How to choose a special discount rail ticket for Japanese residents

The spread of Covid-19 has dramatically reduced the number of travelers. As a result, railroad companies sell special discount tickets to stimulate demand.

If you understand of Covid-19 precautions and want to travel, it is your chance. There are many discount tickets that you have never seen before. You can ride on trains at much lower rate than usual.

Some of the tickets explained here are only available online on Japanese websites. If you don’t understand Japanese, it will be difficult to buy, but I will put a link to the sales site for your convenience.

In this article, I will list and explain the tickets that Japanese residents can buy, not for travelers.

Continue reading How to choose a special discount rail ticket for Japanese residents

JR East Welcome Rail Pass 2020 for Japanese residents only: Unlimited ride for 3 days in JR East area

JR East Shinkansen

Good news for foreign nationals residing in Japan.

The JR East Pass, which is sold only to short-stay travelers, will be sold to foreign nationals living in Japan starting next week. In fact, this pass was planned to be sold to Olympic spectators this past summer. However, the spread of Covid-19 changed everything and now it was sold to foreign nationals living in Japan.

Regardless of the circumstances, this pass is better and cheaper than the JR East Pass which is sold to short-stay travelers.

In this article, I will explain this pass.

Continue reading JR East Welcome Rail Pass 2020 for Japanese residents only: Unlimited ride for 3 days in JR East area

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

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?

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

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

Japanese trains suspension due to COVID-19

Covid-19, mask

Train operations in Japan are now almost normal.

The government of Japan have lifted the state of emergency in all prefectures. But the trip to Japan is not appropriate yet.

Many railway companies have announced that they will be operating more frequently in June and will resume the currently canceled trains, but the situation is still in flux.

The train information below may change without notice, and the information may be complicated, so please be sure to check the latest information yourself before boarding.

Please find the detailed information below:

Continue reading Japanese trains suspension due to COVID-19

Summary of 2019-20 winter seasonal trains of JR train

tadami line
Tadami line in Fukushima (C) kenkou hoshi/JNTO

Winter is cold in Japan but it is still very popular season. Especially northern and mountain areas, such as Hokkaido, Shirakawago, Echigo-Yuzawa are very popular for Asian tourist to see the snow. And New Year’s holidays from late December to Early January is the busiest season in Japan. This is very challenging to book a seat in New Year’s holidays period. Early February is busy season in Hokkaido because of Sapporo winter festival. And also many Asian tourist come over Japan in Chinese New Years period.

In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots from December 2019 to February 2020.

*If you are looking for fall seasonal train schedule (September to November), please see the post, Summary of 2019 fall seasonal trains of JR trains.

*2020 spring seasonal train schedule (March to May) will come up in late January in 2020.

Continue reading Summary of 2019-20 winter seasonal trains of JR train

2020 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even during the busy period

Hatsumoude is the first visit a shrine or a temple of the year to pray and make a wish on New Year’s day. This photo was taken in Senso-ji temple, Asakusa.

You must know that your travel period is a peak season or a shoulder season. I would like to show you the busy period in 2020. You also find some tips when you travel in the peak season in this post.

Continue reading 2020 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even during the busy period

Summary of 2019 fall seasonal trains of JR trains

The Sanyo Shinkansen in fall season

Autumn and spring are the good season to travel in Japan. In fall season, you may see the fall foliage in most part of Japan. You will be impressed by this amazing scenery.

JR Group companies operate lots of seasonal trains in the fall season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots in October and November.

*The schedule of some trains, such as Resort Shirakami are not available yet. I will update it when it is available.

*Winter seasonal train schedule (December to February) will come up in late October. But you will find all JR Kyushu seasonal trains’ schedules until February, 2020.

Continue reading Summary of 2019 fall seasonal trains of JR trains

Flex Rail Ticket, The Tokaido Shinkansen round trip deal between Tokyo, Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka for all of you

Tokaido Shinkansen and fuji

I usually recommend you use the 7-day JR Pass if you make a round trip between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka because the round trip fare for Tokyo to/from Shin-Osaka is almost the same as the 7-day JR Pass price. But the JR Pass is available for the short term stay tourist only. The residents cannot buy it.

But a new deal “Flex Rail Ticket” has been introduced by JR Tokai Tours. This is available for the residents too. If you are not Japanese but live in Japan as a resident, you can buy this.

I would like to explain to you this new deal “Flex Rail Ticket” in this post.

Continue reading Flex Rail Ticket, The Tokaido Shinkansen round trip deal between Tokyo, Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka for all of you

2 days Trip to Kinugawa Onsen and Edo Wonderland

I visited Edo Wonderland in Kinugawa Onsen in March, 2019. I visited there with my family member who are from Canada. Some of them do not understand Japanese at all. I also took a few children from 7 years old to 10 years old. In this post, I would like to tell the story from the point of the view of the traveler with the foreign tourist and young children.

Continue reading 2 days Trip to Kinugawa Onsen and Edo Wonderland

Summary of 2019 summer seasonal trains of JR trains

Summer is very hot and humid in Japan. It is not the best season to travel. However summer is very busy travel season. In Japan, most public schools have summer break from July 20 to August 31. This period is busier than usual. Especially mid August is called “Obon”. This is one of the busiest season. Many local residents go back to hometown and spend the time with their family. It is Japanese tradition. Many of trains are booked out very quickly. Please see the link below to learn more:

All JR companies add lots of seasonal trains during all summer season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots between July and September.

*If you look for the seasonal train schedule until June, please see the following link:

*Fall seasonal train schedule (October and November) will come up in late August. But you can find some of JR Kyushu train schedules until February, 2020.

Continue reading Summary of 2019 summer seasonal trains of JR trains

Trip to Universal Studio Japan Osaka in the spring break

It was not very crowded at the entrance gate.

My daughter and my wife are the big fan of Harry Potter. And they wanted to visit Universal Studio Japan in Osaka to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This trip report is not related to the train travel and there are many resources of Universal Studio Japan. However my trip report may help you for your visit to USJ. I will share my experience with you in this post.

Continue reading Trip to Universal Studio Japan Osaka in the spring break

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

The list of train company public wifi connection

The mobile connection is essential in these days. The number of overseas tourists to Japan have been increasing significantly in these day. The demand of the mobile connection are huge. Many train companies provide the free wifi at the station and in some trains as the tourists’ demand.

In this post, I would like to tell you about the free wifi in the train and at the station.

Continue reading The list of train company public wifi connection

Mishima station guide. How to change the trains and the buses to Hakone, Fuji and Shuzenji.

Mishima station south ticket gate building

Mishima is the gateway of the west coast of Izu peninsula, such as Shuzenji. This station is also the departure point of a bus to Fuji and Hakone. You can catch the bus to Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka in Fuji area, and Motohakone and Hakonemachi by Lake Ashi in Hakone.

In this post, I will show you many photos of inside and outside of Mishima station. And I will explain about this station structure and transfer among trains and buses.

Continue reading Mishima station guide. How to change the trains and the buses to Hakone, Fuji and Shuzenji.

Summary of 2019 spring seasonal trains of JR trains

Spring is the amazing season to travel in Japan.

I think everybody agree that spring is the best season to travel. The cherry blossom is amazing, gorgeous and unforgettable. Therefore this season is very busy. Especially the period from late March to early April is the spring break of the public school in Japan. This period is usually the peak period of the cherry blossom in southside of Japan. It is busy season.

Do not forget “Golden Week”. Japan has many holidays from late April to early May. Especially 2019’s Golden Week will be very special. The emperor will retire and the prince will take over. Please see the link below to find the detailed information about the calendar.

2019 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even during the busy period.

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during the spring peak period. In this post, I will show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of June.

If you are looking for the schedule of the seasonal trains for the summer season (July to September), please see the post below to find the information:

Continue reading Summary of 2019 spring seasonal trains of JR trains

What to do when a train delay and suspension

I had a trip to Japan in this past October. I had lots of train troubles in this trip. The train operation is usually very stable and reliable in Japan. But a train suspension and/or a train delay may happen on your trip.

I will explain how to deal with these problems, with my experience.

Continue reading What to do when a train delay and suspension

2019 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even during the busy period.

Hatsumoude is the first visit a shrine or a temple to pray and make a wish on New Year’s day.

You must know that your travel period is a peak season or a shoulder season. I would like to show you the busy period in 2019. You also find some tips when you travel in the peak season in this post.

Continue reading 2019 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even during the busy period.

Visiting Kumano Sanzan (Kumano three important shrines) in one day.

Yatagarasu (three legs raven) is the symbol of Kumano region.

As I mentioned in the last post, Visited Seikan Train ferry Museum, Memorial ship Hakkodamaru, I gave up on visiting Hokkaido because of the typhoon. I spent one whole day moving to Kii-Katsuura, and on the next day, I went Kumano Sanzan (Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine, Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine, Kumano Hayatama Taisha shrine). I had many places to visit when I decided to give up Hokkaido. But I had to move to the west because of the typhoon. The weather was very rough by typhoon from the Sea of ​​Japan side to the Tohoku area in northern part of Japan. Kumano-Nachi area had been on my wish list for a long time. And this area was one of the sunny places on that day. It was worth spending one whole day to move to get this area.

I would like to show you my trip report to Kumano Nachi area. I also will tell you the deal for this trip.

Continue reading Visiting Kumano Sanzan (Kumano three important shrines) in one day.

Visited Seikan Train Ferry Museum, Memorial Ship Hakkodamaru

Hakkodamaru at Aomori pier

I went to Japan in early October. I was supposed to visit Hokkaido but a typhoon hit there. I was in Aomori but I gave up on visiting Hokkaido. I had some extra time in Aomori and spent this time to visit Seikan Train Ferry museum.

I would like to share my experience to visit this train ferry museum.

Continue reading Visited Seikan Train Ferry Museum, Memorial Ship Hakkodamaru

Summary of 2018-19 winter seasonal trains of JR trains

Renovated E3 series for Toreiyu Tsubasa

Winter used to be a shoulder season to travel. However in these days, many foreign travelers visit Japan all year long. Especially northern Japan, such as Hokkaido is very popular for Asian tourist to see the snow. And New Year’s holidays from late December to Early January is the busiest season in Japan. This is very challenging to book a seat in New Year’s holidays period. Do not forget that early February is also busy season in Hokkaido because of Sapporo winter festival.

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during a winter season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of February.

*Spring seasonal train schedule (March to May) will come up in late January. Continue reading Summary of 2018-19 winter seasonal trains of JR trains