Friday, August 29, 2008

Trip to Yufuin, Oita

Yufuin is famous for its outstanding mountain, Yufudake and onsen, or hot spring. There are a lot of upmarket ryokans, or Japanese style hotels.

I visited there to bathe in the onsen this spring as a day trip from Oita.

I bathed at Ryokan Musoen as a day use. The view from the outdoor bath was spectacular.

Musoen official website (in Japanese)
Day use admission: between 10 and 15 hrs, bathing allowed until 15:30.
Entrance fee: 700 yen
Bring your own towel.

--Access to Yufuin--

1-1) From Fukuoka by train (limited express):

Train #HakataYufuin
Yufu DX 17:4510:01
Yufuin-no-Mori 19:1611:28
Yufuin-no-Mori 310:1712:26
Yufu DX 312:1814:41
Yufuin-no-Mori 514:3416:44
Yufu DX 517:1819:35

1-2) To Fukuoka by train (limited express):

Train #YufuinHakata
Yufu DX 29:0711:15
Yufuin-no-Mori 212:0214:08
Yufu DX 414:1716:32
Yufuin-no-Mori 415:4818:08
Yufuin-no-Mori 617:0719:15
Yufu DX 618:4120:44

Price: 4,400 yen each way (limited express, reserved seat)
JR Pass applicable.

2) From and to Oita by train (JR):

Local trains run at least every hour and takes approx. 1 hour.
Price: 910 yen each way

3-1) From Fukuoka by bus

Hakata Station
Transport Center
Tenjin Bus CenterFukuoka Airport
Terminal 1 and 2
Fukuoka Airport
Terminal 3
Yufuin Station

3-2) To Fukuoka by bus:

Yufuin StationFukuoka Airport
Terminal 1, 2
Fukuoka Airport
Terminal 3
Tenjin Bus CenterHakata Station
Transport Center

- : unavailable

Price: one way; 2,800 yen, return; 5,000 yen

Kyushu Highway Bus Booking Center: 0120-489-939


Directions to Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu from Shibuya Station

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu official website

JR Shibuya Station map
Walk toward the Tamagawa Exit.

Exit from this gate.

Walk toward Shibuya Mark City (Excel Hotel) by following the signpost.

In the daytime, go up to the third floor by escalator on the left. At night, walk forward as the yellow arrow directs.

Go upstairs to the third floor by this escalator.

Walk ahead, and catch the elevator to the 5th floor where the reception is located.


The limousine bus from Narita and Haneda Airports stops on the same level as the reception, in front of the hotel.


Directions to Shibuya Tokyu Inn

Pictorial directions to Shibuya Tokyu Inn from JR Shibuya Station.

JR Shibuya Station map

Head to the Hachiko Gate after alighting from the train. It's rather far from the Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Saikyo Line, Narita Express platform, maybe the distance is 5 or 600 meters.

Exit at this gate.

Head toward the Miyamasuzaka Intersection.

Miyamasuzaka Intersection: Turn to the left and cross the street.

Go this way. This is the Meiji Street. Subway construction work is going on.

Soon you'll find this signboard.

Tokyu Inn building



Shibuya Tokyu Inn official website


Friday, August 22, 2008

Puratto Kodama, a discount Shinkansen ticket


Puratto Kodama is a discount fare only available on the Kodama train on the Tokaido Shinkansen. This ticket must be bought one day before departure at the designated agency. A voucher for a drink valid at JR Central Kiosk outlets or from an on board vendor is attached.

Price comparison from Tokyo to Kyoto each way ( in the normal season ):
Normal fare in an ordinary reserved seat: 13,220 yen
Puratto Kodama ordinary reserved seat: 9,800 yen
Difference: 3,420 yen

Even though it takes another one hour to get to Kyoto from Tokyo on the Kodama compared with the Nozomi and the Hikari, it's a good deal if you can afford time.

-- Normal season one way faretable --

Green car
StationsTokyoShinYokohamaShizuokaHamamatsuNagoyaKyoto ShinOsaka
Ordinary car

- : Unavailable

-- Peak season one way faretable --

puratto kodama peak season price chart

This fare consists only of the combinations of the stations above. If you alight en route using this ticket, you'll be charged the full fare at that station.
Also the ticket is valid only on the designated train.

Deserted green car compartment

Green car image

series 700 ordinary car

Ordinary car image

1) Westbound Kodama trains available on this fare:

Kodama train #TokyoShinagawaShinYokohamaShizuokaHamamatsuNagoyaKyotoShinOsaka
Thereafter the Kodama for Nagoya leaves Tokyo 26 past the hour until 18:26, running in the same manner as #635.
Thereafter the Kodama for ShinOsaka leaves Tokyo 56 past the hour until 15:56, running in the same manner as #637.

2) Eastbound Kodama trains available on this fare:

Kodama train#ShinOsakaKyotoNagoyaHamamatsuShizuokaShinYokohamaShinagawaTokyo
Then the Kodama leaves Nagoya 27 past the hour for Tokyo until 20:28, running nearly in the same manner as #636
Then the Kodama leaves ShinOsaka 50 past the hour for Tokyo until 18:50, running nearly in the same manner as #638

3) Where to purchase this ticket:

- JR Central (Tokai) Tours, located in major stations on the Tokaido Shinkansen.
- JTB and JTB Traveland branches in the prefectures below ( There are some exceptions.)

Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Tochigi, Gumma, Ibaragi, Niigata, Yamanashi
Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, Mie, Nagano, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui
Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Shiga, Hyogo, Wakayama


JR Tokai Tours at Kyoto Station

JR Central Shinkansen Timetable

Puratto Kodama official site in Japanese


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Access to Oakwood Shinjuku from Shinjuku Station

Access directions to Oakwood Apartments Shinjuku  after alighting from NEX

7th March, 2011
This establishment seems to have been closed.

Oakwood Shinjuku mainly caters to those staying for a long time. It's a reputable establishment. There are a lot of shops and restaurants in the vicinity.

In case you head to Shinjuku from Narita Airport by Narita Express, you might want to change to a Chuo-Sobu local train to Okubo and walk there.

Distance from Oakwood Shinjuku
Distance from Shinjuku and Okubo Stations

Index on this page (link to each item)

1) Access info from the Shinjuku Station Narita Express platform via Okubo Station

2) Access info from JR Shinjuku Station West Exit

3) Access info from the limousine bus stop from Narita Airport

----- ----- ----- ----- -----

1) Access from the Shinjuku Station Narita Express platform via Okubo Station

Link to the Shinjuku Station Map. NEX will arrive on platform #5 or 6

First, get off the Narita Express at Shinjuku.

Shinjuku Platform #3 and 4

Stairs with signboard: Then go upstairs to the southernmost, Shibuya side overhead hallway by escalator.

Hallway: Walk toward platform #16 to catch the Sobu-Chuo Local train.

Go down to platform #16 by escalator.

Sobu-Chuo Line local train: You are supposed to take one of them to Okubo, next stop.

Next stop Okubo is shown on this LED just above the doors.

Okubo Station

After getting off the train, head toward the south exit.

Okubo Station

Go downstairs to clear the turnstile.
Then turn on the right and soon turn left, then walk diagonally.

oakwood shinjuku from okubo

Map directions from Okubo Station to Oakwood

Keep walking until you encounter the Odakibashi-Dori.

Odakibashi Dori (Street)

This is the Odakibashi-Dori. Head straight toward Shinjuku on the left side walkway.
Then you'll find the Oakwood soon on your left.

Oakwood Aprtments Shinjuku

Oakwood entrance

----- ----- ----- ----- -----

2) Access from JR Shinjuku Station West Exit

Link to the navigation from the Narita Express platform to the West Exit

Clear the West Exit turnstile.

Walk through the crowds to find this signpost. ( Stairs #1 )

Go up to the ground level.

Then start to walk down the curbside on the right all the way.

Keep walking.

Go on walking. Then cross the intersection ahead.

The view from the intersection

Then you pass this book store. You are now very close to Oakwood.

Oakwood Aprtments Shinjuku

Oakwood entrance.

----- ----- ----- ----- -----

3) Access from the limousine bus stop from Narita Airport

Shinjuku Station Limousine Bus Stop

The coach arrives at bus stop #23. Walk backward for awhile, then follow this navigation.