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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you want something different on your trip to Kansai area, Kansai Wide Area Pass is highly recommended. I always recommend to use Kansai Thru Pass and Kansai Area Pass to travel within Kansai area, such as Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Osaka, Wakayama, Himeji. But Kansai Wide Area Pass covers outside these areas, such as Shingu, Okayama, Kinosaki Onsen, Takamatsu. And this pass is valid for 5 days. It makes your trip more interesting.
In this post, I would like to show you a sample itineraries which include Naoshima, Takamatsu, Okayama, Kurashiki, Tottori, Kinosaki and Amanohashidate in 5 days. You will find the way to maximize using this pass.
If you do not intend to purchase any rail passes, you may think about using IC card. This card makes your trip be much easier.
IC card is a rechargeable smart card which is issued by the railway companies. It is getting very common ways to ride a train in these days. Once you have this card, you do not have to buy a ticket one by one. As long as you have some fund in your card, you can tap it at the ticket gate and tap again when you exit the station. The fare is deducted automatically. It gives you convenience. But there are many types of card available. And it is so hard to find which train and bus are covered by these cards.
In this post, I will show you the list of major IC cards, the difference of these cards, and coverage area.
I introduced Peach Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass in the previous post. That covers eastern Hokkaido and available for anybody who arrive in New Chitose airport or Kushiro airport by Peach Airr. In this post, I will show you very similar deal which is Peach Kita Hokkaido Free Pass. This is designed for the trip to northern part of Hokkaido. If you are under 25 years old, you can get this pass at U25 discount rate.