Tag Archives: shinjuku

Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by train to get the major spots?

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You may be overwhelmed by train system in Tokyo. It is very complicated because there are many train lines and many different railway companies. There are lots of deals available but you may not be able to find the coverage of the pass.

In this post, I will show you all subway lines and JR lines in downtown core of Tokyo. And I will also tell you about train system surrounding in Tokyo too. Because some of trains that come from outside Tokyo go to downtown Tokyo via subway line. This is actually one of the reason why it is so difficult to understand train system in Tokyo

Let’s see and learn it together! Continue reading

Tokyo Wide Pass is newer version of Kanto Area Pass. Nikko, Fuji, Gala Yuzawa and Odaiba are covered by this pass.

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

Save time and money to go to Niigata from Tokyo by train. Overnight rapid train Moonlight Echigo

***This train usually runs in peak periods. But since summer peak season in 2014, this train has not run any more. It seems that this train service is discontinued.***
Moonlight Echigo is operated by old type express train 183 series.
Moonlight Echigo is operated by old type express train 183 series.

Moonlight Echigo (ムーンライトえちご) is the overnight rapid service train that is operated between Shinjuku (新宿) and Niigata (新潟). This train used to be a scheduled train. But it was changed to a seasonal train. It is usually operated in same season as Moonlight Nagara, such as spring break (two weeks from late March to early April), summer break (late July to the end of August) and Christmas holidays. These periods are the seasons when “Seisyun 18 ticket” is sold. Anyone can buy this ticket. You can ride any local train throughout Japan for 5 days at 11500 yen. This train can be used by this ticket. So it is always busy.

This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. It may be hard to get a seat on this train because of only peak season operation. But it may be considerable for overnight transfer between Tokyo and Niigata, and any area in Tohoku and Hokuriku via Niigata. Let’s see the details about this train. Continue reading

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

Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass), good choice for sightseeing in Tokyo.

JR's Yamanote line (left) and Tokyo Metro (right)
JR’s Yamanote line (left) and Tokyo Metro (right)

When you explore in Tokyo, which pass do you use? I think the first choice is Tokyo Metro 1-Day Open Ticket (710 yen) or Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway (1000 yen). These passes cover most of places in downtown Tokyo. Only Tokyo Disney Land / Disney Sea and Odaiba are not in coverage area. I agree that subway system is the best and cheapest option for most of travellers in Tokyo.

But how about JR deals? When I visited in Tokyo, I recognized JR trains are much easier to ride and faster. And JR East offers Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass). This ticket is very useful.

In this post, I would like to show you how to use this pass and compare with subway deals. Continue reading

Odawara station guide. How to transfer to the train to Hakone.

Hakone 075

Odawara is the gateway to the one of most well known Onsen resort, Hakone. If you take JR trains, you have to change the trains to Hakone at this station, Odawara. Odawara station is not a mega terminal station. But there is JR Tokaido line, Shinkansen and Odakyu/Hakone Tozan Railway. It may make you be confused. Continue reading

Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 13, Hakone to Shinjuku

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This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 12, Takasaki to Hakone via Odawara.

I had to go back to Tokyo by noon. I did not have enough time to visit all places in Hakone. I supposed to go to Sounzan from Hakone-Yumoto by Hakone Tozan Railway and Hakone Tozan Cablecar. Continue reading

Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 1, from Narita Airport to Tokyo

2014winter-trip

I visited Japan in mid February. In this trip, I went to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone as you see the above map. I also have taken several attractive trains in this trip. I would like to share my experience.

First of all, I arrived at Narita airport by Japan Airline flight from Vancovuer, Canada. I would line to tell you about the first day in Tokyo. Continue reading

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

Complete access guide to Ghibli Museum from Tokyo and Shinjuku.

Laputan robot stands up at the roof of the museum.
Laputan robot stands up at the roof of the museum.

I visited Ghibli Museum in this past spring and I realized how popular this site is for overseas travellers. It is not very difficult to access this museum. But some of you worry about language, direction, storage and exact location to catch a bus to the museum. In this post, I use lots of picture to explain about access by train and bus. Continue reading

Suica & N’ex ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Tokyo.

Suica is one of most convenient IC card in Japan. (C) suica card by bitmask
Suica is one of most convenient IC card in Japan. (C) suica card
by bitmask

N’ex Tokyo Direct Ticket is no longer available either. Now round trip deal, only N’EX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket is available. There are no one way deal and Suica combo deal available any more.

You may find other deals of Narita airport access and deals in Tokyo at the links below:
The list of deals for access to downtown Tokyo from Narita airport
Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by train to get the major spots?

If you will arrive in Narita and stay in Tokyo for several days, Suica & N’ex may be suitable for your stay. This ticket includes Narita Express ticket and 1500 e-money in IC card “Suica”. Suica can be used for both JR train and subways in downtown Tokyo. You can use this ticket for almost any trains when you stay in Tokyo.

I will tell you what this deal is and how to use it. Continue reading

Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 6, round trip to Kawaguchiko from Shinjuku by Azusa and Fuji Kyuko

Fuji Tozan Densha (left) is one of the biggest reason to visit Lake Kawaguchi for me. (C) JP Rail
Fuji Tozan Densha (left) is one of the biggest reason to visit Lake Kawaguchi for me. (C) JP Rail

This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku and Nagano in 2013 winter – Part 5, from Hirosaki to Kakunodate by Tsugaru and Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway

I had a business appointment. But I was available in the morning. I picked the round trip to Lake Kawaguchi from several plans. I wanted to take Azusa and Fuji Kyuko Railway. And also I wanted to see Otsuki station and make sure how to transfer from JR to Fuji Kyuko Railway. Continue reading

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

How much can we use Japan Rail Pass in downtown Tokyo?

Yamanote line is the busiest train service in Japan.
Yamanote line is the busiest train service in Japan.

I wrote the post about Tokyo subway long time ago. I mentioned that Subway is the best for sightseeing in Tokyo. But some of you travel in Japan for 7 days that include Tokyo. You still can use Japan Rail Pass 7 days pass to explore in Tokyo. So I would like to explain more about Japan Railways local trains in Tokyo. And also I will tell you which popular spot you cannot access by Japan Railway. Continue reading

Direct access from Shinjuku to Yokohama and Kamakura. Rapid train on Shonan-Shinjuku line

Rapid trains on Shonan-Shinjuku line have green and orange colors.
Rapid trains on Shonan-Shinjuku line have green and orange colors.

Shonan-Shijuku line is not the name of line, but it is the name of Rapid train’s route. This line connects west side of downtown Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Shibuya with major cities in Saitama, Gunma, Tochigi, Kanagawa prefectures. This is a sort of commute train. But all trains have two double decker Green cars in the formation. This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. Of course if you use Japan Rail Pass Green, you can take Green cars with no extra cost. Continue reading

No express surcharge! Fast, economical and convenient! Rapid service network in Greater Tokyo

Tokyo rapid lines map (Click to enlarge)
Tokyo rapid lines map (Click to enlarge)

Japan Railway operate Rapid trains throughout Japan. Especially lots of Rapid trains are operated in urban area, such as Greater Tokyo. In Tokyo, these trains are operated basically for commuters. But there are many operation routes. Of course you can use these trains for your exploring in surrounding Tokyo area. These trains connect Tokyo (=東京) and Shinjuku (=新宿) with Yokohama (=横浜), Kamakura (=鎌倉), Odawara (=小田原) (for Hakone (=箱根)), Utsunomiya (=宇都宮) (for Nikko (=日光)), Mito (=水戸), Narita airport (=成田空港) and even Atami (=熱海) (Izu peninsula hot springs (=伊豆半島)). These trains are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. If you have Japan Rail Pass Green, most of Rapid trains in Greater Tokyo have double decker Green cars. You will feel same type of atmosphere in a commute train. Continue reading

Narita Express, Most popular transfer from Narita airport to Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinagawa and Yokohama

E259 series is the fleet for Narita Express.
E259 series is the fleet for Narita Express.

Narita Express may be your first train in Japan. It is operated between Narita airport and Greater Tokyo area, such as Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Shibuya. And also service is extended to Yokohama, Totsuka, Ofuna and Omiya. This train stops both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 in Narita airport. Continue reading

Direct access to Nikko from Shinjuku, Limited Express Nikko and Kinugawa

Tobu Railway Limited Express "Spacia" (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Tobu Railway Limited Express “Spacia” (C) Sonic Rail Garden

These trains connect Shinjuku (新宿) and Ikebukuro (池袋) in Tokyo with Nikko (日光) and Kinugawa-Onsen (鬼怒川温泉=Kinugawa hot springs resort). When I published the post, “How to get Nikko”, I did not mention these limited express trains. Because these trains are operated by Japan Railway East and Tobu Railway Co. and run through Tobu Railway line from Kurihashi (栗橋) to Nikko or Kunugawa-Onsen. That means you have to pay extra if you use Japan Rail Pass. But since I received many valuable comments from the visitors of this site, I know that some of Japan Rail Pass users do not hesitate to pay to get better service. Continue reading

How to use Japan Rail Pass to its maximum! The keys to find the right duration and type.

Tokyo Metro subway
Tokyo Metro subway

Japan Rail Pass have two types, Green and Ordinary, and three duration, 7, 14 and 21 days. If you travel in Japan for 14 days, do you think 14 days pass is right on for you? Maybe not. Most of travellers arrive at Tokyo (Narita or Haneda) or Osaka (Kansai). Actually Japan Rail Pass is not very useful in Tokyo, Osaka and even Kyoto. How do you find the right duration? Continue reading