Summary of 2018 fall seasonal trains of JR trains

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 in the fall season. In this post, I show you many seasonal trains that will run in major tourist spots in October and November.

*The schedule of some trains, such as Resort Shirakami are not available yet. I will update it when it is available.

*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, 2019.

Continue reading Summary of 2018 fall seasonal trains of JR trains

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

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

Schedule of 2016 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Fall foliage light up at Ninose station of Eizan Railway in Kyoto (C) Nkensei GFDL  or CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Fall foliage light up at Ninose station of Eizan Railway in Kyoto (C) Nkensei GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Autumn is the best season to travel in Japan. The climate is very mild and the scenery of fall foliage is breathtaking. JR will operate many seasonal trains for autumn high volume demand.

It is too many to introduce all seasonal trains. So I pick up the trains that run in the popular spots only. Continue reading Schedule of 2016 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 8, Winter light up event in Kanazawa

One of the gates of Kanazawa castle
One of the gates of Kanazawa castle

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 7, visit Takayama and Kanazawa.

On the last part of 5th day, I visited several places in Kanazawa. Actually I did not plan to stay in Kanazawa when I built a plan. But I found Kanazawa held winter light up event. I changed the plan. I would like to show you this event in this post. Continue reading Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 8, Winter light up event in Kanazawa

Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 7, visit Takayama and Kanazawa

Preserved path in Takayama. It is very popular tourist district in Takayama.
Preserved path in Takayama. It is very popular tourist district in Takayama.

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 6, Takaoka to Shirakawago via Himi line, Johana line and Shirakawago.

My trip report is still on 5th day. After visiting Shirakawago, I went to Takayama and then travel to Kanazawa. Continue reading Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 7, visit Takayama and Kanazawa

Hokuriku Arch Pass user guide. Clarify valid trains, coverage area and compare single fare and pass

Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka are covered by this deal. (C) ©Sue Ann Simon (upper left), Osaka Government Tourism Bureau (lower left), Yasufumi Nish (upper right), Kanazawa City (lower right) and JNTO (all photos)
Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka are covered by this deal. (C) ©Sue Ann Simon (upper left), Osaka Government Tourism Bureau (lower left), Yasufumi Nish (upper right), Kanazawa City (lower right) and JNTO (all photos)

This pass covers Narita airport, Tokyo, Nagano, Toyama, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Kansai airport. It suits the one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka via Hokuriku area, such as Kanazawa. This pass does not cover Tokyo – Osaka/Kyoto direct route by the Shinkansen. It is valid for 7 consecutive days. The valid period is same as JR Pass 7-day. The price is cheaper than JR Pass 7 days but coverage area is much smaller.

In this post, I would like to share the information of Hokuriku Arch Pass with you. And I show you some sample rate and compare the pass value and single fares. I also compare Hokuriku Arch Pass and JR Pass. You may find this suits your plan or not.

Continue reading Hokuriku Arch Pass user guide. Clarify valid trains, coverage area and compare single fare and pass

Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya and Osaka / Kyoto

Tateyama Ropeway gives you the amazing experience.  (C) Nagano Prefecture / (C) JNTO
Tateyama Ropeway gives you the amazing experience. (C) Nagano Prefecture / (C) JNTO

I have written about visiting Alpine Route from Tokyo as day trip. And then I have received an inquiry about day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya. Yes. We can do it. You also can make it from Osaka and Kyoto as well.

I would like to share with you about day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya and Osaka. Continue reading Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya and Osaka / Kyoto

Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Tokyo

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

I have never thought visiting Alpine Route from Tokyo as day trip. But I have received some inquiries and check the timetable. And I found that we can do it.

Actually it is quite easy trip. Please fine the sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Tokyo. Continue reading Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Tokyo

Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Tokyo

Higashichayagai area is one of most popular spots in Kanazawa. (C) Kanazawa City / JNTO
Higashichayagai area is one of most popular spots in Kanazawa. (C) Kanazawa City / JNTO

If you leave Tokyo very early morning, you can visit Kanazawa and Shirakawago as a day trip.

I would like to show you the sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago in this post.

Continue reading Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Tokyo

Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Osaka or Kyoto

Kanazawa castle is one of the best places to see cherry blossom. (C) JNTO
Kanazawa castle is one of the best places to see cherry blossom. (C) JNTO

I prefer to stay in many cities and feel different atmosphere. But I understand that some of you do not agree. Because you will travel with the huge luggage and it may be issue for you.

Thus the day trip is a prefect solution. When you stay in Kansai area, there are many places to see, such as Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Himeji, Mt. Koya and many more places. But can you believe that you can visit Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Osaka or Kyoto as one day trip?

I would like to show you the sample itinerary of this day trip in this post.

Continue reading Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Osaka or Kyoto

Schedule of 2015 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Setouchi Marine View runs between Hiroshima and Mihara via Kure line along the shore of Setonaikai sea.
Setouchi Marine View runs between Hiroshima and Mihara via Kure line along the shore of Setonaikai sea.

Autumn is the best season to travel in Japan. The climate is very mild and fall foliage is amazing. JR will operate many seasonal trains and introduce some new trains.

It is too many to introduce all seasonal trains. So I pick up the trains that run in the popular spots only. Continue reading Schedule of 2015 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass user guide. Perfect deal to travel Takayama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Shirakawago from Nagoya or Osaka

Tanabata festival decoration in Takayama ©Y.Shimizu/©JNTO
Tanabata festival decoration in Takayama ©Y.Shimizu/©JNTO

This train pass has been very popular to travel Kanazawa, Takayama and Shirakawago. The train route to these destinations from Nagoya and Osaka are covered. However there are some restrictions. You may be confused how you use this pass.

In this post, I will clarify the condition and the coverage area of this pass. You will find what you can do and what you cannot do by this pass in this post. I also compare the price of pass and a regular fare. You will easily find how you can get the worth of this pass.

Continue reading Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass user guide. Perfect deal to travel Takayama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Shirakawago from Nagoya or Osaka

Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the traveler who wants travel to Kansai, Kanazawa and Toyama.

Dotonbori (Osaka/left) and Higashi Chaya district (Kanazawa/right)   	©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO  (Osaka/left) / © Kanazawa City/© JNTO (Kanazawa/right)
Dotonbori (Osaka/left) and Higashi Chaya district (Kanazawa/right) ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO (Osaka/left) / © Kanazawa City/© JNTO (Kanazawa/right)

Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass will be released after three JR West’s new passes, Sanyo Sanin Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass and Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass. It will be on sale on 14th March, 2015. This is the first ever deal that covers Kansai area (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe) and Hokuriku area (Kanazawa, Toyama). JR West has been selling Kansai Wide Area Pass and Hokuriku Area Pass. This pass is the deal that these passes are combined. It is much more convenient than combination of two passes and much easier to purchase.

I believe this pass will be very useful for travellers who stay in Kansai and travel to Hokuriku area and other area of outside Kansai. I am very happy to share the information of this pass with you in this post.

Continue reading Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the traveler who wants travel to Kansai, Kanazawa and Toyama.

The Hokuriku Shinkansen, direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo.

E7 series is one of the newest Shinkansen fleets for Hokuriku Shinkansen (C) Rsa (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
E7 series is one of the newest Shinkansen fleets for Hokuriku Shinkansen (C) Rsa (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

This Shinkansen lines is currently called “The Nagano Shinkansen”. On March 14. 2015, this Shinkansen lines will be extended to Kanazawa and will be called official name “The Hokuriku Shinkansen”. This Shinkansen will offer us much faster transport mode than current train services. So this Shinkansen line is covered by JR Pass fully and JR East Pass Nagano Niigata covers between Tokyo and Joetsu-Myoko station.

I would like to show you the information about this Shinkansen service with you in this post.

Continue reading The Hokuriku Shinkansen, direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo.

How to access to Takayama by trains and buses.

Preserved path in Takayama. It is very popular tourist district in Takayama.
Preserved path in Takayama. It is very popular tourist district in Takayama.

Takayama is one of the most popular destinations for overseas travelers. Especially spring and fall seasons are very popular since the festivals are held. This city is also known as the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shirakawago.
I would like to tell you about the access to Takayama in this post.

Continue reading How to access to Takayama by trains and buses.

New Shinkansen projects, Nagasaki, Hokuriku and Hokkaido have been approved by government.

As of June 29, 2012, Japanese Government have approved three Shinkansen projects, Hokkaido, Hokuriku and Kyushu west route, a.k.a. Nagasaki route. Continue reading New Shinkansen projects, Nagasaki, Hokuriku and Hokkaido have been approved by government.

How to access to Kanazawa and Toyama from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Niigata.

Kenrokuen is one of the biggest names in Kanazawa and also one of three  top gardens in Japan.  ©Ishikawa Prefecture Tourist Association and Kanazawa Convention Bureau/© JNTO
Kenrokuen is one of the biggest names in Kanazawa and also one of three top gardens in Japan. ©Ishikawa Prefecture Tourist Association and Kanazawa Convention Bureau/© JNTO

Kanazawa is one of the big names in Japan. It has lovely preserved town and Kenrokuen garden that is one of three well known gardens with Kairakuen (Mito) and Korakuen (Okayama). Kanazawa is located in Hokuriku region. In this region, Toyama is well known as the gateway to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route.

In mid March, 2015, Hokuriku Shinkansen open and both Kanazawa and Toyama are very accessible from Tokyo. In this post, I would like to show you about access from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Niigata.

Continue reading How to access to Kanazawa and Toyama from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Niigata.

The fastest way to get Kanazawa from Tokyo, Limited Express Hakutaka

Limited Express Hakutaka is operated by 681 or 683 series.
Limited Express Hakutaka is operated by 681 or 683 series.

This train was discontinued on March 13, 2015. Hokuriku Shinkansen took over this train service. You can get Kanazawa and Toyama by Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo without any transfer and much faster. The name of “Hakutaka” will be one of Hokuriku Shinkansen name. If you access to Kanazawa from Tokyo, please find more information at the post, Hokuriku Shinkansen, direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo.

Hakutaka is operated between Echigo-Yuzawa and Kanazawa. Some trains are extended to operate to Fukui and Wakura-Onsen. If you go to Toyama or Kanazawa, take Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo-Yuzawa and transfer to this train. This route is the fastest. But this train, Hakutaka is operated on Hokuetsu Kyuko Railway between Muikamachi and Naoetsu. So Japan Rail Pass does not cover this section. That means you need to pay the extra. If you do not want to pay extra and have a time, take other express train, Hokuetsu from Nagaoka. Hokuetsu is slower and operated by older fleet. But this train is operated on JR line only. So there is no restriction with using Japan Rail Pass. If you need more information about Hokuetsu, please refer this page, Limited Express Hokuetsu. Continue reading The fastest way to get Kanazawa from Tokyo, Limited Express Hakutaka

The limited express Shirasagi timetable and train information. The direct train to Kanazawa from Nagoya.

Limited Express Shirasagi connects Nagoya, Maibara and Kanazawa.

Shirasagi runs between Nagoya, Maibara and Kanazawa. This train is the fastest transfer from Nagoya and Maibara to Hokuriku region, such as Kanazawa and Fukui. This train is very popular for both a business and a leisure travelers. Because there are several popular locations along the route, such as Awara-Onsen hot springs, Kaga-Onsen hot spring. And Kanazawa is the biggest city in Hokuriku area and it is very popular tourist destination as well.

This train, Shirasagi is fully covered by JR Pass. And if you use Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass or Hokuriku Arch Pass, only the segment between Kanazawa and Tsuruga are covered. If you use Takayama Hokuriku area pass, the segment between Tsuruga and Gifu is not covered.

I will explain about this train in this post.

Continue reading The limited express Shirasagi timetable and train information. The direct train to Kanazawa from Nagoya.

Save money and time going to Kanazawa, Overnight Express train Noto

Overnight Express Noto is operated by 485 series. (C) Sui-setz / 800px-JR_East_485_Express_Noto
Overnight Express Noto is operated by 485 series. (C) Sui-setz / 800px-JR_East_485_Express_Noto

*Since March 2012, this train has not been operated. Even though JR East has not announced officially anything about this train, this train seemed to be discontinued.

Not (能登) is the overnight express train that is operated between Ueno (上野) and Kanazawa (金沢). This train used to be a scheduled train. But it was changed to a seasonal train in Mar, 2010. It is usually operated on every Friday and in peak season, such as spring holidays (late April to early May), Obon hoidays (mid August) and Christmas holidays. This train was operated on Saturday before Mar 2011. But JR cut down the operation days because they tried to make vehicle occupancy higher.

This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. It might be hard to get a seat on this train since this train is always busy. But it is considerable for overnight transfer between Tokyo and Kanazawa. Let’s see the details about this train. Continue reading Save money and time going to Kanazawa, Overnight Express train Noto

Throughout Japan 14 days sample itinerary by Japan Rail Pass 14 days pass

Light-up at Kiyomizu-dera temple
Light-up at Kiyomizu-dera temple

This itinerary includes many popular spots throughout Japan in 14 days. This itinerary starts from Tokyo. But if you want to start from Osaka, you can start from Day 11 to Day 14, and then start from Day 1 to Day10. Actually 14 days in not enough to see all popular spots in Japan. I include Hokkaido in this itinerary. But it does not include Shiretoko because of not enough time. I could not include south part of Kyushu, Hakone and Mt. Fuji either. If you can give up Tohoku part, you can get more time in Hokkaido. Of course you can go to Shiretoko.

Anyway this is a sample. I hope this sample itinerary help you When you make your own plan. Continue reading Throughout Japan 14 days sample itinerary by Japan Rail Pass 14 days pass

Schedule of 2011 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 good season to travel in Japan. JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during this season. But it is too many to introduce all seasonal trains. So I pick up the popular trains and are operated in the popular spot.

JR Hokkaido (Hokkaido area)

Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train

This train is operated by “Torokko” (open air type passenger’s car). This is a cruising train that goes through Kushiro marsh. Please refer the detail about this train at Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train. This train is extended to operate to Kawayu Onsen (Kawayu hot springs) in October. Continue reading Schedule of 2011 fall seasonal trains of Japan Railway

Schedule of 2011 summer seasonal trains of Japan Railways

Some of Furano Lavender Express are operated by Kiha183 Crystal Express train.
Some of Furano Lavender Express are operated by Kiha183 Crystal Express train.

JR Group operate lots of seasonal trains during summer peak season. But it is too many to introduce all seasonal trains. So I pick up the popular trains and are operated in the popular spot.

JR Hokkaido (Hokkaido area)

Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train

This train is operated by “Torokko” (open air type passenger’s car). This is a cruising train that goes through Kushiro marsh. Please refer the detail about this train at Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train. Continue reading Schedule of 2011 summer seasonal trains of Japan Railways