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

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

Round trip to Kawaguchiko from Shinjuku by Azusa and Fujikyu railway. Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 6

Fuji Tozan Densha (left) is one of the biggest reason to visit Lake Kawaguchi for me. (C) JP Rail
Fuji Tozan Densha (left) is one of the biggest reason to visit Lake Kawaguchi for me. (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 5, from Hirosaki to Kakunodate by Tsugaru and Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway

I had a business appointment. But I was available in the morning. I picked the round trip to Lake Kawaguchi from several plans. I wanted to take Azusa and Fuji Kyuko Railway. And also I wanted to see Otsuki station and make sure how to transfer from JR to Fuji Kyuko Railway.

Continue reading Round trip to Kawaguchiko from Shinjuku by Azusa and Fujikyu railway. Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 6

Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 5, from Hirosaki to Kakunodate by Tsugaru and Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway

Hirosaki Castle is one of the best spot to see cherry blossom. But when I was there, it was February and was completely white! (C) JP Rail
Hirosaki Castle is one of the best spot to see cherry blossom. But when I was there, it was February and was completely white! (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 4, from Akita to Hirosaki by Resort Shirakami

After I got off Resort Shirakami at Hirosaki, I had 1 hour and 20 minutes to take next train, Limited Express Tsugaru. I knew it was quite tight to visit Hirosaki castle, but it was the first time to visit Hirosaki, so I tried.

Continue reading Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 5, from Hirosaki to Kakunodate by Tsugaru and Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway

Resort Shirakami trip report in the winter time. Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 4, from Akita to Hirosaki

Resort Shirakami old type KIHA-40 series Kumagera formation (C) JP Rail
Resort Shirakami old type KIHA-40 series Kumagera formation (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 3, from Ueno to Akita by Akebono

After I got off Akebono at Akita, I was going to ride Resort Shirakami. But it would depart at 8:38 am. I had almost 2 hours. I was looking for somewhere to stay for 2 hours near Akita station in early morning.

Continue reading Resort Shirakami trip report in the winter time. Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 4, from Akita to Hirosaki

Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 3, from Ueno to Akita by Akebono

Overnight Limited Express Akebono is one of the way to get Aomori. (C) JP Rail
Overnight Limited Express Akebono is one of the way to get Aomori. (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 2, Tokyo station

Overnight train is no longer running. There is no overnight trains from Tokyo to northern Japan any more.

Continue reading Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 3, from Ueno to Akita by Akebono

Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 2, Tokyo station

Tokyo station Marunouchi building. (C) JP Rail
Tokyo station Marunouchi building. (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 1, from Narita airport to Ueno.

After I stored my suitcase in the coin operated locker, I walked around Tokyo station. First of all, I wanted to see Tokyo station Marunouchi side. The above picture is exactly I wanted to see. This heritage building had been completed to restore in last October. A part of this building was open as high-end hotel, Tokyo Station Hotel.

Continue reading Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 2, Tokyo station

How long you have to spend to get out Narita airport. Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 1, from Narita airport to Ueno

2013 winter trip route map (Click to enlarge)
2013 winter trip route map

I had a trip to Tohoku area and Nagano area in this past January and February. I stayed there for only three nights. But fortunately I have got many trains, like Overnight Limited Express Akebono, Skyliner, Resort Shirakami, Fuji Kyuko, Ueda Railway, Limited Express Hakutaka. This following list is what I wanted to do in this trip:

  • Try to book and take overnight train on arrival day.
    I wanted to check how long we spend to change the pass, book and transfer to Ueno/Tokyo.
  • To take Resort Shirakami and Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway.
    I wanted to see some spots and trains in Tohoku area.
  • To go to Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) station from Shinjuku via Fuji Kyuko Railway.
    I wanted to take both Fujisan Limited Express and Fuji Tozan Densha on Fuji Kyuko Railway.
  • To take a train between Nagano and Naoetsu.
    This section will be transferred to non JR lines in 2015. Because it will be transferred to third sector companies, Shinano Railway and Echigo Tokimeki Railway after Hokuriku Shinkansen will open. JR Pass will not cover this section.
  • To take Limited Express Hakutaka.
    This express train will be discontinued after Hokuriku Shinkansen will open in 2015.


I just wanted to do above things. However I believe some of my experience will help you to plan your trip in Japan. This will be a long story. First of all, I write the post about the first day. After I arrived in Narita, I exchanged the pass, booked trains, and transferred to Ueno to take Overnight train Akebono.

Continue reading How long you have to spend to get out Narita airport. Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 1, from Narita airport to Ueno

SL Hakodate Christmas Fantasy. Enjoy winter scenery between Hakodate and Onuma.

SL Hakodate Christmas Fantasy arrived at Onuma-Koen station. (C) Takuji Okubo

Before you read this article, I would like to let you know that this post is written by one of my frequent visitor, Takuji san. He offered me to share his experience about SL Hakodate Christmas Fantasy train. I would like to thank you, Takuji san for your work.

*This train was discontinued in December, 2014.

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It’s December, Christmas is coming soon and I would like to introduce a train of the festive season. This steam train with Christmas decoration runs in Hakodate Hokkaido area during the Christmas season every year. “On the seasonal SL train “Hakodate Christmas Fantasy”, our train crews wear Santa Clouse costume to bring the mood for Christmas.” (JR Hokkaido) I have taken this train in 2010 and I would like to share the information. Continue reading SL Hakodate Christmas Fantasy. Enjoy winter scenery between Hakodate and Onuma.

Overnight train from Hakodate to Ueno (Tokyo) on March 20, 2012.

I arrived at Hakodate from Minami-Chitose by Ltd Exp Hokuto 183 series. (C) JP Rail
I arrived at Hakodate from Minami-Chitose by Ltd Exp Hokuto 183 series. (C) JP Rail

(Read previous post)

This is the last post of my trip to Tohoku and Hokkaido in this past March. I will write about visiting in Hakodate and getting on sleeper express train, Hokutosei in this post. As probably you know, Hokutosei is one of the train that is very hard to book. I will tell you how I did it.

Overnight train Hokutosei was discontinued in spring 2016.

Continue reading Overnight train from Hakodate to Ueno (Tokyo) on March 20, 2012.

Trip to Otaru from Sapporo and trip from Sapporo to Hakodate on March 20, 2012 by Rapid Airport and the limited express Hokuto

Odori koen (Odori Park) is one of the popular spot in Sapporo. (C) JP Rail
Odori koen (Odori Park) is one of the popular spot in Sapporo. (C) JP Rail

I had a trip from Aomori to Sapporo by Overnight Express Hamanasu on March 19, 2012. After arrival in Sapporo, I continued my trip in southern part of Hokkaido in just one day. I knew this was very busy trip. But I wanted to visit as many as possible.

Even though my itinerary was too busy to recommend you, my experience may give you some ideas to plan your trip.

Continue reading Trip to Otaru from Sapporo and trip from Sapporo to Hakodate on March 20, 2012 by Rapid Airport and the limited express Hokuto

Trip to Matsushima and Kakunodate on the way to Aomori from Osaka on March 19, 2012 by the Shinkansen

I had never taken Akita Shikansen "Komachi". That was one of my object in this trip. (C) JP Rail
I had never taken Akita Shikansen “Komachi”. That was one of my object in this trip. (C) JP Rail

I think this post is nothing special for the frequent travellers. Because I got on Tokaido Shinkansen, Tohoku Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen and local train to Matsushima (松島). Since I think the access to Matsushima is the most technical part in this trip, I have already posted about this at Easy trip from Sendai. How to access to Matsushima by Japan Rail Pass. But even other part of this trip might help the first time visitors. So I would like to write about this trip.

Continue reading Trip to Matsushima and Kakunodate on the way to Aomori from Osaka on March 19, 2012 by the Shinkansen

Trip from Kumamoto to Kagoshima by Isaburo and Hayato no Kaze on Hisatsu line one day trip on March 16, 2012

Isaburo and local train at Yoshimatsu station
Isaburo and local train at Yoshimatsu station

When you go to Kagoshima, Kyushu Shinkansen is the best way to get there. It is fast and the trains come very frequently. But if you have a time, please consider the route from Kumamoto to Kagoshima-Chuo via Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu on Hisatsu line (肥薩線). It is very scenic route. JR Kyushu operate very attractive trains on this route.

I got on three trains, Kumagawa (くまがわ) from Kumamoto to Hitoyoshi, Isaburo (いさぶろう) from Hitoyoshi to Yoshimatsu and Hayato no Kaze (はやとの風) from Yoshimatsu to Kagoshima-Chuo, to travel on this line. I would like to share my experience with you.

Continue reading Trip from Kumamoto to Kagoshima by Isaburo and Hayato no Kaze on Hisatsu line one day trip on March 16, 2012

Miyazaki to Udo Jingu shrine one day trip by a local bus and the limited express train Umisachi-Yamasachi.

Udo Jingu shrine is located at Nichinan coast. It is very scenic! (C) JP Rail

Udo Jingu shrine (鵜戸神宮) was one of the place where I really loved to go. When I had a trip to Takachiho, I had a time to go there. I use a local bus on the way and get on cruising train Umisachi-Yamasachi on the way back from Udo Jingu shrine.I would like to show you how to access to Udo Jingu shrine by both transportation.

Continue reading Miyazaki to Udo Jingu shrine one day trip by a local bus and the limited express train Umisachi-Yamasachi.

How to access to Takachiho

Takachiho Gorge and Manai Falls (C) JP Rail

Takachiho is known as the land of Japanese mythology. There are lots of shrines and places that are related to the mythology. And also Takachiho Gorge is one of the “Must-See” spots in southern Kyushu area.

I visited there in mid March, 2012. I would like to share my experience with you. I hope this will be helpful for your trip to Takachino.

Continue reading How to access to Takachiho

Travel by the express train Hamanasu Carpet car from Aomori to Sapporo on March 19, 2012

Hamanasu just arrived at Aomori station (C) JP Rail.com
Hamanasu just arrived at Aomori station (C) JP Rail.com

In my site, JPRail.com, the post that is written about Overnight Express Hamanasu is very popular. I got on Carpet car of Hamanasu on March 19, 2012 from Aomori to Sapporo. I would like to share this experience with you. And I tell you what I did before I got on the train.

Hamanasu was discontinued in spring 2016. This train is no longer available.

Continue reading Travel by the express train Hamanasu Carpet car from Aomori to Sapporo on March 19, 2012

Passenger’s review of “Hikari Railstar”

Hikari Rail Star at Okayama station
Hikari Rail Star at Okayama station

I took Hikari Rail Star from Okayama to Hiroshima on the way to Miyajima. This Hikari has a different paint from the regular Hikari. It is gray and orange. Continue reading Passenger’s review of “Hikari Railstar”

Learn more about train to Takayama. Passenger’s review of "Wide View Hida"

Wide View Hida at Toyama station
Wide View Hida by KIHA85 series at Toyama station (C) JP Rail

Wide View Hida is suspended until further notice due to Takayama line closure by heavy rain storm. Please see Train Operation Status to get the detailed information.

I took “Wide View Hida 6” from Toyama to Nagoya on Apr 27, 2010. This express train is operated mostly between Takayama and Nagoya. Only 4 of 20 round trips are operated between Toyama and Nagoya. Hida 6 is the first departure from Toyama to Nagoya.

I had an ordinary reserved seat at a third raw on the 8th car. This train will combined some more cars at Takayama station. My car number is eight but this was the first car between Toyama and Takayama.

This limited express train is called “Wide View Hida” because the huge windows are equipped. You will enjoy the scenery of mountains, stream and gorge. Continue reading Learn more about train to Takayama. Passenger’s review of "Wide View Hida"

No extra charge with Japan Rail Pass to take this overnight train! Passenger’s review of "Sunrise Seto"

Sunrise Seto / Sunrise Izumo

I took “Sunrise Seto” from Tokyo to Takamatsu on April 23, 2010.

I reserved “Nobi Nobi seat”. This is one of the reserved seat. But I could lie down to sleep. It seemed to be a berth. Continue reading No extra charge with Japan Rail Pass to take this overnight train! Passenger’s review of "Sunrise Seto"