Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket is back in 2015. Perfect choice for just trip to Fuji san!

Mt. Fuji from Lake Motosu  	©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Mt. Fuji from Lake Motosu ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

This deal, Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket was on sale in 2013 and 2014 during summer season only. Now this deal has just been back in 2015 season. If you have a plan to Mt. Fuji and other place, like Nikko or Kusatsu, Kanto Area Pass is better choice. But if you need a deal for trip to Mt. Fuji only, this pass is most suitable.

I show you the the detail about this pass and compare with other deals. Continue reading Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket is back in 2015. Perfect choice for just trip to Fuji san!

Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass), good choice for sightseeing in Tokyo.

JR's Yamanote line (left) and Tokyo Metro (right)
JR’s Yamanote line (left) and Tokyo Metro (right)

There are many deals available in Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass is one of these deals. In this post, I would like to show you how to use this pass and compare with subway deals.

Continue reading Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass), good choice for sightseeing in Tokyo.

Shinagawa station guide. Transfer among Shinkansen, Keihin Kyuko to Haneda, Narita Express

Shinagawa station Takanawa Exit side (C) JP Rail
Shinagawa station Takanawa Exit side (C) JP Rail

Shinagawa is one of the terminal station in Tokyo. It is the transfer point of Tokaido Shinkansen (Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka), Keihin Kyuko (Haneda airport), Narita Express (Narita airport), Yamanote line (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo) and many more lines.

There are many railway lines and it seems to make you be overwhelmed. But this is not very complicated, actually. In this post, I will show you how to transfer among these trains in this station, Shinagawa.

Continue reading Shinagawa station guide. Transfer among Shinkansen, Keihin Kyuko to Haneda, Narita Express

Direct access to Fukuoka (Hakata), Kumamoto, Kagoshima from Osaka. Kyushu Shinkansen

Kyushu Shinkansen Tsubasa
Kyushu Shinkansen Tsubame

Kyushu Shinkansen runs between Hakata and Kagoshima-Chuo. But many trains run from Shin-Osaka and carry many passengers from Kansai area to Kyushu. This is the best way to get Kyushu from Osaka and Hiroshima. But some trains are not covered by JR Pass. I would like to show you about this Shinkansen system in this post.

Continue reading Direct access to Fukuoka (Hakata), Kumamoto, Kagoshima from Osaka. Kyushu Shinkansen

Odawara station guide. How to change the train to Hakone.

Hakone 075

Odawara is the gateway to the one of most well known Onsen resort, Hakone. If you take JR trains, you have to change the trains to Hakone at this station, Odawara. Odawara station is not a mega terminal station. But there is JR Tokaido line, Shinkansen and Odakyu/Hakone Tozan Railway. It may make you be confused.

Continue reading Odawara station guide. How to change the train to Hakone.

Utsunomiya station guide. How to transfer to Nikko train.

(C) JR Utsunomiya Station - Tnk3a
(C) JR Utsunomiya Station – Tnk3a

Utsunomiya station is the station to transfer to Nikko line. If you use JR Pass to get Nikko, you take Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo and transfer here at Utsunomiya. Utsunomiya is the major terminal station in Tochigi prefecture. Even though Utsunomiya station is not a mega size terminal, if you are the first time traveller, you really know how to transfer the trains. Continue reading Utsunomiya station guide. How to transfer to Nikko train.

Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 13, Hakone to Shinjuku

Hakone 053

This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 12, Takasaki to Hakone via Odawara.

I had to go back to Tokyo by noon. I did not have enough time to visit all places in Hakone. I supposed to go to Sounzan from Hakone-Yumoto by Hakone Tozan Railway and Hakone Tozan Cablecar.

Continue reading Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 13, Hakone to Shinjuku

Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 12, Takasaki to Hakone via Odawara

Nikko 180

This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 11, Nikko to Ashio and Watarase Keikoku Railway.

I took Ryomo line from Kiryu station where was the transfer point from Watarase Railway. And I arrived at Takasaki station.

Continue reading Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 12, Takasaki to Hakone via Odawara

Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 11, Nikko to Ashio and Watarase Keikoku Railway

Nikko 078

This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 10, sightseeing in Nikko.

I caught the bus at JR Nikko station. There are several bus stops. My bus stopped at “1B” where is located at left side from JR Nikko station.

Continue reading Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 11, Nikko to Ashio and Watarase Keikoku Railway

Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 10, sightseeing in Nikko

Nikko 008

This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 9, Yunokami Onsen to Nikko.

In Tobu Nikko station, it was very crowded. It was very beautiful day just after snowy day. The scenery was gorgeous and lots of tourists came over there. Tourist information center in the station was very busy.

Continue reading Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 10, sightseeing in Nikko

Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 3, Tokyo to Kinugawa Onsen via Utsunomiya

At Tokyo station, 6:00 am. I did not see any snow on the ground at that time.
At Tokyo station, 6:00 am. I did not see any snow on the ground at that time.

This post is continued from Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 2, Stay in First-Cabin Akihabara.

Weather forecast said it was heavy snowing on that day. It was snowing when I checked out hotel. But it was light flurries and not serious situation.

Continue reading Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 3, Tokyo to Kinugawa Onsen via Utsunomiya

First-Cabin Akihabara overnight staying review. Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 2

Japan Trip 090

This post is continued from Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 1, from Narita Airport to Tokyo.

I don’t usually write about hotel in this website. But this hotel, First-Cabin Akihabara is very unique and it is different from common hotels. I can’t recommend everybody. But this hotel may be suitable for some of you. I show you this accommodation and make sure what the difference is.

Continue reading First-Cabin Akihabara overnight staying review. Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 2

Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 1, from Narita Airport to Tokyo

2014winter-trip

I visited Japan in mid February. In this trip, I went to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone as you see the above map. I also have taken several attractive trains in this trip. I would like to share my experience.

First of all, I arrived at Narita airport by Japan Airline flight from Vancovuer, Canada. I would line to tell you about the first day in Tokyo.

Continue reading Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 1, from Narita Airport to Tokyo

Easy trip to Nanki Shirahama from Osaka. Part 3 visiting Adventure World

Adventure World is the most popular attraction in Shirahama. (C) JP Rail
Adventure World is the most popular attraction in Shirahama. (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Easy trip to Nanki Shirahama from Osaka. Part 2 check in hotel, glass boat tour and small aquarium.

On day 2 of this trip, I visited Adventure World. This is the combined of amusement park and zoo park. This is obviously most popular attraction in Shirahama.

Official site of Adventure World (English site)

Continue reading Easy trip to Nanki Shirahama from Osaka. Part 3 visiting Adventure World

Easy trip to Nanki Shirahama from Osaka. Part 2 check in hotel, glass boat tour and small aquarium.

Large rock surface beach can be seen very often in Shirahama (C) JP Rail
Large rock surface beach can be seen very often in Shirahama (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Easy trip to Nanki Shirahama from Osaka. Part 1 from Shin-Osaka to Shirahama by train.

After we arrived at Shirahama station, caught the bus to our hotel. In Shirahama, most of hotels and ryokans have shuttle service between station and hotels.

Continue reading Easy trip to Nanki Shirahama from Osaka. Part 2 check in hotel, glass boat tour and small aquarium.

Easy trip to Nanki Shirahama from Osaka. Part 1 from Shin-Osaka to Shirahama by train

283 series train was called "Super Arrow". (C) JP Rail
283 series train was called “Super Arrow”. (C) JP Rail

Shirahama is located at the west coast of Kii peninsula, Wakayama prefecture. You can get there by Limited Express Kuroshio from Shin-Osaka and Tennoji directly. There are some marine attractions, such as glass boat and popular theme park, Adventure World. If you travel with your kids, this spot is considerable. Because I had a trip with my 4 years old daughter and she was so happy.

I had a trip to Shirahama in last year but I did not have a chance to write about this. Now I would like to share it with you.

Continue reading Easy trip to Nanki Shirahama from Osaka. Part 1 from Shin-Osaka to Shirahama by train

Kii peninsula access guide. How to get Shirahama, Kii-Katsuura and Shingu.

Torii gate a the entrance of Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine

Kii peninsula has many interesting spots, like Kumano Kodo, Nachi Falls and Shirahama Onsen. But this area is very wide and big. Travel time is long and trains do not run very often.

In this post, I show you how to access this peninsula by train. Continue reading Kii peninsula access guide. How to get Shirahama, Kii-Katsuura and Shingu.

How to access to Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe from late arrival flight at Kansai Airport-KIX

Kansai airport is a manmade island.  Ltd/©JNTO
Kansai airport is a manmade island. Ltd/©JNTO

I have received many inquiries about access to Osaka from the flight that arrive after 21:00 at Kansai airport (KIX). Some of you cannot have any idea how long you will spend after arrival to get the station. And you may not know what time the last train departs from Kansai airport.

You must know these information before you touch down at Kansai airport. In this post, I will tell you about it. Continue reading How to access to Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe from late arrival flight at Kansai Airport-KIX

Complete access guide to Ghibli Museum from Tokyo and Shinjuku.

Laputan robot stands up at the roof of the museum.
Laputan robot stands up at the roof of the museum.

I visited Ghibli Museum in this past spring and I realized how popular this site is for overseas travellers. It is not very difficult to access this museum. But some of you worry about language, direction, storage and exact location to catch a bus to the museum. In this post, I use lots of picture to explain about access by train and bus. Continue reading Complete access guide to Ghibli Museum from Tokyo and Shinjuku.

Osaka train route guide. How much can we use JR Pass in Osaka? How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots in Osaka?

Click to enlarge (C) JP Rail
Click to enlarge (C) JP Rail
Dotonbori is "Must-See" place in Osaka.  	©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau/©JNTO
Dotonbori is “Must-See” place in Osaka. ©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

I wrote about train system in Kyoto before. But I have received many inquiries about Osaka too. I think it is very complicated for travellers from overseas. There are three types of railway, JR, Osaka Municipal Subway and Private company’s railways. Once you understand train system, you can find the best location to stay, the best deal for trains ride and the fastest way to visit that you want to see.

As probably you know, there are many types of deals, such as ICOCA, Kansai Thru Pass, JR Pass, Kansai Area Pass, Osaka Subway Eco Card and Osaka Unlimited Pass. Each pass has different conditions. You must understand the coverage of your pass.

In this post, I tell you about using these deals and explain all train systems in Osaka.

Continue reading Osaka train route guide. How much can we use JR Pass in Osaka? How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots in Osaka?

Kyoto train route guide. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?

Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail
Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail

Train system in Kyoto may be complicated for you. There are three types of railway, JR, Kyoto City Subway and Private company’s railways. Actually it’s a key to travel in Kyoto smoothly and avoid wasting your valuable time. Of course city of Kyoto has city wide bus service. But during peak season, bus service runs behind the schedule sometimes due to traffic congestion.

And also, there are many types of deals, such as ICOCA, Kansai Thru Pass, JR Pass, Kansai Area Pass, Kyoto city pass. Each pass has different conditions. You have to understand which train system is covered by your pass.

In this post, I tell you about using these deals and explain all train systems in Kyoto.

Continue reading Kyoto train route guide. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?

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.

ICOCA and Haruka, Kansai One Pass and Haruka, and Haruka discount ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Kansai.

Limited Express Haruka at Kansai Airport station
The Limited Express Haruka at Kansai Airport station

You may travel in Kansai area only and not travel throughout Japan. You may have one way trip from Osaka to Tokyo. For these travelers, Kansai One Pass/ICOCA and Haruka gives you a good deal for the transfer from Kansai airport to Osaka or Kyoto, and the local sightseeing in Kansai region.

This deal gives you access to Osaka or Kyoto by the limited express Haruka and some preloaded e-money in ICOCA or Kansai One Pass.

I will tell you what this deal is and how to use it in this post.

Continue reading ICOCA and Haruka, Kansai One Pass and Haruka, and Haruka discount ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Kansai.

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