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.












Thursday, 5 December 2013

Dollars (Yen) and sense of using the JR Pass to travel around Japan

The following tabulation on the train fares and time taken allows you to consider and plan the various options to explore Japan. Use "Hyperdia" to check and select the train to & fro the place of your interest.

Day 1 – 30 Oct. 2013 (Arrival in Japan)
From
To
By
Cost
Time Taken
Remarks
Kansai Airport
Ibaraki-Osaka
Airport Limo
¥2000
70min.
Taken


JR Train
¥2430
59min.



Nankai AE
¥1270
73min








Day 2 – 31 Oct. 2013 (Osaka)
From
To
By
Cost
Time Taken
Remarks
Ibaraki-Osaka
Takatsuki
JR Train
¥170
5min.
Taken
Takatsuki
Osaka
JR Train
¥250
23min.
Taken
Osaka
Ibaraki-Osaka
JR Train
¥210
14min
Taken







Day 3 – 1 Nov. 2013 (Osaka - Sapporo)
From
To
By
Cost
Time Taken
Remarks
Ibaraki-Osaka
Shin-Osaka
JR Train
¥210
8min.
Taken
Shin-Osaka
Tokyo
Shinkansen
¥13,240
190min.
Taken
Tokyo
Shin-Aomori
Shinkansen
¥16,370
208min
Taken
Shin-Aomori
Hakodate
Ltd. Express
¥4,830
141min.
Taken
Hakodate
Sapporo
Ltd. Express
¥8,080
245min
Taken







Day 4 – 2 Nov. 2013 (Sapporo)
From
To
By
Cost
Time Taken
Remarks
Sapporo
JR Soen
JR Train
¥160
3min.
Taken
JR Soen
Sapporo
JR Train
¥160
2min.
Taken
Sapporo
Wakkanai
Ltd. Express
¥9,660
299min

Wakkanai
Sapporo
Ltd. Express
¥9,660
299min

Sapporo
Abashiri
Ltd. Express
¥9,130
325min

Abashiri
Sapporo
Ltd. Express
¥9,130
320min

Sapporo
Sunagawa
Ltd. Express
¥2,510
52min

Sunagawa
Sapporo
Ltd. Express
¥2,510
52min

Sapporo
Otaru
JR Train
¥620
46min

Otaru
Sapporo
JR Train
¥620
46min

Sapporo
Toya (Muroran)
Ltd. Express
¥3150
117min

Toya
Sapporo
Ltd. Express
¥3150
117min








Day 5 – 3 Nov. 2013 (Sapporo)
From
To
By
Cost
Time Taken
Remarks
Odori
Sakaemachi
Subway
¥280
12min.
Taken
Sakaemachi
Odori
Subway
¥280
12min.
Taken













As it was Sunday, I spent a good ½ day at the church, Canaan Praise Church of Sapporo before doing the last minute shopping.

*Many options to see Hokkaido are available above without having to pay for the train fares.
**To check any of the suggested area, just highlight with the mouse and right-click, selecting Google-search and you will get a comprehensive guide of the available attractions before deciding where to go. I'll definitely visit Otaru and Lake Toya on my next visit to Hokkaido.
I effectively started using the JR Pass on Day 3 and would have incurred a hefty amount if not for the pass:
Cost of 7-Day JR Pass= ¥28,300 (S$358.00)
Cost of 1st leg to Sapporo= ¥43,050 (S$531.00)