Fuji and Hakone 2-day trip sample itinerary

View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi
View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi

I have shared a day trip sample itinerary of Fuji and Hakone before.

Fuji Hakone one day trip sample itinerary. You can visit both Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone by day trip from Tokyo!

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.

Continue reading Fuji and Hakone 2-day trip sample itinerary

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.

How to build the trip plan to Fuji area. Various sample itineraries of Fuji Five Lakes and 5th station

Mt. Fuji from the shore of Lake Kawaguchi

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.

Continue reading How to build the trip plan to Fuji area. Various sample itineraries of Fuji Five Lakes and 5th station

How to build the trip plan to Hakone. Various sample itineraries of Hakone

Hakone Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Ashi

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.

I have received many inquiries about the trip plan to Hakone. I would like to show you the various trip plans to Hakone. I hope you will find the trip plan which you need in this post. Continue reading How to build the trip plan to Hakone. Various sample itineraries of Hakone

Schedule of 2018 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways

EVA Type 500 train runs as regular scheduled Kodama on Sanyo Shinkansen.
EVA Type 500 train has been running as regular scheduled Kodama on Sanyo Shinkansen for a few years. But it will be done on in this coming May.

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:

2018 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even busy period

All JR companies add lots of seasonal trains during all spring season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of June.

*Summer seasonal train schedule (July to September) will come up in late May. But you can find JR East train schedules until September, 2018. You also can find JR Kyushu train schedules until February, 2019. Continue reading Schedule of 2018 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Wakayama and Wakayamashi stations guide. The difference of these stations and which station is more convenient for travelers?

JR Wakayama station building

When you plan to visit Wakayama, you will notice two stations there. Those are Wakayama station and Wakayamashi station. Both stations are located in Wakayama city but the locations are different.

In this post, I would like to show you these two stations’ layout and location. You will find the difference of these stations and which one the better location is. Continue reading Wakayama and Wakayamashi stations guide. The difference of these stations and which station is more convenient for travelers?

Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 5 – small trip by Medetai Densha

This train is Medetai Densha and it is one of the reason why I visited Wakayama.

This post is continued from “Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 4 – small trip by lovely trains of Wakayama Dentetsu“.

I wrote about the train of Wakayama Dentetsu. In this post, I would like to show you Nankai Railway’s “Medetai Densha”.
Continue reading Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 5 – small trip by Medetai Densha

Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 4 – small trip by lovely trains of Wakayama Dentetsu

Wakayama Dentetsu’s Tama train

This post is continued from “Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 3 – from Namba to Wakayama by limited express Southern“.

The reason why I visited Wakayama is taking some lovely trains. I would like to show you one of those trains which is Wakayama Electric Railway (a.k.a. Wakayama Dentetsu) in this post.
Continue reading Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 4 – small trip by lovely trains of Wakayama Dentetsu

Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 3 – from Namba to Wakayama by limited express Southern

At Wakayamashi station

This post is continued from Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 2 – sightseeing in Koyasan.

After I visited Mt. Koya (Koyasan), I went back to Namba. I had Yakitori dinner near Namba station. And then I moved to Wakayama.
Continue reading Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 3 – from Namba to Wakayama by limited express Southern

Tengachaya station guide. How to transfer among Nankai Railway and Subway line

Tengachaya Station East Exit

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.

This station’s structure is quite simple. But you may want to see how you transfer the trains at this station. In this post, I would like to show you many photos of this station. You will see how easy to change trains at Tengachaya station Continue reading Tengachaya station guide. How to transfer among Nankai Railway and Subway line

2018 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even during the busy period.

(C) Calendar* / DafneCholet
(C) Calendar* / DafneCholet

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.

If you look for the busy period in 2019, please see the link below:
2019 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even during the busy period.
Continue reading 2018 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even during the busy period.

Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 2 – sightseeing in Koyasan

Approach to Okunoin temple

This post is continued from Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 1 – Namba to Koyasan.

I visited several spots in Mt. Koya (Koyasan). I would like to show you these places in this post.

Continue reading Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 2 – sightseeing in Koyasan

Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 1 – Namba to Koyasan

When I stayed in my parents place near Osaka, I had two days trip to Mt. Koya (Koyasan) and Wakayama. Actually I had never been to Koyasan before this trip. This was very memorable trip. I really would like to tell you how I felt in Mt. Koya. I also got on many interesting trains. If you are a train lover, you will be impressed. Continue reading Two days trip to Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and Wakayama from Osaka, Part 1 – Namba to Koyasan

Schedule of 2017-18 winter seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Genbi Shinkansen that runs between Echigo-Yuzawa and Niigata is called the world fastest art gallery.
Genbi Shinkansen that runs between Echigo-Yuzawa and Niigata is called the world fastest art gallery.

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.

*Spring seasonal train schedule (March to May) will come up in late January. Continue reading Schedule of 2017-18 winter seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Trip report of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Toyama to Nagano

At Kurobe dam

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.

Continue reading Trip report of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Toyama to Nagano

Toyama station guide. How to change between Hokuriku Shinkansen, other local trains and Toyama Chiho Railway.

JR and Ainokaze Toyama Railway Toyama station south side exterior

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.

In this post, I would like to explain about Toyama station’s structures with many photos of this station. And I also show you the bus stops around this station and Toyama Chiho Railway’s station which is Dentetsu Toyama station. Continue reading Toyama station guide. How to change between Hokuriku Shinkansen, other local trains and Toyama Chiho Railway.

Schedule of 2017 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Renovated E3 series for Toreiyu Tsubasa

Autumn and spring are the good season to travel in Japan. In fall season, you may see the fall foliage in most part of Japan. You will be impressed by this amazing scenery.

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during fall season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of November.

*Winter seasonal train schedule (December to February) will come up in late October. But you will find all JR Kyushu seasonal trains’ schedules until February, 2018. Continue reading Schedule of 2017 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Shin-Kobe station guide. How to change Shinkansen and Kobe city subway.

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.

In this post, I would like to show you the structure of Shin-Kobe station. I also explain how to change Shinkansen and subway in this post too. Continue reading Shin-Kobe station guide. How to change Shinkansen and Kobe city subway.

Tennoji station guide. How to transfer JR, Kintetsu Railway and Subway lines

JR Tennoji station building

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.

In this post, I would like to show you the structure of Tennoji and Osaka-Abenobashi stations. You will find the information about how to change trains. Continue reading Tennoji station guide. How to transfer JR, Kintetsu Railway and Subway lines

Shin-Imamiya station guide. How to transfer among JR, Nankai Railway and Subway lines

JR Shin-Imamiya station Tsutenkaku Tower Exit exterior

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.

In this post, I would like to show you the structure of this station. You will see how to change trains. Subway station’s name is not Shin-Imamiya but Dobutsuenmae. The name is different but it is same location. I will show you subway station, Dobutsuenmae in this post too. Continue reading Shin-Imamiya station guide. How to transfer among JR, Nankai Railway and Subway lines

Sample itinerary Tokyo, Alpine Route, Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka 9 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days

Snow Walls is very very popular on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. (C) Tateyama Kurobe Kanto / JTOA

Northern central part of Japan offers many “Must-See” places, such as Shirakawago, Takayama, Tateyama Kurobe alpine route. How do you combine these places, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

In this post, I will show you the sample itinerary which includes these places from Tokyo to Tokyo in 10 days by 7 days JR Pass. Continue reading Sample itinerary Tokyo, Alpine Route, Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka 9 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days

Takikawa station guide. How to catch a local train to Furano.

Takikawa station building exterior (C) Mister0124 [CC BY-SA 4.0]

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

 The platforms from the bridge walkway

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.

JR Hokkaido official site, Takikawa station map

 The walkway on the bridge
 Digital signage shown in both Japanese and English

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.

 Stairs at the platform for track #4 and #5
 Elevators are equipped at all platforms.
Find your hotels in 500 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in Asahikawa
Hotels in Sapporo
Hotels in Furano

Platforms

Track #Line / TrainDesitnation
1Local train on Nemuro lineAshibetsu, Furano, Higashi-Shikagoe
4,5Limited Express Lilic
Limited Express Kamui
Limited Express Soya
Limited Express Okhotsk
Local, Rapid on Hakodate line
Sapporo, Iwamizawa
6,7Limited 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.

 The view from track #1

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.

 Platform at Track #4 (left) and #5 (right)

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.

Ticket gate/Exit

 Ticket gate

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.

 Waiting space

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 station guide. Guide to change trains and buses to Asahiyama Zoo and Sounkyo.

Asahikawa station from north side

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.

In this post, I would like to explain about Asahikawa station and surrounding the station with many photos. Continue reading Asahikawa station guide. Guide to change trains and buses to Asahiyama Zoo and Sounkyo.

Schedule of 2017 summer seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Rapid train, Kira Kira Uetsu runs between Niigata and Sakata on Uetsu line along the coast.

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:

2017 busiest period to travel by train. Tips to book your seat in even busy period

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during summer season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots until the end of September.

*Autumn seasonal train schedule (October to November) will come up in late August. But you will find all schedules until February, 2018 for trains in Kyushu. Continue reading Schedule of 2017 summer seasonal trains of Japan Railways

How to make the itinerary of Tokyo – Osaka one way trip

The view of Tokyo Skytree from near Asakusa. It is new icon of Tokyo. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO

I have shown some simple itineraries which include Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

Basic itinerary of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo in 7 days

Basic itinerary of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka in 7 days

But many travelers want to stay in Tokyo and Osaka only and make day trips to surrounding area, like Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Yokohama.

If you intend to do this type of simple itinerary which include Tokyo and Osaka, you will combine several local deals and regular ticket.

In this post, I will explain about choosing the deals and tickets for this Tokyo-Osaka one way trip. I will mention two ways, Tokyo in/Osaka out and Osaka in/Tokyo out. Continue reading How to make the itinerary of Tokyo – Osaka one way trip