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4,441 thoughts on “Forums”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    On my last day I will take an early train from Kyoto station to KIK using the JR Haruka train.

    Do I need to buy the Icoca card? Will be possible to buy only the Haruka ticket?

    The price for Icoca+Haruka is 2000 + 1600 Y

    If I need to buy the Icoca+Haruka was is the refund value? 2000-220 Y ??

    A handling fee 220 yen will be deducted from the amount of money remaining on the card.
    The 500 yen deposit will be returned.

    I didn t understood 🙁

    When I arrive KIK I will use 1 day Kansai Area Pass:
    KIK – Nara – Osaka (Tennoji) – and then Tsuruhashi station

    I think is only possible to book one Pass – Visitor may reserve Kansai Area Pass ONLY ONCE per visit

  2. Hi Takeshi-san,

    May I know how to take “bullet train” from Tokyo to Osaka? Which station in Osaka will the “bullet train” stop at?

    I will be staying near Tokyo station and would like to go to Osaka.

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Norman,

      Shin-Osaka is only Shinkansen (bullet train) station in Osaka. It is one station away from Osaka station (Umeda) by local train.
      Just go to Tokyo station and purchase a ticket to get Shin-Osaka. You can purchase a ticket on the day of trip or in advance.


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi-san,
    Our itinerary will be Tokyo-Hakone-Kyoto/Osaka-Tokyo/Narita.

    1. We are planning 2 days/1 night stay in Hakone – What is the frequency of JR train leaving for Kyoto as we wish to spend more time in Hakone on day 2?

    2. We plan to take the bullet train to Narita and spend the night near the airport prior to our morning departure.
    Is the direct bullet train service to Narita available from Kyoto or Osaka? What is the last departure time of this train service on Saturday in March?

    Julie Lim

    1. Hi Julie san,

      1. You can find the timetable of Shinkansen (bullet train) in the links below:
      To Kyoto, Shin-Osaka
      To Tokyo

      2. As you see the timetable above, Shinkansen does not go to Narita. You have to change to Narita Express at Tokyo or Shinagawa. You can change at either stations. But Shinagawa is recommended because station is smaller and easier to change trains. You can find Narita Express timetable and info in the links below:


      Takeshi /

  4. Hello Takeshi,

    I would be visiting Kyushu soon and I would like you to recommend the best pass (JR) I should opt for based on my itinerary. Also, I would like to ask if the places I would like to visit in Fukuoka city are convenient and how I can get to those places. Thank you!

    Here is my itinerary:

    23.1.17 Day 1: Singapore – Fukuoka – Yufuin
    Departure: 0120 Singapore Terminal 1, Singapore Airlines
    Arrival: 0820
    Hotel: Yufu Ryouchiku (54,000 Yen – Breakfast and Dinner)

    24.1.17 Day 2: Yufuin
    Hotel: Fumotoya (SGD 260 – Breakfast)
    1100: Head for Shidakako Lake
    Access – By bus: Kamenoi Buses no. 34 and no. 37 from Beppu Station West Exit or from Yufuin. Get off at Shitakako Lakeside bus stop (志高湖畔)

    25.1.17 Day 3: Yufuin – Kumamoto/Kurokawa
    Hotel: Ryokan Wakaba

    26.1.17 Day 4: Kumamoto/Kurokawa
    Hotel: Ryokan Wakaba

    1100: Head for Kusasenri-ga-Hama
    Access – By Bus: 35 minutes from JR Kumamoto Station by the bus bound for Aso-san Nishi-eki. Get off at Kusasenri Kazan Hakubutsukan-mae Bus Stop.

    27.1.17 Day 5: Kurokawa – Fukuoka
    Hotel: Royal Park Hotel The Fukuoka (SGD 182 – NA)
    Tosu Premium Outlet
    Nakasu Nights
    Kawabata Shotengai

    28.1.17 Day 6: Fukuoka – Singapore
    Departure: 0930

    Thank you very much!


        1. Hi Genevieve,

          Actually I’m not very familiar with bus operation in Kyushu. But I think most of bus companies do not provide detailed information in English. It’s very hard to find the fare one by one in English or other than Japanese.


          Takeshi /

          1. Dear Takeshi,

            May I have the Japanese one then? Also, I would like to know if bringing our luggage on the bus is okay? (Will it be a little inconsiderate of us to do that?)

            Thank you.


          2. Hello Takeshi,

            I heard that some of the railway lines have been closed due to the recent earthquake. May I know if they have been re-opened? Because I have not heard much news about it.

            Thank you!


          3. Hello Takeshi,

            May I know the availability of seats on the Yufuin No Mori train on 25/1/17? Because I heard that the train requires reservation but we are not allowed to reserve the seats outside of Japan. Thank you!


          4. Hi Genevieve,

            It may be very busy. Usually late January slow season but in these days, many tourist from Asia visit Japan during/before/after Chinese New Year. There is only one Japanese site to check the availability of the trains. But I have a post to explain about this site. Please see the link below to find more info:


            Takeshi /

      1. Hello Takeshi,

        If I were to book a seat for a express bus, but I miss the bus, what do I do? Do I get a seat in the next bus?

        Thank you .


        1. Hi Genevieve,

          I think you lose your seat reservation and you cannot get it on next bus. You have to make a booking again.
          But I’m not sure 100%. It depends on bus company.

          Sorry that I cannot give you a perfect answer. But as I mentioned, I’m not familiar with bus. Would you stop asking me about bus? I’m happy to answer about trains.


          Takeshi /

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    I am following your sample itinerary of Osaka, Kyoto, Hakone, Fuji and Tokyo classic route for my trip for my 9 days trip in Japan.

    I am thinking to stay 2 days in Osaka and then adopting the rest of the classic route. Please let me know whether I should buy the ICOCA and Haruka or is a JR West Pass more suitable for me?


  6. Hi Takeshi

    I bought the 5 days pass and will arrived Kansai. Can I use my pass to follow this itineary from Hyperdia ?
    begin KANAZAWA
    [ Departure track No.14 ]
    [23 Min]
    transfer TOYAMA
    [ Arrival track No.12 / Departure track No.3 ]
    [91 Min]
    end TAKAYAMA

    Thank you

  7. Dear Takeshi-san,

    It is going to be our first trip to Kanazawa as well as Japan coming January 2017. We have purchased the Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass for travelling from Kyoto to Kanazawa (via JR Thunderbird ETA 0945) & Shirakawago (via Nohi Bus) as day trip.

    As the Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass entitles us to take the Hokuriku Shinkansen, we plan to board the Shinkansen from Kanazawa to Toyama and then back to Kanazawa again to catch the Nohi Bus to Shirakawago by 12.40pm. I have checked the trains schedule via Hyperdia but our only worry is that we are not allowed to disembark and embark again at Toyama Station using the Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass.

    We know our timing is a bit rush in 1 day but we will depart early from Kyoto. Would greatly appreciate your comment and ideas, please.

    Thank you.
    Kian Mun, Yap

    1. Hi Kian Mun, Yap san,

      I don’t understand why you are not allowed to embark and disembark at Toyama station. The pass allows you to embark and disembark at Toyama station. There is no restriction. You will get Toyama at 09:44, right? You still have lots of time until you get Kanazawa by 12:40. You can walk around in Toyama.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi-san,

        Thank you for your reply. We are looking forward to our trip to Kanazawa coming January.

        Kian Mun

  8. Hi:

    May I ask if the Tokyo Wide Pass can be purchased at those JR ticket offices in Shinjuku station which opens till late in the afternoon? I shall arrive Shinjuku in the evening after 7pm when the JR Travel Service Centre at New South exit of Shinjuku is already closed. And my flight arrives at Haneda Int’l Airport when the JR Travel Service Centre at Haneda is also closed. Thus I wonder if there is any ticket office in Shinjuku after 9pm when I can still buy a Tokyo Wide Pass and book my shinkansen seat early morning the next day to Karuizawa? Thanks in advance for your help.

  9. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’m traveling from Narita Airport > Hakuba on December 31 and I’m concerned that some of the limousine and shuttle services shut down on that day (i have researched some convenient services that go straight from Narita to Hakuba but they don’t operate on Dec 31). I also understand that this is travel during peak season and it will be extremely busy. Do you have a recommendation for me? I arrive to Narita at around 16:30 on Dec 31.

    1. Hi Bryan san,

      Actually I don’t have any solutions. I’m optimistic to book a seat for trains. December 30th is the busiest day. In the evening on December 31, train is not busy. But if you want to get Hakuba on arrival day from Narita, you have to catch Narita Express at 16:44. But it’s obviously impossible to take this train from 16:30 arrival. But this is the last connection to reach Hakuba.

      Sorry but I think you need to stay in Tokyo or on the way to Hakuba, such as Nagano, Matsumoto on arrival day.


      Takeshi /

  10. Hi

    Please kindly help me out. My itinerary on
    1. 31st December
    Namba – Kawaguchiko
    2. 2nd January
    Kawaguchiko – Ueno – Kinugawa Onsen

    How can I make full use of JR Pass to both Kawaguchiko and Kinugawa Onsen? I checked on hyperdia, from Namba to Kawaguchiko includes Shinkansen Nozomi, how can i skipped Shinkansen Nozomi to avoid extra fees? Thank you so much

    1. Hi Takeshi

      Thank you for the reply.

      If I wanted to purchase JR Tokyo Wide Pass on 28th Ddc, can I start using it on 31st Dec for the 3 consecutive day? Or it started on the day i purchased it which is 28th?

        1. Hi Eff,

          Tokyo Wide Pass does not help trip to Fuji from Osaka at all. The best route from Osaka is taking Shinkansen to Mishima and bus from Mishima to Lake Kawaguchi. Even JR pass covers Shinkansen from Osaka to Mishima only. Tokyo Wide Pass does not cover anything. Please see the link about Fuji and Hakone that I gave you in previous reply again.


          Takeshi /

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