Overnight Express train Twilight Express

Overnight Express Train Twilight Express, most popular overnight train between Osaka and Sapporo

***Twilight Express was discontinued in 12 March, 2015. There is no overnight train option between Osaka and Hokkaido any more.***
Overnight Express train Twilight Express
Overnight Express train Twilight Express

Twilight Express is operated between Osaka and Sapporo. This is the longest service operation train in Japan. It takes more than 22 hours to reach Sapporo from Osaka. (If you take other way, it takes 22 hours 45 minutes.)

When you use a berth or a bedroom, Japan Rail Pass does not cover any accommodation charges and even Limited Express surcharge either. Even though you have to pay lots of the extra on Japan Rail Pass, the experience on board will be worthy. First class hospitality, the beautiful scenery and the sunset on the Sea of Japan, will be very memorable moment in your trip.

Anyway I tell you that the extra cost, timetable, checking the availability and the types of accommodations.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images below.

Time table and Route

This train is not operated everyday. It is operated on Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat to Sapporo, and on Tue, Thu, Sat and Sun to Osaka. But it is operated everyday during the peak season (mid August, New year holidays) .

Timetable

station/directionOsaka to SapporoSapporo to Osaka
Osaka (大阪)11:5012:52
Shin-Osaka (新大阪)11:5612:47
Kyoto (京都)12::3512:15
Tsuruga (敦賀)13:4810:36
Fukui (福井)14:4009:54
Kanazawa (金沢)15:4008:49
Takaoka (高岡)16:1408:18
Toyama (富山)16:3108:01
Naoetsu (直江津)17:5906:27
Nagaoka (長岡)18:5805:29
Niitsu (新津)19:3904:40
Toya (洞爺)07:1816:33
Higashi-Muroran (東室蘭)07:5215:50
Noboribetsu (登別)008:1115:34
Tomakomai (苫小牧)08:5015:00
Minami-Chitose (南千歳)09:1014:39
Sapporo (札幌)09:5214:05


View Twilight Express in a larger map

Types of accommodation and extra charges

Japan Rail Pass cover only basic fare when you take overnight accommodation. So you have to pay these extra charges.

Extra express surcharge: 3,150 yen (between Osaka or Shin-Osaka or Kyoto and any stations in Hokkaido)

And also you have to pay the accommodation fee. Please refer the below informations.

Train Formation

123456789
STE/RYLSTE/RYLDSTW/STTW/STTWBB

*STE=Suite RYL=Royal TW=Twin Deluxe ST=Single Twin D=Dining Car “Diner Pleiades” SL=Salon Car “Salon Du Nord” B=”B compart”
*Smoking is permitted on all cars except the dinner time in Dining Car.

Suite

  • Rate: 50,980 yen per room, based on two persons.
  • TV, audio, clock, in-room shower, in-room washroom, dryer, power outlet, fridge, welcome drink (choose from a bottle of wine, a small bottle of whiskey, coffee or tea), morning drink (choose from coffee or tea), Yukata (Japanese night wear), bath towel, facial towel

There are only two rooms in the train. One of two rooms is located at the end of the train in car#1. It has a huge panoramic window. Especially when you go to Sapporo, this room is at the end of the train formation. You can see very dramatic view. (But if you travel from Sapporo to Osaka, this room is just behind the locomotive.) The other room is located in car#2. This room has a huge glass window to the ceiling. And it has separated shower and washroom. Since these rooms are very popular, hard to get it.

Images of Room at the end of the train in car#1
Twilight Express Suite room 1 Twilight Express Suite room 1 Twilight Express Suite room 1 Twilight Express Suite room 1 Twilight Express Suite room 1

Images of Room in car#2
Twilight Express Suite room 2 Twilight Express Suite room 2 Twilight Express Suite room 2 Twilight Express Suite room 2 Twilight Express Suite room 2 Twilight Express Suite room 2 Twilight Express Suite room 2 Twilight Express Suite room 2 Twilight Express Suite room 2 Twilight Express Suite room 2 Twilight Express Suite room 2

Royal

  • Rate: 17,180 yen per person, based on one person.
  • TV, audio, clock, private shower, private washroom, welcome drink (choose from a bottle of wine, a small bottle of whiskey, coffee or tea), morning drink (choose from coffee or tea), Yukata (Japanese night wear), bath towel, facial towel

There are eight rooms in the train. But it is also very hard to get it because these rooms are very popular. These rooms can be used for 2 persons. The extra charge for second person is 9.450 yen.

Images
Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room Twilight Express Royal room

Twin

  • Rate: 16,320 yen per room, based on two persons.
  • Audio, Yukata (Japanese night wear)

There are 23 rooms in the train. This type of room has upper and lower berth. This room does not have a washroom in the room.

Images
Twilight Express Twin room Twilight Express Twin room Twilight Express Twin room Twilight Express Twin room Twilight Express Twin room Twilight Express Twin room Twilight Express Twin room

Single Twin

  • Rate: 9,170 yen per room, based on one person.
  • Audio, Yukata (Japanese night wear)

There are 12 rooms in this train. This room is designed for one person and can be used for 2. This is a reason why it has very strange name. The extra charge for second person is 5,250 yen.

Images
Twilight Express Single twin room Twilight Express Single twin room Twilight Express Single twin room Twilight Express Single twin room Twilight Express Single twin room Twilight Express Single twin room Twilight Express Single twin room Twilight Express Single twin room

B Compart

  • Rate: 6,300 yen per person.
  • Yukata (Japanese night wear)

This is not a real compartment. It is very similar to the regular berth. Every compartments have 4 beds and have a sliding door. But it cannot be locked. So if you travel as the party of four, you can get a minimum privacy for your group.

Images
Twilight Express B compart Twilight Express B compart Twilight Express B compart Twilight Express B compart Twilight Express B compart Twilight Express B compart Twilight Express B compart

Dining Car “Diner Pleiades” and Salon Car “Salon Du Nord”

Dining car “Diner Pleiades” gives you the fine dining experience. Meal is not included in the rate and the reservation for dinner must be done by five days prior to the departure date. You can choose the dining time, 17:30-19:00 or 19:30-21:00. Simply you can make a reservation at the same time as booking for the room. You can choose “The Sea of Japan Kaiseki Gozen (日本海懐石御膳=Traditional Japanese style cuisine)” at 6,000 yen or French cuisine five course at 12,000 yen. But you cannot take the Sea of Japan Kaiseki Gozen in the dining room. If you take Japanese cuisine, the dinner will be delivered to your room, or you can have your dinner at Salon car “Salon Du Nord”.

Images of Dining car “Diner Pleiades”
Twilight Express Dining car Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Dining car Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Dining car Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Dining car Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Dining car Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Dining car Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Dining car Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Dining car Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Dining car Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Dining car Diner Pleiades

Images of French dinner
Twilight Express French dinner at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express French dinner at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express French dinner at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express French dinner at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express French dinner at Diner Pleiades
*Dinner menu is changed very frequently. You can see the most updated menu and Japanese Kaiseki menu at JR West Food Service website (in Japanese only).

Dining car gives you the service as the pub between 21:00 and 23:00. You don’t need to make a reservation. You can drink and eat some small plates, such as cheese plate, smoked salmon, rice pilaf.

Images of Pub time menu
Twilight Express Pub menu at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Pub menu at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Pub menu at Diner Pleiades

Breakfast is available 6:00 am (from Sapporo at 6:45 am) to 9:00 am. You can make a reservation after boarding. You can choose Japanese style or Western style, and also choose the time from 6:00 (only from Osaka to Sapporo), 6:45, 7:30 and 8:15.

Images of western breakfast menu
Twilight Express Western style breakfast at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Western style breakfast at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Western style breakfast at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Western style breakfast at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Western style breakfast at Diner Pleiades Twilight Express Western style breakfast at Diner Pleiades

If you take the train to Sapporo, Dining car gives you the lunch too. They serve a light meal, such as curry rice, pasta, beef stew, deep fried prawn and omelet rice. Reservation is not necessary.

They sell regular dinner box and drinks. And also you can eat a light meal in the Pub time. If you cannot make a reservation for the dining car, you still can get something to eat. Of course you can get something before boarding.

There is a beautiful lounge space for the public on car#4. It is called “Salon Du Nord”. All seats face to Sea of Japan. If you travel from Osaka in sunny day, you can see the dramatic sunset on Sea of Japan. This must be the most memorable moment in your trip. You can have your Japanese Kaiseki or regular box meal or even pub menu here in this lounge.

Images of “Salon Du Nord”
Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord Twilight Express Salon du Nord

There is small salon space on car#7.

Images of Mini Salon
Twilight Express Mini salon Twilight Express Mini salon Twilight Express Mini salon Twilight Express Mini salon

*Smoking is NOT permitted in both lounge space and dining car.

Other facilities

There are some public sanitary spaces from car#4 to car#9. The shared shower rooms and the public phone are located on car#4. If you want to use the shower room, you need to buy a shower card at dining car and secure your time. It costs 310yen for 6 minutes to use shower. But you have 30 minutes for using the space.

Images of sanitary spaces
Twilight Express public sanitary spaces Twilight Express public sanitary spaces Twilight Express public sanitary spaces Twilight Express public sanitary spaces Twilight Express public sanitary spaces

Images of shower rooms and other facilities
Twilight Express other facilities Twilight Express other facilities Twilight Express other facilities Twilight Express other facilities Twilight Express other facilities Twilight Express other facilities Twilight Express other facilities Twilight Express other facilities Twilight Express other facilities Twilight Express other facilities Twilight Express other facilities

Reservation and space availability

It is very difficult for Japan Rail Pass user to make a booking. Because you cannot make a reservation online. And also lots of tour operator block many spaces on this train for their domestic package tour product. If you give up to use Japan Rail Pass and you can understand Japanese or have a friend in Japan, you can contact to JR West reservation center directly. One of my readers, Tak gave me very useful infomation. He told us how to do it. I would like to share this information with you.

Personally, I have tried JR West telephone reservation center to buy Twilight express ticket.
I can tell you how to reserve on the phone.
1.Call JR west call center +81-78-341-7903 to make reservation from your country. (Only Japanese)
2. If the seat is available, pay by credit card.
3. When you arrive Japan, go to Midorino madoguchi. Show your credit card and you can collect the ticket from any JR west station.

They don’t have this service for JR pass, but I think it is useful for Twilight express because you need to pay for the Express and sleeper tickets anyway. Tak added some more information for Japan Rail Pass user. This way maybe useful for Japan Rail Pass user who can speak Japanese.

Actually, you don’t need to give up your JR pass when you make reservation by phone. I bought only limited express ticket (特急券) and sleeper ticket (寝台券) by phone reservation. I can take Twilight using JR pass with the tickets bought in advance.
If you go to Midori no Madoguchi and ask for Twilight using JR pass, they will charge for express and sleeper surchages (特急券 and 寝台券). So, this works perfectly when you make reservation
using this service.

When you use this service, please don’t forget you can pick up only from JR West station.

Please see this website for details.
http://www.jr-odekake.net/goyoyaku/phone/

If you cannot do this way, all you can do is going to “Midori no Mdoguchi (みどり窓口=ticket reservation window) at the station to take it. Japan Railway starts to sell the ticket at 10:00 am on 1 month prior to the departure date.

ex) If you take the train on April 1, the ticket is started to sell at 10:00 am on March 1.

Most of Japan Rail Pass user start to use the pass right after arrival. But actually most of people who wants to take this train in Japan do not decide the date. They take the ticket whenever they can make it. (Then they try to get the vacation…) Especially Suite and Royal room are almost impossible to get it after you arrive in Japan. Usually these two types of rooms are sold out just a few second after the tickets are started to sell. If you really really want to take this train, try to take this from Sapporo to Osaka. Mostly this direction is easier to reserve a ticket than Osaka to Sapporo direction. However if you have a plan to take this train, you need to think about the back up plan anyway. If you want to make sure which you can do it or not, use your local travel agent to make a reservation.

Unfortunately you cannot make any reservations and check the space availability at all either online. If you need any ideas in case that you cannot make a reservations, please refer this post, Alternatives of Overnight train Twilight Express. I suggest you several itineraries there.

179 thoughts on “Overnight Express Train Twilight Express, most popular overnight train between Osaka and Sapporo”

  1. Hello! Thank you for your helpful post. My husband and I will be landing at Narita Airport on 7 May and flying on a connecting flight to Sapporo. We are wondering if we can collect the Twilight Express tickets from Narita Airport or anywhere in Sapporo? Much thanks!

  2. Hi Takeshi-san

    My friends and I are travelling to Japan for the first time. We think we could use some professional advice from you!

    Our plan so far is as follows:

    21 Dec: Reach Tokyo Haneda, we have already booked a hotel in Shinjuku and we’re going to spend 5 nights in Tokyo
    26 Dec: 11AM flight to Sapporo, Hokkaido. We know nothing about Hokkaido, but for now we have booked our first night at Hotel Rasso Susukino in Sapporo
    27 Dec-29 Dec: We really want to enjoy the beautiful japanese scenery in Hokkaido, and we’re thinking to stay at a ryokan, so we tried to reserve a place at Hotel Kanro No Mori at 415 Niseko Niseko-cho. (Do you have a better advice for these 2 days?)
    29 Dec: We’ll try to get a Twilight Express train to go to Osaka! One of my friend stays in Japan so hopefully he can secure a Twin room and a B compart for the 6 of us.
    30 Dec-2 Jan: We are still unsure as to where to stay and what to do in Osaka…
    2 Jan-5 Jan: Kyoto! We have booked a place in Golden Pavilion Place in Kita, North Osaka. It is supposedly near a lot of temples and tourist attractions.
    5 Jan: We are going to book a bus to Tokyo.
    5 Jan-7 Jan: Back in Tokyo, and back to my country!

    See, the problem is we don’t have any idea about JR Pass whatsoever. I apologize if the planning seems messy.. But I’m hoping you or Tak-san could help us make this travel unforgettable.

    Can you advise us here?

    Thanks and regards,

    Julian

    1. Hi Julian,

      If you can book Twilight, you can use 7 days pass for Dec 26 to Jan 2. But if you cannot make it, what is your plan? If you take a flight, JR Pass is too much. Hokkaido Rail Pass is still too expensive. Basically single ticket will be your choice. Because you travel to New Chitose airport – Sapporo – Niseko only. If you take Shinaksen and other express trains in daytime, Japan Rail Pass gives you good deal. 7 days pass is very efficient. Anyway tell your friend in Japan to go to Midori no Madoguchi at least 10 minutes to 10 am on the day prior to departure date. Otherwise no chance. Even B compart may be difficult because Dec 29 will be one of the busiest day in whole year. Moreover even Shinkansen and other express trains going to be packed. Most of Japanese going back to hometown. It is same as Christmas holidays in western countries. So if you cannot make Twilight, you have to make a decision about other choices as soon as possible.

      Regarding Niseko, it is one of very popular ski resort. So Ski is the best leisure there. If you are not interesting, visit Otaru. But Otaru can be accessed from Sapporo much easier.

      In Osaka, USJ and Kaiyukan are very popular attractions in Osaka. But they may be closed in new year’s day. You can get other ideas at the following site:
      http://japan-guide.com/e/e2157.html

      You can get any sightseeing ideas at the above site.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Dear Takeshi,

    I have a quick question here.
    Im planing to travel to Hokkaido with Twilight express during 22-30 Dec.

    1. not sure if it is the peak period for geting twin room?
    2. on the way back to Osaka, my last stop will be Hakodate. Could you please recommend the nearest station where I can get on the Twilight express train?

    Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Monthida,

      1. It is a peak season. Dec 25 and 26 may be the easiest day. Especially the days after Dec 28 are super busy. It is very very hard to book it.

      2. Toya is the closest station.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. My friend in japan informed me that Twilight will not be available from November 29 in Winter due to heavy snowing.
    You have any information when it resume the service back.

    1. Hi Keerthi,
      I checked JR West website. But they don’t say anything. If your friend checked the availability for Twilight to Sappro on Nov 29, it is not operation day.
      In winter time, Twilight sometimes cancelled due to snow. But I haven’t heard they cancel the train operation for whole winter.
      JR West will release operation date for winter time in the beginning of November. I usually update as Winter Seasonal Train.
      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. Hi Takeshi san,

    The twin room is designed to be used by two people. However, the wall between room 1 and 2 can be removed and join together to make them into one room for four people, if requested.

    See this webpage. (Sorry, these are in Japanese.)
    http://yossee.main.jp/info/twi/index.html
    http://okwave.jp/qa/q7114934.html

    I know the rooms in Twilight Express are very popular and can be sold out quickly. I think it is already hard to secure one room. This has to be the room 1 and 2, and it is harder. In reality do you think it is possible to secure these two rooms?

    Personally, I have stayed in room 1 before and conductor told me this. The people in room 2 were smokers and smell comes in through the gap as it is a removal wall… It is directly above the wheels and I can feel it. I asked the conductor to change to another room. I didn’t like it much but I think it is very good for four people if they can secure two rooms. What do you think?

    1. Hi Takuji san,

      Thanks of info. I replied to Keerthi and explained about booking. It will be super hard anyway either Twin #1 and #2 or Twin and Suite. As you know, it is very hard to book even one room. I think booking multiple compartments by one person is impossible.

      By the way, your comment is not going to Spam folder. If you put two or more links in the comment, it is automatically held. You know most spam comments have multiple links. That is reason why.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

    2. Hi Tak and Takeshi Sans.
      All your informations are vry much helpful.
      Domo Arigatho Gosaimazu.
      I will try my best to make it.
      Bi for now
      Keerthi

  6. Dear Takeshi San

    I am planning to use Twilight from Sapporo to Osaka in mid December 2012. Pl let me know the following.
    1. How much I can save if i use rail pass? (Basic fare)
    2. Will they accomodate 3 persons in a Suite,Royal or Twin room. (Me,Wife and son).
    3. If not what will be your proposal for using Twilight.
    My friend in Japan (Japanes) will reserv the train for me.
    Pl advice.
    Thanks and Best Regards
    Keerthi

    1. Hi keerthi,

      1. Sorry. I don’t calculate the fare personally. Otherwise I have to answer all question for just asking the fare. Please understand that. Please try to find at Hyperdia.
      http://www.hyperdia.com/en/

      2. How old is your son? Even if your son is still small, I think Royal is too tight. This room is basically designed for single traveller. So Twin or Suite are the best. If you cannot make it, B Compart is only your choice.

      3. Please see the following post:
      https://jprail.com/trains/alternatives-of-overnight-train-twilight-express.html

      As you probably know, Twilight is very tough to get a space. Ask your friend to go to Midori no Madoguchi at 10:00 am on selling starting day. Especially Suite is almost impossible to get it.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Dear Takeshi San
        Arigatho gosaimazu
        1. your embeded link is very much helpful
        2. My son is 17 Y. But we want to enjoy this tour together. Can we reserv Suite or Twin room for 3 passngers with extra charge. We will manage the room facilities.
        3. I am not asking for alternate plan. can we resve 3 B compartment beds or Do we have to reserve all 4 beds to have our privecy.
        I know the reservation is tough. My friend will try his best.
        Cheers
        Keerthi.

        1. Hi Keerthi,

          Your son is too old to share the bed with both of you or your wife. Technically only kid who is under 12 years can share the bed with adult. So three of you cannot use one room, either Suite or Twin. Your choice is only B compart. If you want to use one section, you need to pay full fare for 4 people. Three of you have Japan Rail Pass. So you have to pay 4 x accommodation charge and one regular fare.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JP Rail

          1. Dear Takeshi San
            Thanks for the information.
            1. I will try to reserve 1 Suite or twin plus 1 B compart.
            Which is the nearst B compart to Suite or Twin?
            Where Can I find a layout plan of the Twilight?

            2. Is Dec 18 (tuesday) is busy season and is train operat?
            Cheers
            Keerthi

            1. Hi Keerthi,

              As Tak mentioned above, some of Twin room can be converted to connection room. Please see “Train Formation” in the post. Twin rooms #1 and #2 on each car (#5-7) are connection room. But it is almost impossible to get #1 and #2. Because most Twilight compartments are sold out in less than one minutes. I checked the link that Tak mentioned above in Japanese. Some says two persons try to book at same time, it would be possible. So if you have two friends, try to do this way.

              If you have only one friend, it is still so hard to get Suite and Twin. He/She will try to book one of Suite or Twin, other room will be sold out.

              At last, Dec 18 is not still the busiest season. But as you know, Twilight is always super hard to book. I think B compart can be booked.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JP Rail

  7. Thanks Takeshi San, sorry for my typos.

    My children are 12 years old and 10 years olds and they had experience to take overnight train from Denmark to Sweden. However, I couldn’t sleep because of the noise of train from my bottom of bed. I checked the timetable from Tokyo to Sappora is 0628-1544, nearly 10 hours.

    We will not do any major travel in Hokaido as we will stay 6 days at Niseko for skiing.

    So we may only use the JR pass to travel between Osaka and Kyoto, within Osaka and from Osaka to Tokyo. As you advised that it may not money worth. Would you please advise what options by train from Osaka to Tokyo and within Tokyo? Thanks, Magdalene

  8. Hi Takeshi-San

    Your website is very useful.

    My family (2 adults and 2 young children) will travel to Japan from 27 Dec to 8 Jan.

    Our itinerary is following:-

    27 Dec Arrive Osaka and travel to Kyoto
    28 Dec Kyoto travel to Osaka
    29 Dec to 1 Dec in Osaka
    1 Dec Osaka travel to Toyko
    2 Dec Tokyo travel to Sapporo
    2 Dec to 8 Dec Sapporo & Hokkaido

    We would like to buy an JR Pass, do you think we can get seats from Tokyo to Sapporo?
    I understand it is a peak season and airfare also may not cheaper.

    If it is not possible to train from Toyko to Sapporo, is it still worthwhile to buy an JR Pass?

    Thanks & Regards,
    Magdalene

    1. Hi Magdalene,

      I think it will be okay. Jan 2 (you wrote Dec 2, but I think it means Jan 2) will not be very busy day. Everybody will start to go back to Tokyo on Jan 3. And also you travel opposite way. You will be able to get a seat anyway.

      I would like to suggest some more thing.
      First of all, I don’t know how young your children are. But it will be long trip to get Sapporo from Tokyo. See the following post:\
      https://jprail.com/destinations/how-to-get-sapporo.html

      If you are interested in other cities in Hokkaido, I recommend you to stay in Hakodate. It is very beautiful port city. Especially night view from Mt. Hakodate is one of three best view in Japan.

      Next, if you travel lots in Hokkaido, start to use your JR pass on 29 Dec. When you stay in Osaka and Kyoto, you need to use short distance transfer only. It is not good way to use your pass. You have lots of other options in Kansai area.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/how-to-choose-discount-railway-ticket-and-pass-in-kansai-area.html

      As long as you use your pass for Osaka-Tokyo-Sapporo, you can get your money worth. But if you want to maximize your pass, try to use the pass for long distance transfer as much as possible.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Hello Takeshi-San

    Trust you are doing great.

    I have mapped out my draft schedule for the Sep trip, and planned to use two types of Pass: Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide (KRPW) and Japan Rail Pass (JR). I have doubts and questions, and if you have some time to spare, could I trouble you to take a look at my following itinerary and advise me?

    1. Thur, 06 Sep from Singapore to Tokyo (overnight flight)
    2. Fri, 07 Sep (KRPW Day1) Tokyo – Kansai Airport – Ise Shi (to visit Ise Jingu, overnight at Ise Shi)
    3. Sat, 08 Sep (KRPW Day2) Ise-Shi – Osaka (overnight at Osaka)
    4. Sun, 09 Sep (KRPW Day3) whole day seminar at Osaka (overnight at Osaka)
    5. Mon, 10 Sep (KRPWDay4 & JR Day1) Osaka – Kyoto – Kaga Onsen (overnight at Kaga Onsen)
    6. Tue, 11 Sep (JR Day2) Kaga Onsen – Nagoya (to visit Atsuta Jingu) – Okayama (night train Sunrise Seto to Tokyo)
    7. Wed, 12 Sep (JR Day3) Tokyo – Tsuruoka (to see 5-storey pagoda and overnight at Haguro).
    8. Thur, 13 Sep (JR Day 4) Tsuruoka – Akita – Aomori (night train Hamanasu to Sapporo)
    9. Fri, 14 Sep (JR Day 5) Sapporo – Hakodate (Super Hokuto) – Sapporo (night train Hamanasu back to Aomori)
    10. Sat, 15 Sep (JR Day 6) Aomori (see Hirosaki Castle) – Tokyo (night train Sunrise Izumo to Izumo Taisha)
    11. Sun, 16 Sep (JR Day7) Izumo Taisha – Hakata
    12. Mon, 17 Sep Hakata – Fukuoka Airport – Haneda Airport – Singapore

    Note. I intend to use night trains as much as possible, and I try to avoid paying for compartment and cabin.

    Question:
    1. Is Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide a better choice than Kansai Pass Through? I checked and found out that Kansai Pass Through does not cover Ise Shima, while I really want to go there….

    2. Friday 07 Sep – schedule is quite empty. Is there a way to go to Kaga Onsen after visiting Ise Shima without using JR? If possible, I would like to go to Kaga Onsen on 07 Sep, but I could not find other way to go without using JR.

    3. Wednesday, 12 Sep – I wonder if I should take Akebono from Ueno and stop at Tsuruoka (arrive at 4:33 am), wait till around 6am and climb the stairs slowly to the 5-storey pagoda? I assume the weather will be not too cold as it is still summer. But this will eat 1 day of my 7-day JR Pass….

    4. Fri, 14 Sep – Is it very rushing to do Sapporo- Hakodate – Sapporo in one day? I would love to stay one night at Hakodate to enjoy the famous night view….

    5. Sunday, 16 Sep – I want to avoid the 5-hour long train journey from Izumo Taisha to Hakata (but there are not much alternatives besides changing train at Okayama or Shin Yamaguchi. I need to see a friend at Hakata and this friend is only free on Sat or Sun.

    6. I need recommendation for hot spring/ public bath at Hakodate and Tokyo. I would like to refresh after taking night train.

    Please share with me if you have better route suggestion. I do not mind to change the course of my trip here and there with the following restrictions being in place:
    1. Saturday 08 Sep late afternoon & Sunday 09 Sep whole day must be at Osaka
    2. Monday 10 Sep morning must go to Kyoto
    3. Need to meet a friend at Hakata on Saturday or Sunday. Currently I put this meeting at the last leg of my journey, so I can take a domestic flight from Hakata back to Tokyo.

    Sorry, this is a very very long email. Thanking you in advance.

    Regards,

    miki

    1. miki san,

      I can suggest some ideas from some of your questions.
      Answer 1: I think Kintetsu Rail Pass is better for you as you are travelling from Kansai to Namba one way only. The difference is Wide includes RETURN ticket from/to Kansai – Namba.
      http://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/english/useful/ticket/rpw1-3.html
      I would suggest to take bus from Kansai to Uehonmachi instead. Transfer from Nankai Namba to Kintetsu Namba takes about 10 or 15 min by walk. Transfer from Uehonmachi bus stop to train station is easier. Bus is more comfortable than Nankai kyukou and give you better view from highway. http://www.kate.co.jp/pc/time_table/kintetu_ue_tt.html#from

      6. I would like to try this Yachigashira onsen in Hakodate next time. I haven’t tried it yet, but information center at the station recommended it when I visited there last time.

      http://www.city.hakodate.hokkaido.jp/suidou/info/institution/spa.htm

      http://samurainippon.com/blog/2008/06/23/yachigashira-hot-spring-spa-hokkaido/

      1. Good morning, Tak-San

        Thank you for your advice. 🙂 Can I ask you for some more details?

        I checked the kintetsu’s website and could not see detailed difference between Kintetsu Rail Pass (KRP) and Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide (KRPW)

        So your suggestion is for me to take Kintetsu bus from Kansai Airport to Uehonmachi, then to take train from Uehonmachi to Ise-Shi? What is the name of the train station near Uehonmachi? I am not familiar at all with Kansai side….

        Does KRP allow me to use it for the bus from Kansai Airport to Uehonmachi? The website says KRPW holder can ride bus for free, but no information on KRP.

        Look forward to hear from you.

        rgrs,

        miki

        1. Hi miki san,

          Tak san is one of the frequent visitor. He is very knowledgeable. I have learned many things from him. 🙂

          Now I answer the rest of your questions.

          2. If you go to Kaga-Onsen from Iseshima, you need to go to Nagoya by Kintetsu. And then use JR trains or Highway bus service. But there is no direct bus service to Kaga-Onsen. You need to transfer to JR trains at either Fukui or Kanazawa. So I don’t recommend you to do this.

          3. Are you going to take this bus? (Tsuruoka station -> Haguroyama)
          http://www.shonaikotsu.jp/local_bus/time_table/t10_haguro.html
          If so, the first bus departs at 7:52 am. 6:02 and 7:02 are not operated on this date. It runs on Sep 1,2,8,99,15,16,17,22,23. So you need to wait for more than 3 hours at the station. I think most of stores are not open until 7:00 am. I suggest you two options.
          1) Take Akebono to Sakikata. Akebono arrive there at 5:36 am. So you can sleep one more hour. Transfer local train at 5:56 am. Local train arrive at Sakata at 6:35 am. And transfer to Limited Express Inaho. It departs from Sakata at 6:44 am and arrive at Tsuruoka at 7:03 am. You need to transfer the train many times. But you don’t need to wait at the station in the dark by yourself.
          2) Give up Akebono and stay in Tokyo. Take Joetsu Shinkansen and Limited Express Inaho. The first trains are Toki 201 (Tokyo 6:08-> Niigata 8:14) and Inaho 1 (Niigata 8:25 -> Tsuruoka 10:19).
          You don’t need to worry about weather. September in Japan is still like summer.

          By the way, if you use Akebono, you don’t need to take Sunrise train from Okayama on Sep 11, do you? You can go straight to Tokyo by Shinkansen from Nagoya and take Akebono. You can save 1 day. And I don’t know how long you stay in Haguroyama. But if you can catch Limited Express Inaho 7 at Tsuruoka at 17:26, you can catch Hamanasu at Aomori on this day.

          Your schedule may be like this:
          6. Tue, 11 Sep (JR Day2) Kaga Onsen – Nagoya (to visit Atsuta Jingu) – (Shinkansen) Tokyo (night train Akebono)
          7. Wed, 12 Sep (JR Day3) Tsuruoka (to see 5-storey pagoda and overnight at Haguro) 17:26 (Inaho 7) 19:15 Akita 19:26 (Tsugaru 7) 22:08 Aomori 22:42 (night train Hamanasu to Sapporo)

          If you want to stay in Haguro, it is okay. This is one of the suggestions.

          4. You can do it. But you cannot see the night view from Mt. Hakodate if you go back to Sapporo.
          How about using ferry service. You need to pay the extra. But it is not expensive. See the post below:
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/another-idea-of-overnight-transfer-to-hokkaido-using-ferry-service-between-aomori-and-hakodate.html
          You don’t need to go back to Sapporo and stay in Hakodate much longer. And you can have minimum sleeping time and using shower on board.

          5. Via Okayama or Shin-Yamaguchi are only your choice by JR trains. Sorry, but you need to accept it.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JP Rail

          1. Hi Miki-san,

            Just as a follow up on question 5, it may appear to take a long time to get to Hakata from Izumo, but this is because of mountains and speed limits on the Hakubi/Sanyo line.

            If you’re going via Shin-Yamaguchi, the train is called Super Oki. It is operated by KiHa 187 series. These trains are only 2 cars, 1 reserved, 1 non-reserved. There is no green car. It takes ~4 hours, but the route is scenic.

            If you go via Okayama the train is called Yakumo. These are operated by 381 series. These trains are either 4 or 6 car, and have a green car. The train takes ~3 1/2 hours.

            Please remember that Izumo Taisha is not near Izumo Station, and that it is presently undergoing maintainence. Izumo Taisha is 25-30 mins from Izumo Station by bus or private railway line. Buses are half-hourly.

            Best regards,

            Jonathan Ayre

          2. Hi Jonathan

            It is so nice of you to illustrate both choices I have from Izumo shi to Hakata. Had you travel on both trains; Yakumo and Super Oki? I am embarrassed to say this, but I am really clueless when come to train series… Which one would you recommend to take? The time difference is only about 30 minutes so if possible, I would prefer a more comfortable and frequently one, just in case I run late.

            About the transportation from Izumo shi station to Izuma Taisha, which one is better? Bus or private railway? Would my JR Pass cover the bus fare?

            No worries. I had plenty plenty of typo error every now and then. Enjoy your weekend.

            Rgds,

            miki

          3. Hello Takeshi-San

            How are you doing there? Thank you for making time to write down patiently each answer to my questions and giving me great alternatives to consider. How are we travelers going to make it without you….

            2. I will just stay put with my original schedule to Ise Shima and Kaga Onsen.

            3. Tsuruoka station -> Haguroyama
            Ya, seems there is no other choice than taking this bus. Takeshi-San, I am sorry to trouble you, but could you re-check if the first bus available on Wed 12 Sep will be 9.30? I see some colour and signage remarks at the bottom of the time table, but my reading is poor…

            Ah, I typed wrongly. You are right, I will not need to take the Sunrise train on Tue 11 Sep if I take Akebono. I am contemplating: should I proceed to Aomori on the same day (so I can take Hamanasu to Sapporo), or to spend a night at Haguro San. Both temple and Qkamura at Haguro Chou charge about the same amount for accommodation. I think it would be nice to be able to clean up after some climbing (not sure if I have enough breath for one-hour climbing). I have been wanting to see the pagoda (which said was built without a single nail) since I read about this Haguro San two years ago. And I want to pay a visit to the sacred shrine at Yudono San. I wonder if I have enough time to do so and perhaps some quick bath at Qkamura if I do this as a day trip to Haguro San…

            4. The taking ferry idea is great. I would love to try it. On the other hand, if I can do Haguro San as a day trip, I will save one day and I want to use this to stay one night at Hakodate. Hakodate is also one of the cities in Japan I have been wanting to visit. I read about your blog on your visit to Hakodate and the ika meshi part reminds me fondly to the text book we used, which one of the reading parts describes the Hakodate city so temptingly…

            I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions again. Thanking you in advance. Yoi shuumatsu wo.

            Rgds,

            miki

            1. Hi miki san,
              You are so lucky! Jonathan is very knowledgeable person too. Especially he loves San’in area. I bet he recommend you Super Oki.

              3. The timetable shown by blue is operated on the specific dates that I gave you. Red one is operated in weekdays. So the first bus is 7:52 am.
              It is up to you if you stay in Haguro san or not. But you seem to have many things to do in Haguro san. I think you should stay in Haguro. But if you stay in Haguro, you have lots of time on next day. Remember, if you can catch 17:26 train at Tsuruoka, you can catch Hamanasu. If you take Akebono and stay in Haguro, you may need to make an adjustment for next day.

              4. That’s right. It is your choice, stay in Haguro or Hakodate. So you should decide how long you stay in Haguro first.

              Have a nice weekend!

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JP Rail

          4. Hello Takeshi-San

            I am indebted to you. You clear my doubt on choices I have to make during the trip and giving me confidence that I could carry out the plan and have some backup plan too.

            I revised the trip schedule to be as follows:

            1. Thur, 06 Sep from Singapore to Tokyo (overnight flight)

            2. Fri, 07 Sep (KRPW Day1) Tokyo – Kansai Airport – Ise Shi (to visit Ise Jingu and Meoto Iwa, overnight at Ise-shi)

            3. Sat, 08 Sep (KRPW Day2) Ise-Shi – Nagoya (to visit Atsuta Jingu) – Osaka (overnight at Osaka)
            I slip in Nagoya here instead of doing so on Tue, 11 Sep so I can have some time @ Tokyo on Tue, 11 Sep.

            4. Sun, 09 Sep (KRPW Day3) whole day seminar at Osaka (overnight at Osaka)

            5. Mon, 10 Sep (KRPWDay4 & JR Day1) Osaka – Kyoto – Kaga Onsen (overnight at Kaga Onsen)

            6. Tue, 11 Sep (JR Day2) Kaga Onsen – Tokyo (night train Akebono to Tsuruoka)

            7. Wed, 12 Sep (JR Day3) Tsuruoka (to see 5-storey pagoda @ Haguro San and to visit the shrine @ Yudono San) – Aomori (night train Hamanasu to Sapporo)

            8. Thur, 13 Sep (JR Day 4) Sapporo – Otaru – Hakodate (Super Hokuto) (overnight at Hakodate)

            9. Fri, 14 Sep (JR Day 5) Hakodate – Aomori (to see Hirosaki Castle) – Tokyo (night train Sunrise Izumo to Izumo Taisha)

            10. Sat, 15 Sep (JR Day 6) Izumo Taisha – Hakata

            11. Sun, 16 Sep (JR Day7) Hakata – Tokyo (domestic flight) – Singapore

            I would like to ask some question for the following days:
            9. Fri, 14 Sep (JR Day 5) Hakodate – Aomori (to see Hirosaki Castle) – Tokyo (night train Sunrise Izumo to Izumo Taisha)

            Is it wasteful to spend some 4-hour during day time from Aomori to Tokyo? Would it be wiser if I take a night train on that day, e.g. Akebono from Aomori to Tokyo? The only consequences is I will arrive at Hakata one day later like the earlier plan. I also wonder how long I need to cover Hirosaki Castle.

            10. Sat, 15 Sep (JR Day 6) Izumo Taisha – Hakata
            If I disregard the above question no 9, is it good to stay overnight somewhere either at Tottori or elsewhere at Chuugoku area and head to Hakata the next day?

            Sorry for keep asking you to review my plan. I thought it is good to explore available possibilities instead of taking the easy option and finalise the plan.

            Hope to hear from you in near time. Good night Takeshi-San.

            Regards,

            miki

            1. Hi miki san,

              I don’t think it is a good idea to take Akebono on 14 Sep. Akebono departs from Aomori early evening at 18:22. You will waste much more time. And if you take Akebono, you will arrive at Tokyo early morning at 6:58. What are you going to do next? Are you taking Shinkansen + Yakumo? You will arrive at Izumo at 15:00 on 15 Sep. It is much later than original plan.

              Actually if you take Hayabusa #6 from Shin-Aomori, you can catch Sunrise Izumo. (Shin Aomori 18:14 -> 21:24 Tokyo 22:00 -> Sunrise) Both Akebono and Hayabusa depart at almost same time. Hayabusa + Sunrise Izumo is the best and perfect combination to get Izumo from Aomori. You will be able to get enough time to see Hirosaki anyway.

              If you want to have an extra night in Tottori or somewhere in San’in, you need to give up Hirosaki and go straight to Izumo from Hakodate. It is not impossible. But it will be all day long transfer. You depart from Hakodate at 7:24 and arrive at Izumo at 21:00. Obviously I cannot recommend you to do this.

              Your revised itinerary is looking good. I suggest you to keep this itinerary.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JP Rail

          5. Hi miki san,

            If I remember correctly, it takes about 1 hour for Gegu and 1 hour for Gegu. you can arrange my sample plan and decide which one to go on the 1st day and 2nd day.
            Nagoya to Jingu Mae takes about 10 minutes and cost a few hundred yen. The train comes very frequently. So, you don’t have to worry too much. If you have question about Nagoya, i can help you.

          6. Hello Takeshi-San

            Hope you had a relaxing weekend.

            I called odekake this morning and somehow managed to get the reservation for Akebono’s goron to seat and was given a lower seat. I do not know the difference between upper and lower seat so I did not say anything. It was a stressful booking with my lousy Japanese haha.

            Btw, I forgot to ask you earlier on, do you know if there is any time limit for ticket collection? I only arrive in Japan 07 Sep and and I will ride Akebono on 10 Sep. I am worry…

            regards,

            miki

            1. Hi Miki san,

              Congratulation!

              You can pick up anytime by departure date at any Midori no Madoguchi in JR West, Shikoku and Kyushu area. So you can pick up at Kansai Airport station if you have a time at the arrival. You also can pick up at any station in Osaka when stay there. When you pick up the ticket, you need to show your credit card that was given to then at the booking. You also need to tell them booking number and contact phone number that was given to them.

              By the way, I maybe confused. Are you going to take Akebono on 10 Sep? I remember it is 11 Sep. But I am not sure because we revised your schedule more than 100 times. 🙂 If date is correct, forget about this. I just want to make sure.

              I like upper seat. Because it is quieter because it is away from the rail. Some people prefer to have lower because it is easier to get in/out. It is hard to say which one is better.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JP Rail

          7. Hello Takeshi-San

            Ah, you are pulling my legs! No… I think it was more like 1000 times, wasn’t it? ☆~(ゝ。∂) Ha ha.
            Really sorry for all the non-stop and long winded questions. I am lucky to have you taught me so much about the train reservation, Takeshi-San. Thank you very much.☆⌒(*^-゚)v ありがとう♪ For the ticket, I will probably pick it up at Osaka because I will not have much time at Kansai Airport.

            Btw, yes the date is 10 Sep. I mentioned in my last reply to Tak-San that I could not make reservation in the place I wanted to stay at Kaga Onsen (the staff said that so long I do not have my own contact number in Japan, they would not take my reservation p(´⌒`。q)). Thus, on 10 Sep I would proceed from Kaga Onsen to Tokyo to catch the Akebono, instead of staying overnight at Kaga Onsen. Then, I slip a visit to Hanamaki after Hirosaki. There is a great and very very reasonably priced onsen I have been longing to go to.

            The following is my latest updated schedule. Hopefully I do not have to change this again, – I feel very embarrassed to keep bothering you. (^^ゞ

            1. Thur, 06 Sep Singapore to Tokyo (overnight flight)
            2. Fri, 07 Sep (KRPW Day1) Tokyo – Kansai Airport – Ise Shi (to visit Ise Jingu Naiku) (overnight at Ise-shi)
            3. Sat, 08 Sep (KRPW Day2) Ise-Shi (to visit ise Jingu Naiku and Meoto Iwa) – Nagoya (to visit Atsuta Jingu) – Osaka (overnight at Osaka).
            4. Sun, 09 Sep (KRPW Day3) whole day seminar at Osaka (overnight at Osaka)
            5. Mon, 10 Sep (KRPWDay4 & JR Day1) Osaka – Kyoto – Kaga Onsen – Tokyo (to ride night train Akebono to Tsuruoka via Kisakata and Sakata)
            6. Tue, 11 Sep (JR Day2) Tsuruoka (to see 5-storey pagoda @ Haguro San and to visit the shrine @ Yudono San) – Aomori (night train Hamanasu to Sapporo)
            7. Wed, 12 Sep (JR Day3) Sapporo – Otaru – Hakodate (Super Hokuto) (overnight at Hakodate)
            8. Thur, 13 Sep (JR Day 4) Hakodate – Aomori (to see Hirosaki Castle) – Hanamaki (overnight at Hanamaki)
            9. Fri, 14 Sep (JR Day 5) Hanamaki – Tokyo (to ride night train Sunrise Izumo to Izumo Taisha)
            PS. I want to go book shopping at Tokyo and have some meal too. So I need at least 4-5 hours here.
            10. Sat, 15 Sep (JR Day 6) Izumo Taisha (to visit Izumo Taisha and Yumura Onsen) – Hakata
            11. Sun, 16 Sep (JR Day7) Hakata – Tokyo (domestic flight) – Singapore

            Takeshi-San, I guess you are not in Japan so I could not bring anything from Singapore for you. So whenever you come to Singapore, please feel free to contact me so I could treat you to some local food here.

            Have a great Friday evening!

            Regards,

            miki

        2. Hi miki san
          The details of the KRPW and KRP are in the official website, but summary of the difference is as follows:
          1.KRPW comes with a return ticket from Kansai to Namba by Nankai. KRP doesn’t.
          2. KRPW allows unlimited bus rides on the Mie Kotsu bus and Toba ‘Kamome’ bus. KRP doesn’t.
          3. Price KRPW=5700yen, KRP=3700yen

          * Notice that the bus from Kansai Airport to Uehonmachi is operated by Kintetsu bus which is not included in the KRPW. If you have KRPW, you can take the Nankai from Kansai to Namba.
          * The bus services in Ise and Toba area is operated by Mie Kotsu. I forgot about this when I wrote the previous message. I still think KRP is better in your case, but KRPW is might be a better choice if you are going to take the bus many times, for example, bus services available in Ise shi, Isejingu, Futamigaura and Toba area.
          * Uehonmachi is bus stop is just above the Kintetsu Uehonmachi station. The station is underground and it will take about 3 minutes. If you have luggage, 15 minutes walk in the crowded Namba station might not to be so convenient.
          *enjoy your trip!

          1. Hi Tak-San

            Thank you for taking the trouble to list down the difference of KRP and KRPW so I can make a better choice. Do you think KRPW is a better and safer choice, if I take the bus from Kansai Airport to Uehonmachi? I love your idea to enjoy a scenery ride. The bus fare is 1500 Yen, so the 2000 yen difference between KRP and KRPW would about pay this off.

            Btw, are you familiar with buses in Ise-Shi? I am just a bit worried that if I take bus from Kansai Airport and traffic is not good, I may reach Ise-Shi late and I will miss the hotel’s latest pick up bus for the day from Ugata station…

            Thanks for explaining the stations locations. I can imagine it 🙂 I will try to travel light and send the heavy luggage by takyubin.

            Have a great Saturday!

            rgds,

            miki

          2. Hi miki san,
            I think if you don’t have luggage, you won’t have much trouble walking from Nankai Namba station to Kintetsu Namba station. So, train from Kansai to Namba is ok.

            To decide KRP or KRPW,

            a. If you are taking the bus from Kansai to Uehonmachi, you will need KRP, because KRPW does NOT cover this bus. (Please read my previous message again.)

            b. If you are taking the train from Kansai to Namba, you can choose KRP or KRPW. If you are planning to use bus several times in Ise Shima area, KRPW might be better.

            With regards to your question about buses in Ise Shi area, Mie Koutsu bus serves this area. The buses departs from major Kintetsu stations (such as Ise shi, Toba, Ugata and Kashiko jima) in the area. You can take this bus to go to ise jingu as well.

            When I went last time, I took this bus from Ise Jingu to Toba and stopped at Futamigaura to see Meoto Iwa. If you are taking is route, KRPW might be useful.
            http://www.sanco.co.jp/travel/canbus/

          3. Hi Tak-San

            Thank you for writing in such details so I can see in clarity the benefits offered by each KRP and KRPW. I would not be able to make a better decision without this.

            I saw the bus website and am considering to drop by at Futamigaura since it is not too far from Ise Jingu. But as I may end up late for the free pick up at Ugata Station, I would have to take local bus to go to the hotel. So if I buy KRP, I would need to also buy a one-day ticket of 1000 yen for using these local bus services. For the next morning, I would not need the local bus service as I can use the free bus service from hotel to Ugata station. Thus I conclude KRP would be a more economical choice for my trip to Ise area.

            As KRP (and KRPW also) only allow 3 rides of Ltd Express, is it economical to use them as follows?

            Fri, 07 Sep (KRPW Day1) Tokyo – Kansai Airport – Ise shi – Futamigaura – Ugata – Hotel

            Transportation:
            1. Kintetsu bus from Kansai Airport to Uehonmachi
            PS. I somehow forgot that this limousine bus is not covered by KRP and KRW when I wrote to you the second time. My apologies.
            2. 1st Ltd Express from Uehonmachi to Ise shi
            3. Ordinary Train and CAN Bus for local use at Ise shi – Futamigaura – Ugata – Hotel

            Sat, 08 Sep (KRPW Day2) Ugata – Ise-shi – Nagoya – Osaka
            Note. I add on the trip to Nagoya (which is originally scheduled for a visit on Tue 11 Sep)

            Transportation:
            1. Ordinary Train from Ugata to Ise shi
            2. 2nd Ltd Express from Ise shi to Nagoya
            3. 3rd Ltd Express from Nagoya to Osaka

            Hope to hear from you again. Have a great Sunday.

            Regards,

            miki

          4. Hi miki san

            I think your plan should be all right.

            The day 1, you will need to take the bus from Meotoiwa to Toba station and then take kintetsu train to Ugata.

            There are souvenir shops and restaurants near Naigu. It is called Okage yokocho. Allow more time if you want to see the shops.

            On day 2, the limited express to Nagoya stops at Ugata station and you don’t need to change at Ise shi. Please see the Kintetsu webpage for the timetable.

          5. Hi Tak-San

            Thank you for reviewing my plan of using Kintetsu RP. I would drop by to visit the said okage yokocho. It looks nice: a place that has traditional atmosphere and was built to express one’s gratitute for receiving such continuous care from the God.

            Thanks, Tak-San, for mentioning worth-to-visit spots that I would not know otherwise.

            Have a great Tuesday!

            regards,

            miki

          6. Hi miki san,

            I had a second thought about your plan in Ise. I think your day 1 is very busy. I don’t know what time you will be arriving at Kansai airport, but chances are you might run out of time at the end. I might want to suggest you visit some of the places on day 2 instead. You might be able to catch the free bus to your hotel with the new plan. In your current plan, on day 2, you can still afford time as Atsuta Jingu doesn’t need much time. (I know it because I used to live in Nagoya before.) Depending on your arrival time at Kansai Airport, you might want to consider using the one day bus ticket on Day 2 instead.

            For example,

            Day 1:
            Uehonmachi – (Kintetsu) – Ise shi – (Walk) – Visit Isejingu Gegu
            Ise shi – (Kintetsu) – Ugata -(Courtesy bus) -Hotel

            Day 2:
            Hotel – Ugata – (Kintetsu) -Toba – (Bus) – Meotoiwa – (Bus) – イIse Jingu Naigu – (Walk) – Okage yokocho – (Bus) – Uji Yamada station or Ise Shi station – (Kintetsu) – Nagoya – (Meitetsu) – Jingu mae – Atsuta Jingu – Nagoya – (Kintetsu) – Osaka Namba

          7. Hi Tak-San

            Am so happy to hear from you again. I wonder if you read mind, Tak-San. I had some worries on this transportation part at Ise and you came up with such a good and detailed break down of the transportation for Ise. Thank you, Tak-San.

            I would try to take the 07:25 flight from Tokyo and arrive at Kansai around 08:40. So probably I could come out around 10:30 or 11:00. But as discussed earlier on, I would take limousine bus to Uehonmachi and I guess it would depend on the traffic – how fast I can reach Uehonmachi. I went to Osaka (with shinkansen from Tokyo) a few years back but only stay for less than half a day, so I have no knowledge about Osaka and its traffic.

            So you lived in Nagoya before? It must be nice to experience living in different cities. I grew up in Jakarta (Indonesia) and moved to Singapore about some 10 years ago. Here in Singapore we do not have cities to visit like Japan and Indonesia.

            This will be my first visit to Nagoya. I plan to visit Atsuta Jingu and if I have some time, I would like to go to one more place, may be to eat something special that only available at Nagoya city.

            On the 2nd day, I probably have to reach Osaka in late afternoon, to meet my seminar group. I only would know about the meet-up schedule after 26 Aug.

            I noticed that you suggested using Meitestu from Nagoya to Jingu mae. Guess Meitetsu is a different train operator and this trip from Nagoya to Jingu mae is not covered by Kintetsu Pass?

            Btw, how much time one need to cover Geku and Naiku (not including the okage yokocho) respectively at Ise Jingu? I just want to map out the time table so I will not miss any bus or train.

            I look forward to hear from you again. Enjoy the sunny day there.

            Regards,

            miki

          8. Hi Tak-San

            You seems to know what I am thinking 🙂 After Takeshi-San have mentioned 6-hour journey shinkansen from Tokyo to Hakata, I started to think if I should stop overnight somewhere instead of taking Sunrise train back to Tokyo.

            Thanks for taking the trouble to check out a more time-efficient train route for me. Really appreciate your kind thought.

            Once I know the meet-up schedule at Osaka, I would be able fine-tuning my schedule, especially the Nagoya part (I want to explore Nagoya based on available time) and may need to trouble you again.

            Have a wonderful evening.

            regards,

            miki

        3. Hi Miki,

          As Takeshi predicted, I would recommend Super Oki for the scenery, as long as it meets your needs. The reason it may not meet your needs is because there are a limited number of departures per day, whilst Yakumo is operated every hour. Yakumo tends to depart Izumo around 20-past to half-past the hour.

          Super Oki only has 3 operations per day in the Shin-Yamaguchi direction. These depart Izumo-shi Station at 06:40, 11:30 and 15:28, and arrive at Shin-Yamaguchi at 10:13, 14:57 and 18:51. If you need to transfer to Hakata, and can leave early, you can take Super Oki 1 at 06:40 to Shin-Yamaguchi, arrive at 10:13 and transfer to Shinkansen Kodama 731 at 10:28 to arrive at Hakata at 11:30. If you can’t make the early service, I recommend you use Yakumo because you will get to Hakata very late otherwise.

          As for getting from Izumo-shi Station to Izumo Taisha, the bus is reliable, but like many Japanese local buses, is quite small. You can catch the bus out the front of the station. There are multiple routes that lead to Izumo Taisha, but timetables and maps are in Japanese only.

          The train option is similar. Departures are hourly at about 10 minutes past the hour from Dentetsu-Izumo station (outside the JR Station), and you have to change at Kawato to get to Izumo-Taisha-Mae station.

          The JR Pass won’t cover either of these options, as both the Dentetsu Izumo Line and the buses are both owned by Ichibata. Overall I’d recommend the bus – they are more frequent, and you don’t have to worry about changing services.

          Best regards,

          Jonathan Ayre

          1. Hi Jonathan

            It is great to hear from you again. Thanks the very elaborate details of both choices. As I will arrive around 10 am at Izumo Taisha (planning to take Sunrise Izumo train from Tokyo on the night before), I would probably ready to continue the trip to Hakata, earliest around 12pm. I would miss the first two Okis and have to take the 3pm one. But you had mentioned earlier on about the scenic route of Oki, and I trust you must have enjoyed very much the Super Oki route. I would like to give Super Oki a try.

            Supposing I am taking the 3pm Oki, I would have around 2 free hours. I am wondering if there is something interesting to do around there besides going to the public bath…

            As for the transportation to the Izumo Taisha, I would follow your suggestion too, to take a bus instead of the train. I just hope the bus is not that small haha. I am pretty tall and have long legs.

            Have a beautiful Sunday, Jonathan.

            Regards,

            miki

          2. Hi Jonathan

            I happened to check the sanintabi blog and found an interesting spot to go. I am thinking of going to do:

            10. Sat, 15 Sep (JR Day 6) Izumo Taisha – Izumo Yumura Onsen – Tokyo (overnight Sunrise Izumo Train)
            Note. So I will not go from Izumo Taisha to Hakata as my previous plan.

            11. Sun, 16 Sep (JR Day7) Tokyo – Hakata (shinkansen) – Fukuoka Airport – Singapore

            When i check with hyperdia, I found the transportation from Izumo Taisha to Izumo Yumura Onsen is less regular during midday, also from Izumo Yumura Onsen to Okayama during late afternoon.

            Assuming I covered Izumo Taisha by 12 pm, I could only go to Izumo Yumura Onsen from 13:30 onwards (via Shinji) and reach at Kisuki station around 14:45 pm, and continue with local bus for another 20 minutes.

            Ps. I could not find the local bus schedule.

            Then I have to hurry with the bathing so I could catch the local bus back to Kisuki before 5pm so I can take the train to Okayama and then ride the Sunrise train.

            The trip looks a bit challenging but I would love to visit such historic onsen when there are ways to do so. Could I borrow your expertise to explore the possibilities of doing so? Sorry that I troubled you earlier on with the trains option to Hakata and now I made some other changes in my plan.

            regards,

            miki

          3. Hi Miki,

            Izumo-Yumura Onsen looks very appealing. I have never been there in person, but several tourism boards in Shimane have recommended. As you saw, it is not the easiest place to access by rail. The lines in the mountains in western Honshu are not well-used as the areas are sparsely populated.

            As you read on the Sanintabi blog, there are a couple of ryokans and free onsen in town. As I haven’t been, I do not know where these are exactly. If you are taking Sunrise Izumo after, it may be a tight trip due to infrequent service.

            The onsen is located in the area around Kisuki Station on the Kisuki Line. As you saw, you can leave Izumo at 13:33 on Yakumo 20, change at Shinji and arrive by 14:42. As for buses, I had a look online, but did not find timetables. There is a site that has a map of bus stops in Kisuki town at http://bus-jp.net/map/0214660300 . There’s also a bus listing of buses in Unnan City at http://bus-jp.net/line/1466.html . Google translate may offer some help in that regard.

            I am not very familiar with the Kisuki Line, unfortunately, however I did find your return route departing at 17:00 on hyperdia. Arriving at 18:13 gives you about half an hour before Sunrise Izumo departs from Izumo-shi Station.

            Travelling in that area is on my list to do – I am interested in the future in visiting Izumo-Yumura and heading on to Bingo-Ochiai, one of the “Hikyo” Stations. Later this year I will be briefly visiting Shimane again, but focusing mostly in the area around Tsuwano, near the border with Yamaguchi Prefecture.

            I am happy to help if you have any more questions.

            Best regards,

            – Jonathan Ayre –

            1. Hi Miki san and Jonathan,

              I found local bus timetable to Yumura Onsen. But I cannot find the fare table. (I guess it won’t be expensive. It is around several hundred yen)
              http://www.city.unnan.shimane.jp/contents/7dc4040a180239f/other/7dc4040a180239f5.pdf

              Please see page 26 of the above PDF file. You will find “北原線”. This is the bus to Yumura Onsen.
              The timetable that is shown on left side is the bus to Yumura onsen (湯村温泉). The timetable on other side is the bus to JR Kisuki station (JR木次駅).
              As you see it, there are only 6 round trips a day. You will take 15:28 at JR Kisuki station and arrive at 15:50. On the way back, you need to take 16:29 at Yumura onsen and arrive at 16:51 at Kisuki station. So you will have only 39 minutes.

              I have never been there. It looks very attractive place. But it is quite tight. Can you finish it in 30 minutes?

              I am really interesting in Kisuki line too. This line is known as the best mountain line in Sanin area. I have never taken this line either. Maybe Tak san has been there.

              And also I am afraid you will be exhausted. You will have 6 hours shinkansen trip from Tokyo to Hakata after getting Nobi Nobi seat on Sunrise Izumo. And also you don’t have enough time to see your friend in Hakata.

              Of course this is your trip. I just want to let you know it.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JP Rail

          4. Hi Jonathan

            I am relieved. So worry that I had troubled you with the choice of transpotation from Izumo shi to Hakata and then I made some changes to the route….

            Thanks for checking the bus for me. It’s really nice of you. I went to Tsuwano last time, and spent a night at Haradaya. I arrived at the station very late (because I took some ordinary train) and when I called the owner to ask for direction, she asked me to wait and appeared in front of me within 5 minutes. I had dinner that evening and it is a dinner I will always remember. A meal that someone cooked with thought for the person who he serves the food to. I paid around 7000 yen for the accomodation and dinner, and I would go back again without hesitation if I had a chance. When I complimented her for the food, she told me that her husband used to be a chef. I did not spend much time at Tsuwano and I want to go there again.

            I have made up my mind and want to go to Izumo-Yumura Onsen. I found some website just now and need some help with it. I would write more elaborately on this in my reply to Takeshi-san afterwards.

            I would love to heard about your past and future trips to Japan. It would be great to catch up for drinks with you one day, sometime somewhere in Japan.

            Good night, Jonathan.

            regards,

            miki

          5. Hello Takeshi-San

            I wish I could bring you along with me…Thank you for making time to look for the bus schedule. I

            Btw, I found this website:
            http://www.jr-odekake.net/navi/okuizumo_orochi/

            Seems that this train only operates on Fri, Sat and Sun in Sep but has stops at Izumo Shi and Kisuki. I am terribly sorry for keep bothering you, but would you be able to spare some time to check if I could use this train for my trip to Izumo Taisha and Izumo-Yumura Onsen…. I am terribly lousy with kanji and not to say names, including train station names. All I can understand is Kisuki station and Izumo shi….

            I understand that Izumo Taisha is open whole day long, all year long, so if necessary, I do not mind to reverse the order: to go to onsen before the shrine.

            Thanks for thinking of long shinkansen journey from Tokyo to Hakata. Well, I do not mind to stay somewhere at that area for the night after visiting Izumo, and continue to Hakata the following morning. But seems the access out from Kisuki to main shinkansen line is also time consuming….I happened to see oku izumo go kochi website and wonder if you have some reference of it.

            If the above special train would not change a thing and I still have to rush for the sunrise train, do not worry. As you said, it is still summer, so transportation should not be disrupted by weather and I do not have to walk carefully like one have to do in winter. I will speed up my walking from & to Kisuki station, and bath in a jiff to save some time.

            Hope you won’t feel annoyed by my so many questions.

            Have a good rest, Takeshi-san.

            Regards,

            miki

            1. Hi miki san,

              Unfortunately this train do not come to Izumoshi station. It is extended to operate to Izumoshi on specific dates. (not Sep 15 but Sep 16 and 17. It is orange colored mark on calender)

              This train is operated between Kisuki and Bingo-Ochiai. You need to take regular local train to Kisuki.
              Izumoshi 8:40 -> 08:59 Shinji 9:11 -> 09:43 Kisuki 10:08 -> 12:20 Bingo-Ochiai.

              After you arrive at Bingo-Ochiai, you need to go back to Kisuki by same train. Or, you proceed to go to Hiroshima. But you need to see Izumo Taisha.

              So if you take this train, you can go to Yumura Onsen on the way back to Izumoshi. But you will have same problem with tight schedule. Because you will arrive at Kisuki at 14:55. It is almost same schedule the previous schedule.

              If you really want to go to Yumura onsen and Izumo taisha, I don’t think this train fit in your schedule It is very nice train but it makes your schedule much tighter.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JP Rail

          6. Hi Miki,

            Firstly, I’d like to say I look forward to catching up in Japan sometime in the future ^_^

            Secondly, I worry about such a tight schedule in going to Izumo-Yumura Onsen. I had a look at the possibility of using Oki-Izumo Orochi-go.

            There are very limited services to get you to Bingo-Ochiai if you wanted to take Orochi-go from Bingo-Ochiai to Kisuki first. The Geibi Line from Hiroshima only has 5 services daily and from Niimi only 3 services. Unless you were already in, say, Niimi or Fukuyama it would be difficult to reach Bingo-Ochiai in time.

            This really means if you want use Orochi-go you need to go from Kisuki in a round trip. This means you need to stay overnight in at least Niimi, probably Yonago or Matsue if you want to make it, and even then, you , meaning you would get back to Kisuki at 14:55. I don’t think you could do Izumo Taisha, Orochi-go and Yumura Onsen in one day even if you could stay in Matsue/Izumo the night before.

            I suggest the plan you have – disembark Sunrise Izumo, go to Izumo Taisha, to Izumo-Yumura Onsen and back to Izumo-shi. The Orochi-go timetable is not very convenient for your situation.

            On a side note, you make Tsuwano sound nice. I will have to consider a ryokan stay there. I am travelling in November (I love Japanese winters) with family initially and am taking them to the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, and through Hokuriku, Kansai, Shikoku and Chugoku, before I continue on for a week on my own visiting all 28 tourism points in the Tohoku Passport campaign before it ends in March. To do all of Tohoku in a week and still give myself time to do something in each place I haven’t been to is really tough! I’m looking forward to each place, but I think Lake Towada, Yokote and Ginzan look really exciting.

            All the best,

            – Jonathan Ayre –

          7. Good morning Takeshi-san

            I am somehow disappointed to learn that it is impossible to use okuizumo orochi for my trip to Izumo area. The train looks so beautiful: the interior of its car, those unique stations where it stops, and the fact that it would run only on certain schedule makes it more endearing. May be one day I have the luck to ride it.

            I would stick with the original plan and here is the time table:

            10. Sat, 15 Sep (JR Day 6) Izumo Taisha – Yumura Onsen – Tokyo (overnight train Sunrise Izumo/Seto)

            Schedule:
            09:58 arrive at Izumoshi – visit Izumo Taisha
            13:33 Izumoshi – 13:44 Shinji (LTD. EXP YAKUMO 20)
            14:05 Shinji – 14:42 Kisuki (JR – Kisuki Line)
            15:28 Kisuki – 15:50 Yumura Onsen (local bus)

            16:29 Yumura Onsen – 16:51 Kisuki station (local bus)
            17:00 Kisuki station – 17:36 Shinji (JR – Kisuki Line)
            18:47 Shinji – 21:35 Okayama (LTD. EXP YAKUMO 30)
            22:33 Okayama – 07:08 Tokyo (LTD. EXP SUNRISE SETO)

            I found out that I could ride Sunrise Izumo straight to Tokyo from Shinji but I want to stop at Shinji and take a quick look around the station, then buy some supplies at Okayama for the overnight train ride.

            If I miss the 16:29 local bus or the bus is slow and I am late for the 17:00 local JR train, I would probably have to head to Okayama area for a night stay, as it seems easier for me to catch the shinkansen to Hakata from Okayama. I would love to spend the night at smaller towns, but when I checked using hyperdia, I found that the train connection from Kisuki to Hakata would take around 5-6 hours (even if I start early), and it is hard to take some good rest due to the transportantion transfer in between.

            Takeshi-San, I could not thank you enough for helping me with the journey fine mapping. You are so helpful and have so many ideas to offer. Please feel free to let me know if I could get you something you need from one of those places I will be visiting to.

            Have a brilliant Wednesday!

            Regards,

            miki

            1. Hi miki san,

              Local bus schedule is designed for connecting to train at Kisuki station. So it will be fine.
              By the way, if you want to get Yumura onsen asap, taxi is one of the way to consider. I don’t know the fare. I estimate 2000 to 3000 yen. But there is taxi company at Kisuki station. This 3000 yen make another 30 minutes at Yumura onsen. Your schedule will be more comfortable.

              And I suggest you one more thing. You should something to eat/drink before you leave Shinji. In case that Yakumo will delay, you may not have a time to buy at Okayama. I always have extra bottled water and snack when I’m on the trip. Once you get in Sunrise, you can not get any food on board.

              Good luck for the booking of Akebono and Sunrise.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JP Rail

          8. Hi Jonathan

            Thanks for taking such trouble to look into the possibilities of using the Orochi-go train to go to visit some places at Izumo are.

            I had tried to tweak the trip route after seminar here and there: considered giving up some places – go to Izumo Taisha and Yumura Onsen on separate day – stay overnight at Izumo area so I can catch the earliest train – but none seems good. So I would proceed with visiting Izumo Taisha and Yumura Onsen in same day, and probably stay overnight at Okayama or some small town near to shinkansen line just in case I am late for sunrise train or in the event I want to spend some more time at the Kisuki.

            Side track from this trip, I wanted to share with you two places in Tohoku I went before. I do not know if you had visited them before or not.

            Dear Takeshi-San, I hope you do not mind I share with Jonathan the following in your website forum. You and Jonathan and Tak-San have helped me so much with the planning of my coming trip, and I wish I could share with others places in Japan that I have been keeping in my heart.

            I had chanced upon the Nyuto Onsen sometime in late Dec. Stayed at its sister accommodation which also has some bathing facilities, but the open air mixed gender bathing place at Nyuto Onsen is something one may want to experience, at least once in life. You would feel like stepping into a different era, when you stepped into the Nyuto Onsen. The wooden traditional low rise houses of facilities, the staff who dress in cotton yukata delivering drinks/dinner, walking around outside under the falling snow (I am truly impressed – it was winter and he was smiling warmly as if it was bright sunny day)…The transportation takes time and you need change from train to bus. But the winter scenery along the bus route was something I am willing to go through all the troubles, again and again. If you like Japanese winter and haven’t been here…

            I stopped at Yokote to meet a friend before going to Nyuto Onsen, and it was a heavy snowing day. I did not spend much time there – my friend brought me to have some lunch at a traditional restaurant. Its signature ramen is the best noodle I ever had. If you plan to go to Yokote and need some information of the city, I can ask my friend (Japanese lady who is teaching English) to contact you.

            The other place that I went is Yachi Onsen. I went there about a few days before New Year and all the visitors are locals. I felt that people came here for the quality of the onsen. I like the fact that there is nothing else you can do at this place beside sleeping, soaking and have some ordinary meals. My handphone had no signal and I saw no television. I felt free from the world and I miss the feeling I had at Yachi Onsen.

            If I had a chance, I want to visit Japan in Feb. It is said that Feb is the coldest month and I love to see again the amazing change of world in winter. I never been in Japan in summer months, and this coming trip to Osaka will be the first.

            I may have to trouble you again if there is some other changes in the trip, and I may need help with places I am not familiar with. Please bear with me and I am looking forward to hear again from you.

            Regards,

            miki

          9. Hi Miki san,

            I found out Yakumo 30 connects to the last Hikari to Hakata. So, you can get to Hakata on the same day. You won’t be able to save money, but it will save you time and this an easier option.

            17:00 Kisuki station – 17:36 Shinji (JR – Kisuki Line)
            18:47 Shinji – 21:35 Okayama (LTD. EXP YAKUMO 30)
            21:46 Okayama – 23:52 Hakata (Hikari 443)

          10. Hello Takeshi-San

            I am so lucky to have your kind thought and help. Not once, but again and again. Thank you for being so patient with my never ending questions.

            I would look out for taxi at Yumura Onsen. Another 30 minutes would enable me to rejuvenate before I continue the trip.

            Later, I may want to check if I could get some other mean of transportation (beside JR) from Izumo Shi to Kisuki. If I could get hold to a bus that leave Izumo Shi stationa around 12pm or 12.30pm, I don’t have to wait one hour till 13.30 to ride the local train to Kisuki.

            Ya, I cross my finger. Hope I could get those seats I want…

            Have a great Thursday, Takeshi-San.

            regards,

            miki

            Hi miki san,

            Local bus schedule is designed for connecting to train at Kisuki station. So it will be fine.
            By the way, if you want to get Yumura onsen asap, taxi is one of the way to consider. I don’t know the fare. I estimate 2000 to 3000 yen. But there is taxi company at Kisuki station. This 3000 yen make another 30 minutes at Yumura onsen. Your schedule will be more comfortable.

            And I suggest you one more thing. You should something to eat/drink before you leave Shinji. In case that Yakumo will delay, you may not have a time to buy at Okayama. I always have extra bottled water and snack when I’m on the trip. Once you get in Sunrise, you can not get any food on board.

            Good luck for the booking of Akebono and Sunrise.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JP Rail

          11. Hi miki san,

            Jonathan and Takeshi san already gave advices on Okuizumo Orochi Go, but it’s possible if you only visit Izumo Taisha or Yumura Onsen. Just one of them only.

            Tokyo 22:00 – Okayama 6:27 Sunrise
            Okayama 07:04 – Hiroshima 07:52 Hikari 441
            Hiroshima 9:00 – Bingo Ochiai 12:06
            Bingo Ochiai 12:41- Kisugi 14:55 Okuizumo Orochi Go
            15:09 Kisugi – Izumo shi 16:01
            Yumura onsen or Izumo Taisha
            Then, same schedule to Okayama

            This is just a sample schedule only. it’s your trip and the choice is yours.

          12. Hi Tak-San

            Yes, I have given up the idea of riding ‘Okuizumo Orochi Go’, because it is not running on the day when I reach Izumo-Shi (which is Sat 15 Sep 2012). I hope to ride it and visit ‘Bingo Ochiai” and other destinations along the route at another opportunity in the future.

            But Takeshi-San has helped me to check schedule of ordinary train schedule and local bus, and made out a super schedule so I could visit both Izumo Taisha and Yumura Onsen on same day. I may have a rather tight schedule at Yumura Onsen side, but I will try my best to travel effective and efficiently. Thank you for your kind thought and concern, it is very nice of you to keep looking out best possible route for me to reach my planned destination. I wrote so much questions and ideas, so the discussion blog is pretty long. I just hope it will not confuse readers out there.

            Today I am very disappointed to find out that I could not make reservation at the place I want to stay at Kaga Onsen. They told me that I do not have contact no in Japan, so they would not accept my reservation. So I have to make some changes to my schedule, and I want to go to hot spring at Iwate.

            Have a wonderful weekend Tak-San.

            Regards,

            miki

          13. Hi Miki,

            Thank you for the advice about Yachi and Nyuto Onsen. I have made a larger post about it in the forum section of the site so the comments section about Twilight Express doesn’t get too big!

            Best regards,

            Jonathan Ayre

  10. Hello Takeshi-San

    Thank you so much for your reply and detailed answer. You are very knowlegable and I really appreciate the fine details you taught me in contacting JR to make the reservation.

    By the way, I want to ask you two more questions. When I contact the odekake via tel, should I say “I would like to purchase or make reservation for sunrise izumo train’s nobi nobi seat (for e.g.)”? Also, But if i do not mention that I have the JR Pass, would the odekake staff charge (bill) my credit card not only the limited express ticket and sleeper ticket, but also the base fare (while I have the JR Pass which cover the base fare for all trains)? I am sorry if this question sound silly.

    I saw the blue train link you gave me. It will take me sometime to read it all. Again, thank you so much for the additional great information.

    I am actually going to attend an aikidou seminar in Osaka and would like to go around Japan afterwards, hopefully from north to the south using the JR Pass. I hope you don’t mind if I contact you again when I have mapped out the schedule and ask you further questions. I found it is a bit challenging to utilise the JR Pass effectively in 7 days because I have to start somewhere from the middle of Japan…

    Hope to hear from you and many thanks in advance.

    regards,

    miki

    1. Hi Miki san,

      When you talk to Odekake net, you can tell them I just need limited express surcharge and accommodation. And also they confirm you about the booking many times. Don’t worry. It will be quite easier than what you think. 🙂

      You can say to use JR pass. As I mentioned to you, they will ask a contact in Japan. So when you tell them about JR Pass, tell them you have a contact in Japan.

      If you have any question about booking or planning, don’t be shy to contact me.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Hello Takeshi-San

        You are a God-sent. Thank you so much for the clarification. I will try to do so when I call them early next month. Will write to you again when I can map out the schedule. Arigatou gozaimasu.

        Meanwhile, o genki de.

        regards,

        miki

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