Sanyo Area Pass. Good deal for the tourist who visits Kansai, Hiroshima and Hakata

sanyo-area-pass

*This deal will be sold until February 28, 2015 and can be exchanged until May 31, 2015. On March 1, 2015, this deal, Sanyo Area Pass will be replaced by Sanyo Sanin Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass and Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass.

This pass covers Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, Hiroshima, Miyajima and Hakata. You can take any trains in the coverage area with a few exception. If you will be a temporary visitor, you are eligible to purchase this deal.

If you have round trip from Osaka to Hakata, this pass is much cheaper than single fares. But if you travel outside of Kansai area or just go to Hiroshima, you may consider other deals.

In this post, I tell you the details about this deal. And also I compare Sanyo Area Pass, Japan Rail Pass and Kansai WIDE Area Pass.
Continue reading Sanyo Area Pass. Good deal for the tourist who visits Kansai, Hiroshima and Hakata

JR East Pass. Flex 5 days unlimited travel within 14 days in Eastern Japan.

jr-east-pass

*JR East Pass will be divided into two passes on April 1, 2016. Those are JR East Pass (Tohoku area) and JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata area). Current JR East Pass will be discontinued on March 31, 2016. Please find more information about these two new deals at the links below:
JR East Pass Tohoku. Flex 5 days pass in 14 days period to cover Tokyo, surrounding area of Tokyo and Tohoku region.
https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/jr-east-pass-niigata-and-nagano-flex-5-days-pass-in-14-days-period-to-cover-kanto-region-nagano-and-niigata.html

This pass covers eastern part of Honshu island (main island) in Japan, such as Tohoku region, surrounding Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Izu peninsula and most part of Nagano. You can take any trains in the coverage area with a few exception. If you will be a temporary visitor, you are eligible to purchase this deal.

The biggest difference from any other JR Passes is valid periods. You don’t need to use this pass in consecutive days. You can pick any 5 days within 14 days.

Let’s see the details about this pass. I also compare with other passes, such as JR Pass and Kanto Area Pass.

Continue reading JR East Pass. Flex 5 days unlimited travel within 14 days in Eastern Japan.

Osaka train route guide. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots in downtown 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 to choose the best route by train to get the major spots in downtown 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?

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 JR Pass user guide. How to use Japan Rail Pass to its maximum.

Suica & N’ex ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Tokyo.

Now round trip deal, only N’EX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket is available. There are no one way deal and Suica combo deal available any more.

You may find other deals of Narita airport access and deals in Tokyo at the links below:
The list of deals for access to downtown Tokyo from Narita airport
Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by train to get the major spots?

If you will arrive in Narita and stay in Tokyo for several days, Suica & N’ex may be suitable for your stay. This ticket includes Narita Express ticket and 1500 e-money in IC card “Suica”. Suica can be used for both JR train and subways in downtown Tokyo. You can use this ticket for almost any trains when you stay in Tokyo.

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

Continue reading Suica & N’ex ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Tokyo.

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.

Kansai Thru Pass sample itineraries

There are lots of NON JR trains in Kansai. Most of them can be taken by Kansai Thru Pass.
There are lots of NON JR trains in Kansai. Most of them can be taken by Kansai Thru Pass.

If you visit Osaka and make some day trips to outside Osaka, such as Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Kansai Thru Pass is a good deal. But as I explained about this pass on the post, How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare, you have to make many train and/or bus trips. And I compared a regular fare and the price of pass in the link above. But it may be complicated for you. You may be overwhelmed.

I will show you some sample itineraries by using Kansai Thru Pass in this post. I hope this post let you understand this pass easier.

Continue reading Kansai Thru Pass sample itineraries

How to use JR West Kansai Area Pass. Compare pass and single fare.

Limited Express Haruka from KIX is covered by this pass.
The limited express Haruka from KIX is covered by this pass.

JR West Kansai Area Pass is one of the choices for the traveler who stays in Osaka and make some day trips to the surrounding places, such as Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, Himeji and Wakayama.

In this post, I would like to share the information about JR West Kansai Area Pass with you. And I will compare the price of the pass and the regular fare. You can find that you can get the worth by your trip or not.

Continue reading How to use JR West Kansai Area Pass. Compare pass and single fare.

How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare.

Dotonbori(道頓堀) is most popular spot in downtown Osaka.
Dotonbori(道頓堀) is most popular spot in downtown Osaka.

Kansai Thru Pass is one of the best pass if you travel in Kansai area. This pass offers the unlimited travel of most non JR trains, the subway lines and most local bus services. It covers most part of this region, such as Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Wakayama, Koyasan and Himeji.

In this post, I would like to explain this pass and you will find how to use this pass.

Continue reading How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare.

How to choose Rail Pass for trip in Kyushu. Many choices for both visitors and residents in Japan.

Nagasaki is one of the highlight in Kyushu.
Nagasaki is one of the highlight in Kyushu.

Kyushu is located in south part of Japan. That’s why the climate is very mild and it is very popular destination in all season. Some of the travellers may arrive/depart at Fukuoka airport or other airports and travel only in Kyushu.

In this post, I would like to show you several kinds of Kyushu rail passes for both visitors and resident in Japan. It is impossible to get same deals as visitors for residents. But there are some deals for the residents too. I will tell you about the pass that anyone can purchase. Continue reading How to choose Rail Pass for trip in Kyushu. Many choices for both visitors and residents in Japan.

Kyushu Rail Pass user guide. The best deal to travel Kyushu by train.

Kusasenri at Mt.Aso can be accessed by Aso or Miyaji station on Houhi line. ©JNTO
Kusasenri at Mt.Aso can be accessed by Aso or Miyaji station on Houhi line. ©JNTO

If you will travel in Kyushu only, JR Kyushu sells Kyushu Rail Pass which offers unlimited train travel at very affordable price. There are four types of passes, All Kyushu, Northern Kyushu, Southern Kyushu and Fukuoka Wide. You can choose one of these four types by your trip plan.

In this post, I show you the details about all types of Kyushu Rail Pass. And I will compare Kyushu Rail Pass and a regular fare. You may find the way to get the worth of the pass.

Continue reading Kyushu Rail Pass user guide. The best deal to travel Kyushu by train.

Fall JR rapid and local trains unlimited ride ticket 3 days at 7500 yen. Available for both residents and visitors.

Special Rapid Service operated by JR West 223 series.
Special Rapid Service in Kansai area is covered by this pass. It is quite fast.

JR Group sell “Railway anniversary day’s unlimited ride ticket (鉄道の日記念 JR全線乗り放題きっぷ)” in October. Because the first railroad was open between Shinbashi and Yokohama in October 14, 1872. October 14 is railway anniversary day in JR Groups. Especially this year, 2012 is 25th anniversary of JR Group founded. In commemoration of the 25th year, this ticket will be sold at 7,500 yen for three consecutive days. This ticket basically will be sold for the local. So anyone can purchase it. Even though there are some restrictions, such as ticket do not cover any express trains, the residents who cannot purchase special discount ticket, like JR Pass, maybe consider to use this pass. I will show you the details about this ticket. Continue reading Fall JR rapid and local trains unlimited ride ticket 3 days at 7500 yen. Available for both residents and visitors.

Hokkaido Rail Pass. The best deal for rail trip in Hokkaido for oversea visitors.

World famous Sapporo Snow Festival (C) Yasufumi Nishi / (C) JNTO
World famous Sapporo Snow Festival (C) Yasufumi Nishi / (C) JNTO

If you will travel in Hokkaido only, Hokkaido Rail Pass is the best choice for you. But if you travel in other cities and areas, even just staying in Tokyo, you may consider about other passes. You should compare and find which one is more suitable for you.

In this post, I show you the details about Hokkaido Rail Pass. And I will compare Hokkaido Rail Pass and Japan Rail Pass

Continue reading Hokkaido Rail Pass. The best deal for rail trip in Hokkaido for oversea visitors.

The newest JR West rail pass for Sanyo, Kyushu and Shikoku, JR Sanyo Shikoku Kyushu Rail Pass

Sanyo / Kyushu Shinkansen Sakura and Mizuho are operated by N700 series. (C) JP Rail

*This deal is no longer available.

JR Sanyo Shikoku Kyushu Rail Pass was released on the same day as Kansai WIDE Area Pass on April 10, 2012. This pass is the combination of existing JR West Sanyo Area Pass, JR Kyushu Rail Pass and unlimited ride in Shikoku. This is the first rail pass that cover most of west part of Japan. Especially this is the first pass that include Shinkoku other than Japan Rail Pass.

Let’s see the details of this pass and compare between this pass and JR West Sanyo, JR Kyushu pass. Continue reading The newest JR West rail pass for Sanyo, Kyushu and Shikoku, JR Sanyo Shikoku Kyushu Rail Pass

Kansai WIDE Area Pass user guide. The best deal for the traveler who want to travel Kansai and surrounding areas, such as Okayama, Kurashiki, Kinosaki and Kumano.

Kinosaki Onsen is one of most popular hot springs in Japan. ©Toyooka City/©JNTO
Kinosaki Onsen is one of most popular hot springs in Japan. ©Toyooka City/©JNTO

Since Kansai WIDE Area Pass was released in April, 2012, this deal has been very popular for the tourist who wants to travel outside Kansai, like Kinosaki Onsen, Kii peninsula and Okayama/Kurashiki. This pass covers much bigger area than other Kansai area passes, like JR West Kansai Area Pass, Kansai Thru Pass. I am very happy that tourist tries to visit not only Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe but also outside Kansai.

In this post, I would like to show you the details of this pass and make sure the difference from other passes.

Continue reading Kansai WIDE Area Pass user guide. The best deal for the traveler who want to travel Kansai and surrounding areas, such as Okayama, Kurashiki, Kinosaki and Kumano.

Only 15,000 yen for unlimited ride in Tokyo and Tohoku area!!! JR East Pass Special

Narita Express is covered by both Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Narita Express is covered by both Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass (C) Sonic Rail Garden

I wrote this post in last two years. Right after I published this post in two years ago, the huge earthquake occurred. The east coast of Tohoku area was damaged seriously by earthquake and tsunami. Nobody could not travel when this pass was sold. JR East started to sell same type of pass, JR East Pass Special, again in last year. And this year, same pass come back to motivate to travel east part of Japan, especially Tohoku area! JR East is very aggressive. Because they sold same pass at 13,000 yen in two yeas ago. They sold it at only 10,000 yen for unlimited ride for any 3 days in 10 days. Unfortunately it will be 15,000 yen for 3 days in 10 days. But the price is still very attractive.

So I have just revised this original post and explain about this pass. Before you decide to buy, make sure what the difference between Japan Rail Pass, this JR East Pass and also JR East Kanto Area Pass. Continue reading Only 15,000 yen for unlimited ride in Tokyo and Tohoku area!!! JR East Pass Special

JR East Kanto Area Pass. Perfect choice for tourist who want to go to Fuji, Izu, Nikko from Tokyo.

Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) can be accessed bvy this pass ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) can be accessed bvy this pass ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

Are you going to stay in Tokyo for several days? Do you have any plans to go outside of Tokyo, like Mt. Fuji, Izu peninsula, or Nikko when you stay in Tokyo? If so, this newest rail pass, Kanto Area Pass should be suitable for you!
This brand new pass has been started to sell from JR East in December, 2011. The price is only 8,000 yen for unlimited train trip in 3 consecutive days. I will show where you can go by this pass and compare this Kanto Area Pass, JR Pass and JR East Pass. Continue reading JR East Kanto Area Pass. Perfect choice for tourist who want to go to Fuji, Izu, Nikko from Tokyo.

Tokyo Subway Ticket is most useful deal for sightseeing in downtown Tokyo.

Toei Subway Oedo line connects Shinjuku with Tsukiji Market.
Toei Subway Oedo line

There are some deals available in downtown Tokyo. But if you are not sure where you visit in downtown Tokyo, choose Tokyo Subway Ticket. Tokyo subway system covers most part of Tokyo 23 wards.

In this post, I will explain about Tokyo Subway Ticket and combo deal which include airport access and Tokyo Subway Ticket. And also I will compare Tokyo Subway Ticket and other deals.

Continue reading Tokyo Subway Ticket is most useful deal for sightseeing in downtown Tokyo.

How to choose discount railway ticket and pass for the trip in Kansai area

Dotonbori (道頓堀) is one of the popular spot around Osaka Namba area. ©JNTO
Dotonbori (道頓堀) is one of the popular spot around Osaka Namba area. ©JNTO

There are JR lines and lots of private railway lines, such as Hankyu, Hanshin, Kintetsu and Keihan in Kansai area. There are so many kinds of ticket or passes as well. It makes you confused to choose it.

In this post, I would like to share the information about the discount tickets and passes that cover Kansai area.

Continue reading How to choose discount railway ticket and pass for the trip in Kansai area

JR trains’ seat guide, Gran class, Green class and Ordinary class seats. Guide to buy JR Pass Green or Ordinary

1024px-JRW_series283_inside-greencar.jpg
Green seat car of the Limited Express Kuroshio by 287 series. It offers very comfortable 2+1 seat layout with large panoramic windows. (C) w0746203-1

When you travel by the JR express train in Japan, you have a few choices of the seat. Most of the JR express trains offer two classes, Green and Ordinary. Those are like business class seat and economy class seat on the fight. And the highest class seat, “Gran class” is available on some of the Shinkansen lines. Some express trains in Kyushu offer Deluxe Green class. And there are some trains which offer the compartment.

Green class is better than Ordinary class definitely. But it is pricey. Before choosing the class of seat, you should know how much better Green class is than Ordinary class. And you should know what the benefit of Green class is. Especially if you intend to buy JR Pass, you will consider which you will get, Green seat pass or Ordinary seat pass.

In this post, I would like to focus on the seat of JR trains. You will know the layout of the seat, a leg space, benefit of higher class seat. I believe you can judge which seat is your choice after reading this post.

Continue reading JR trains’ seat guide, Gran class, Green class and Ordinary class seats. Guide to buy JR Pass Green or Ordinary