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

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

Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya and Osaka / Kyoto

Tateyama Ropeway gives you the amazing experience.  (C) Nagano Prefecture / (C) JNTO
Tateyama Ropeway gives you the amazing experience. (C) Nagano Prefecture / (C) JNTO

I have written about visiting Alpine Route from Tokyo as day trip. And then I have received an inquiry about day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya. Yes. We can do it. You also can make it from Osaka and Kyoto as well.

I would like to share with you about day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya and Osaka. Continue reading Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya and Osaka / Kyoto

Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Tokyo

Snow Walls is very very popular on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.  (C) Tateyama Kurobe  Kanto / JTOA
Snow Walls is very very popular on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. (C) Tateyama Kurobe Kanto / JTOA

I have never thought visiting Alpine Route from Tokyo as day trip. But I have received some inquiries and check the timetable. And I found that we can do it.

Actually it is quite easy trip. Please fine the sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Tokyo. Continue reading Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Tokyo

Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Tokyo

Higashichayagai area is one of most popular spots in Kanazawa. (C) Kanazawa City / JNTO
Higashichayagai area is one of most popular spots in Kanazawa. (C) Kanazawa City / JNTO

If you leave Tokyo very early morning, you can visit Kanazawa and Shirakawago as a day trip.

I would like to show you the sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago in this post.

Continue reading Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Tokyo

Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Osaka or Kyoto

Kanazawa castle is one of the best places to see cherry blossom. (C) JNTO
Kanazawa castle is one of the best places to see cherry blossom. (C) JNTO

I prefer to stay in many cities and feel different atmosphere. But I understand that some of you do not agree. Because you will travel with the huge luggage and it may be issue for you.

Thus the day trip is a prefect solution. When you stay in Kansai area, there are many places to see, such as Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Himeji, Mt. Koya and many more places. But can you believe that you can visit Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Osaka or Kyoto as one day trip?

I would like to show you the sample itinerary of this day trip in this post.

Continue reading Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Osaka or Kyoto

Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass user guide. Perfect deal to travel Takayama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Shirakawago from Nagoya or Osaka

Tanabata festival decoration in Takayama ©Y.Shimizu/©JNTO
Tanabata festival decoration in Takayama ©Y.Shimizu/©JNTO

This train pass has been very popular to travel Kanazawa, Takayama and Shirakawago. The train route to these destinations from Nagoya and Osaka are covered. However there are some restrictions. You may be confused how you use this pass.

In this post, I will clarify the condition and the coverage area of this pass. You will find what you can do and what you cannot do by this pass in this post. I also compare the price of pass and a regular fare. You will easily find how you can get the worth of this pass.

Continue reading Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass user guide. Perfect deal to travel Takayama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Shirakawago from Nagoya or Osaka

Fuji-Hakone access guide. How to combine Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone in one trip.

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

Mt. Fuji is the icon of Japan. Many tourists visit and see this magnificent mountain. Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi are most popular places to see this mountain and you may think to visit both. I have written two posts in regards to Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi.

In this post, I will focus on the route of these two places. You can find how to combine these two places.

Continue reading Fuji-Hakone access guide. How to combine Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone in one trip.

The Hokuriku Shinkansen, direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo.

E7 series is one of the newest Shinkansen fleets for Hokuriku Shinkansen (C) Rsa (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
E7 series is one of the newest Shinkansen fleets for Hokuriku Shinkansen (C) Rsa (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

This Shinkansen lines was called “The Nagano Shinkansen”. On March 14. 2015, this Shinkansen lines was extended to Kanazawa and it is called “The Hokuriku Shinkansen”. This Shinkansen line connects Tokyo, Omiya, Takasaki, Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa. This Shinkansen line is covered by JR Pass and Hokuriku Arch Pass fully. JR East Pass Nagano Niigata covers between Tokyo and Joetsu-Myoko station.

I would like to show you the information about this Shinkansen service with you in this post.

Continue reading The Hokuriku Shinkansen, direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo.

Ise access guide. Kintetsu is the best way but we can use JR Pass too.

This building is Naiku Kaguraden. It is one of the buildings in one of two shrines, Naiku and Gaiku.
This building is Naiku Kaguraden. It is one of the buildings in one of two shrines, Naiku and Gaiku.

Ise is well known as home of Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingu). This is one of the most sacred and most famous Shinto shrine throughout Japan. And most part of Ise area is located in Ise-Shima National Park. There are lots of beautiful scenery and you can enjoy many kinds of fresh seafood. If you are family traveller, there are aquarium in Toba area and Shima Spanish village theme park in Shima area. There are many kinds of attraction for all types of travellers.

Ise, Toba and Shima areas are very accessible by Kintetsu Railway’s train. Most of domestic travellers use this train. But if you are Japan Rail Pass user, you can use the pass with small restriction. I tell you about access to this area by both Kintetsu trains and JR trains. Continue reading Ise access guide. Kintetsu is the best way but we can use JR Pass too.

Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 8, from Bessho Onsen to Tokyo via Nagano, Naoetsu, Echigo-Yuzawa

This is a local train Myoko. Some of trains between Nagano and Naoetsu are operated by old limited express fleet. (C) JP Rail
This is a local train Myoko. Some of trains between Nagano and Naoetsu are operated by old limited express fleet. (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 7, from Tokyo to Bessho Onsen by Ueda Railway.

This was the last day of trip and went back to Tokyo. But I did not go back to Tokyo directly. Because I wanted to take Shinetsu line from Nagano to Naoetsu and Limited Express Hakutaka from Naoetsu to Echigo-Yuzawa. Because Shinetsu line will be transferred to third sector company after Hokriku Shinkansen open in 2014. JR Pass will not cover this segment. Limited Express Hakutaka may be discontinued after Hokuriku Shinkanse open. So I made a big detour to take these trains/routes. Continue reading Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 8, from Bessho Onsen to Tokyo via Nagano, Naoetsu, Echigo-Yuzawa

Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 7, from Tokyo to Bessho Onsen by Ueda Railway

Bessho Onsen station of Ueda Electric Railway. (C) JP Rail
Bessho Onsen station of Ueda Electric Railway. (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 6, round trip to Kawaguchiko from Shinjuku by Azusa and Fuji Kyuko

Right after finished a business appointment in Tokyo, I took Nagano Shinkansen to Ueda station. I stayed in Ryokan at Bessho hot springs. Continue reading Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 7, from Tokyo to Bessho Onsen by Ueda Railway

Guide for train access to Nagano, Matsumoto and other places in Shinshu and surrounding area.

Hokuriku Shinkansen was opened in mid March 2015. It connects Tokyo, Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa without changing trains.
Hokuriku Shinkansen was opened in mid March 2015. It connects Tokyo, Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa without changing trains.

Shinshu region is located in the heart of Japan. You might have heard Nagano where held winter Olympic games in 1998. There are lost of popular cities in this region, such as Nagano, Karuizawa and Matsumoto. And also Shinano-Omachi is well known as the gate way station to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route. Hakuba is very popular ski resort in winter season.

In this post, I summarize train access information to Shinshu and surrounding areas. You can find the information about access to Shinshu region from Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kanazawa and Toyama. Continue reading Guide for train access to Nagano, Matsumoto and other places in Shinshu and surrounding area.

How to access to Takayama by trains and buses.

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

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 access to Takayama by trains and buses.

How to access to Atami, Ito, Kawazu, Shimoda and other places in Izu peninsula by train.

Atami hot springs resort night view. It is one of major spor in Izu peninsula hot springs resort. (C) JNTO

Izu is one of the most popular hot springs resort in Kanto area. It is very accessible from Tokyo. You can enjoy even day trip if you like. There are several popular spots in Izu peninsula. I would like to share the information about the access to Izu with you in this post.

Continue reading How to access to Atami, Ito, Kawazu, Shimoda and other places in Izu peninsula by train.

Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, one of most spectacular sightseeing route in Northern Japan Alps

Famous snow wall is almost same height as 10 stories building. (C) Jonathan Ayre

This post is written by Mr. Jonathan Ayre. He is one of the frequent visitors. He offered me some images, writing articles such as Managing baggage during trip, Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine. I would like to thank you again, Jonathan for sharing your experience.

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The Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route is one of Japan’s famous sightseeing routes. It passes through the Japanese Alps to a height of 2450m above sea level, and often snows well into May and begins to snow in October. T Continue reading Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, one of most spectacular sightseeing route in Northern Japan Alps

How to access to Kanazawa and Toyama from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Niigata.

Kenrokuen is one of the biggest names in Kanazawa and also one of three  top gardens in Japan.  ©Ishikawa Prefecture Tourist Association and Kanazawa Convention Bureau/© JNTO
Kenrokuen is one of the biggest names in Kanazawa and also one of three top gardens in Japan. ©Ishikawa Prefecture Tourist Association and Kanazawa Convention Bureau/© JNTO

Kanazawa is one of the big names in Japan. It has lovely preserved town and Kenrokuen garden that is one of three well known gardens with Kairakuen (Mito) and Korakuen (Okayama). Kanazawa is located in Hokuriku region. In this region, Toyama is well known as the gateway to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route.

In mid March, 2015, Hokuriku Shinkansen open and both Kanazawa and Toyama are very accessible from Tokyo. In this post, I would like to show you about access from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Niigata.

Continue reading How to access to Kanazawa and Toyama from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Niigata.

The limited express Shirasagi timetable and train information. The direct train to Kanazawa from Nagoya.

Limited Express Shirasagi connects Nagoya, Maibara and Kanazawa.

Shirasagi runs between Nagoya, Maibara and Kanazawa. This train is the fastest transfer from Nagoya and Maibara to Hokuriku region, such as Kanazawa and Fukui. This train is very popular for both a business and a leisure travelers. Because there are several popular locations along the route, such as Awara-Onsen hot springs, Kaga-Onsen hot spring. And Kanazawa is the biggest city in Hokuriku area and it is very popular tourist destination as well.

This train, Shirasagi is fully covered by JR Pass. And if you use Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass or Hokuriku Arch Pass, only the segment between Kanazawa and Tsuruga are covered. If you use Takayama Hokuriku area pass, the segment between Tsuruga and Gifu is not covered.

I will explain about this train in this post.

Continue reading The limited express Shirasagi timetable and train information. The direct train to Kanazawa from Nagoya.

Japan Railways is the best way to access Mt. Fuji? How much can we use Japan Rail Pass to go to Mt. Fuji?

Tokaido Shinkansen and Mt. Fuji ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Tokaido Shinkansen and Mt. Fuji ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

As you know, Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. Sometimes we can see it even from downtown Tokyo. And when you travel to west from Tokyo by Shinkansen, you will be able to see this beautiful shaped mountain through the window on your right side.

*If you want to see Mt. Fuji on Shinkansen, when you reserve the ticket for Tokaido Shinkansen, try to get D which is isle side, or E which is window side unless you travel as party of 3. The seat configuration on Shinkansen is 3 (A,B,C) + 2 (D,E). (If you take Green seat, C and D are the right place to see it.) Even if you travel to opposite direction (from Osaka to Tokyo), the seat configuration is same. D and E are always on the mountain side.

Of course Mt. Fuji is one of most popular destination for the tourists. We have several choices to enjoy Mt. Fuji. Let’s see how much you can use Japan Rail Pass to get Mt. Fuji. Continue reading Japan Railways is the best way to access Mt. Fuji? How much can we use Japan Rail Pass to go to Mt. Fuji?

Sample itinerary Four world heritage sites (Shirakawago, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima), Kanazawa and Kyoto 7 days by Japan Rail Pass

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

This itinerary includes four world heritage sites, Shirakawa-go, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima. This also includes two popular sites, Takayama and Kanazawa.

Do not use Japan Rail Pass for the transfer to downtown Tokyo from Narita airport because most of tourists stay in Tokyo for the first several days. You will start to use your pass when you leave from Tokyo. There are lots of deals available for Narita to Tokyo. Continue reading Sample itinerary Four world heritage sites (Shirakawago, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima), Kanazawa and Kyoto 7 days by Japan Rail Pass

How to access to Shirakawago from Takayama, Kanazawa, Takaoka and Toyama.

Very popular scene of Shirakawago from Tenshukaku view point
Very popular scene of Shirakawago from Tenshukaku view point

Shirakawago is known as UNESCO World heritage site and it is very very popular destination among oversea tourist in these days. You cannot access to this village by any train services. But there are many bus routes available from many cities around Shirakawago, such as Takayama, Kanazawa and some more.

In this post, I would like to share the information about access to Shirakawago, basic information of this village and some deals to cover the trip to Shirakawago.

Continue reading How to access to Shirakawago from Takayama, Kanazawa, Takaoka and Toyama.

The Limited Express Thunderbird timetable and the train information. The train to 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 runs between Osaka, Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Fukui, and Kanazawa. One round trip is operated to Wakura-Onsen. This train is the fastest train between Osaka/Kyoto and Kanazawa. 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 limited express Thunderbird.

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