In Japan, the peak period during summer time is mid August that is called “Obon”. Most of Japanese go back to hometown and stay with family. All transportation will be busy from major cities at the beginning and back to major cities at the end. In 2015, the following dates will be busy.
Outgoing (from major cities) — August 12 and 13. Maybe August 7, 8 and 9
Incoming (to major cities( — August 15 and 16
If you travel during this period, I recommend you to avoid to make a trip to same direction as local tourist. It will be super busy.
And also, the public school is closed from July 20 to August 31 for summer break. This period is busier than usual too.
JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during summer season. Especially JR Group add lots of extra trains. 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 →
JR Hokkaido and JR East have just announced that overnight trains that go through Seikan tunnel will be suspended or schedule changed in this coming fall and winter. As you probably know, Hokkaido Shinkansen will be open in spring 2016. JR Hokkaido will inspect and maintain the tracks and tunnels. That is the reason why this segment will be shut off. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
I will leave Japan today and head back to Vancouver, Canada. I stayed in Japan for 9 nights and spend 5 days for my trip. It was crazy busy trip. I tried to take a train as many as I could. Continue reading →
Both Cassiopeia and Hokutosei very popular. Many tourists have a plan to take one of these trains. However these overnight trains cannot be reserved online. The only way to reserve it from outside of Japan is calling Odekake net 078-341-7903 in Japanese and you have to pick up your ticket in JR West, Shikoku or Kyushu stations. You cannot pick up it in other areas, like Tokyo. Otherwise You need to be the reservation window at the station in Japan. Ticket is started to sell one month prior to the departure date. That means it may be sold out when you arrive in Japan. So you must have a back up plan when you try to make a reservation after arrival.
I tell you several options for the case that you cannot make Cassiopeia or Hokutosei. Continue reading →
*This train was discontinued as scheduled train on March 13, 2015. Now this train is seasonal operation. Please find the operation dates at Schedule of 2015 spring seasonal trains of Japan Railways. It will run until August and it will be discontinued completely. Now it is VERY DIFFICULT to book for this train. I highly recommend you to avoid to use this train in your plan.