May 2017 was my 9 day trip in Japan. I would criss cross Japan to meet my friends. One of my missions was to learn the train system when I Japan. I was impressed when my wife Jasmin figured it out in 2016, while I just followed her. Even in my early trips to Japan, I did not figure it out, just followed directions to get to places.
So I wanted to figure it out and also experience local lines too.
Wandering Leopard Pilgrimage:
It was very complex, but here was my timeline: 1st Day, Arrival in Japan
- San Francisco to Vancouver International Airport (4 hour layover)
- Vancouver International to Narita Airport.
- Narita Airport to Itami Airport (ANA flight)
- Itami Airport to Shin-Osaka Station (via limousine bus)
- Shin-Osaka station to Okayama station (via Sanyo Shinkansen)
- Okayama station to Takamatsu station via JR Seto – Ohashi Line
- Takamatsu to Okayama station (JR Yosin line)
- Okayama to Bitchu-Takamatsu station (round trip) (Momotaro/Kibi line)
- Okayama to Nakasho station (Sanyo main line)
- Nakasho to Kurashiki station (Sanyo main line)
- Kirashiki to Soja station (Hakubi line) (error, round trip)
- Kursashiki to Shin-Kurashiki station (Get on Sanyo Shinkansen)
- Shin-Kurashiki to Hiroshima station (Sanyo Shinkansen)
- Hiroshima to Shin-Iwakuni station (Sanyo Shinkansen) (round trip)
- Kintaikyo Bus to Iwakuni station (bus ride)
- Iwakuni to Yanai station (Sanyo main line)
Takamatsu station to Okayama station (JR Yosin line )
Okayama Station to Bitchu-Takamatsu Station (round trip)
Okayama station to Nakasho station (Sanyo Main line)
Nakasho station to Kurashiki station. I made an error and jumped on the wrong train.
Kurashiki station to Soja Station (round trip). I jumped on the Hakubi line. That was the error I made and it cost me about an 1.5 hours.
Got back to Kurashiki station and headed to Shin-Kurashiki station.
At Shin-Kurashiki station, I got on the Shinkansen to Hiroshima station.
Hiroshima station to Shin-Iwakuni station via Shinkansen (later than night, I would return to Hiroshima station the same way).
When I got to Shin-Iwakuni station, I wanted to use the local line to get to Kintai Bridge. Seiryu shin Iwakuni station was at the end of the Shin-Iwakuni station. But the train was gonna be another hour (local lines are not as frequent).
So I had taken a taxi to Kintai Bridge. Across the street from Kintai bridge was Kintaikyo Bus center. I got a ticket out a vending machine and it took me to Iwakuni Station.
Iwakuni station to Yanai station via Sanyo main line.
- Hiroshimaeki station to Peace Memorial Park (via Hiroden streetcar/tram)
- Hiroshima to Shin-Osaka station (Sanyo Shinkansen)
- Shin-Osaka to Namba Station (Subway Midosuji line) (round trip)
- Shin-Osaka to Maibara station (Tokaido Shinkansen)
- Echigawa station to Maibara station (Ohmi main line)
- Maibara station to Gifu station (Shirasagi Limited express)
- Gifu station to Meitetsu-Gifu Station (walk)
- Meitetsu-Gifu station to Meiden-Kakamigahara station (Meitetsu Kakamigahara Line)
- Meiden-Kakamigahara station to Kagamigahara station (walk)
- Kagamigahara station to Sakahogi station (Takayama line)
- Sakahogi station to Gifu station (Takayama line)
- Gifu Station to Meitetsu-Gifu station (walk)
- Meitetsu-Gifu station to Shin-Hashima Station (Takehana Line/Hashima Line) (*Shin-Hashima station has Shinkansen)
- Shin-Hashima station to Nagoya Station (Tokaido Shinkansen)
- Nagoya station (subway section) to Fujigaoka station (Subway Higashiyama line)
- Fujigaoka station to Gei Dai Dori station (Linimo line)
- Reverse trip (Gei Dai Dori station to Nagoya Station)
- Nagoya Station to Tokyo Station (Tokaido Shinkansen)
- Tokyo Station to Sendai station (Tohoku Shinkansen)
I woke up early to see Hiroshima Memorial Peace park. Opposite side of JR Hiroshima station is Hiroshimaeki station.
Took the Hiroden main line to Genbaku Dome-mae station/stop
Then went back to Hiroshima station from Chuden-mae station.
Hiroshima station to Shin-Osaka station (via Shinkansen)
Shin-Osaka station to Namba station (via Subway Midosuji line) (round trip)
Shin-Osaka station to Maibara station via Shinkansen
Echigawa station to Maibara station via Ohmi main line
Once I got to Maibara station, I headed to Gifu Station via Shirasagi Limited express
Gifu station to Sakahogi station. (an error in communication and delay in time)
* 2 stations. As soon as I got done with shipping packages at the post office, I went to Meitetsu-Gifu Station.
Meitetsu Gifu station to Meiden-Kakamigahara station (Meitetsu Kakamigahara Line)
Meiden-Kakamigahara station to JR Kagamigahara station (walked)
JR Kagamighara station to Sakahogi station via Takayama line
Sakahogi station to Gifu station (Takayama line)
I left my luggage at Gifu Station, packed it up and headed to Meitetsu-Gifu station again
Meitetsu-Gifu station to Shin-Hashima station (via Meitetsu Hashima line)
Shin-Hashima station to Nagoya station (via Shinkansen)
Nagoya station to Fujigaoka station , I had to navigate getting to the subway section. (Subway Higashiyama line)
At Fujigaoka station, I had to get outside and go around to get to the Linimo entrance.
Fujigaoka station to Gei Dai Dori station (via Linimo line)
After Toyota Automobile Museum visit, reverse order. Geidai Dori>Fujigaoka>Nagoya station.
Nagoya station to Tokyo Station (via Tokaido Shinkansen).
Tokyo Station to Sendai station (Tohoku Shinkansen)
- Sendai station to Ogawara Station via Tohoku Line (round trip)
- Sendai station to Tagajo station via Senseki line
- Sendai station to Kitayama station via Senzan line
- Kitayama station to Kita-Sendai station (change to subway Nanboku line)
- Kita-Sendai station to Sendai station (subway section)
Sendai station to Ogawara station (round trip) Tohoku line
Sendai station to Tagajo station (round trip) via Senseki line
Sendai to Kitayama station via Senzan line
Kitayama station to Kita-Sendai via Senzan line
Kita-Sendai to Sendai station via Subway Nanboku line
- Sendai to Tokyo (Tohoku Shinkansen)
- Otemachi station to Takadanobaba Station (Tozai line)
- Takadanobaba station to KamiIgusa station (Seibu Shinjuku line)
- Kamishakujii station to Kodaira station (Seibu Shinjuku line)
- Kodaira station to Hagiyama station (Seibu Haijima line) – Error
- Kodaira station to Tokorozawa station (Seibu Shinjuku line)
- Tokorozawa station to Hon-Kawagoe station (Seibu Shinjuku line)
- Hon-Kawagoe station to JR Kawagoe station (walk)
- Kawagoe station to Musashi Takahagi station (Kawagoe line)
- Musashi Takahagi station to Higashi Hanno station (Hachiko line)
- At Higashi Hanno station, was told wrong platform
- Higashi Hanno station to Higashi Agano station (Seibu Chichibu line, going opposite direction)
Sendai station to Tokyo via Tohoku Shinkansen
Otemachi station to Takadanobaba statoin (Tozai line)
Takadanobaba station to Kamiigusa station
After biking around, I got to KamiShakujii Station to Kodaira station
I made en error here as I misunderstood the platform manager. I went to Hagiyama station. I got on the Seibu Haijima line.
I had to back track to Kodaira station and get back on the Seibu Shinjuku line for Tokorozawa station.
I stopped at Tokorozawa station to eat and make sure I was going to Hon-Kawagoe station. The issue was, I didn’t know Hon-Kawagoe station, I was telling people Kawagoe station. I didn’t realize there was a difference and that was the confusion! So to break it down, I was NOT on a Japan Rail line, I was on Seibu lines and I was asking for JR Kawagoe station, and these lines don’t go to Kawagoe station directly.
As I said before, upon getting to Hon-Kawagoe station, it is deceptively a short distance. I asked information and the lady gave me a small piece of paper showing a path. I figured it was around the corner, but nope, less than a mile away, I was there. Luckily, this was a shopping street, so I walked around and bought stuff.
After that short walk and getting on the Kawagoe Line, I stopped at Musashi-Takahagi station, where I was picked up.
After my meeting with Suenaga, Yamashima, Hiruma and Taguchi-san, I was dropped back off at Musashi-Takahagi station. I was told to go to Higashi-Hanno station via the Hachiko line.
This is where the night took a wrong turn… or in my case, wrong direction. The guy at the ticket counter told me the wrong platform and I ended up going the wrong way. The problem was, it was the last train of the night.
When I realized I was going the wrong way, I got off at Higashi-Agano Station. To make matters worst, my phone was dying.
All I could do was walk and it was past midnight. My phone was nearly dead and it was a small rural station. I didn’t know what to do, so I started walking. In all honestly, I felt safe as it was Japan. I later came to a Family Mart. The guy in Family mart called me a taxi, but also called a local hotel asking for space. I couldn’t thank the guy enough!
- Hanno station to Ikebukuro station (Red Arrow Limited Express)
- Ikebukuro station to Tokyo station (Marunouchi line, subway)
- Tokyo station to Yokohama station (N’EX train)
- Yokohama station to Kamoi station (Yokohama line)
- Kamoi station to Nagatsuta station (Yokohama line)
- Nagatsuta station to Minami-Machida station (Tokyu-Den-entoshi Line)
- Minami-Machida station to Chūō-rinkan Station (Tokyu-Den-entoshi line)
- Chūō-rinkan Station to Minami Rinkan station (Odakyu-Enoshima Line)
After a few hours of sleep at Hotel Heritage at Hanno station, I work up took a quick shower. I had left my stuff in a locker at Tokyo station. I had a busy day ahead (at least I planned it) and so I wanted the quickest route to Tokyo station. The fastest way was the Seibu Red Arrow limited Express.
There was no direct train to Tokyo Station, so I had to get off at Ikebukuro station and jump on the Marunouchi line (subway).
From Ikebukuro station to Tokyo station via Marunouchi line
From Tokyo Station to Yokohama station (N’EXpress)
Yokohama station to Kamoi station (Yokohama line)
After visiting Avante and Proudear shops, headed back.
Kamoi station to Nagatsuta station (Yokohama line)
Nagatsuta station to Minami-Machida (Tokyu-Den-entoshi Line)
Minami-Machida station to Chūō-rinkan Station (Tokyu-Den-entoshi line)
At Chūō-rinkan Station, changed platforms
Chūō-rinkan Station to Minami Rinkan station (Odakyu-Enoshima Line)
This was pretty much the last of my train rides for this trip. My F31 family pretty much took care of me.
The last train ride was from Mishima eki to Narita airport.
Tamai-san took me to Mishima station and I jumped on the Shinkansen to Tokyo station. At the Tokyo station, I jumped on the Narita Express again.
Conclusion: I made sure I learned the train system as much as possible this trip. I was impressed my wife figured it out, but this time, as I was on my own, I wanted to make sure I was able to understand, especially from the mistakes that cost me time and money.