JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the travelers who visit Tokyo and Sapporo by train.

Night view form Mt.Hakodate ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO
Night view form Mt.Hakodate. Hakodate is one of the popular places in Hokkaido. ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO

This pass covers Narita airport, Greater Tokyo, Gala Yuzawa, Nikko, whole part of Tohoku region, Hakodate, Otaru, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya and Sapporo. You also may use this pass to get Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone even though this pass covers these trips partially. You cannot use this pass to get central, northern and eastern Hokkaido, such as Furano, Asahikawa, Shiretoko, Kushiro. JR Pass is better choice if you intend to visit these places.

In this post, I would like to share the information of this pass with you. And I will show you some sample rate and compare the pass value and single fares. You may find that JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass suits your plan or not.

Continue reading JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the travelers who visit Tokyo and Sapporo by train.

Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by the train.

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You found this post. Because you are overwhelmed by the train system in Tokyo, right? I understand it is very complicated because there are many train lines and many different railway companies. Actually it is very very hard to find the route for even the local tourist.

And also there are lots of deals available but you may not be able to find the coverage of the pass.

In this post, I will show you all subway lines and JR lines in downtown core of Tokyo. And I will also tell you about the train system surrounding in Tokyo too. Because some of trains that come from outside Tokyo go to downtown Tokyo via subway line. This is actually one of the reason why it is so difficult to understand train system in Tokyo.

Continue reading Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by the train.

Visit Osaka and Kyoto for 5 to 7 days sample itinerary

Shinsho-Gokuraku-ji temple in Kyoto. This temple is as known as Shinnyodo and it is getting popular to see fall foliage lately. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO
Shinsho-Gokuraku-ji temple in Kyoto. This temple is as known as Shinnyodo and it is getting popular to see fall foliage lately. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO

I have made the sample itinerary that is Kyoto and Osaka stay for 5 to 7 days before.
Visit Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe for 5 to 7 days sample itinerary

In this itinerary, staying in Kyoto is first and then move to Osaka. But I have received many inquiries that is staying in Osaka first and then move to Kyoto. Those itineraries are very similar but when we choose the deals, it is different.

In this post, I will show you Osaka and Kyoto 5 days sample itinerary. But I will also tell you how to extend this itinerary and how to add other spots. And of course, I will show you how to choose the deals. Continue reading Visit Osaka and Kyoto for 5 to 7 days sample itinerary

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

Guide to take trains in Kobe. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?

Night view of Kobe Harborland and Meriken Park
Night view of Kobe Harborland and Meriken Park

You may be overwhelmed by train services in Kobe. Actually it is much easier to handle than Osaka and Kyoto. Most of places to see are located in downtown Kobe. Many of them can be accessed on foot from major stations directly. However understanding train system is a key to save your time. Kobe can be combined with Himeji easily. You may spend half day in Kobe and enjoy in Osaka rest of the day.

For travelling in Kansai area, there are many types of deals, such as ICOCA, Kansai Thru Pass, JR Pass, Kansai Area Pass and many more. Each pass has different conditions. You have to understand which train system is covered by your pass. And also Kobe is very closed to Osaka. You may not have many chances to take a train and that means single fare may be the best option for you.

In this post, I will show you the route map and explain all train systems in Kobe.

Continue reading Guide to take trains in Kobe. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?

Himeji station guide. How to get Himeji castle from the station

Himeji station terminal building at north side.
Himeji station terminal building at north side.

Himeji station is the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Himeji Castle. It is very popular day trip destination from Kobe and Osaka. You can get Himeji by JR trains, Shinkansen and Sanyo / Hanshin Railway.

How to access to Himeji and Kobe from Osaka

I would like to explain about these station’s structures and show you some images of Himeji station. And I also show you how to get Himeji castle from the station too.

Continue reading Himeji station guide. How to get Himeji castle from the station

Osaka Kaiyu Ticket gives you a big saving for the trip to Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium and sightseeing in Osaka.

Whale shark tank is the biggest reason to visit Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium.
Whale shark tank is the biggest reason to visit Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium.

I have been to Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium many times. Whenever I visit there, I use this deal, Osaka Kaiyu Ticket. I would like to share the information of this discount deal in this post.

Continue reading Osaka Kaiyu Ticket gives you a big saving for the trip to Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium and sightseeing in Osaka.

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

Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 3. Visiting Tokyo DisneySea with small child.

Volcano is the icon of Tokyo DisneySea.
Volcano is the icon of Tokyo DisneySea.

This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 2. Visiting Tokyo Disneyland with small child.

I spent 2 days for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. In this post, I would like to tell you about my second day at Tokyo DisneySea. I have already explained about ticket and planning at the previous post. I will talk about my experience in Tokyo DisneySea only.

Continue reading Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 3. Visiting Tokyo DisneySea with small child.

Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 2. Visiting Tokyo Disneyland with small child.

Cinderella's castle is the icon of Disneyland.
Cinderella’s castle is the icon of Disneyland.

This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 1. Preparation and access from Narita.

I would like to share my experience of visiting Disneyland. But also I would like to tell you about planning. I think this is very important to visit Tokyo Disneyland. First of all, I would like to tell you what I did before visiting. And then I will tell you about visiting there.

Continue reading Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 2. Visiting Tokyo Disneyland with small child.

Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 1. Preparation and access from Narita.

Cinderella castle is the icon of Tokyo Disneyland.
Cinderella castle is the icon of Tokyo Disneyland.

I visited Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea with my daughter who just became 6 years old when she was there. It was the first time to visit there in last 20 years for me. I did not remember about the last trip 20 years ago. And also it was the first time to visit there with small child. So I was almost the first timer almost, maybe same as you.

I usually talk about train trips and other transportation in this website. But I have learned many things about Tokyo Disney Resort (Disneyland and DisneySea) as “the first timer”. Even though I am not the expert of Tokyo Disneyland, I believe the things that I have learned will help you to prepare and build the plan to visit the wonderland, Tokyo Disney Resort.

I would like to share my experience and tips about visiting Tokyo Disney Resort in three parts. In this first post, I would like to show you access from Narita airport and preparation before I was there.

Continue reading Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 1. Preparation and access from Narita.

Namba stations guide. How to change the trains among Nankai, Kintetsu, Hanshin, subway and JR.

Nankai Namba station building (C) By Own work (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
Nankai Namba station building (C) By Own work (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

Namba is one of two downtown cores with Umeda in Osaka. This is popular spot to shop and sightseeing. And also some of you may transfer trains at Namba. But there are many railways and stations in Namba. You may be overwhelmed to understand the location and station structure.

In this post, I would like to show you the locations of each Namba stations. And you will learn how to change the trains in Namba.

Continue reading Namba stations guide. How to change the trains among Nankai, Kintetsu, Hanshin, subway and JR.

How to choose the deals for access to/from Kansai Airport

Kansai Airport arrival  level at ground floor
Kansai Airport arrival level at ground floor

If you arrive in Kansai airport, most of you go to Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe or maybe Nara, Wakayama. There are many deals that you can choose. You maybe confused and overwhelmed to pick up. In this post, I would like to show you all available deals and help you to find the best deal for you.

If you have plan to stay in Osaka for entire stay and make day trips to other places from Osaka, the following post may help you to build your itinerary.

How to build the itinerary and choose the deals for Osaka stay 5 to 7 days.
Continue reading How to choose the deals for access to/from Kansai Airport

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.

Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass user guide. The deal for the traveler who wants travel in Kansai, Hiroshima and the surrounding area.

The landmarks . Tsutenkaku tower (Osaka/left) and Atomic Bomb Dome (Hiroshima/right)  ©JNTO (Osaka/left) / ©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau (Hiroshima/right)
The landmarks . Tsutenkaku tower (Osaka/left) and Atomic Bomb Dome (Hiroshima/right) ©JNTO (Osaka/left) / ©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau (Hiroshima/right)

As the name tells you, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass covers Kansai area (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Himeji, Wakayama), Hiroshima and many places between these, such as Okayama, Kurashiki. But the coverage is much bigger. This pass covers even Takamatsu in Shikoku, Kinosaki Onsen, Amanohashidate, Kii-Katsuura, Shingu.

I would like to share the information about Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass in this post.

Continue reading Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass user guide. The deal for the traveler who wants travel in Kansai, Hiroshima and the surrounding area.

Sanyo Sanin Area Pass user guide. The train pass that covers Kansai, Sanyo and Sanin regions

Tsuwano (left), Atomic Bomb Dome (upper right) and Miyajima (lower right) are popular place to visit in the coverage area. ©Shimane Prefectural Goverment/©JNTO (Tsuwano/left) /   	©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau (Atomic bomb towere/upper right) / ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO (Miyajima/lower right)
Tsuwano (left), Atomic Bomb Dome (upper right) and Miyajima (lower right) are popular place to visit in the coverage area. ©Shimane Prefectural Goverment/©JNTO (Tsuwano/left) / ©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau (Atomic bomb towere/upper right) / ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO (Miyajima/lower right)

Sanyo Sanin Area Pass covers most part of Sanyo and Sanin regions. Sanyo region includes Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi. Sanin region includes Shimane and Tottori. This pass also covers most part of Kansai region. And you can access to Hakata and Kokura by the Sanyo Shinkansen.

In this post, I will explain you the details about this deal.

Continue reading Sanyo Sanin Area Pass user guide. The train pass that covers Kansai, Sanyo and Sanin regions

Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass user guide. The deal for the tourist who travels between Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Hakata.

Tsuwano (left) and Miyajima are popular place to visit in the coverage area. ©Shimane Prefectural Goverment/©JNTO (Tsuwano/left) / ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO (Miyajima/right)
Tsuwano (left) and Miyajima are popular place to visit in the coverage area. ©Shimane Prefectural Goverment/©JNTO (Tsuwano/left) / ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO (Miyajima/right)

Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass covers Hiroshima and Yamaguchi. And it also covers the Sanyo Shinkansen to Hakata. It is the perfect option for the trip to Hiroshima from Hakata, Kyushu.

I would like to explain you about this pass in this post.

Continue reading Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass user guide. The deal for the tourist who travels between Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Hakata.

Sample itinerary of day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima from Osaka/Kyoto

One of well known places in Japan, World Heritage Site, Miyajima Itsukushima shrine.  ©Hiroshima Prefecture / ©JNTO
One of well known places in Japan, World Heritage Site, Miyajima Itsukushima shrine. ©Hiroshima Prefecture / ©JNTO

Hiroshima and Miyajima are very popular and obviously these are “Big Name”s in Japan. Some of you want to visit these place but you may be hesitating to visit there because of tight schedule.

If you stay in Osaka or Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima can be visited as day trip. If you can stay there for even one night, that is much better. But you may prefer to have “Baggage Free” day trip.

In this post, I show you sample itinerary to visit Hiroshima and Miyajima as day trip.

Continue reading Sample itinerary of day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima from Osaka/Kyoto

How to build the itinerary and choose the deals for Osaka stay 5 to 7 days.

Dotonbori is very popular place to eat and shop near Namba. ©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau/©JNTO
Dotonbori is very popular place to eat and shop near Namba. ©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

I think many travellers prefer to stay in one place and visit surrounding areas as day trip. I have received many inquiries about Osaka stay and visit surrounding areas, like Kyoto, Kobe, Nara as day trip. I understand that it’s quite easy to stay in one place and enjoy the trip with luggage free.

But many of you struggle to plan and choose the deals. In this post, I show you 5 days Osaka stay sample itinerary. You will learn how to choose the deals for your trip. Of course you can extend to stay, like 6 days, 7 days, as many as you want.

Continue reading How to build the itinerary and choose the deals for Osaka stay 5 to 7 days.

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

Yasaka shrine in Kyoto Higashiyama area. ©JNTO
Yasaka shrine in Kyoto Higashiyama area. ©JNTO

I have received inquiries about the trip to Kansai area many times. So I make a basic itinerary that includes Kansai area, such as Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara only. This is 7 days itinerary. But you can shorten or extend as you can.

Now I would like to tell you the best route and most economical deals about this trip.

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

Kyoto station guide. How to transfer between the Shinkansen, Kintetsu Railway, Subway and JR local trains.

Karasuma central exit is the main entrance of Kyoto station. (C) JP Rail
Karasuma central exit is the main entrance of Kyoto station. (C) JP Rail

Kyoto is the biggest name in Japan. Most of you will visit Kyoto. JR Kyoto station is probably the first step to Kyoto for you. There are so many trains, such as Shinkansen, Limited Express Haruka from Kansai airport, Limited Express Thuderbird to Kanazawa, commute trains to Osaka, Kobe and Nara, Kintetsu train, Kyoto city subway and many many more to depart and arrive in this station.

Now I would like to explain about Kyoto station. I will show you how to transfer among many trains there.

Continue reading Kyoto station guide. How to transfer between the Shinkansen, Kintetsu Railway, Subway and JR local trains.