But this itinerary covers both Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone areas in one day. It is very tight and many places are not covered. If you can spend two days, you can enjoy Fuji and Hakone areas one day each. You can visit many more places easily.
In this sample itinerary, I tried to put most of popular spots in these areas. And also this plan includes Fuji Shibazakura festival which is most popular event in spring. You can do this trip from Tokyo to Tokyo. You also can squeeze this trip between Tokyo and Osaka. You can drop by this area on the way to Osaka or Kyoto from Tokyo or versa.
This itinerary has been created by timetable in March, 2018. If you try to do this plan, please check the updated timetable before you go.
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.
Mt. Fuji is one of most popular spots. Because it is the highest mountain in Japan. And also Mt. Fuji is very accessible from Tokyo. It is about 2 hours away from Shinjuku, Tokyo by train or highway bus. You can visit there as day trip from Tokyo easily.
In this post, I would like to show you several trip plan to Fuji Five Lakes area which includes Mt. Fuji 5th station. When you go to Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko) is the gateway. I will show you the access to Lake Kawaguchi.
Hakone is very popular spot. It is 1.5 hours away from Tokyo by train and bus. Many travelers want to visit there as day trip from Tokyo. Hakone is located on the way to Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya from Tokyo. You may add Hakone between Tokyo and Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya.
Spring is the best season to visit Japan because of the cherry blossom. Spring break of public school in Japan usually starts from the last week of March to the first week of April. This two weeks period is much busier than usual. And also between late April and the beginning of May is one of the busiest period in the year. It is known as “Golden Week” in Japan. April 29, May 3, 4, and 5 are National holidays. If you travel in this period, train may be booked out quickly. Please see the details in the link below:
Tegachaya is one of the stations on Nankai Railway. It is located in southern part of Osaka and a few stations away from Namba.
Tengachaya is not a mega terminal station but this station is very convenient transfer point of Nankai Railway and Osaka Subway Sakaisuji line. You will change trains at this station from Kansai airport to some locations in downtown Osaka. And also Subway Sakaisuji line goes through Hankyu Railway Kyoto and Senri lines. You also may use this subway line to get some places on Hankyu Railway lines.
Time goes by very quickly. Next year will be coming soon. I started to write the post about the busy period in 2016. Now I would like to show you the calendar of 2018. You also find some tips when you travel in the peas season in this post.
Most of winter is shoulder season to travel. But New Year’s holidays from late December to Early January is the busiest season in Japan. And also early February is busy season in Hokkaido too because of Sapporo winter festival.
JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during winter season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of February.
I visited on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Toyama to Nagano in this past summer. It was not a perfect day to travel there. The weather was so wet and very chilly. Actually Hokuriku region had received the record breaking rainfall at that time. I could not see any mountain. However I would like to share my experience and show many photos of this mountain trip. It shows you the station layout and scenery. I am sure that it will help you to build your trip plan to Alpine Route.
Toyama is one of major cities in Hokuriku region. This city is known as the base of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route and Kurobe Gorge (Kurobe Keikoku). You also can access to Tateyama by both train and bus, and Shirakawago and Shin-Hotaka by bus directly. This station is the hub of this region.
Shin-Kobe is Shinkansen station in Kobe. It is a step away from downtown Kobe. There is subway station in Shin-Kobe too. This subway line connects Shin-Kobe and Sannomiya which is downtown core of Kobe.
Tennoji is one of Osaka’s downtown cores. This station is located on JR Osaka Kanjo line (Osaka loop line). This station is also connected with Kansai airport, Nara and Wakayama directly. It is one of very convenient places to stay and some of you think about staying around this station.
You can take two Osaka Subway lines, Midousuji line and Tanimachi line at Tennoji. You can get central part of Osaka, such as Namba, Shinsaibashi, Umeda, Temmabashi, Tanimachi 9-chome (Uehonmachi) by subway lines.
There is Kintetsu Railway’s Osaka-Abenobashi station. The name of station is different but Tennoji and Osaka-Abenobashi are same location. You can change JR and Kintetsu Railway at Tennoji/Abenobashi.
Shin-Imamiya is one of the stations on Osaka Kanjo (loop) line and Nankai Railway line. It is located in southern part of downtown Osaka and it is near Namba and Tennoji. This station is also accessible to “Shinsekai”.
Shin-Imamiya is not a mega terminal station but this station is a transfer point of JR, Nankai Railway and subway lines. Many of you will change trains at this station.
Takikawa is not well known as the tourist spot. And this station is not a mega terminal station. But this station is the junction of Sapporo, Asahiawa and Furano. If you travel to Furano from Sapporo, you may need to transfer train at this station, Takikawa. If you do so, you may want to know what this station looks.
In this post, I would like to explain about Takikawa station with some photos.
Takikawa station overview
Takikawa is located in the middle of Hokkaido between Sapporo and Asahikawa. Trains depart and arrive at Takikawa from the following destinations:
Hakodate line to/from Sapporo, Asahikawa
Nemuro line to/from Furano, Shintoku, Obihiro, Kushiro
*Nemuro line is closed between Higashi-Shikagoe and Shintoku since storm hit this area in 2016. There is no direct trains running from Takikawa to Shintoku, Obihiro and Kushiro at this point. If you go to Obihiro or Kushiro, you may go to Sapporo and catch Limited Express Ozora or Tokachi to Obihiro and Kushiro. It may be faster. Substitute bus is available for this closed segment.
Station structure, tracks and platforms
Before I start to explain about this station, I would like you to refer the station map in JR Hokkaido official site. It is in Japanese but you may find what Takikawa station looks like.
Takikawa station is one level structure. All platforms and the station building are located on the ground floor. There is a walkway bridge over the platforms. This walkway connects all platforms and station building. There are elevators at all platforms for your convenience.
Limited Express Lilic Limited Express Kamui Limited Express Soya Limited Express Okhotsk Local, Rapid on Hakodate line
Limited Express Lilic Limited Express Kamui Local, Rapid on Hakodate line Limited Express Okhotsk Limited Express Soya
Fukagawa, Asahikawa Abashiri Wakkanai
Track #1 is attached with the station bulding.
Track #2 and #3 are used for the freight trains and there is no platforms for these tracks.
Furano line train mostly depart from track #1. But some of them depart from track #4.
Track #4 and #5 are used for westbound, Iwamizawa and Sapporo. These tracks share same platform. Track #6 and #7 for eastbound, Fukagawa, Asahikawa, Abashiri and Wakkanai and these tracks share same platform too. If you come from Sapporo and need to change train to Furano, you need to move from track #6 or #7 to track #1.
Takikawa station has only one ticket gate. It is a small station and very simple layout.
The station building has the waiting space but this station does not have any stores and kiosks.
There is no convenience stores and shops around the station. You do not have any chances to buy nearby this station. I recommend you to prepare something to eat before coming to this station if you need.
I have taken a local train from Furano to Takikawa. You can find my trip report in the link below. I hope it will give you some idea.
I am glad if this post assist you to build your plan.
Asahikawa is the second biggest city in Hokkaido. Asahikawa is well known as Asahiayama zoo which is one of most popular zoos in Japan. And also Asahikawa is the gateway to Biei, Furano, Sounkyo and Daisetsu mountain.
Many trains runs between Sapporo and Asahikawa. And also train which goes to Wakkanai and Abashiri stop at Asahikawa. You may change trains at Asahikawa.
I cannot say that summer is the best season to visit Japan. It’s very hot and very humid. But it’s vacation season anyway. School summer break kick off on July 20 in most of area. And mid August is called “Obon”. It is one of the busiest period in the year. If you travel in this period, train may be booked out quickly. Please see the details in the link below: