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

Platt Kodama, one way deal among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka by the Shinkansen

Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. Kodama is the slowest train on Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line.
Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. Kodama is the slowest train on Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line.

When you move among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka, you may think to take the Shinkansen (a.k.a. bullet train). If you have a round trip between Tokyo and Kyoto/Shin-Osaka, JR pass is the best choice. But even 7 days JR pass price is almost equal to the round trip fare and the seat fee of the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. JR pass is not the best choice for one way movement.

Platt Kodama may be the solution for the traveler who make only one way trip from Tokyo to Kyoto or Osaka (or versa). Because it is a sort of the Shinkansen one way trip discount ticket among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka.

I would like to show you this ticket in this post.

Continue reading Platt Kodama, one way deal among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka by the Shinkansen

Nagoya station guide. How to transfer among Shinkansen, Kintetsu, Meitetsu, subway and JR local trains.

Nagoya station from Taiko-Dori side.
Nagoya station from Taiko-Dori side.

Nagoya is one of major cities in Japan and also this station is the gateway to many places, such as Takayama, Nagano, Matsumoto, Ise. Even if you will not intend to drop by Nagoya, you may need to change the trains in Nagoya. If you arrive in Chubu airport, you have to change the trains in Nagoya station.

In this post, I would like to tell you about Kyoto station. Nagoya station is a huge station and there are many trains arriving and departing. I will show you the structure of Nagoya station and how to transfer among many trains in this station.

Continue reading Nagoya station guide. How to transfer among Shinkansen, Kintetsu, Meitetsu, subway and JR local trains.

Chubu (Nagoya) airport transportation guide. Find info about airport station and access to Nagoya

Chubu airport (C) Y Shimizu / JNTO
Chubu airport (C) Y Shimizu / JNTO

Chubu Airport is the gateway to Nagoya. The official name of this airport is Central Japan International Airport. But this airport is also known as “Centrair” (central + air). And also it is called Nagoya airport sometimes. In this post, I call “Chubu airport”.

This airport is located approximately 30 minutes away from Nagoya station by Meitetsu railway limited express train. Actually it is not very hard to get downtown Nagoya from this airport. But some of you may be nervous. You may be the first time traveler. You want to know exact location of station, bus stop, ticket office, etc.

In this post, I would like to tell you about overview of Chubu airport arrival level, Chubu airport station and bus stops.

I will also show you many photos. I believe this post will help you to understand what you need to do right after arrival at Chubu airport.

Continue reading Chubu (Nagoya) airport transportation guide. Find info about airport station and access to Nagoya

Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 4, Nagoya to Matsumoto via Magome

It was a beautiful day when I left Nagoya station.
It was a beautiful day when I left Nagoya station.

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 3, Kakunodate to Nagoya via Sendai and Yamadera.

On 4th day of my trip, my trip was getting crazier and crazier. I visited the places as many as I could. Please do not copy my trip plan but I am sure I can share tons of information from my trip. I made a trip from Nagoya to Takaoka in Toyama prefecture. I dropped by Magome, Matsumoto, Shinano-Omachi, Itoigawa and Toyama on the way to Takaoka. I will show you the first half of 4th day of my trip. Continue reading Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 4, Nagoya to Matsumoto via Magome

Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 3, Kakunodate to Nagoya via Sendai and Yamadera

Most famous view of Yamadera
Most famous view of Yamadera

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 2, Akita airport to Kakunodate.

On 3rd day of my trip, I left Kakunodate, visited Yamadera and then go to Nagoya. It was such a long day. But after I visited Yamadera, my mother took a flight from Sendai. I was a solo traveler. My trip was getting busier and busier. I squeezed the places as many as I could after Sendai. Continue reading Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 3, Kakunodate to Nagoya via Sendai and Yamadera

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

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

Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.

Kintetsu Railway has the biggest limited express train network in all private railway companies.
Kintetsu Railway has the biggest limited express train network in all private railway companies.

I have received many inquiries about Nagoya-Osaka or Kyoto trip. There are lots of travellers who arrive in Chubu (Nagoya) airport and depart from Kansai (Osaka) airport or reverse or arrive in/depart from Chubu. Even if you have round trip between Nagoya and Osaka, JR Pass is too expensive choice. And there is no options to cover both Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto by JR. One way ticket from Nagoya to Osaka or Kyoto by Shinkansen is very common choice. However JR is not only railway that connect Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto. Kintetsu Railway that is the biggest private railway company operates many trains among these three cities, Nara, Ise and Yoshino. Kintetsu Railway has very useful deal for the travellers who want to travel in this area.

In this post, I would like to show you Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide.

Continue reading Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.

What is the Shinkansen (bullet train)? Most convenient and the fastest train service throughout Japan.

Shinkansen

The Shinkansen (新幹線) is a high speed train service that is operated by JR. It is one of the fastest trains in world and sometimes called “Bullet Train”. JR has this high speed train network throughout Japan. You can save lots of your trip time by taking this train system.

I would like to share a basic information about the Shinkansen train system in this post.

Continue reading What is the Shinkansen (bullet train)? Most convenient and the fastest train service throughout Japan.

Ise access guide. Kintetsu is the best way but we can use JR Pass too.

This building is Naiku Kaguraden. It is one of the buildings in one of two shrines, Naiku and Gaiku.
This building is Naiku Kaguraden. It is one of the buildings in one of two shrines, Naiku and Gaiku.

Ise is well known as home of Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingu). This is one of the most sacred and most famous Shinto shrine throughout Japan. And most part of Ise area is located in Ise-Shima National Park. There are lots of beautiful scenery and you can enjoy many kinds of fresh seafood. If you are family traveller, there are aquarium in Toba area and Shima Spanish village theme park in Shima area. There are many kinds of attraction for all types of travellers.

Ise, Toba and Shima areas are very accessible by Kintetsu Railway’s train. Most of domestic travellers use this train. But if you are Japan Rail Pass user, you can use the pass with small restriction. I tell you about access to this area by both Kintetsu trains and JR trains. Continue reading Ise access guide. Kintetsu is the best way but we can use JR Pass too.

JR direct train to Ise from Nagoya. Rapid train Mie

Rapid train Mie goes on Sangu line to Toba and Ise-shi.
Rapid train Mie goes on Sangu line to Toba and Ise-shi.

Rapid train Mie (みえ) is operated between Nagoya (名古屋) and Toba (鳥羽) via Ise-shi (伊勢市) on Sangu line (参宮線). If you go to Ise by Japan Rail Pass, simply take this train. This is the easiest and most economical way. However it is not fully covered by Japan Rail Pass, because there is non JR lines on the route of this train. And also this is not limited express train. So the interior of this train is under express trains’ standard.

I will tell you the details about this train. And I show you extra charge on Japan Rail Pass too. Continue reading JR direct train to Ise from Nagoya. Rapid train Mie

Guide for train access to Nagano, Matsumoto and other places in Shinshu and surrounding area.

Hokuriku Shinkansen was opened in mid March 2015. It connects Tokyo, Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa without changing trains.
Hokuriku Shinkansen was opened in mid March 2015. It connects Tokyo, Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa without changing trains.

Shinshu region is located in the heart of Japan. You might have heard Nagano where held winter Olympic games in 1998. There are lost of popular cities in this region, such as Nagano, Karuizawa and Matsumoto. And also Shinano-Omachi is well known as the gate way station to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route. Hakuba is very popular ski resort in winter season.

In this post, I summarize train access information to Shinshu and surrounding areas. You can find the information about access to Shinshu region from Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kanazawa and Toyama. Continue reading Guide for train access to Nagano, Matsumoto and other places in Shinshu and surrounding area.

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.

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.

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 Japan Rail 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 Limited Express Shirasagi timetable and train information. The direct train to Kanazawa from Nagoya.

Save money and time to go to Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka from Tokyo by train. Overnight rapid train Moonlight Nagara

185 series still run as limited express train Odoriko. This fleet is used for rapid Moonlight Nagara too.
185 series still run as limited express train Odoriko. This fleet is used for rapid Moonlight Nagara too.

Moonlight Nagara (ムーンライトながら) is the overnight rapid service train that is operated between Tokyo and Ogaki (大垣). This train is operated as the seasonal train. It is usually operated in spring break (two weeks from late March to early April), summer break (late July to the end of August) and Christmas to New Year holidays. These periods are the seasons when “Seishun 18 ticket” is sold. This ticket covers any rapid and local train’s non reserved seat throughout Japan for 5 days at 11,850 yen. This train can be used by this ticket with additional charge for reserved seat fare. Therefore this train runs for busy period only and it is very hard to book.

This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. But online reservation is not available for overseas visitor and ticket is on sale one month prior to departure date. It is very hard to book and not realistic to put this train in your plan.

Anyway it may be considerable for overnight transfer between Tokyo and Nagoya/Kyoto/Osaka. Let’s see the details about this train. Continue reading Save money and time to go to Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka from Tokyo by train. Overnight rapid train Moonlight Nagara

Access to World Heritage Kii mountains from Nagoya. Limited Express Wide View Nanki

Wide View Nanki at Kuwana station (C)800px-JRC_Kiha85_Series01 / User:Kansai explorer
Wide View Nanki at Kuwana station (C)800px-JRC_Kiha85_Series01 / User:Kansai explorer

Wide View Nanki (ワイドビュー南紀) is a Limited Express train that connects Nagoya (名古屋) with Shingu (新宮) and Kii-Katsuura (紀伊勝浦). Nanki (南紀) is the name of the area in Kii peninsula (紀伊半島). When you go to UNESCO World Heritage site, “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” from Nagoya, you can use this train and access there from Shingu. This train is operated by KIHA 85 series that equips very huge windows. It can offer to passengers very panoramic view. That is why this train is called “Wide View”. Continue reading Access to World Heritage Kii mountains from Nagoya. Limited Express Wide View Nanki

Express train Nagano to/from Nagoya. Limited Express Shinano

Limited Express "Shinano"
Limited Express Shinano runs 13 round trips a day.

Limited express train “Shinano” runs between Nagano (長野) from Nagoya (名古屋). If you go to Hida Mountains (a.k.a. Northern Alps), you can use this train to Matsumoto (松本), and transfer to local train Oito line bound for Shinano-Omachi (信濃大町), Hakuba (白馬) and Minami-Otari (南小谷). And also there are some preserved small towns in Kiso Valley (木曽谷), such as Magome, along Chuo line where this train goes through. Continue reading Express train Nagano to/from Nagoya. Limited Express Shinano

Learn more about train to Takayama. Passenger’s review of "Wide View Hida"

Wide View Hida at Toyama station
Wide View Hida by KIHA85 series at Toyama station (C) JP Rail

Wide View Hida is suspended until further notice due to Takayama line closure by heavy rain storm. Please see Train Operation Status to get the detailed information.

I took “Wide View Hida 6” from Toyama to Nagoya on Apr 27, 2010. This express train is operated mostly between Takayama and Nagoya. Only 4 of 20 round trips are operated between Toyama and Nagoya. Hida 6 is the first departure from Toyama to Nagoya.

I had an ordinary reserved seat at a third raw on the 8th car. This train will combined some more cars at Takayama station. My car number is eight but this was the first car between Toyama and Takayama.

This limited express train is called “Wide View Hida” because the huge windows are equipped. You will enjoy the scenery of mountains, stream and gorge. Continue reading Learn more about train to Takayama. Passenger’s review of "Wide View Hida"

Limited Express Wide View Hida timetable and the train information. The train access to Takayama and Hida

 Wide View Hida runs between Osaka and Takayama by this 3 cars train set.

Wide View Hida is the limited express train which connects Nagoya, Takayama and Toyama. This train equips very huge windows. It offers very scenic view through this panoramic window along the route. That is why this train is called “Wide View”.

This train is a primary way to get Takayama. This has been very popular for the tourists from overseas in these days. This train is fully covered by JR Pass and Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass. I will explain about this train in this post.

Timetable and Route

Wide View Hida runs once an hour between Nagoya and Takayama. A few trips are extended to operate to Hida-Furukawa and Toyama. It takes 2.5 hours to get Takayama from Nagoya and 4 hours to get Toyama from Nagoya.

And also one round trip runs between Osaka and Takayama. If you take this Osaka departure Wide View Hida, you can get Takayama directly from Osaka, Shin-Osaka and Kyoto.

You can find the timetable in the link below:

JPRail.com PDF timetable (valid until mid October 2019)

This train departing from Osaka is coupled with the train from Nagoya at Gifu.

Please find the train operation route in the map below:

 Limited Express Wide View Hida operation route map (click to view large)

Accommodation

Wide View Hida is serviced by KIHA-85 series. This train has huge glass windows which give you the spectacular scenery along Takayama line. “Wide View” is a worthy of the name.

This series has two types of Green car that are 2+2 seat configuration and 2+1 seat configuration. 2+1 seat configuration is wider and has a bigger leg space. The seat pitch is 1160mm on 2+2 seat configuration and 1250mm on 2+1 seat configuration. 1160mm is the standard. So 2+1 seat gives you a great deal! If you want to take this seat, try to reserved a seat on car#10. 2+2 Green car is always at the middle of the train. 2+1 is always at the front of the formation. And also Ordinary class is good too. The seat pitch is 1000mm. This is bigger than the standard.

When you take this train at Nagoya, the seat is set with the back toward. Because this train change the direction at Gifu. It takes only 20 minutes from Nagoya to Gifu. You can change to the front toward if you want by yourself.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.

Find your hotels in 500 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in Takayama
Hotels and Ryokans in Shirakawago
Hotels in Nagoya

Train formation

There are many train formations. Some Wide View Hida do not have Green car.

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NRRRR
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NRRRRRNRG

Car#1-4 operate from Nagoya to Takayama. And Car#8-10 operate from Nagoya to Toyama

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NRRRRNRG

Car#1-3 operate from Nagoya to Takayama/Hida-furukawa, Car#8-10 operate from Nagoya to Toyama

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NRR / GRR

In car #2, there are ordinary reserved seats and Green seats.

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NRRRNRR / GRR

This formation is used for Osaka departure and Nagoya departure combination. Car #1 to #3 run to/from Osaka and the rest of cars run to/from Nagoya. These two train sets are coupled / uncoupled at Gifu station and run together between Gifu and Takayama. In car #6, there are ordinary reserved seats and Green seats.

Images

Green seat 2+2 configuration

Green seat 2+1 configuration

Ordinary seat

Sanitary space