuto train guide and the timetable: Inter-city express train for Sapporo to Hakodate

Super Hokuto
281 series is the standard fleet for the limited express trains in Hokkaido.

The limited express Hokuto runs between Hakodate and Sapporo. This train connects to the Hokkaido Shinkansen at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. So if you move from Tokyo to Sapporo, take the Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen and transfer to this train for Sapporo at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station. Japan Rail Pass covers all these trains from Tokyo to Sapporo.

Continue reading The limited express Hokuto train guide and the timetable: Inter-city express train for Sapporo to Hakodate

How to get to Asakusa. Does the JR Pass cover Asakusa?

Nakamise street has lots of shops on the road to Senso-ji temple in Asakusa. ©Taito City/©JNTO
Nakamise street has lots of shops on the road to Senso-ji temple in Asakusa. ©Taito City/©JNTO

Asakusa (浅草) is one of most popular tourist places in Tokyo. There is Senso-ji, Buddhist temple. We also have some more temples and many Japanese souvenir shops.

Asakusa is known as the terminal station of Tobu Railway. Tobu Railway connects Asakusa, Tokyo Skytree, Nikko and Kinugawa Onsen. You may come to Asakusa to take Tobu Railway.

Asakusa is nice place to stay too. But if you access from downtown Tokyo, such as Tokyo, Shinjuku station, the JR pass does not cover the access to Asakusa because JR does not have a station in Asakusa. You have to take Tokyo Metro to get to Asakusa. The Metro and other subway lines are not covered by the JR Pass.

In this post, I will show you how to access to Asakusa from major stations in Tokyo by the JR Pass. If you use JR East Pass, Tokyo Wide Pass, Hokuriku Arch Pass, JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass, you can use same way.

Continue reading How to get to Asakusa. Does the JR Pass cover Asakusa?

The Tohoku-Hokkaido, the Akita and the Yamagata Shinkansen train guide. The Shinkansen goes to Hakodate, Aomori, Sendai, Akita and Yamagata

E5 series is a flagship fleet on Tohoku Shikansen. this fleet is mostly used for Hayabusa and Hayate.
E5 series is a primary vehicle on the Tohoku Shinkansen.

The Tohoku Shinkansen connects Tokyo and Tohoku region, such as Shin-Aomori, Fukushima, Sendai, Morioka and Hachinohe. In March, 2016, this Shinkansen line extended to Hokkaido. This new segment is called the Hokkaido Shinkansen. Although these Shinkansen have different names, many trains operate as one line. And also the Yamagata Shinkansen and the Akita Shinkansen also have different names, but theae lines operate from Tokyo as an integral part of the Tohoku Shinkansen.

In this post, I will explain about the Tohoku, the Hokkaido, the Akita and the Yamagata Shinkansen lines.

Continue reading The Tohoku-Hokkaido, the Akita and the Yamagata Shinkansen train guide. The Shinkansen goes to Hakodate, Aomori, Sendai, Akita and Yamagata

How to get to Miyajima by a train and a ferry. The JR Pass and the JR West Passes cover the trip fully.

Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima
Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima

Miyajima is one of the World Heritage sites in Japan, and also this is called one of “Three Views in Japan” with Matsushima and Amanohashidate.

You can access to Miyajima by Japan Rail Pass with no extra charge. But you have to take a local train and Ferry. I will explain the access to Miyajima with some images in this article.

Continue reading How to get to Miyajima by a train and a ferry. The JR Pass and the JR West Passes cover the trip fully.

Where and How to buy JR Pass: JR Pass user guide, how to use Japan Rail Pass to its maximum.

New look of JR Pass (Year 2018) (C) JR Rail

Japan Rail Pass (a.k.a. JR Pass) covers all JR lines throughout Japan. This is only rail pass that covers throughout Japan. If you travel even a round trip to Osaka from Tokyo, the price of 7-day pass almost equal to normal fare. I think this pass gives the greatest deal to the travellers who wants to travel in Japan.

Japan Rail Pass Official site is very informative. But some points are not clear. And it does not show you how to get the worth of this pass.

In this post, I tell you about this pass as simple as possible. I compare a regular fare and JR pass, how to choose the retailer, additional charge and many more.

Continue reading Where and How to buy JR Pass: JR Pass user guide, how to use Japan Rail Pass to its maximum.

JR Pass official reservation site user guide: How to buy JR pass and book a seat online

JR Pass (2018) (C) JR Rail

The official reservation site for the JR Pass opened on June 1. Until now, you could only buy at an authorized retailer or at the retailer’s sales site, but now you can purchase at the official reservation site.

On this official website:

✅ The price is high.
✅ No voucher required
✅ Online seat reservation available

In this article, I will show you how to use this site.

Continue reading JR Pass official reservation site user guide: How to buy JR pass and book a seat online

Kyushu’s sightseeing trains hopping 4-day trip

Kawasemi Yamasemi
The limited express Kawasemi Yamasemi (left) and the limited express Isaburo / Shinpei (right) at Hitoyoshi station (C) そらみみ [CC BY-SA 4.0 from Wikimedia commons]

You can board many fascinate Kyushu sightseeing trains which JR Kyushu call “D&S train” (Design and Story) in a limited time. Please note that there is almost no time to sightsee, and the purpose of this trip is boarding these trains.

You can board these following trains and railway lines in this trip plan:

✔ Yufuin no Mori
✔ Aso Boy!
✔ A-Train (A Ressha de Ikou)
✔ Kawasemi Yamasemi
✔ Kumagawa Railroad
✔ Isaburo
✔ Hayato no Kaze
✔ Ibusuki no Tamatebako
✔ Hisatsu Orange Railway
✔ Kyushu Shinkansen

If you are traveling during peak periods, you can add or replace sightseeing trains not included here. I’ll explain this later.

The section of the Hohi line from Aso to Kumamoto was damaged by the 2016 earthquake and has been closed since then, but it is scheduled to resume in August 2020. This plan uses the timetable of Aso Boy !, which was operating before the earthquake. Also, the timetable from Beppu to Aso will be changed when Hohi line will be opened, and it may be possible to move in a shorter time. Anyway, please understand that the schedule from Beppu to Aso and from Aso to Kumamoto is provisional.

Continue reading Kyushu’s sightseeing trains hopping 4-day trip

Amakusa and Kumamoto 3-day sample trip plan: Midwest Kyushu 3 days

Amazing dusk at Okoshiki beach

I will show you 3-day sample trip plan of the midwest Kyushu from Fukuoka. This trip plan covers these following spots:

✔ Amakusa World Heritage Site visiting
✔ Dolphin watching in Amakusa
✔ Memorable sunset in Okoshiki beach
✔ Kumamoto

Continue reading Amakusa and Kumamoto 3-day sample trip plan: Midwest Kyushu 3 days

Nagasaki, Unzen, Sasebo, Arita and Hirado 4-day sample trip plan: Western Kyushu highlights

Nagasaki Lentern Festinal
Nagasaki Lentern Festinal is one of the biggest event in Nagasaki city.

I will show you 4-day sample trip plan of the western Kyushu from Fukuoka. This trip plan covers these following spots:

✔ Arita
✔ Hirado
✔ Kujukushima (99 islands) cruise
✔ Nagasaki
✔ Unzen Onsen
✔ Shimabara

Continue reading Nagasaki, Unzen, Sasebo, Arita and Hirado 4-day sample trip plan: Western Kyushu highlights

The Limited Express Thunderbird timetable and the train information. The train bound for Kanazawa from Osaka and Kyoto.

683 series is the primary fleet for limited express train in Hokuriku region, such as Thunderbird and Shirasagi.
683 series is the primary fleet for limited express train in Hokuriku region, such as Thunderbird and Shirasagi.

The limited express Thunderbird connects Osaka, Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Fukui, and Kanazawa. One round trip of this train operates to Wakura-Onsen. This train is the fastest way to get to Kanazawa from Osaka/Kyoto. If you go to Kanazawa from Osaka, simply take this limited express train.

This train is fully covered by JR Pass, Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass, Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass, and Hokuriku Arch Pass.

In this post, I will explain you about the train information of limited express Thunderbird.

Continue reading The Limited Express Thunderbird timetable and the train information. The train bound for Kanazawa from Osaka and Kyoto.

How to get to Takayama by a train and a bus

Preserved path in Takayama. It is very popular tourist district in Takayama.
Takayama Old Town is very popular tourist district.

Takayama is one of the most popular destinations for overseas travelers. Especially spring and fall seasons are very popular since the festivals are held. This city is also known as the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shirakawago.
I would like to tell you about the access to Takayama in this post.

Continue reading How to get to Takayama by a train and a bus

10 best day trip plans from Fukuoka, Hakata. DIY trip planner with a rail pass

Nakasu Fukuoka Kyushu
Night view of Nakasu

Fukuoka is the biggest city in Kyushu and one of major cities in Japan too. You can access to Hakata station the Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo. And also Fukuoka airport is an international airport. You may get to Fukuoka from your country directly. And Fukuoka airport is very closed to the downtown. It is a few stations away from Hakata.

Fukuoka is very convenient location to go around Kyushu. You will hop on and off many places in Kyuthsu to visit various tourist spots. That would be fantastic. But the traveling with luggage may be a hassle for you. If you want to minimize traveling with a luggage, a day trip would be your option.

Orginal blank map made by Craft MAP

In this post, I will show you 10 day trip plans from Hakata station which is the biggest station in Fukuoka. You can make a trip by the rail pass, such as JR Pass, Kyushu Rail Pass. You can maximize using your pass to get your money worth.

Continue reading 10 best day trip plans from Fukuoka, Hakata. DIY trip planner with a rail pass

3 best Kyoto day trip plans and 3 best 2-day trip plans

Kyoto kiyomizu dera
The view of Kiyomizu-dera temple

Kyoto, which is the most famous tourist destination in Japan, has so many attractions that it is very difficult to make a schedule. You may be wondering if one day is enough or need two days or more.

It will be a little busy schedule, but you can still visit the “Must-See” places in Kyoto for a day. Of course it would be nice if you could spend a lot of time exploring Kyoto, but the reality is that your time is limited.

In this article, I will show you these following:

☑3 best Kyoto one-day plans
☑3 best Kyoto 2-day plans including Kyoto 1.5 days and Nara 0.5 day combined plan

I believe these choices will satisfy both travelers who want to see sights as many as they want and tourists who want to pick a few places for more relaxing trip.

Continue reading 3 best Kyoto day trip plans and 3 best 2-day trip plans

20 best day trip plan from Osaka: DIY day trip planner for the first timer to the advanced traveler

All 20 day trip destinations from Osaka
The blank map is provided by Craft MAP

While staying in Osaka, why don’t you try to visit outside Osaka? But traveling with luggage may be a hassle for you, especially if you travel with senior(s) or small child(ren). If you want to minimize traveling with a luggage, just stay in one place and make day trip(s). That may be a solution for you.

There are many places where you can go as day trips from Osaka. You may know that you can visit Kyoto, Kobe and Nara. But we can go not only these places but also many more places.

In this post, I will pick 20 places where you can reach from Osaka by a public transportation. Some of the plans I will show you may not be the place to visit as a day trip, but I’d like to share them with you as an idea. I will tell you a suggested deal for a day trip. If you intend using JR Pass or other deals, I also tell you how much you can use it to make a day trip.

Continue reading 20 best day trip plan from Osaka: DIY day trip planner for the first timer to the advanced traveler

20 best day trip plan from Tokyo: DIY day trip planner for the first timer to the advanced traveler

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Sapporo-day-trip.001-600x450.jpeg
All 20 day trip destinations from Tokyo
The blank map is provided by Craft MAP

Would you like to visit various places other than Tokyo while staying in Tokyo?

But traveling with luggage may be a hassle for you, especially if you travel with senior(s) or small child(ren). If you want to minimize traveling with a luggage, just stay in one place and make day trip(s).

Actually there are many places where you can go as day trips from Tokyo.

In this post, I will pick 20 places where you can reach from Tokyo by a public transportation. Some of the plans I will show you may not be the place to visit as a day trip, but I’d like to share them with you as an idea. I will tell you a suggested deal for a day trip. If you intend using JR Pass or other deals, I also tell you how much you can use it to make a day trip.

Continue reading 20 best day trip plan from Tokyo: DIY day trip planner for the first timer to the advanced traveler

7 best day trip plans from Sapporo. DIY trip planner with a rail pass

Traveling with luggage may be a hassle for you. If you want to minimize traveling with a luggage, consider a day trip.

In this post, I will show you seven places where you can reach from Sapporo by a rail pass, such as JR Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass. You can maximize using your pass to get more worth.

Continue reading 7 best day trip plans from Sapporo. DIY trip planner with a rail pass

How to create your trip to Hokkaido. Easy DIY trip planner

drift ice shiretoko
Shiretoko mountains winter view

Hokkaido is the second largest island in Japan and it is the northernmost place. Hokkaido has lots of nature and offers many outdoor activities. The winter season is very cold. The temperature is below zero degree. On the other hand, the summer season is beautiful and very comfortable. The spring season comes at last in Japan. The tourist can enjoy the cherry blossom until early May. The fall season comes at first. The breathtaking fall foliage can be seen in September at the high elevation area in Hokkaido.

I made five sample itineraries of Hokkaido. In this post, I will tell you how to combine these itineraries and maximize your times in Hokkaido.

Let’s create your trip in Hokkaido with this trip planner.

Continue reading How to create your trip to Hokkaido. Easy DIY trip planner

Wakkanai, Rishiri and Rebun 3 days sample trip plan. The trip to the farthest land in northern Hokkaido

The limited express train “Super Soya” runs into the rural area of northern Hokkaido.

Wakkanai is located at the northernmost place of not only Hokkaido but also Japan. Honestly it is not very accesible place and I have never been there yet. But this area has been in my bucket for a long time. This farther place has been attracting me.

This time, I would like to show you the 3-day trip plan. Actually this is a part of my future trip plan. This plan covers these following spots in the very isolcated area of northern Hokkaido:

✔ Wakkanai (the northern most city in Japan)
✔ Cape Soya (the nothern most place in Japan)
✔ Cape Noshappu
✔ Rishiri island
✔ Rebun island

Continue reading Wakkanai, Rishiri and Rebun 3 days sample trip plan. The trip to the farthest land in northern Hokkaido