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

Naoshima, Takamatsu, Okayama, Kurashiki, Tottori, Kinosaki and Amanohashidate 5 days trip plan by Kansai WIDE Area Pass

Pumpkin at Naoshima island

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.
Continue reading Naoshima, Takamatsu, Okayama, Kurashiki, Tottori, Kinosaki and Amanohashidate 5 days trip plan by Kansai WIDE Area Pass

What is IC card, Suica, ICOCA, Pasmo? How to use these cards?

Suica is one of major IC cards in Japan. (C) suica card
by bitmask

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.

Continue reading What is IC card, Suica, ICOCA, Pasmo? How to use these cards?

Peach / Vanilla Kita Hokkaido Free Pass

Cape Soya is northernmost point in Japan. (C) By Rsa [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

I introduced Peach / Vanilla 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 Air or Vanilla Air. In this post, I will show you very similar deal which is Peach / Vanilla 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.

I would like to show you how you use this pass. Continue reading Peach / Vanilla Kita Hokkaido Free Pass

Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass

Farm near Furano, typical scenery in Hokkaido (C) Furano / JNTO

I explain many deals in this site but these are mostly available for overseas tourist only. In this post, I would like to show you the deal for both resident and overseas tourist in this post. This deal, Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass is designed for the trip to eastern part of Hokkaido. If you are under 25 years old, you can get this pass at U25 discount rate.

I would like to show you how you use this pass. Continue reading Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass

Furano Biei Rail Ticket is the perfect choice for the trip to Furano, Biei and Asahikawa.

Patchwork Hill is one of popular spots in Biei. (C) JTA/ JNTO

If you think about making a day trip or a few days trip to Furano and Biei from Sapporo, this deals, “Furano Biei Rail Ticket” is the best deal. This ticket includes unlijmited ride in these areas and round trip from Sapporo.

In this post, I will tell you the detailed information about this deal. I also show you the comparison between this ticket and Hokkaido Rail Pass.

Continue reading Furano Biei Rail Ticket is the perfect choice for the trip to Furano, Biei and Asahikawa.

Greater Tokyo Pass offers unlimited ride of Tokyo Subway and major Non JR lines in Tokyo and surrounding area.

Downtown Tokyo (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO

In March, 2018, new rail pass, “Greater Tokyo Pass” was launched in overseas tourist market. This new deal covers all subway lines in Tokyo and major non JR railway services in Tokyo and surrounding area. Both Haneda and Narita airports are covered by this pass. You can start using this pass right after you arrive in Japan.

In this post, I would like to share the information about Greater Tokyo Pass. You will find how you use this pass and what type of travel you can get the worth by. Continue reading Greater Tokyo Pass offers unlimited ride of Tokyo Subway and major Non JR lines in Tokyo and surrounding area.

Seishun 18 kippu, Unlimilited ride deal of local and rapid trains on all JR lines

Seishun 18 Kippu. The price is shown at 11,500 yen on this ticket. But now it is sold at 11,850 yen.

I have been asked about Seishun 18 Kippu by my readers many times. This ticket offers you the unlimited ride for 5 days at only 11,850 yen. It seems to be very very attractive. But it covers a local train and a rapid train only. It is very affordable. However you have to accept many restrictions too.

In this post, I explain how to use Seishun 18 Kippu.

Continue reading Seishun 18 kippu, Unlimilited ride deal of local and rapid trains on all JR lines

All Shikoku Rail Pass. The best deal to visit Shikoku and covers all train services in Shikoku.

At Matsuyama castle. Plum trees were blooming.

All Shikoku Rail Pass is only deals that is provided by JR Shikoku. It covers all railway services in Shikoku. If you plan to visit Shikoku but JR pass is too much, this deals may be your perfect choice.

In this post, I would like to share the information about All Shikoku Rail Pass.

Continue reading All Shikoku Rail Pass. The best deal to visit Shikoku and covers all train services in Shikoku.

How to choose the best train and bus pass for sightseeing in Kyoto

Toji temple is just 10 minutes away from Kyoto station. © Q.Sawami/© JNTO

There are several deals for sightseeing in Kyoto. I would like to show you the deals for the tourist who stays in Kyoto and want to visit the places there. I believe you will find most suitable for your trip.

By the way, if you intend to have a day trip to Kyoto from other cities, such as day trip to Kyoto from Osaka, from Kobe, Kansai thru pass and other deals are available. Please find the detailed information about the deal that covers Kyoto and other cities in the link below:

How to choose discount railway ticket and pass in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) area

Continue reading How to choose the best train and bus pass for sightseeing in Kyoto

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

Osaka castle, icon of Osaka (C) Osaka Government Tourism Bureau / JNTO
Osaka castle, icon of Osaka (C) Osaka Government Tourism Bureau / JNTO

There are many deals for sightseeing in Osaka. I would like to show you the deals for the tourist who stays in Osaka and want to visit the places in Osaka.

By the way, if you intend to have a day trip to Osaka from other cities, such as day trip to Osaka from Kyoto, please see the link below:

Continue reading How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

Platt Kodama, one way deal among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka by the Shinkansen

Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. Kodama is the slowest train on Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line.
Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. Kodama is the slowest train on Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line.

When you move among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka, you may think to take the Shinkansen (a.k.a. bullet train). If you have a round trip between Tokyo and Kyoto/Shin-Osaka, JR pass is the best choice. But even 7 days JR pass price is almost equal to the round trip fare and the seat fee of the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. JR pass is not the best choice for one way movement.

Platt Kodama may be the solution for the traveler who make only one way trip from Tokyo to Kyoto or Osaka (or versa). Because it is a sort of the Shinkansen one way trip discount ticket among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka.

I would like to show you this ticket in this post.

Continue reading Platt Kodama, one way deal among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka by the Shinkansen

JR East Pass Tohoku. Flex 5 days pass in 14 days period to cover Tokyo, surrounding area of Tokyo and Tohoku region.

Cherry blossom in Kakunodate Samurai Residence district. It is one of the highlights in Tohoku region. (C) Akita Prefecture / JNTO
Cherry blossom in Kakunodate Samurai Residence district. It is one of the highlights in Tohoku region. (C) Akita Prefecture / JNTO

JR East has decided to divide JR East into two regional passes, JR East Pass Niigata and Nagano, and JR East Pass Tohoku. Current JR East pass will be discontinued in the end of March and these two JR East passes will be on sale. In this post, I would like to explain one of these passes, JR East Pass Tohoku in this post. Continue reading JR East Pass Tohoku. Flex 5 days pass in 14 days period to cover Tokyo, surrounding area of Tokyo and Tohoku region.

JR East Pass Nagano Niigata user guide. Flex 5-day pass in 14 days period to cover Nagano, Niigata, Tokyo and surrounding area.

Zenko-ji temple in Nagano (left) and Yuzawa Onsen in Niigata (right)  (C) Nagano Prefecture / JNTO
Zenko-ji temple in Nagano (left) and Yuzawa Onsen in Niigata (right) (C) Nagano Prefecture / JNTO

There are two kinds of JR East Pass, Nagano Niigata and Tohoku. In this post, I would like to explain about JR East Pass Nagano Niigata in this post.

Continue reading JR East Pass Nagano Niigata user guide. Flex 5-day pass in 14 days period to cover Nagano, Niigata, Tokyo and surrounding area.

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 brand new pass will be released in April, 2016. 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. Japan Rail Pass (a.k.a. JR Pass) is better choice if you intend to visit these places.

In this post, I would like to show you the detail of this pass. And I show you some sample rate and compare the pass value and single fares. You may find this 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.

Tokyo-Osaka Hokuriku Arch Pass user guide. Clarify valid trains, coverage area and compare single fare and pass.

Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka are covered by this deal. (C) ©Sue Ann Simon (upper left), Osaka Government Tourism Bureau (lower left), Yasufumi Nish (upper right), Kanazawa City (lower right) and JNTO (all photos)
Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka are covered by this deal. (C) ©Sue Ann Simon (upper left), Osaka Government Tourism Bureau (lower left), Yasufumi Nish (upper right), Kanazawa City (lower right) and JNTO (all photos)

This brand new pass will be released in April, 2016. This pass covers Narita airport, Tokyo, Nagano, Toyama, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Kansai airport. It does not cover Tokyo – Osaka/Kyoto via Nagoya direct route by Shinkansen. It is valid for consecutive 7 days. Valid period is same as Japan Rail Pass (a.k.a. JR Pass) 7 days. Price is cheaper than JR Pass 7 days but coverage area is much smaller. Is this a good deal and worth using for Tokyo-Kanazawa-Kyoto-Osaka trip?

In this post, I would like to show you the detail of this pass. And I show you some sample rate and compare the pass value and single fares. You may find this suits your plan or not. Continue reading Tokyo-Osaka Hokuriku Arch Pass user guide. Clarify valid trains, coverage area and compare single fare and pass.

Tokyo Wide Pass user guide. Perfect choice for trip to Nikko, Fuji, Gala Yuzawa and Odaiba

The view of Rainbow Bridge from Odaiba (C) Mike Luk / JNTO
The view of Rainbow Bridge from Odaiba (C) Mike Luk / JNTO

Tokyo Wide Pass is currently sold as Kanto Area Pass. This pass will be remodeled and will be sold as Tokyo Wide Pass on December 1, 2015. It covers Tokyo and surrounding area, such as Mt. Fuji, Izu peninsula, or Nikko. Echigo-Yuzawa will be covered by Tokyo Wide Pass but it is not by Kanto Area Pass.

Tokyo Wide Pass will be sold at the higher price on December 1st, 2015 but the coverage ares will be bigger. I would like to show you about this pass and also I talk about the difference between Tokyo Wide Pass and Kanto Area Pass.

Continue reading Tokyo Wide Pass user guide. Perfect choice for trip to Nikko, Fuji, Gala Yuzawa and Odaiba

Trip to Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium by Osaka Kaiyu Ticket

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

The last time I went to Osaka Kaiyukan is 20 years ago. At that time, Kaiyuka had just opened and very busy. In my memory, there was only huge tank and I did not have a good memory. In this past March, I visited there and the first time in last 20 years. My daughter wanted to go and my family members wanted to go there with us too. I recognized Kaiyukan Aquarium was not bad at this time.

Anyway I used Osaka Kaiyu Ticket at this time and I would like to share my experience in Kaniyukan Aquarium with you. Continue reading Trip to Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium by Osaka Kaiyu Ticket

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

Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the traveler who wants travel to Kansai, Kanazawa and Toyama.

Dotonbori (Osaka/left) and Higashi Chaya district (Kanazawa/right)   	©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO  (Osaka/left) / © Kanazawa City/© JNTO (Kanazawa/right)
Dotonbori (Osaka/left) and Higashi Chaya district (Kanazawa/right) ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO (Osaka/left) / © Kanazawa City/© JNTO (Kanazawa/right)

Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass will be released after three JR West’s new passes, Sanyo Sanin Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass and Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass. It will be on sale on 14th March, 2015. This is the first ever deal that covers Kansai area (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe) and Hokuriku area (Kanazawa, Toyama). JR West has been selling Kansai Wide Area Pass and Hokuriku Area Pass. This pass is the deal that these passes are combined. It is much more convenient than combination of two passes and much easier to purchase.

I believe this pass will be very useful for travellers who stay in Kansai and travel to Hokuriku area and other area of outside Kansai. I am very happy to share the information of this pass with you in this post.

Continue reading Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the traveler who wants travel to Kansai, Kanazawa and Toyama.

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.

Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.

Kintetsu Railway has the biggest limited express train network in all private railway companies.
Kintetsu Railway has the biggest limited express train network in all private railway companies.

I have received many inquiries about Nagoya-Osaka or Kyoto trip. There are lots of travellers who arrive in Chubu (Nagoya) airport and depart from Kansai (Osaka) airport or reverse or arrive in/depart from Chubu. Even if you have round trip between Nagoya and Osaka, JR Pass is too expensive choice. And there is no options to cover both Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto by JR. One way ticket from Nagoya to Osaka or Kyoto by Shinkansen is very common choice. However JR is not only railway that connect Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto. Kintetsu Railway that is the biggest private railway company operates many trains among these three cities, Nara, Ise and Yoshino. Kintetsu Railway has very useful deal for the travellers who want to travel in this area.

In this post, I would like to show you Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide.

Continue reading Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.

Narita airport access guide. How to find the best deal to/from Narita airport

Narita Express is one of the train which runs between Narita airport and Tokyo.

Narita Airport is one of two international airports in Tokyo. You may arrive in this airport from your country. There are many ways to get downtown Tokyo by the train and the bus.

If you use JR Pass, JR East Pass and other JR deals right after you arrive in Narita, you may use it to get Tokyo. But some of you do not intend to use the pass right after the arrival. Or you may stay in Tokyo only and are looking for the deal which covers Narita airport to/from Tokyo only.

In this post, I will show you the access route between Narita airport and Tokyo. I will also explain you about the deal and the discount fare, and the budget type bus services.

Continue reading Narita airport access guide. How to find the best deal to/from Narita airport