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  Reply # 1708332 23-Jan-2017 21:36
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Steve

 

That suggestion is actually quite do-able. I could go down that way. It would take about 8h 45m from Hiroshima with four train changes. However I am going to seriously mull this one over. I have all day to get there so if the scenery is good,I think I could give it a go. Thanks.


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  Reply # 1708428 24-Jan-2017 08:41
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THat's the exact route I took except I had stopovers in Beppu and Miyazaki. It's definately a nice train journey with some great scenary in parts. If you have the time it does let you experience another part of Japan and you can then just catch the Shinkansen back from Kagoshima.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1708924 24-Jan-2017 19:08
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Steve

 

When you were travelling around the East coast of Kyusho by train, can you remember if there was any food on board, say like a trolley that comes around or a dining car like the Alpine express here in NZ. Or did you have to buy something at the first station to last all day and take it with you. I'm not worried about the Shinkansen as Green cars are supposed to be catered, just the second tier express trains.


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  Reply # 1708948 24-Jan-2017 20:06
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Camden:

 

Steve

 

When you were travelling around the East coast of Kyusho by train, can you remember if there was any food on board, say like a trolley that comes around or a dining car like the Alpine express here in NZ. Or did you have to buy something at the first station to last all day and take it with you. I'm not worried about the Shinkansen as Green cars are supposed to be catered, just the second tier express trains.

 

 

Yeah there were no food carts on the them. I'm pretty sure I've only ever seen the food carts on the Shinkansen. Railway stations always have great food and vending machines on every platform though.

 

I did the journey over 3 days so didn't really have to think about anything except some snacks.

 

 


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Reply # 1781945 14-May-2017 15:53
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Just back from my five week trip to Japan. In no particular order, some comments.

 

AirNewZealand treated us like royalty. After fifty years of economy class travel, Premium Economy was shear heaven. Couldn't fault the service. Very pleasant day flight over. Inside bulkhead seats going over and side window seats coming back. Tons of leg room on both seats. Bit hard to reach the bulkhead screen when having a meal as it was just out of arms reach.Night flight back and was able to curl up with the seat back right back and leg rest up, to get five and a half hours of reasonable sleep. Liked priority seating at the airport gate at Narita and was first to board the plane coming home. Flight was only about a third full. The 787 was a great plane to fly on. Seamed to be reasonably quite and the atmosphere in the cabin fresh and clean.At Narita terminal one, it seemed to be hectically busy on the Saturday my wife flew home. It took an hour in line just to get to security,let alone get through it. When I flew home on a Friday,later on,there was no queue at all and I walked straight through. I think an early arrival there before departure would be wise.

 

The JR rail passes are a must have for internal travel. I had two seven day and one fourteen day pass. I used them all the time and certainly got good value out of them. Can't use them on the underground but you can use them on all above ground,JR suburban lines. We got the green car passes and yes it was worth it but std car tickets are good as well. All the std cars seemed to be pretty full and there was less people in the green cars.As your luggage travels with you in the carriage, it has to go on the overhead rack.My bag was 25kg and a long soft wheelie type and I struggled to get it up there. Soon learned to board the rear door of the carriage and slot our bags behind the rear seat and the end wall.The Shinkansen trains seem to travel at 270kph in the middle to southern Japan and the ones going north from Tokyo to Sapporo at 320kph. Food and drink is available from troley service on all Shinkansen and a lot of the slower intercity trains as well.All the stations were relativity easy to navigate with all the signage in English as well and all the train schedules are marked with the line and platform number. Even at the ticket machines,you can choose English. On arrival in Tokyo,I exchanged my JR Vouchers for the passes and booked all my Shinkansen seats for the whole trip,that way I knew I could travel on the trains I wanted,if they got fully booked. I used the site www.hyperdia.com to get all the train timetables,before I left and found that very helpful. There is an example of that in an above post. 

 

I hired two rental cars. Both had GPS Nav. They said in English, but it was more like half and half! You selected English but you still had to programme it in Japanese then the maps came up in English and it spoke the direction in English.I got locals to programme it for me each morning with the nights destination so I got by that way.

 

On the island of Shikoku I stayed for three nights in Buddhist temples. Wonderful experience. Went to two Buddhist ceremonies to get a feel for their religious practices. I also stayed mostly in traditional Rokan hotels and soon got used to sleeping on a foton on the floor. A soak at the end of the day in an onsen pool was rather pleasant.

 

Took a small compact camera with me for photos and a video camera.Even though I took about one a half hours of video,I wish I had left it at home and just used the Sony DX100 to take the video. In fact I did use it for that purpose quite a bit. Just saves weight in you day bag. Also took my windows tablet in case of business emails etc, but again should have left it at home because my HTC six inch screen phone did all I needed.The 32gb card was loaded with music and ten movies to watch on the planes and when alone at night.

 

Phone. I did not need to make calls, just two brief ones back to NZ so after the first week I went onto Spark's site and ordered four weeks data roaming at $60 for 2gb. That was all I needed as I mainly used it for Google translate and the odd checking of emails when wifi was not available. Most of the wifi in hotels right through was fast and available in your room.A lot of cafes had it as well.

 

Camera and Hifi shops are like an Aladin's cave ! Floors and floors of cameras and accessories. Window shopping only as all the HiFi was 100v and from what I could make out,all the camera menus in Japanese.Prices seem to be on par with our own and nothing seemed cheap or bargain price. 

 

In Tokyo at the start,the shear number of people everywhere was just overpowering and it took some time to get used to. Just walking across an intersection was a major logistical exercise having to navigate a wall of people coming towards you but we soon got the hang of it.

 

Overall, a fantastic trip. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1781974 14-May-2017 16:15
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Good one.

 

Looking forward to our next trip there, won't be for awhile as we're expecting our first in June so that's our holidays out the window for a couple of years :)

 

 


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