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 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?

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.

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

Resort Shirakami and Lake Towada 2-day sample trip plan

resort shirakami
The route which Resort Shirakami runs on is one of most scenic train routes in Japan. This is Resort Shirakami Buna train set.

This 2-day trip plan covers these following highlights in Akita and Aomori prefectures.

☑Ride two types of Resort Shirakami
☑1 hour hiking and a tea break at Juniko in Shirakami mountain
☑Biking along Oirase stream
☑Cruise in Lake Towada

Most train and bus rides are covered by JR Pass, JR East Pass Tohoku, JR-East South Hokkaido Rail Pass and JR-Tohoku South Hokkaido Rail Pass.

Continue reading Resort Shirakami and Lake Towada 2-day sample trip plan

Uno station and Uno port transfer guide. How to get to Naoshima from Uno and Okayama

Marine liner
Maline Liner is the rapid train which connects Okayama and Takamatsu via Seto Ohashi bridge. You can take this train between Okayama and Chayamachi.

There are two access ways to get to Naoshima. The first one is taking the ferry from Uno. The second one is taking a ferry from Takamatsu.

In this post, I will show you the access to Uno port and Uno station which is the nearest train station to Uno port.

Continue reading Uno station and Uno port transfer guide. How to get to Naoshima from Uno and Okayama

How to get to Shin-Hodaka Ropeway from Takayama, Matsumoto and Toyama

The second ropeway of Shin-Hodaka is a by-level gondola. This will be replaced in this coming summer but new one will be a by-level one too.

Shin-Hodaka is very popular to see the view of Japan Alps mountains. You can get the top of the mountain by the by-level ropeway. Anyone can get there easily.

You can get there by the bus from Takayama, Matsumoto and Toyama. I will explain about these accesses in this post.

Continue reading How to get to Shin-Hodaka Ropeway from Takayama, Matsumoto and Toyama

Kansai airport to/from Nippombashi, Nagahoribashi, Ebisucho access route. Tengachaya is better location than Namba to change trains.

Nankai Railway’s Rapi:t is the fastest way to get Tengachaya.

There are a few routes to get Nippombashi, Nagahoribashi, Ebisucho and some more stations on Osaka Metro Sakaisuji line. The best route is Nankai Railway and Osaka Metro via Tengachaya.

But if you use JR Pass and want to maximize using it, you can take the other route.

I will explain you how to get Nippombashi, Nagahoribashi, Ebisucho and Sakaisuji-Hommachi in this post:

Continue reading Kansai airport to/from Nippombashi, Nagahoribashi, Ebisucho access route. Tengachaya is better location than Namba to change trains.

Odaiba access guide. How much can we use JR Pass or other JR deals to get to Odaiba?

Odaiba night view

Odaiba is one of most popular tourist places in Tokyo. There are lots of entertainment and shopping complex in Tokyo Bay harbour area.

In this post, I will show you how to access to Odaiba from major stations in Tokyo. Let me tell you in adcance, JR Pass does not cover the access to Odaiba fully. But you can find how much you can use it in this post If you use JR East Pass, Hokuriku Arch Pass, JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass, you can use same way.

Continue reading Odaiba access guide. How much can we use JR Pass or other JR deals to get to Odaiba?

Hokkaido Train Guide. Guide of the access route to major places in Hokkaido by train

Aoi Ike (blue pond) near Biei

Hokkaido is very very popular destination. There are lots of places to see. However this island is quite large. You must know the best way between the places to save your trip time.

In this post, I will show you the train network in Hokkaido. You will find most time efficient way.

Continue reading Hokkaido Train Guide. Guide of the access route to major places in Hokkaido by train

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

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

Fuji and Hakone 2-day 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 2-day trip sample itinerary

Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji access guide and the sample itineraries

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 very accessible from Tokyo. It is about 2 hours away from Shinjuku, Tokyo by the train or the express bus. You can visit there as a 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 also will show you the access to Lake Kawaguchi.

Continue reading Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji access guide and the sample itineraries

Hakone access guide and the sample itineraries

Hakone Tozan Railway are suspended due to the damage by the typhoon on October 13th, 2019. According to the official announcement, it will be open sometimes in fall 2020. Please check the status in Hakone Navi.

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 Hakone access guide and the sample itineraries

Trip report of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Toyama to Nagano

At Kurobe dam

I visited on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Toyama to Nagano in this past summer. It was not a perfect day to travel there. The weather was so wet and very chilly. Actually Hokuriku region had received the record breaking rainfall at that time. I could not see any mountain. However I would like to share my experience and show many photos of this mountain trip. It shows you the station layout and scenery. I am sure that it will help you to build your trip plan to Alpine Route.

Continue reading Trip report of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Toyama to Nagano

How to choose the best train and bus pass for sightseeing in Kyoto

Toji temple is just 10 minutes away from Kyoto station. © Q.Sawami/© JNTO

There are several deals for sightseeing in Kyoto. I would like to show you the deals for the tourist who stays in Kyoto and want to visit the places there. I believe you will find most suitable for your trip.

By the way, if you intend to have a day trip to Kyoto from other cities, such as day trip to Kyoto from Osaka, from Kobe, Kansai thru pass and other deals are available. Please find the detailed information about the deal that covers Kyoto and other cities in the link below:

How to choose discount railway ticket and pass in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) area

Continue reading How to choose the best train and bus pass for sightseeing in Kyoto

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

Osaka castle, icon of Osaka (C) Osaka Government Tourism Bureau / JNTO
Osaka castle, icon of Osaka (C) Osaka Government Tourism Bureau / JNTO

There are many deals for sightseeing in Osaka. I would like to show you the deals for the tourist who stays in Osaka and want to visit the places in Osaka.

By the way, if you intend to have a day trip to Osaka from other cities, such as day trip to Osaka from Kyoto, please see the link below:

Continue reading How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

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

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

I actually do not recommend to visit Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone in one day. There are many places to see. One way is not obviously enough to visit these places. But some of you have very tight schedule. You cannot choose which one you visit. You may be wondering if you have to visit one of Lake Kawaguchi or Hakone. This sample itinerary may be suitable for you. It is very very tight schedule and you have to give up many places. But you can visit most of highlights at both side of Fuji, Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi. You may be okay to see these places in Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi.

This itinerary has been created by timetable in September, 2016. If you try to do this plan, please check the updated timetable before you go.

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

Hokkaido train operation status in fall 2016. Guide for substitute train and bus service.

Limited Express Okhotsk is suspended currently.
Limited Express Okhotsk is suspended currently.

Tomamu – Obihiro segment will open on 22nd December.

Hokkaido was hit by very severe typhoon in late August. Many train lines are closed by this storm and many trains are suspended currently. Substitute bus service and tentative train are operated but trip time is much longer than original schedule. And also the accommodation of some trains are totally different from Limited Express train interior. It offers just commute train accommodation. It is obviously inconvenient. If you cannot accept this situation, I recommend you to change your trip plan. It may not be a right time to visit there.

Anyway I will guide the substitute train and bus service in this post. Continue reading Hokkaido train operation status in fall 2016. Guide for substitute train and bus service.

Day trip to Hakodate from Tokyo sample itinerary

Night view form Mt.Hakodate ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO
Night view form Mount Hakodate (C) Hokkaido Tourism Organization / JNTO

Hokkaido is very popular spot among foreign travelers. Hokkaido has nice yummy food, very attractive sightseeing spots and very different culture from mainland Japan. But some of you have short stay in Japan. You may not have enough time to visit Hokkaido. If you want to visit Hokkaido, I usually recommend you to spend 3 days minimum. However if you are okay to visit just the edge of Hokkaido that is Hakodate, and okay with the short stay, you can visit Hakodate as one day trip from Tokyo.

In this post, I will show you how to manage the day trip to Hakodate from Tokyo.

Continue reading Day trip to Hakodate from Tokyo sample itinerary

Let’s take the train! Easily accessible places to see fall foliage!

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Fall season is round the corner. There are huge number of the spots to see fall foliage in Japan. But many of them are not accessible for overseas tourist. In this post, I would like to show you easy access spot to see fall foliage in Japan by regions. You can get the places to see fall foliage by train only. All places are located within walking distance from the station. You do not need to take a local bus. You do not need to drive! The route is very simple and you can enjoy gorgeous view by easy access! Continue reading Let’s take the train! Easily accessible places to see fall foliage!

Yokohama and Kamakura access guide. Find the right deal and route from your place to stay.

Red Brick Warehouse is very popular shopping site in Yokohama Waterfront Area. (C) Y.Shimizu / JNTO
Red Brick Warehouse is very popular shopping site in Yokohama Waterfront Area. (C) Y.Shimizu / JNTO

Yokohama and Kamakura are very popular places to visit from Tokyo as day trip. Of course you can visit these places from other places, like Osaka and Kyoto. But there are several routes to get Yokohama and Kamakura from Tokyo. If you visit these places from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya, you will consider to drop by these places on the way to Tokyo. But do you think that it is a right way? Should we go to Tokyo first and then go back to Yokohama?

In this post, I show you the major access to Yokohaama and Kamakura from Tokyo. And I show you how to get Yokohama and Kamakura on the way to Tokyo from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya.

Continue reading Yokohama and Kamakura access guide. Find the right deal and route from your place to stay.