Sunday, 15 May 2016

Actual trip along Hokuriku Route & beyond



Armed with our exchange voucher for JR Passes bought from JTB Takashimaya @S$374.00, we flew to Tokyo Haneda Airport on 22 Apr. 2016.

1st Day - 23 Apr. 2016 (¥12,210)
1. Arrived at about 9.50am
2. Cleared immigration and redeemed for JR Passes at JR Reservation office & reserve seats for Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kurobe (Toyama)
3. Using the JR Pass for the 1st time, we took Tokyo monorail from Haneda to Hamamatsucho Station.
4. Then switch to Yamanote Line to Tokyo Station.


5. At Tokyo Station, we headed to a huge bento shop with wide selection of "Ekiben" and chose our bentos with Japanese tea before heading to the platform for the ride at 12.24pm.
6. The train arrived about 10 mins. ahead of our departure time and with clockwork precision, a team of cleaners went thru' cleaning all the cabins before turning the seats to face the our direction of travel.
7. After we have settled down in our reserved seats, it was time for our lunch.
                       

8. At about 3.20pm, we arrived Kurobe Unazuki Onsen Station and took a local train to Uozu Station which was next to APA Uozu Hotel. [Only setback was the absence of elevator or escalator to get down to the underpass that leads to the hotel]


2nd Day - 24 Apr. 2016

It was the Sabbath, the Lord's day so spend much time in church.

3rd Day - 25 Apr. 2016

Within Uozu, we move about on foot, covering move than 20,000 steps to survey the built-up areas as pray the blessings of God over the people in a 1.0km radius.

Took local trains[Not covered by JR Pass :)]  to Toyama City to reserve Shinkansen sets for our departures to various locations, Morioka, Tokyo and Osaka. Also got Narita Express tickets for those returning to Singapore on 28 & 29 Apr. 2016.

4th Day - 26 Apr. 2016

In order to cover more areas with time constraints, we rented bicycles from the Uozu Tourist Information Centre. It was simple, just let them photocopy an IC and pay ¥300/3 hr/bike. In Toyama City,there are 3 locations with free rental of the bicycles:
Service:9am-6pm of March 1 - Nov. 30., rental bike service at 3 stations in the center of Toyama city. 
Fee: Free of charge (return within the day)
Register at either of 3 stations with your ID.
< 3 stations>
 1. Information at JR Toyama Station  TEL:076-432-9751  
 2. Toyama shimin Plaza   TEL: 076-493-1313
 3. Ikeda Yasubei Shoten   TEL:076-425-1871

5th Day - 27 Apr. 2016

1. Took local trains[Not covered by JR Pass :)]  to Kurobe Unazuki Onsen Station.
2. For me, I boarded Shinkansen Tsurugi to Kanazawa Station & then transferred to Limited Express Thunderbird for Shin-Osaka. The whole trip took 3 hours. [¥8,650]

Met up with ママ and spent about 3 hours over okonomiyaki lunch at Shin-Osaka station. The pork & tomato okonomiyaki was super yumilicious!

3. Took Shinkansen Hikari for Tokyo Station in 3 hours. [¥13,620]

6th & 7th Day - 28~29 Apr. 2016

Travelling around Tokyo using JR lines like Yamanote, JR Utsunomiya, etc. It was F.O.C. However, must be prepared to walk about 400~700m to reach the JR stations. Each trip costs between ¥200~400. Therefore, for a total 10 trips, can save average of about ¥3,000.

*Alternative to having to walk quite a bit to reach a JR station: (Reference: Tokyo Metro)

Tokyo Metro 24-hour Ticket

PriceAdult: 600 yen, Child: 300 yen




  •                                                         Subway TokyoTozai.png Tōzai
  • Subway TokyoYurakucho.png Yūrakuchō
  • Subway TokyoHanzomon.png Hanzōmon



  • Tokyo Combination Ticket

    PriceAdult: 1,590 yen, Child: 800 yen

    A ticket allowing unlimited rides on Tokyo Metro, Toei Subway, Toei Streetcar (Toden), Toei Bus (except for buses with fixed seats, etc.), all sections of Nippori-Toneri Liner as well as all JR lines within the Tokyo metropolitan area for one day as stated on the ticket.

    Rail Pass for 2 or 3 days are also available.

    8th Day - 30 Apr. 2016

    For the trip from Tokyo Station to Narita Airport, I chose the route:
    1. JR Yamanote from Tokyo to Nippori Station in 12 min [¥160]
    2. Keisei Skyliner from Nippori to Narita Airport in 42 min. [¥1,240]

    At Narita Airport - Look out for photo-booth giving free photo with sumurai or shogen gears.

    Monday, 15 February 2016

    JR Pass with Hokuriku Extension

    With the Hokuriku extension running since March 2015, we can travel to western Japan, the Sea of Japan.

    We plan to travel to Toyama, the birth-place of Fuiko Fujio, the manga writer of Doraemon - not sure if we can view the 45 volumes kept at Takaoka Central Library though. We will also get to see the firefly squid that glows in the night and perhaps get to eat them too.

    We will land in Tokyo on 23 Apr. 2016 and be busy till 26 Apr. so we are not sure whether we will get the opportunity to see the beautiful sakura blooms. I watched "Waku Waku Japan" yesterday and was pleasantly surprised that the Hirosaki Sakura Festival will be held in Aomori from 23 Apr. to 5 May 2016.

    With the 7-day JR Pass which cost ¥24,000, we can travel from Narita to Toyama on 23rd and then on 26th afternoon or 27th morning for the 7-hours shinkansen trip to Aomori. [See the picture from JNTB with the sakura blooms around the castle] which is certainly worth the long travel.



    Thursday, 30 January 2014

    Cover both Tokyo & Hokkaido with JR Pass

    I want to do a simple travel plan for a dear brother and sister in Christ if they plan to go to Japan for their honeymoon in December this year! (Well, just a proposal if they choose it)

    Itinerary for 7-days to Honshu / Hokkaido (15~21 Dec. 2014)
    From
    To
    By
    From
    To
    Remarks
    Changi Airport
    Narita Airport
    SQ638 
    2355hrs
    0740hrs
    Dep. On 14/12
    Narita Airport
    Singapore
    SQ11 
    2050hrs
    0325hrs
    Arr. On 22/12






    *Redeem JR Pass with JTB voucher at JR Reservation Office.
    *At the same time, make reservations for all Shinkansen trips at the same office.
    Reservations of Shinkansen & connecting trains seats
    From
    To
    By
    From
    To
    Remarks
    Narita Airport (T2)
    Tokyo
    Narita Express 12
    0936hrs
    1044hrs
    15 Dec. 2014 (1N)
    Hotel check-in
    Tokyo (T23)
    Shin-Aomori
    SHINKANSEN HAYABUSA 1
    0632hrs
    0930hrs
    16 Dec. 2014 (2N)
    Shin-Aomori
    Hakodate
    Ltd Express SUPER Hakucho 1
    1017hrs
    1222hrs

    Hakodate
    Sapporo
    Ltd Express SUPER Hakuto 7
    1230hrs
    1558hrs
    Check-in

    Sapporo
    Hakodate
    Ltd Express Hakuto 84
    0730hrs
    1135hrs
    18 Dec. 2014 (1N)
    *Early lunch of Ikura Kani don.
    Hakodate
    Shin-Aomori
    Ltd Express Super Hakucho 14
    0724hrs
    0933hrs
    19 Dec. 2014

    Shin-Aomori (T11)
    Omiya
    ·         SHINKANSEN HAYABUSA 14

    0950hrs
    1238hrs

    Omiya
    Nagano
    ·         SHINKANSEN ASAMA 525
    1334hrs
    1450hrs
    Hotel check-in (2N)
    Nagano
    Takasaki
    ·         LTD. EXP KUSATSU 2
    1100hrs
    1205hrs
    21 Dec. 2014

    Takasaki (T13)
    Tokyo
    ·         SHINKANSEN MAX TOKI 322
    1230hrs
    1320hrs

    Tokyo
    Narita Airport
    ·         Narita Express 43
    1703hrs
    1803hrs
    Arrive at T1. Walk 6 min. to Int’l side







    Places of Interests:
    For Her: Jigokudani Yaen-Koen (Nagano Prefecture.) 
    >She wants to see the snow monkeys in the open air hot spring baths.
    For Him: The RX-78 Gundam full-size model (Odaiba Diver City)
    >He is always fascinated with Gundam! For them: Tokyo Skytree, Sapporo, Hakodate

    Sunday, 15 December 2013

    Bonus for using JR Pass - Return Leg from Sapporo

    The return trip from Sapporo to Tokyo would have cost me ¥29,480 without the JR pass and that is already more than the amount I have paid for the 7-Day pass!

    Day 6 – 4 Nov. 2013 (Sapporo to Tokyo)
    From
    To
    By
    Cost
    Time Taken
    Remarks
    Sapporo
    Hakodate
    Ltd. Express
    ¥8,080
    211min
    Taken
    Hakodate
    Shin-Aomori
    Ltd. Express
    ¥4,830
    130min
    Taken
    Shin-Aomori
    Tokyo
    Shinkansen
    ¥16,570
    206min
    Taken

    Shin-Aomori

    Omiya

    Shinkansen

    ¥15,670

    192min


    Omiya
    Nagano
    Shinkansen
    ¥5,780
    73min


    Omiya
    Niigata
    Shinkansen
    ¥9,570
    98min



    Instead of going to Tokyo, I could have chosen to switch at Omiya (Saitama) Station for Shinkansen  Asama to go to Nagano or Shinkansen Toki to go to Niigata. Both places are famous for their mountains, ski and hot spring resorts - best for nature lovers. I must make it a point to visit either one or both of these places in my next visit to Japan.


    Day 7 – 5 Nov. 2013 (Tokyo to Osaka)
    From
    To
    By
    Cost
    Time Taken
    Remarks
    Tokyo
    Shin-Osaka
    Shinkansen
    ¥13,240
    177min.
    Taken
    Shin-Osaka
    Nishinomiya
    JR Train
    ¥290
    19min.
    Taken


    Day 8 – 6 Nov. 2013 (Osaka)
    From
    To
    By
    Cost
    Time Taken
    Remarks
    Nishinomiya
    Osaka
    JR Train
    ¥290
    15min.
    Taken
    Osaka
    Nishinomiya
    JR Train
    ¥290
    19min.
    Taken




    The total cost of all the train trips taken during these 7 days (Day 2 to 8) would have been ¥88,490 but I paid only ¥28,300.