One Day Trip

And hereunder has some more information.

Lost in Tokyo

Tokyo Drift? which was actually filmed in Shibuya (including the famous pedestrian crossing in front of Hachiko dog statue). The six best cities to get lost in? It is indeed precious time to find yourself, who you are, what to be, meaning of life, while you are traveling around the world. Walked along the Ganga river in Varanasi, but not yet Lost in Translation in downtown Tokyo? Temporary or meanwhile, quit what you are doing, grab last-minute cheap fare to Narita or Haneda, yes, it is high time to explore and feel them all with your 6th sense here in the far east islands.

Here's a quote from BBC
The bewildering pace and flickering neon of this go-go city guarantee a bit of giddiness. Abandon yourself to the disorientation and you might just get off-road enough to find the wabi-sabi side of Tokyo JAPAN.

Tokyo train gets you lost
Tokyo has 9 lines (Tokyo Metro) and 4 lines (Toei Subway) plus JR lines, which is enough complicated but in addition to them, there are more than 10 private railway companies departing-from / arriving-at downtown Tokyo terminals (Asakusa, Ueno, Nippori, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa and of course Tokyo central station). Pick randomly any one station up from the map, and without GPS without handy guide, let's get lost, shall we.

Lost with cats (=^.^=)
Once you step in their precincts, Edo will appear within you, in another words, your soul comes back in your body from the era. Station name is the temple name, yes, Gotokuji station is about 15 minutes from Shinjuku station on Odakyu line. Let's count how many cats you can find there regardless cat has nine lives or not.

Lost in the temple
Go-koku-ji (peace-nation-temple) was built in 1697, and remains the original structure and facade which is very rare because almost all buildings were damaged by Great Kanto Earthquake (1923) and/or Allied Bombing (1945). Unlike Kyoto temples, it is free of charge to get in and to take a walk through here in Tokyo, you will find the air of Edo Samurai Period once you step into the main temple (hondou). Thanks to major guide books, this temple is not listed but still on unbeaten track, you may find yourself as only being (apart from all the spirits in the air) in front of buddha statues. There is a little tiny shop humbly selling buddhism ralated ornaments (not like business-business pushing selling style of Asakusa Sensouji Temple). You may get some dream called like Santiago in The Alchemist.

Find what Buddha eats
It is only 1 hour train ride either from Tokyo station (JR Yokosuka Line) or Shinjuku station (JR Shounan Shinjuku Line) to reach Kamakura where you could get lost either in little mountain hill or along the gray (not white) beach of the Pacific Ocean. To find your being is to find what Buddha (Vishnu transformed?) has in his mind (or in his stomach). You may officially enter, without even knock-knock, into his belly. Not very spiritual but many tourists throw coins to his chin which can be seen as bowl when you stand inside of his stomach. Let's make wish as you do for shooting stars.

Park Hyatt in Shinjuku
Of course, iwazutoshireta well-watched movie. Do you think that it is made-up story? You might have been missing that kind of chances even without noticing, well actually you are missing the opportunities because you are NOT noticing that it is right there in front of you anytime anywhere. Did you talk to the person who sit next to you on the international flight last time? S/he may have important information if you did converse. Let's follow the butterflies, you'll get your toast much delicious every morning. Let's follow the dream, again as morden alchemist, you may find treasures in you, yourself.

HachijoJima (Hachijo island)
This active volcanic island has been lonely neglected and situated in the middle of Pacific Ocean, lies at a distance of 278km from Tokyo, yes, geographically it is one of the izu chain islands, yet administratively Tokyo, the capital. Edo and Meiji sent many prisoners deported to the island, modern era failed to make this island as Japan's Hawaii, now peacefully and nicely "left-over" attracts nature lovers. One hour short ANA flight or 10 hours night ferry to the natural charm.

Daibutsu and Kannon

Tsunyu Temple, northern Asakusa, has fusion of modern and tradition.

Byakurengedo in Shinjuku. New generation, new age, new style of life&death.

Tokyo has 1,398 shrines, and surrounding towns have big buddha statue (similar to the one in Nara, some actually bigger). Taito-ku has this style of Goshuin. Regardless having been to Dharamsala, XiaHe (for Labrang Temple) or not, it is worth checking the sites. Easy to make it in one-day-trip from Asakusa.

Ushiku has 120m toll buddha statue. Nearby JR station is called Ushiku (52.8km from Ueno station). It is NOT Hitachi-no-Ushiku but simply Ushiku station on JR Joban Line. Scheduled bus will take you right to the statue within 30 - 35 minutes from the station.

Kamakura cannot be missed while you are in Tokyo. It is 51.0km south-west of Tokyo central station. Platform at Tokyo station is the same one for Narita Airport (Kamakura is opposite direction though). You may enjoy Yokohama and/or Enoshima with Kamakura to make it full day trip out of downtown Tokyo. Kamakura temple town itself could be an alternative for Kyoto if you did not have time/money to travel to the old capital city. By the way, Kamakura had ruled Samurai Japan from 1192 to 1333 (called Kamakura Jidai).

Oofuna Kan-non (next to Kamakura) can be caught on your eyes from the JR train, it will be on your right window when you are riding the train from Tokyo to Kamakura. JR Oofuna (or Ofuna with long O vowel sound) is one of the junction stations where Tokaido Line, Negishi Line, Yokosuka Line and Shonan Monorail turn in and turn out.

Nokogiriyama Nihonji is located about 100km south-east of Tokyo. Hamakanaya station is on JR Uchibo Line, 107.0km away from Tokyo central station. Please note that all the Limited Express (Tokkyu) on the Uchibo Line departs from the platform of KEIYO Line (not from SOBU Line platform). You may take Rope-Way to the temple since it is located in a mountain top.

Yougoudou at Sensouji Temple in Asakusa. 24 hours to pray. And next to the building has the oldest wooden building in Tokyo (1500s).
daibutsu kannon

Ooya or Oya or Ohya Kannon is located between Nikko and Utsunomiya, there are several easy access from Ueno (JR) and Asakusa (Tobu). Their official site is here. Are you interested in architect, Kuma Kengo san? Beautiful JR station Hoshakuji and more can be a good one day tour in Utsunomiya area (where the stone is produced). And you will be happily surprise that Asakusa is related because of Asakusa Bunka Kanko Center.

Temple and Shrine

Not tempura nor shrimp, but modern temple and unique shrine in downtown with Google Map

Iko-in in Asakusa - image and picture

Tsunyuji in north of Asakusa

Sengyoji in Ikebukuro

Tera (Temple) Cafe

Byakurengedo (white lotus architect temple)

Nayuta cafe in Kongohin (Kon-goh-in)

Ichimyoji (just like someone's house)

Shibararejizo (O-jizo-san tighten up with rope)

Fukagawa Fudoson (next to Tomioka Hachiman)

Yodobashi (not Camera but) Church

St.Mary's Tokyo Cathedral (next to Chinzanso)

There are more than 1,600 temples and shrines in 23 districts of Tokyo (which is sometimes considered as downtown Tokyo), among which, Taito-district (Taito-ku or Taito-city) has the most number, about 250. You may find the Links at this website, and for Japanese language search (including easy map navigation), we would like to recommend TendaiShu, JodoShu, ShinShu, NichirenShu.

Flea Market (Ichi)

Open - 15th and 28th of each month, as well as First Sunday and Second Sunday of each month, from sunrise to sunset

Open - Once or twice a month, earby Ikebukuro

Open - First Sunday of each month (except January which holds on Second Sunday)

TakahataFudoson gozare-ichi = garakuta-ichi
Open - Second Sunday and third Sunday of each month

Oedo Antique Market
Open - Once or twice a month, Tokyo International Forum or Yoyogi Park

Ooi KeibaJo (HorseRace)
Open - Most of the weekends, please check the official page above

Mottainai FleaMa
Open - Please check the official page above

Recycler (at big stadiums all around Tokyo)
Open - Please check the official page above

Lucky Cat Shrine

NekoBon = CatBook
Kanda Jimbocho

Gallery NekoMachi = CatTown
Yanaka near Ueno

Yanaka near Ueno

Temari no Oshiro = Castle of Temari
Kichijoji where Ghibli Museum is located

No one knows for sure where the luck cat came from, and there are so many stories behind the origin of the Maneki Neko, but perhaps the most popular one should be the legend of the Asakusa Imado Jinja Shrine. An old woman living in Imado (Asakusa) was forced to sell her cat due to extreme poverty. While she was struggling to decide selling away her loved one, she dreamed of the cat, which told her to make its image in clay. So she did as being told in her dream, and soon later started selling the statue. She then made more clay cats, and people bought them as well. They became so popular that she could soon become prosperous and wealthy. In Edo period held the real story, but Imado area had been famous for its local clay pot since 15 century. Imado Jinja Shrine has male cat and female cat as one pair, therefore not only welth but good relation in love have been prayed. Wanna find Japanese mate? Welcome to Asakusa Imado!

Imado Jinja Shrine
Imado 1-5-22, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Telephone : 03-3872-2703
Nearby Station : Asakusa Station

Western side of downtown Tokyo has another legend, no need to meow-miao here but very much worth visiting/exploring.

Gotokuji Temple
Gotokuji 2-24-7, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Nearby Station : Gotokuji on Odakyu Line (west of Shinjuku)

Lucky Cat (or Maneki Neko, Raking Cat, Beckoning Cat, Money Cat, Welcoming Cat, Fortune Cat) is a good luck symbol in Japan. Maneki Neko is a common sight in Japan, placed in the entrance of ryokans, restaurants, shops and other businesses, in the hope that s/he will bring good luck and prosperity in the form of customers and extra business. Maneki Neko has a variety of colors and styles in many different figures. In the design of the sculptures, a raised left paw supposedly attracts cash, while a raised right paw protects it. Both paws waving/raking are sometime also seen, but many Japanese people say that it would be too greedy, and would represent Oteage Banzai which means You took me all, I am surrendered, with two hands held up (^^) which cat did because mouse cheated on zodiac race!


New Tokyo tower Tokyo SKYTREE is up towards Tokyo sky accross Sumida River, next to Asakusa. Official birthday is May 22nd, 2012. Boasting a height of 634m (Mu-Sa-Shi as 6-3-4, old name of Tokyo/Kanto area, MusashiNoKuni), the tower is one of the i-cons (eye-contacts?) of Tokyo. Arch rising of warpage/camber line is the Japanese tradition. Short nice walk from Asakusa. There is also Skytree Shuttle between Ueno - Asakusa - Skytree.

East side of the tower itself rises one shorter building called SolaMachi (SkyTown). 30th and 31st floors are free decks with great view with delicious cuirines available. The surrounding town had been nothing special for tourism, you may still be able to encounter hidden gems once you hop into the corner to their back streets, and this official page would guide you well.

Hakone Fuji Tour

Drive Traffic

Excursion Map for both Fuji-Five-Lakes and Hakone

JR direct trains

Chureito Pagota 15 min. walk from ShimoYoshida station

Mt.Fuji printed on JPY1000 bill

No driver's licence? No problem! How about all by reliable public transportation? It takes whole fun day, it may be too tight if you tried both five-lakes area (north side of Mt.Fuji) and Hakone area (south side of Mt.Fuji) in one day, so one-day-one-area is recommended. For those who wish to visit north side of Mt.Fuji (five-lakes area), either or JR (plus Fujikyu Railway) is your choice with on-line reservation website. For those who wish to visit south side of Mt.Fuji (Hakone area), either Odakyu pass or JR area pass.

What is life without bike? Are you confident to conquer Japan on your own way? Perhaps on your own BMW? Or how about renting Kawasaki or Honda or Yamaha here in Japan? Feel the wind in the far east Asia supported by Japan Bike Rentals.

Guided tour is easy! and lazy? at Hato Bus Tour and Japan City Tour. Or, would you like to do all and more on your own? Actually, if you were 3 persons and more, it is not only flexible but also cost affective. Let's drive where train and bus does not go. You may also be interested in Mt.Fuji Kawaguchiko Cheese Factory where wild deer is their neighborhoods. And this the ice warehouse for Edo people during the Edo period. Less beaten cave (watch out!) is on Gotemba side, yes, south side of Mt.Fuji => . Here is some price idea of self-guided-tour on Toyota, Nippon and Nissan rent-a-car companies. Total kilometers would be 300km - 400km round trip, 10hrs - 12hrs in total. Yaris can do more than 30km/liter.

Car with yellow plate (Kei-Jidousha or K-Jidousha in Japanese, max. 4 persons including driver, does not run fast on highway, very tiny small car with less than 660cc engine) : around JPY7,000 / 12hrs at Nippon Rent-A-Car Honda N-BOX is highly recommended. His mini brother N-VAN is your simple-home away home. His big brother Caravan is your permanent home in Japan?!

Eco Car (Hybrid) (max. 4 persons including driver, does run with very efficient km/gas figure) : around JPY11,000 / 12 hrs at Nippon Rent-A-Car.

Toyota Noah (max. 8 persons including driver, fit well with 6 persons comfortable size, but 8 persons will be a zoo drive?) : around JPY16,000 / 12hrs at Toyota Rent-A-Car

Or, how about Luxury Cars of Nissan like SKYLINE, FUGA, CIMA available at Nissan Rent-A-Car? Watching Mt.Fuji while driving luxury (speed along with Shinkansen) is one of Lost-in-Translation experience! in another words, you may get two tickets, one to police station, and other to nirvana (^^)

Toll for highway express road (Kosoku Ryokin) from downtown Tokyo to Fuji area round trip should be JPY7,000 - JPY8,000. Gas/Petrol for round the trip should be less than JPY3,000 for sure depending on car-size and how you accelerate/control/shift the car. Hybrid car can ride 30km - 40km per litter, even normal YARiS can do 30km per litter.. 300km = 30km/litter x 10 litters. JPY1,800 = 10 litters x JPY180/litter.

Shutoko Expressway

Expressway Map

5th station toll road

Mt.Fuji Panoramic Ropeway (Kawaguchiko)

Ropeway on Komagatake

Ferry on Ashinoko (Ashi-lake)

Boat on Kawaguchiko/Motosuko

AmphiBus?! on Yamanakako

Swan Boat on Yamanakako

Insurance to cover any scar/damage/accident : Various, usually including the rental charge (please make sure that your travel insurance is also protecting yourselves)

Straight going back to either Narita Airport or Haneda Airport? Here's your easy drive.
Narita Airport : Multiple routes are available
Haneda Airport : Multiple routes are avaialble

Fujiya Hotel in Hakone
Once John Lennon stayed traditional Japanese hotel is now available on-line reservation.

Fujikyu Highland, young enough to scream all day long? Sorry if you were over 61 years old, some rides CANNOT be available for elder ladies/gentlemen. Now we know that we've got to enjoy our life when it is possible, let's not miss the chance! Please check weather forecast at this weather page so that you can scream with the great view of Mt.Fuji. The best would be the Guiness Recorded 121 degree steep cliff coaster. Can't imagine this world!

Hungry after all? Hoto (local udon noodle) is the speciality there. Quite a volume because history says this is the war-time quick food. Interested in architecture/design as well? HO(U)TO(U)-FUDO(U) is the best recommended, Shinkansen ride with Mt.Fuji view and HOTO noodle with Mt.Fuji view are the must things while you are in Japan.

Again, make sure that you find sunny day at, and please try dreaming your journey ahead (^_^) it eventually comes true. And hereunder is some great live camera view in your hands

Fuji-Go-Ko (five lakes area, north side of Mt.Fuji)

Ashinoko of Hakone (south side of Mt.Fuji)

Hakone Turnpike (birdview over Ashinoko)

Mt.Fuji Live View (from Shimizu, Fujinomiya and Gotemba)

From Fuji-city (nearby Shin-Fuji Shinkansen station)

From Satta Pass (Hiroshige's View)

From Enoshima (Monorail station deck)

Climbing Mt.Fuji

Yes, The World Heritage. Mt.Fuji (or Fuji-san) is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776m peak and located approximately 100 kms south-west of Tokyo. The symbol of Japan and the spirit of Japan as Mr.Abe once described. The official climbing season is July and August, only 2 months which is the season all huts are opened and mountain buses also run fully.

Official FAQ, all about Fuji san

Route 3776

Bus timetable for the summer (always updated for the season)

Alternative bus schedule (called Subashiri Trail (no entrance fee)

Official Mountain Guide by The City

4 Route Maps

Lazy to climb but would like to capture the great view? And perhaps drive Toyota there? Then, please surf on Hakone Fuji Tour, one column up.

FAQ : Can I climb and come back within one day from Tokyo? Is it possible to do the summit if I departed early in the morning (hotel/ryokan based in Tokyo)? Officially not recommended but yes, you can, only if you are good at mountain. Detailed answer is at the bottom of this page.

Direct bus to the 5th station is available from Shinjuku West Exit Kosoku Bus Terminal (BusTa). The 2.5 hours ride cost JPY3,500 one way one adult. Reservation is almost must and highly recommended (up to 1 month ahead).

Train is not really recommended, but if you had JR Pass already and would like to make most of the usage, please take JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku, get off at Otsuki to transfer Fujikyu Line all the way to the last stop called Kawaguchiko station (or middle station called Fujisan station, formerly known as Fuji-Yoshida station). This Fujikyu Line is not JR, therefore extra JPY1,170 or JPY1,040 respectively is needed for one way one adult for JR Pass traveler. Without JR Pass, it is JPY2,510 (JPY1,340 for JR local train + JPY1,170 for Fujikyu Line) or JPY2,380 (JPY1,340 for JR local train + JPY1,040 for Fujikyu Line). Limited Express needs extra JPY1,020 - JPY1,620 depending on which train/day you ride (JR Pass holder can ride without surcharge). Then, mountain bus from Kawaguchiko station (or Fujisan station) to the 5th station which is JPY1,780 and about an hour ride from whichever station.

1. Without JR Pass via Kawaguchiko station : Shinjuku => Otsuki => Kawaguchiko => 5th station : JPY5,460 + limited express fare if needed
2. With JR Pass : Shinjuku => Otsuki => Kawaguchiko => 5th station : JPY1,170 + limited express fare if needed on Fujikyu Line (couple hundred yen) + JPY1,780
3. With JR Pass : Shinjuku => Otsuki => Kawaguchiko => 5th station : JPY1,170 (local train on Fujikyu Line) + JPY1,780

Just some example below. Seasonal timetable may apply, please consult bus and train companies.

Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal (Bus-Ta) 06:45AM => 09:20AM 5th station of Mt.Fuji
Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal (Bus-Ta) 09:05AM => 11:40AM 5th station of Mt.Fuji

You have about 8 hours - 11 hours to conquer the top of Japan! which is enough for both ways (5th station => top => 5th station) depending on how you are sporty and experienced in mountain climbing ....... again, not officially recommended!

5th station of Mt.Fuji 15:00 => 17:35 Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal (Bus-Ta)
5th station of Mt.Fuji 17:00 => 19:35 Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal (Bus-Ta)
5th station of Mt.Fuji 19:50 => 20:35 Kawaguchiko (last chance to get back to downtown Tokyo)
5th station of Mt.Fuji 20:40 => 21:25 Kawaguchiko (you can not make it to downtown Tokyo in same day)
5th station of Mt.Fuji 21:10 => 21:55 Kawaguchiko (not Fridays, not Saturdays)

Kawaguchiko 20:15 => 22:00 Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal (Bus-Ta)
Kawaguchiko 20:51 => 21:44 Otsuki 21:54 => 22:29 Takao 22:30 => 23:28 Tokyo
Kawaguchiko 21:19 => 22:16 Otsuki 22:24 => 23:00 Takao 23:05 => 00:19 Tokyo

FAQ : The cheapest way to the top!?

You can start climbing actually from 1st station called UmaGaeshi (literally translated as Horse Return).
Fujisan station => Uma-Gaeshi
09:30 => 10:00
15:00 => 15:30

It costs JPY500 one way one adult. Ready for the longest walking journey starts from the 1st station to the 10th (top of the Yoshidaguchi route), which is about 9 - 10 hours ascend. You may consider staying over-night at the 5th station for easier task.

Alternatively, there is Gotemba route. To reach to Gotemba, the easiest way is to take Odakyu Line from Shinjuku. Note that there are only 3 trains a day directly bound for Gotemba from Shinjuku, other than these Limited Express called Fujisan Tokkyu, you may need to change at Shin-Matsuda or Matsuda station. Also note that it is JR line from Matsuda to Gotemba, and that it is Odakyu Line from Shinjuku to Shin-Matsuda.

1. With JR Pass : Shinjuku => Shin-Matsuda (Matsuda) => Gotemba : JPY800 (this is the fare for Odakyu Line, you do not need to pay JR because you have JR Pass)
2. Without JR Pass : Shinjuku => Shin-Matsuda (Matsuda) => Gotemba : JPY2,920 all included with Limited Express Mt.Fuji
3. With JR Pass : Tokyo => Kozu => Gotemba : JPY 0 (zero yen since all covered by JR Pass) and 2 hrs 10 min
4. Without JR Pass : Tokyo => Kozu => Gotemba : JPY1,980 one way one adult

There is a bus from Gotemba to the 5th station called Gotemba-Guchi-Shin-Gogome. It is JPY1,130 one way one adult, runs almost every hour from 7AM to 4PM throughout summer.

Non-FAQ (^_^) What is the hardcore route?

Are you tough? Apart from four major routes, there is also this completed version called Route3776, yes, from the seashore to the summit. To touch the water of Suruga Bay is nearest from JR Shin-Fuji station or from JR Yoshiwara station. Here's got Google Map from the Pacific Ocean to top of Japan .

Of course, the official four major routes for climbing Mt Fuji are easier for most of people, making it possible to all range of people at any age. The record is said to be 101 years old (or some says 105 years old or even 108 years old). Interested in naming on the Guiness Book? In fact, more than 300,000 people attempting the climb every year, yes, over-tourism, that's why they started JPY2,000/person Mt.Fuji climbing entrance fee.

Seems easy task, but there are matters which require attention, please. Without noticing the risk of death, mountain sickness is something which affects some people due to the high altitude even at 3,000m range above sea level, in which case it is strongly advised to descend immediately. Indeed, July and August is summer in cities and towns at the bottom of Mt.Fuji, but even this time (even day time) is normally less than 5 degrees Celsius at the summit, plus strong gust, therefore appropriate and adequate protection against the cold and the wind (as well as rain and fog) is necessary. On certain other days, the day time temperatures can also get very hot, so enough drinking water is must. You know mountain is bit different from beach, therefore, bad weather, strong wind and lightning can be very dangerous, not to mention falling rocks, sunburn, cold, heart failure and other accidents which have led to fatal circumstances.

Type of accommodation on the routes are sort of huts which normally charge about 8,000yen - 15,000yen. Usually one person occupy one tatami which is 1.62 square meters! approximately 90cm x 180cm. Closer to the summit, the scenery can be somewhat heaven (if you remember the one between your previous life and this time) when the weather is fine, when your body condition is fine.

Shops on the summit open from about 3.30 a.m. in July and August but may close during the last few days of the season. Sunrise is generally between 4.30am and 5.00am, when many shout the Japanese phrase "Banzai" which is originated in Chinese "Wansui" meaning 10,000 years! a word of celebration and hope for longevity (and thank what led you to be your own self).

Another FAQ : Subashiri(Guchi) Trail from/to Gotemba

Tokyo 05:20 => 07:23 Gotemba 07:35 => 08:35 The trail 5th station (you have 8 - 11 hours)
Q-LINE bus schedule


The crater has a diameter of approximately 800 meters, and the circle route of the rim is about 3km which might take 1.5hours. The top of the top (the summit, the peak) is at south west of the circuit, apparently, FujinomiyaGuchi route is the closest reach, but it is totally the other way if you reached from YoshidaGuchi or SubashiriGuchi. Clockwise is so called "right way" to walk which is perhaps related to religious act, moving forward while your right shoulder is facing the center object. This pilgrimage is called Ohachi Meguri in Japanese language. And why not send a love letter from Mt.Fuji. South of the ring edge has a public Post Office and vending machine for sweet drink.

Aomori-ken One Day Trip

Extra day you have, and got bored in Tokyo? Northern most of main island Honshu is facing Tsugaru Kaikyo Strait (Hakodate of Hokkaido the other side). Maguro tuna has the best name between Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean, you might have heard of 3 million dollars worth fish at Toyosu Fish Market. October, November, December are the most recommended months for the precious tuna, and this is their official website.

Tohoku Shinkansen has the brand new (and the fastest in Japan) Hayabusa from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori (713.7km north of Tokyo) and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto (862.5km north of Tokyo). The 1+2 seater Gran-Class looks like international business class (additional gran-class fare required on top of JR Pass). The 2+2 seater Green-Car is comfortable and relaxed guaranteed as well (additional green-car fare required if your pass is for 2nd class). Other seats with 2+3 seater are all-reserved (there is no un-reserved seats) on Hayabusa super express. And below shows an example of the timetable according to JapanRouteFinder and

Tokyo 06:32 => 09:21 Hachinohe 09:33 => 10:19 Noheji 10:22 => 11:07 Shimokita 11:15 => 13:01 Omazaki
(Enjoy the port, you may be interested in crossing the strait with
Omazaki 16:18 => 17:55 Shimokita 18:17 => 19:14 Noheji 19:17 => 19:59 Hachinohe 20:12 => 23:04 Tokyo

You are not interested in fat tuna? but interested in feeling your loved one who had passed away sadly? then, Osorezan or Mt.Osore is the souls meeting spot. Your body may not be capable doing so (yet) but their shaman can do on behalf of you. One of the best sulphur onsen is also at the site, surely your heart and soul will be purified in many ways. Mind you, this is not a sightseeing tourist attraction but for one who's been struggling between death and live. Wanna know why you are reading this?

Oshima or Ohshima island x 3

#1. The southern one, in Kagoshima, just north of Okinawa

This one is located between Pacific Ocean and East China Sea, south of Kagoshima, north of Okinawa, some 1,300km away from Tokyo. There were only JAL used to fly there, but now PEACH (formerly known as Vanilla Air) is giving us chance to visit the island cost affective!

Great view of Mt.Fuji will be captured on right window from Narita to Amami Oshima.
Great view of Mt.Fuji will be captured on left window from Amami Oshima to Narita.

Therefore, it is worth paying extra few hundred yen to assign certain seat/s. Actually highly recommend to pay, and worth to do so to get the Relax Seat. And here is some tip to make your journey as wonderful as you expect.

Kakeroma Island (off main Amami island)

Amami Ferry (Kagoshima - Amami - Okinawa)

Island Bus called Shima Bus (3 days bus pass is the deal)

By the way, the capital town of the island is Naze, which is Why in Japanese. Is it high time that you should visit this island to re-aim your life goal? Why? The answer is there (^^)

#2. The middle one, between Onomichi and Imabari, bicycle mecca!
If your itinerary includes Hiroshima, the island called Iyo-Oshima is must to stop by, please. Some useful webistes are linked hereunder for your happy making dream-comes-true. (as good as shimanami-kaido?) (as low as JPY70 to ride a ferry! let's hail and ride!) (less known bicycle route)

#3. The northern one, off Tokyo Bay

The island is located south of Tokyo Bay, about 74 miles away. It was about 30 minutes ANA DHC8-Q400 flying, but now, no ANA flight at all, NCA does small plane. Touch-the-ocean style of living? It is about 2 hours speed boat (Tokai Kisen B929), day trip possible to feel the valcano wildness surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Slow life lover? There is even a night ferry from Tokyo to the island (Tokai Kisen Tachibana-maru).

Unlike Miyakejima (Miyake island), Oshima or Ohshima island does not require gas mask to visit, but it is true that almost every 50 years there has been a volcanic activity, the last one which caused a month whole island evacuation was in 1986.

You might have asked yourself "where is the horror movie RINGU (RING) island in Japan?" ....... well, the answer is here! The island is creepy famous for that crawling woman! Now even available on 3D effect, how creepy is that if Sadako san lives in virtual reality!?

Ohshima Park Zoo (free of charge) is located in north east of island. There is a coastal hiking route along the cliff and rough sea. Bus between Okata port (not Okada in pronunciation) and the park zoo is 14 minutes, 380yen, or about 2 hours wild (nice) walk. Bird cage is fun to be inside to feel like you are in the bird nature. Male camel was born in 1996 Hiroshima, exchanged to Fukuoka, traveled 800km to this island in 2008.

Are you a fun of onsen (hot spring)? No wonder the island is in high magma activity, there are many onsen hot spot. Below introduces some of them.

Oshima Onsen is right next to the crater cone area. You may even stay over-night from where you can capture sunrise and sunset beautifully.

Hamanoyu is right next to the Pacific Ocean, only 4 minutes short walk distance from Motomachi port. It is mixed onsen (male and female in the same bath). Unlike other hot spring, swimming suit (swimming pants) is must, so if you are shy but wanted to shout in front of the wild sea, this is the ideal place.
Seaside onsen hot spring, HamaNoYu

Kurumiya gained the benefit of the eruption in 1986, their cold well suddenly became hot natural spring, you will enjoy this Japanese style ryokan (20 rooms only).

Gojinka Onsen has no outside spa but 25m swimming pool (of course filled with hot natural spring). Bring your swimming suite and cap, and why not exercise in onsen pool? It is located actually right next to Hamanoyu (outside onsen, rotenburo), combination ticket has discount.