Takamatsu Nights and VANKulture.

The last couple of times I came to Takamatsu, they were in the evening because I would arrive late.

This time, it was late, but I had just gotten done spending time with my brothers.

I decided to go walk around Takamatsu Sunport.

I started walking towards the Sunport area. It was a good night, not windy or cold. It was perfect. I remember one of the spots I wanted to go to was the Red lighthouse.

I cut through Takamatsu station.

I went across the street where Sunport Hall Takamatsu was located.

Cut through headed to the port.

Now at the “pier” section.

As I was walking back to my rental, I saw a couple of cars drive by. I was kinda excited as taking some car pictures is a good night cap.

Once I saw it was an older Toyota Hiace van and Toyota Crown, I had to ask if I could take pictures! I love these older cars.

I talked to the owner and showed them Vankulture. They were not on any SNS (Social network service aka social media). After showing them, he jumped on Instagram.

The older Hiace vans with that VIP style… that is the style I fell in love with in 2002.

After that small meeting, I walked to the local train station to check out the local train line.

Having a calming night walk and just enjoying it was pretty cool. I loved it.

Wandering Leopard Saga continues – Train experience 2018

I had some major goals this time, I really wanted to ride the monorails that I could. I was able to hit 5 of them!!!

Friday  26th

Narita airport to Ueno station (Keisei Skyliner)

One I got to Ueno station, I made an error. I couldn’t mind my Suica!!! So I had to buy 2 day Tokyo Metro/Toei Subway pass!

Ueno station to Minami Senju station (Hibiya subway line) 

  • Minami Senju station to Nippori station (Joban line)
  • Nippori station to Ikebukuro station (Yamanote line)
  • Ikebukuro station to Kawagoe station (Tobu Tojo line)
  • Kawagoe station to Musashi-Takahagi station (Kawagoe line)

Also in reversal to get home.

Saturday 27th

Minami Senju to Akihabara station (Hibiya line)

Akihabara station to Orchanomizu station (Chuo Subo Line Local)

Ochanomizu station to Tachikawa station (Chuo line)

Tachikawa-Minami station to Tama-Dobutsukoen station (Tama Monorail)

After exiting, I looked for the Monorail section of Tachikawa station. I walked out of the JR portion and walked across a platform to Tachikawa Minami station, where the monorail resides.

Before I jumped on the Monorail, I got some chicken to eat and also bought these Tama monorail items.

I stopped by the Tama-Dobutsukoen station because this is the location for Keio railway playland.

Tama-Dobutsukoen station to Tama Center (Tama Monorail)

Like many stations, Tama Center was split to 3 different sections. After I got off the monorail, I walked to Keio Tama Center about a block away.

Keio Tama Center.

Tama Center to Hashimoto station (Keio Sagamihara line)

Hashimoto station to Banda station (JR Sagami Line)

Banda station to Ebina Station (JR Sagami)/ Ebina Station to Sagamino station (Sotetsu/ Sagami Railway line)

At JR Ebina station, walked across a to Sotetsu/Odakyu Ebina station.

Sagamino station to Yamato station (Sotetsu line), Yamato station to Shinjuku station (Odakyu Romancecar Enoshima)/ Shinjuku station to Ikebukuro station (Yamanote line).

At Yamato station, I reserved a seat on the Romancecar for Shinjuku station.

At Ikebukuro, I was meeting my friend Qaz at Tobu Ikebukuro station section.

Ikebukuro station to Ueno station (Yamanote line)/ Ueno station to Minami Senju station (Hibiya line)

Sunday 28th

I woke up and early and had to change my place of stay. Since I was gonna be flying out of Haneda airport to Fukuoka 6am Monday morning, I found the closest place to Haneda to stay the night before.

Minami Senju station to Ningyocho station (Hibiya line), Ningyocho station to Otorii station (Asakusa line changes to Keikyu Kuko line).

Otorii station is right outside of Haneda. I went to Haneda and got my tickets.

I took the Tokyo Monorail

Haneda airport terminal to Hamamatsucho station (Tokyo Monorail), Hamamatsucho station to Tokyo station (Yamanote line).

At Tokyo station, I headed to Chiba station via the Sobu Line (Rapid). I used the the green car this time (reserved seat). To reserve, on the platform there is a Suica/Green station, there, you put in your Suica and click the station you are going.

When you go into a green car, above your seat is a light. Tap the Suica and the light will turn green.

At Chiba station, walked upstairs to the monorail section.

I went a couple stations down and returned. I wanted to just experience this monorail system. Chiba monorail is 25 miles long!

I returned to Chiba station Monorail and back tracked Tokyo station. At Tokyo station, I headed to Tochigi Via the bullet train.

Tokyo station to Oyama station (Tohoku Shinkansen)

At Oyama station, I needed to get to Tomita station. Oyama station to Tomita station (Ryomo line). And reverse to Oyama station.

Oyama station to Tokyo station (Tohoku Shinkansen)

Tokyo station to Shinagawa station (Keihintohoku Line)

Shinagawa to Otorii station (Keikyu Kuko line)

Monday 29th.

After flying into Fukuoka, Most people take the subway system to Hakata station.

Fukuoka airport to Hakata station (Kuko subway line).

I was staying in Tenjin, so I got the 2 day subway pass and headed to Tenjin station.

Hakata station to Tenjin station (Kuko subway line)

Tenjin station to Hashimoto station (Nanakuma subway line)

Imajuku station to Hakata station (JR Chikuhi line)

Hakata station to Kumamoto station (Kyushu Shinkansen)

While in Kumamoto, I took the famous Kumamoto streetcars (trams).

I remember doing some research of Kumamoto and there was a suggestion to use the Streetcars/trams.   Official website: Getting Around Kumamoto

Part of my trips to Japan is to experience their transport system as it is one of the best in the world.

After getting out of Kumamoto station, the East exit will bring you to a location to jump on the streetcar (as they are called there). 

There was a flat fee, I think 170 yen, each way (for an adult). I had Suica, so I just tapped when entering and exiting. I didn’t realize that there was an all day pass for 500 Yen.

I would have grabbed that.

From what I gather, you want to enter the back and exit the front (but that depends on which type of street car).

There are 2 lines, A and B, and go to different locations.

I was still trying to figure out how to get to Hanabatacho station (shopping streets). There are a few different trams. I rode a few to get a feel for them going one way and the other (I also jumped on the wrong line on the way back to Kumamoto station).

This one was kinda interesting and was also the one I took. It was really a luxury tram!

This thing was like a diner tram!

A couple of the trams had wood flooring.

Some of the platforms/stops cater to both lines, make sure you get on the right one!

I headed back to Kumamoto station. Then I was instructed to go from Kumamoto to Shin-Tamana station, which was fast getting there.

Shin-Tamana appears to only be a Shinkansen station.

Tuesday 30th (Nagasaki and Shunan)

Tenjin > Hakata > Nagasaki (and back)

This was the day I would head to Nagasaki. There was not bullet train, but an express train. It was going to be little over 2 hours train ride one way and I’d have to do the same to get back. I took the Kuko Subway line from Tenjin station to Hataka station.

Kuko Subway line

At Hakata station, I did some trainspotting! Then jumped on the 8:57 JR Kamome Express and headed to Nagasaki station. Upon arrival, I loved checking out the station shops because there are always cool regional items.

After meeting with Noguchi-san, I headed back to meet with Taguchi family in Shunan city. That was also a long ride!

3 hours. Switched at Hataka station.

I was so tired, that I fell asleep at before Tokuyama station and work up after the train had left. I got off at Shin-Iwakuni station and went back. After dinner, we went back to the station and took pictures.

Tokuyama Station, Shunan city.

Wednesday 31st (Hakata>Kokura>Hiroshima>Okayama>Takamatsu)

My final morning in Kyushu, I headed to Kokura station in Kitakyushu because I wanted experience the Monorail there.

Hakata to Kokura Station

I took the Subway from Tenjin station to Hakata station and jumped on the Shinkansen (it was about 16 min ride).

Kokura station looks huge from the outside. I then went inside and stored my luggage.

Some monorails are in a different part of the joint stations, sometimes even a short distance walk. This monorail came inside in the concourse area.

Monorail coming inside the concourse area!

I then went upstairs and jumped on!

After a short trip (I got of Tanga station to see the Tanga Market, which was close) and back, I explored Kokura station while waiting for the next Shinkansen to Okayama station.

Kokura station to Hiroshima Station

Once I got off, Hiroshima station, I had them hold my luggage while I headed to Miyajima Island. It would take 30 minutes on the Red Wing.

Hiroshima station to Miyajimaguchi station.

After getting off, the Ferry is just a short walk away.

Blue or Red ferry?

After going around Miyajima Island, I decided to get back Hiroshima station and get to Okayama.

Hiroshima to Okayama via Shinkansen
Okayama to Takamatsu station.

Train spotting in Okayama station.

Thursday 1st (Takmatsu>Kyoto>Shin-Osaka)

I woke up and jumped on the Shinkansen to Kyoto where I would meet with Maeda, Okuni and Iishi-san.


Once I got to Shin-Osaka station, I got on the Midosuji subway line to Nishinakajima-Minamigata Station. I would drop my stuff off at the hotel and go back to Shin-Osaka taking Shinkansen to Kyoto.

1 minute subway ride
Shin-Osaka to Kyoto station via Shinkansen

After Ryoan-ji Temple, Maeda-san drove us to Osaka, where we met with Tanaka-san. We went out to dinner and at the end, we took a local train (forgot station) to Tennoji station. At this station, we jumped on the Express Haruka train!

Once I got to Shin-Osaka station, I headed to Umeda station via Midosuji subway line. (Umeda station next to Osaka station).

After my visit to Umeda Sky Building, I took the Midosuji subway line to Namba station.

After going around Dotonbori, I headed back in reverse using the Midosuji subway line.

Trainspotting: Hankyu Line

Friday 2nd (Osaka to Shinjuku station)

Before I was to check out of the hotel, I went to Kyoto station to buy a few things. I took the Shinkansen to there and coming back.

After that, I went from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo station via Shinkansen.

Then from Tokyo station to Shinjuku station via Marunouchi subway line.

Later when I met up with my friend Rholfi, we took the Seibu Shinjuku line to Numabukuro Station.

Saturday 3rd

I work up and took the Shinkansen to Oyama station again. This time I would visit a Wing Works Tuning shop and Hiro-san.

Afterwards, I would take the Shinkansen to Tokyo station where I would meet with Kuze-san. We would take the Chuo line from Tokyo station to Shinjuku station.

I would leave Shinjuku station for Ofuna station via Shonan Shinjuku Line.

At Ofuna, I got off to ride the Shonan Monorail!


This marked 5 Monorails on this trip:

  • Tama Monorail
  • Tokyo Monorail
  • Chiba Monorail
  • KitaKyushu Monorail
  • Shonan Monorail.

Then I was heading from Ofuna to Yokosuka station. I made stop at Kamakura due to some delay. Yokosuka Line

Yokosuka line

Yousuke-san picked me up at Yokosuka station and after dinner, drove me to Yokohama station, where I would meet Satoshi-san.

From Yokohama station to Shibuya station via the Tokyu Toyoko line, then from Shibuya station to Shinjuku station via Yamanote line.

This day was interesting as I spent a good chunk on trains!

Sunday 4th

To get to Lake Suwa, I had to take the Super Azusa Express! It was pretty cool.

2.5 hour ride.

Before I called it a night, I went to Harajuku station via Yamanote line.

Monday 5th

My last day. I was leaving in the afternoon, so I went to Akihabara for a few hours. I used the Chuo Sobu line.

Finally, at Shinjuku station (why I choose it) the N’ Ex to get to Narita airport.

That was my Japanese train experience for 2018

Miyajima Island in Hiroshima

One of the places I wanted to visit was Miyajima Island. The famous Floating Torii was there!

Before hitting Takamatsu, I decided to stop and go to Miyajima Island.

Besides the Floating Torii, there is are other things to experience. 2 things I really wanted to experience were seeing the World’s Largest wooden spoon (which wasn’t available due to construction) and the small fish that eat dead skin off your feet (availability wasn’t until the next day).

Getting there wasn’t too bad. I took the Shinkansen from Kokura station to Hiroshima Station.

by Shinkansen, it was almost 1.5 hours.

At Hiroshima Station, I went to the ground floor and waited for the train heading to Miyajimaguchi station

30 mins

I was able to jump on the JR 227 series “Red Wing” trains!

There were 2 Ferry companies, I was with JR, so I took JR Ferry. Both were relatively the same price and went to the same island, just some slight deviation. Ferry rides are fairly short and frequent I believe.

Upon arriving, I got a map and looked at the things I wanted to see.

credit: miyajima-matsudai.co.jp

Floating Otorii gate !!!!

Itsukushima Shrine

Tickets were 300 yen ($3.00) each. I decided to pay for the Treasure Hall because part of my journeys is history. The price was about the same.

Itsukushima Shrine Treasure Hall Museum

Tahoto Pagoda

It wasn’t open to the public.

Omoto Sando Shopping arcade

Kokura station and Kitakyushu Monorail

Hakata station to Kokura station

My final morning in Kyushu, I headed to Kokura station in Kitakyushu because I wanted experience the Monorail there.

I took the Subway from Tenjin station to Hakata station and jumped on the Shinkansen (it was about 16 min ride).

Kokura station looks huge from the outside. I then went inside and stored my luggage.

Once I figured out where to go (which was behind me as I was looking at the fare map), it was kinda cool to see!

Some monorails are in a different part of the joint stations, sometimes even a short distance walk. This monorail came inside in the concourse area.

Monorail coming inside the concourse area!

I then went upstairs and jumped on!

After a short trip (I got of Tanga station to see the Tanga Market, which was close) and back, I explored Kokura station while waiting for the next Shinkansen to Okayama station.

Western Railway Museum and Santa Train Ride 2018

In the US, I feel trains have been ignored because of political reasons. This goes with coal and cars. While visiting Europe and Japan, it is totally different. Their train systems are pretty much depended up. Japan’s trains are on another level of reliable transportation.

With that said, the rise of highways and cars have severely limited the trains outside of big city areas (that’s always questionable too).

I love trains and I wanted to bring my kids to a museum.

Western Railway is the closest museum, but also there is a Santa train ride.

It was a pretty decent drive, maybe about an hour. It was raining too, so that kinda made it difficult to enjoy the outside.

There are many volunteers here and there is always ongoing restoration of the some of the trains (you’ll see my pictures below).

While I do think $20 was steep, it went to the museum and for a good cause.

$20 a person.

We sprinted quickly to the train shed because it was decent rain coming down.

The train went down the tracks and eventually stopped off at a park. I believe during the other seasons, the trains go this location and events are usually happening such as BBQs or Easter egg hunts or Halloween stuff such as pumpkin patch and hay maze.

Just past where we started, we come upon Santa’s area. Free cup of jo and cookies.

After everyone has met and taken pictures with Santa, we got back on and went to the train shed. This is typically where some trains were stored. There was another building, but I believe that was a private tour in which I didn’t have time for.

But I did like to check out the trains in the shed. Many old SF ones!

Website: Western Railway Museum

Seattle Monorail 2018

It’s true. Seattle has a Monorail, but it isn’t super fast or anything. It is historic and only goes to a few minutes away.

There are 2 stations, Seattle Center and Westlake shopping center.

One way for an adult is $2.50 and double for roundtrip.

Since I want to share my train experiences, here are the photos.

I believe this the monorail’s mascot, Monorail Man!