Flex Rail Ticket, The Tokaido Shinkansen round trip deal between Tokyo, Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka for all of you

Tokaido Shinkansen and fuji

I usually recommend you use the 7-day JR Pass if you make a round trip between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka because the round trip fare for Tokyo to/from Shin-Osaka is almost the same as the 7-day JR Pass price. But the JR Pass is available for the short term stay tourist only. The residents cannot buy it.

But a new deal “Flex Rail Ticket” has been introduced by JR Tokai Tours. This is available for the residents too. If you are not Japanese but live in Japan as a resident, you can buy this.

I would like to explain to you this new deal “Flex Rail Ticket” in this post.

Continue reading Flex Rail Ticket, The Tokaido Shinkansen round trip deal between Tokyo, Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka for all of you

Mishima station guide. How to change the trains and the buses to Hakone, Fuji and Shuzenji.

Mishima station south ticket gate building

Mishima is the gateway of the west coast of Izu peninsula, such as Shuzenji. This station is also the departure point of a bus to Fuji and Hakone. You can catch the bus to Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka in Fuji area, and Motohakone and Hakonemachi by Lake Ashi in Hakone.

In this post, I will show you many photos of inside and outside of Mishima station. And I will explain about this station structure and transfer among trains and buses.

Continue reading Mishima station guide. How to change the trains and the buses to Hakone, Fuji and Shuzenji.

Summary of 2018-19 winter seasonal trains of JR trains

Renovated E3 series for Toreiyu Tsubasa

Winter used to be a shoulder season to travel. However in these days, many foreign travelers visit Japan all year long. Especially northern Japan, such as Hokkaido is very popular for Asian tourist to see the snow. And New Year’s holidays from late December to Early January is the busiest season in Japan. This is very challenging to book a seat in New Year’s holidays period. Do not forget that early February is also busy season in Hokkaido because of Sapporo winter festival.

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during a 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 Summary of 2018-19 winter seasonal trains of JR trains

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

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

Schedule of 2016-17 winter seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Seasonal overnight train Moonlight Nagara is operated by this 185 series.
Seasonal overnight train Moonlight Nagara is operated by this 185 series.

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. Continue reading Schedule of 2016-17 winter seasonal trains of Japan Railways

JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the travelers who visit Tokyo and Sapporo by train.

Night view form Mt.Hakodate ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO
Night view form Mt.Hakodate. Hakodate is one of the popular places in Hokkaido. ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO

This brand new pass will be released in April, 2016. This pass covers Narita airport, Greater Tokyo, Gala Yuzawa, Nikko, whole part of Tohoku region, Hakodate, Otaru, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya and Sapporo. You also may use this pass to get Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone even though this pass covers these trips partially. You cannot use this pass to get central, northern and eastern Hokkaido, such as Furano, Asahikawa, Shiretoko, Kushiro. Japan Rail Pass (a.k.a. JR Pass) is better choice if you intend to visit these places.

In this post, I would like to show you the detail of this pass. And I show you some sample rate and compare the pass value and single fares. You may find this suits your plan or not. Continue reading JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the travelers who visit Tokyo and Sapporo by train.

Tokyo Wide Pass user guide. Perfect choice for trip to Nikko, Fuji, Gala Yuzawa and Odaiba

The view of Rainbow Bridge from Odaiba (C) Mike Luk / JNTO
The view of Rainbow Bridge from Odaiba (C) Mike Luk / JNTO

Tokyo Wide Pass is currently sold as Kanto Area Pass. This pass will be remodeled and will be sold as Tokyo Wide Pass on December 1, 2015. It covers Tokyo and surrounding area, such as Mt. Fuji, Izu peninsula, or Nikko. Echigo-Yuzawa will be covered by Tokyo Wide Pass but it is not by Kanto Area Pass.

Tokyo Wide Pass will be sold at the higher price on December 1st, 2015 but the coverage ares will be bigger. I would like to show you about this pass and also I talk about the difference between Tokyo Wide Pass and Kanto Area Pass.

Continue reading Tokyo Wide Pass user guide. Perfect choice for trip to Nikko, Fuji, Gala Yuzawa and Odaiba

Fuji-Hakone access guide. How to combine Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone in one trip.

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

Mt. Fuji is the icon of Japan. Many tourists visit and see this magnificent mountain. Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi are most popular places to see this mountain and you may think to visit both. I have written two posts in regards to Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi.

In this post, I will focus on the route of these two places. You can find how to combine these two places.

Continue reading Fuji-Hakone access guide. How to combine Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone in one trip.

Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket is back in 2015. Perfect choice for just trip to Fuji san!

Mt. Fuji from Lake Motosu  	©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Mt. Fuji from Lake Motosu ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

This deal, Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket was on sale in 2013 and 2014 during summer season only. Now this deal has just been back in 2015 season. If you have a plan to Mt. Fuji and other place, like Nikko or Kusatsu, Kanto Area Pass is better choice. But if you need a deal for trip to Mt. Fuji only, this pass is most suitable.

I show you the the detail about this pass and compare with other deals. Continue reading Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket is back in 2015. Perfect choice for just trip to Fuji san!

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.

Sample itinerary of Kyoto, Hakone, Fuji and Tokyo classic route

Mt. Fuji from the shore of Lake Ashi in Hakone ©JNTO
Mt. Fuji from the shore of Lake Ashi in Hakone ©JNTO

I have received many inquiries about Osaka-Tokyo one way trip plus Hakone and Fuji. In this case, Japan Rail Pass is too expensive for Osaka-Tokyo one way trip. So I would like to show you a classic itinerary for this trip. I want to share with you about how to combine several deals and single tickets. Continue reading Sample itinerary of Kyoto, Hakone, Fuji and Tokyo classic route

Schedule of 2012 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railway

KIHA183 Niseko Express is used for Furano Koyo Express (C) Sonic Rail Garden
KIHA183 Niseko Express is used for Furano Koyo Express (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Fall is very popular season to travel in Japan for local tourist too. JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during this season and increase the number of trains. I show you seasonal trains information mostly for October and November, 2012 in this post. If you are looking for the information of seasonal train that is operated in September only, please see 2012 summer seasonal trains information.

It is too many to introduce all seasonal trains. So I pick up the popular trains and are operated in the popular spot. Continue reading Schedule of 2012 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railway

Express train service to Fuji, Shizuoka and Kofu from Shizuoka. Limited Express Fujikawa

JR Tokai 373 series is used for Limited express Fujikawa.
JR Tokai 373 series is used for Limited express Fujikawa.

“Fujikawa” is operated between Shizuoka (=静岡) and Kofu (=甲府) via Minobu line (=身延線). If you go to Mt. Fuji (=富士山) from west side, this train takes you to the gateway stations, Fuji or Fujinomiya. And also this is a short cut route from Shizuoka to Kofu. If you want to go to Matsumoto, Kobuchizawa or Lake Suwa from Shizuoka, ride on this train and transfer to Limited Express Super Azusa or Limited Express Azusa. This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass.

If you are looking for any informations about approaching Mt. Fuji, please try one of my post, “How to use Japan Rail Pass to go to Mt. Fuji“. You can get some information how you use Japan Rail Pass to get there. Continue reading Express train service to Fuji, Shizuoka and Kofu from Shizuoka. Limited Express Fujikawa