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.

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How to transfer between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto by train

Which one is better, Shinkansen (left) or Kintetsu (right) ?

If you have to move between Nagoya and Osaka (or Kyoto), you have two choices, Shinkansen or Kintetsu railway. I would like to compare these two choices and tell you pros and cons of each choice.

Continue reading How to transfer between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto by train

Shin-Kobe station guide. How to change the Shinkansen and Kobe city subway.

Shin-Kobe is the Sanyo Shinkansen station in Kobe. It is a step away from downtown Kobe. There is subway station in Shin-Kobe too. This subway line connects Shin-Kobe and Sannomiya which is the downtown core of Kobe.

In this post, I would like to show you the structure of Shin-Kobe station. I also explain how to change the Shinkansen and Kobe city subway too.

Continue reading Shin-Kobe station guide. How to change the Shinkansen and Kobe city subway.

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

What is the difference between Reserved seat and Non reserved seat. How to get a seat on non reserved car?

Common ordinary car interior (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Common ordinary seat car interior (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Most of trains in Japan have reserved seat and non reserved seat in ordinary cars. But some of you do not understand the difference between reserved seat and non reserved seat. And you may worry that all seats are full if you use non reserved seat.

In this post, I will explain you difference between reserved seat and non reserved seat. You will find pros and cons of both reserved and non reserved seat.

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Limited time operation. Specialized Shinkansen train 500 TYPE EVA

2016 winter Japan trip 1168

This project had been done already. 500 Type EVA is no longer available. This train was already repainted and refurbished again. And this train is now operated as “Hello Kitty Shinkansen”.

This is the collaboration of the Shinkansen and very popular Japanese Anime “New Generation Evangelion (link to Wikipedia)” as the Sanyo Shinkansen 40 years anniversary special project. This unique Shinkansen fleet has very different exterior that is painted by Evangelion color. And also it has Evangerion exhibition in car #1. There are many more Evangerion characters and designs in the trains. If you are a fan of this anime, you must be excited. Even if you are not familiar with this anime, you will be impressed by these decorations.

I just have got on this train in this early February, 2016. I would like to share the information and many photos of this train with you.

Continue reading Limited time operation. Specialized Shinkansen train 500 TYPE EVA

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 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. JR Pass is better choice if you intend to visit these places.

In this post, I would like to share the information of this pass with you. And I will show you some sample rate and compare the pass value and single fares. You may find that JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass 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.

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

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

The Hokuriku Shinkansen between Nagano and Itoigawa is closed due to the damage by the typhoon on October 13th, 2019. The train base in Nagano flooded and 10 of 27 train sets were in the water. The long term suspension is expected on this segment. If you go to Toyama and Kanazawa from Tokyo, take the Shinkansen to get Nagoya or Maibara and then take the limited express Shirasagi. The segment between Tokyo and Nagano, and between Kanazawa and Itoigawa are in operation. But the train operation has not been back to nomarl. The number of train is much smaller. All seats other than Green class and Gran class are non reserved seat. You cannot book a seat in the ordinary class now.

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.

Shinagawa station guide. Transfer among Shinkansen, Keihin Kyuko to Haneda, Narita Express

Shinagawa station Takanawa Exit side (C) JP Rail
Shinagawa station Takanawa Exit side (C) JP Rail

Shinagawa is one of the terminal station in Tokyo. It is the transfer point of Tokaido Shinkansen (Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka), Keihin Kyuko (Haneda airport), Narita Express (Narita airport), Yamanote line (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo) and many more lines.

There are many railway lines and it seems to make you be overwhelmed. But this is not very complicated, actually. In this post, I will show you how to transfer among these trains in this station, Shinagawa.

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The Tokaido, the Sanyo and the Kyushu Shinkansen (Bullet Train) train ride guide. Most popular train between Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Hakata and Kagoshima.

Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. It is known as Bullet Train too.
The Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. It is known as Bullet Train too.

The Shinkansen is the high speed train and the speed of the Shinkansen save your trip time. There are many Shinkansen lines in Japan now. In this post, I will explain you the Tokaido Shinkansen which is the first Shinkansen line in Japan. And also I will explain you the Sanyo and the Kyushu Shinkansen too. Because these two Shinkansen lines are connected with the Tokaido Shinkansen.

Continue reading The Tokaido, the Sanyo and the Kyushu Shinkansen (Bullet Train) train ride guide. Most popular train between Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Hakata and Kagoshima.

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.

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Shin Osaka station guide. How to change Shinkansen, Haruka, Thunderbird and local train access to Osaka, Umeda and Namba

Conventional lines platform (front), Shinkansen terminal (back) (C) Outside view of the Shin Osaka station/Ariake

Shin-Osaka station is the place where you change to/from Shinkansen. If you travel in Osaka, you may use this station at least once. All Shikansen trains stop at this station and many limited express trains on conventional lines stop or depart from this station, Shin-Osaka.

In this post, I would like to show you some images and explain about this station. You will get the information about transfer among trains.

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Tokyo station guide. How to change the trains, Shinkansen, Narita Express and other local trains.

Looking to track#9 and 10 (Tokaido Rapid trains) from track#20 for Tohoku Shinkansen at Tokyo Station (C) JP Rail

Tokyo station is the biggest station in Japan. And most of you use this station to get on Shinkansen, Narita Express or Tokyo local trains. But this station is very complicated because it is too big and too many platforms.

In this post, I would like to explain about this station and how to change the train in Tokyo station.

Continue reading Tokyo station guide. How to change the trains, Shinkansen, Narita Express and other local trains.

Direct access to Akita from Tokyo, Akita Shinkansen (bullet train)

Newer E6 series (red color fleet) at Tokyo station (C) James Chuang
Newer E6 series (red color fleet) at Tokyo station (C) James Chuang

Technically Akita Shinkansen means the line between Morioka and Akita. But most of trains are operated between Tokyo and Akita via Morioka as the train name, “Komachi” (こまち).

All Komachi trains are coupled with the fastest Tohoku Shinkansen train, “Hayabusa” between Tokyo and Morioka. Those trains are uncoupled at Morioka. Of course both Akita and Tohoku Shinkansen are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass. Continue reading Direct access to Akita from Tokyo, Akita Shinkansen (bullet train)

How to access to Lake Towada (Towadako). Fully covered by JR Pass

Lake Towada (autumn season)
Lake Towada (autumn season)

This lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Japan and very popular destination in Tohoku region. Especially in autumn season, many tourists visit this lake and Oirase rapid on the way to Lake Towada to see such an amazing fall foliage. JR Tohoku Bus operates the schedule bus to Lake Towada from either Hachinohe and Aomori. This bus service is covered by JR Pass and JR East Pass Tohoku. You can visit there without any extra charge by these passes.

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Guide to plan your trip. Fare Calculation

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This website shows you a lot of the train passes. But some of you plan to buy a regular ticket. Even if you will use the rail pass, you may have to compare the price of the pass and the regular fare to make sure that you can get the worth of it or not.

In this post, I would like to share the information about the fare calculation with you.

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JR train timetables guide. How to find the timetable of the train in Japan.

You have to see the timetable to build your trip plan. In this post, I will show you the resources of the timetable of the train in Japan.

Continue reading JR train timetables guide. How to find the timetable of the train in Japan.