Wakayama and Wakayamashi stations guide. The difference of these stations and which station is more convenient for travelers?

JR Wakayama station building

When you plan to visit Wakayama, you will notice two stations there. Those are Wakayama station and Wakayamashi station. Both stations are located in Wakayama city but the locations are different.

In this post, I would like to show you these two stations’ layout and location. You will find the difference of these stations and which one the better location is. Continue reading Wakayama and Wakayamashi stations guide. The difference of these stations and which station is more convenient for travelers?

Tennoji station guide. How to transfer JR, Kintetsu Railway and Subway lines

JR Tennoji station building

Tennoji is one of Osaka’s downtown cores. This station is located on JR Osaka Kanjo line (Osaka loop line). This station is also connected with Kansai airport, Nara and Wakayama directly. It is one of very convenient places to stay and some of you think about staying around this station.

You can take two Osaka Subway lines, Midousuji line and Tanimachi line at Tennoji. You can get central part of Osaka, such as Namba, Shinsaibashi, Umeda, Temmabashi, Tanimachi 9-chome (Uehonmachi) by subway lines.

There is Kintetsu Railway’s Osaka-Abenobashi station. The name of station is different but Tennoji and Osaka-Abenobashi are same location. You can change JR and Kintetsu Railway at Tennoji/Abenobashi.

In this post, I would like to show you the structure of Tennoji and Osaka-Abenobashi stations. You will find the information about how to change trains. Continue reading Tennoji station guide. How to transfer JR, Kintetsu Railway and Subway lines

Shin-Imamiya station guide. How to transfer among JR, Nankai Railway and Subway lines

JR Shin-Imamiya station Tsutenkaku Tower Exit exterior

Shin-Imamiya is one of the stations on Osaka Kanjo (loop) line and Nankai Railway line. It is located in southern part of downtown Osaka and it is near Namba and Tennoji. This station is also accessible to “Shinsekai”.

Shin-Imamiya is not a mega terminal station but this station is a transfer point of JR, Nankai Railway and subway lines. Many of you will change trains at this station.

In this post, I would like to show you the structure of this station. You will see how to change trains. Subway station’s name is not Shin-Imamiya but Dobutsuenmae. The name is different but it is same location. I will show you subway station, Dobutsuenmae in this post too. Continue reading Shin-Imamiya station guide. How to transfer among JR, Nankai Railway and Subway lines

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.

Kintetsu Railway will change the condition of Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide in October 2016. These deals will not include limited express voucher any more. Please be careful when you purchase and use these deals.

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.

How to build the itinerary and choose the deals for Osaka stay 5 to 7 days.

Dotonbori is very popular place to eat and shop near Namba. ©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau/©JNTO
Dotonbori is very popular place to eat and shop near Namba. ©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

I think many travellers prefer to stay in one place and visit surrounding areas as day trip. I have received many inquiries about Osaka stay and visit surrounding areas, like Kyoto, Kobe, Nara as day trip. I understand that it’s quite easy to stay in one place and enjoy the trip with luggage free.

But many of you struggle to plan and choose the deals. In this post, I show you 5 days Osaka stay sample itinerary. You will learn how to choose the deals for your trip. Of course you can extend to stay, like 6 days, 7 days, as many as you want. Continue reading How to build the itinerary and choose the deals for Osaka stay 5 to 7 days.

Easy trip to Nanki Shirahama from Osaka. Part 1 from Shin-Osaka to Shirahama by train

283 series train was called "Super Arrow". (C) JP Rail
283 series train was called “Super Arrow”. (C) JP Rail

Shirahama is located at the west coast of Kii peninsula, Wakayama prefecture. You can get there by Limited Express Kuroshio from Shin-Osaka and Tennoji directly. There are some marine attractions, such as glass boat and popular theme park, Adventure World. If you travel with your kids, this spot is considerable. Because I had a trip with my 4 years old daughter and she was so happy.

I had a trip to Shirahama in last year but I did not have a chance to write about this. Now I would like to share it with you. Continue reading Easy trip to Nanki Shirahama from Osaka. Part 1 from Shin-Osaka to Shirahama by train

How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare.

Dotonbori(道頓堀) is most popular spot in downtown Osaka.
Dotonbori(道頓堀) is most popular spot in downtown Osaka.

The post, How to choose discount railway ticket and pass in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) area is one of most popular one in this site. Since I published this post, I have received many comments and questions. So I would like to explain about Kansai Thru Pass more. And I show you sample itineraries and total cost. I hope it will help you to compare this deal and single fare. Continue reading How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare.

How to access to Nara by Japan Rail Pass. If you don’t use JR Pass, Kintetsu Railway is more convenient.

Todaiji is one of the popular spot in Nara. ©Nara Prefecture/©JNTO

Nara is former capital city in Japan and it is older than Kyoto. Some of shrines, temples and districts are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you travel in Kansai area, you may think about trip to Nara or stay in Nara. If you go to Osaka or Kyoto from other cities, such as Tokyo, you can get on Shikansen. It is easy and very accessible. How about Nara? It is not very accessible as much as Kyoto or Osaka. But it is easy. Especially if you use Japan Rail Pass, JR West Kansai Area Pass and Kansai WIDE Area Pass, you can access to Nara by JR lines without any extra charge. And Kintesu Railway (private railway company) connects Osaka/Kyoto with Nara too.

In this post, I would like to share the information about access to Nara by train. Continue reading How to access to Nara by Japan Rail Pass. If you don’t use JR Pass, Kintetsu Railway is more convenient.

How to use and how much can we use Japan Rail Pass in downtown Osaka?

Osaka Castle is one of the most popular spot in Osaka. ©JNTO
Osaka Castle is one of the most popular spot in Osaka. ©JNTO

I supposed to write about the transfer among Kobe (神戸), Osaka (大阪) and Kyoto (京都). But I should explain about JR (Japan Railway) lines in downtown Osaka. I believe the information about the location of JR stations and rail system let you understand the rail system outside of Osaka easily.

And this post may help the tourists who will start the trip from Osaka. Some of you are not sure to buy 7 days pass or 14 days pass for your trip. You may learn how much you can use Japan Railway line when you stay in Osaka. For example, if you travel in Japan for 10 days and stay in Osaka for the first 3 days, you may not use Japan Railway line when you stay in Osaka. As a result, you can buy 7 days pass.

Anyway I show you JR line in downtown Osaka and I compare JR lines and Osaka subway lines. Continue reading How to use and how much can we use Japan Rail Pass in downtown Osaka?

How to access from Kansai airport to downtown Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe

JR Limited Express Haruka is one of the popular way from KIX to get Osaka.
JR Limited Express Haruka is one of the popular way from KIX to get Osaka.

Kansai airport is the international airport in Osaka. It is the closest international airport to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe too. There are many ways to get downtown Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. In this post, I give you basic information about the route to major spots in Osaka. I also have another links below to tell you about Kansai airport. Continue reading How to access from Kansai airport to downtown Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe

Access to Nara from Osaka by Japan Railway, Yamatoji Rapid Service

Yamatoji Rapid Service by 221 series
Yamatoji Rapid Service by 221 series

Yamatoji Rapid Service is the fastest local train that is operated between Osaka (=大阪) and Nara (=奈良). Most of local tourists take Kintetsu line (近鉄) to Nara. Because they have many more trains and very frequent. If you travel in Japan without Japan Rail Pass, you may use Kintetsu line. But most of travellers from foreign countries use Japan Rail Pass. So this Rapid Service is your best choice, because you don’t need to pay any extra by Japan Rail Pass. This line used to be very local and inconvenient. But JR West upgrade the trains and operate many Rapid trains. It is very convenient and frequent departure these days.

And there is no limited express train to Nara. So this Yamatoji Rapid Service is the fastest and best choice for accessing from Osaka. Continue reading Access to Nara from Osaka by Japan Railway, Yamatoji Rapid Service

Access to Kansai Airport and Wakayama from Osaka. Kansai Airport Rapid Service and Kishuji Rapid Service

Typical Rapid Service trains (JR West 223 and 225 series)
Kansai Airport Rapid Service trains (JR West 223 and 225 series)

These trains connect downtown Osaka (=大阪) with Kansai airport (=関西空港) and Wakayama (=和歌山). Both Kansai Airport and Kishuji Rapid Services are combined to operate between Tennoji (=天王寺) and Hineno (=日根野). Those trains are uncoupled at Hineno, then each trains go to Kansai Airport or Wakayama. If you arrive at Kansai airport, you can take Kansai Airport Rapid Service instead of airport access express “Haruka“. Of course both Limited Express Haruka and this rapid train are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. But if you buy a single ticket, you may consider to take this train. Continue reading Access to Kansai Airport and Wakayama from Osaka. Kansai Airport Rapid Service and Kishuji Rapid Service

Most economical transfer, No express surcharge! Rapid Service Network in Kansai area

Special rapid trains route map (Click to enlarge)
Special rapid trains route map (Click to enlarge)

JR West operates many commute trains, rapid and local between 5:30 am and midnight. But when you travel in Kansai area by JR trains, special rapid service trains are the best way to travel among cities, like Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, Wakayama and Kansai airport. These “Special” rapid service skips many stations and much faster than rapid and local trains. If you use JR pass, you may take limited express trains. But these rapid service trains are sometimes faster than express trains and run much more frequently. That means you do not check the timetable. These are commute trains and mostly very busy in even daytime and late night, but it is convenient. It is a key to understand this rapid train system to travel among cities in Kansai area.

In this post, I would like to show you the route of Rapid service trains network and how to use these trains. Continue reading Most economical transfer, No express surcharge! Rapid Service Network in Kansai area

How to access to Mt. Koya (Koyasan)

Koyasan (Mt. Koya) (C) JNTO
World Heritage site Koyasan (Mt. Koya) too. (C) JNTO

Mt. Koya (Koyasan) has been getting popular destination in these days. Most common way to Mt. Koya is Nankai Railway line. It takes you to Gokurakubashi station where is located at the base of Mt. Koya. You may transfer to the funicular to Mt. Koya.

If you use JR deals, such as JR Pass (nationwide pass), Kansai area pass, Kansai Hiroshima area pass and other JR West passes, you cannot use the pass because Nankai Railway is not JR. If you do not use these JR deals, you may use other deals, such as Kansai Thru Pass, Koyasan World Heritage Pass.

You may use these JR deals partially to get Mt. Koya if you want.

In this post, I would like to show you the way to get Mt. Koya and also tell you how you use the deal.
Continue reading How to access to Mt. Koya (Koyasan)

Access to Kii mountains/peninsula from Osaka and Kyoto, Limited Express Kuroshio

Limited express train Ocean Arrow
Ocean Arrow service operates by newer train 287 series than Kuroshio.

Limited Express Kuroshio connects Kii peninsula, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and Tennoji. This is the train which you take to get Shingu, Kii-Katsuura, Shirahama, Kii-Tanabe. These places are known as the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage site, “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”.

This train is covered by Japan Rail Pass, Kansai Wide Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass and Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass.

I will show you more information about this train in this post. Continue reading Access to Kii mountains/peninsula from Osaka and Kyoto, Limited Express Kuroshio