Friday, August 28, 2015

JR Shinkansen Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima station & Streetcar(Hiroshima Electrict Railway) in Japan


If you have an extra one or two days in Osaka and you don't have any idea to go about. Why not, you plan a day trip or staying two days at Hiroshima in Japan. Hiroshima is situated at the southern suburbs of Osaka in Japan. You can take the Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) ride from Osaka (Shin-Osaka station) to Hiroshima station and the whole journey takes 100 minutes for one-way trip only. You can either buy the train ticket at the ticket booth or walk to the ticket counter for the assistance of the ticket purchase at Shinkansen train station. It is strongly advised to buy your return trip of Shinkansen train ticket at least two days ahead  before your trip so that you can reserve your seats. It also helps you to plan your day trip or two days at Hiroshima and Miyajima in Japan when you know your train schedule.

When you reach Hiroshima Station, you get down the Shinkansen and follow the arrows to lead you out of the train station. There is an Information Counter as when you are about to walk out of the exit gate at Hiroshima Station. The staff are able to converse in English and will guide you to places to visit in Hiroshima and Miyajima. You can ask for the nearest Streetcar (Hiroshima Electric Railway) platform. The Streetcar is operating since 1910 and it is a very convenient public transportation as it takes you around Hiroshima prefecture, to Miyajima ferry pier and also to other attraction places. The Streetcar moves very slow and it is not recommended to get your one day pass. Tickets aren't sold at the booth and the Streetcar is a flat fare based on per ride. It is really surprising to see a conductor and a driver on every Streetcar. The conductor will walk around with his bag to help passengers in providing loose change. The reason is, passengers need to pay the exact amount in the fare box as when they get down from the Streetcar.  

For more details about the timetable and fares of JR trains and Shinkansen to other prefectures in Japan, please refer to JR official website.


Waiting for Shinkansen to Hiroshima at Osaka (Shin-Osaka Station) train station in Japan
Waiting for Shinkansen to Hiroshima at Osaka (Shin-Osaka Station) train station in Japan

A series of Shinkansen (bullet train) models are running at Osaka (Shin-Osaka Station) station while waiting for my train to Hiroshima in Japan
A series of Shinkansen (bullet train) models are running at Osaka (Shin-Osaka Station) station while waiting for my train to Hiroshima in Japan

The customer service (Omotenashi) is very great and detailed in Japan as it's unbelivable seeing well-packed coffee and meal in very handy way
The customer service (Omotenashi) is very great and detailed in Japan as it's unbelivable seeing well-packed coffee and meal in very handy way

Tourists' brochures in English are available at Information Counter before you leave the Hiroshima Train Station in Japan
Tourists' brochures in English are available at Information Counter before you leave the Hiroshima Train Station in Japan

Japan is a pet-friendly country as you can board your pets on the train in the crate as well as taking your pets to the parks too
Japan is a pet-friendly country as you can board your pets on the train in the crate as well as taking your pets to the parks too

Heading to the platform of Streetcar (Hiroshima Electric Railway) Station which is located outside of Hiroshima Train Station in Japan
Heading to the platform of Streetcar (Hiroshima Electric Railway) Station which is located outside of Hiroshima Train Station in Japan

Hiroshima Train Station in Japan
Hiroshima Train Station in Japan

Welcome to Hiroshima as you walk out of Hiroshima Train Station in Japan
Welcome to Hiroshima as you walk out of Hiroshima Train Station in Japan

A convenient way to travel around Hiroshima downtown and attraction sites by taking this Streetcar (Hiroshima Electric Railway) which is located outside of Hiroshima Station in Japan
A convenient way to travel around Hiroshima downtown and attraction sites by taking this Streetcar (Hiroshima Electric Railway) which is located outside of Hiroshima Station in Japan


My Older Post:
  • Kyoto: Nijo Castle (Nijojo) in Japan
  • Kyoto: Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) in Japan
  • Kyoto: Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion (Day 1) in Japan
  • Owakudani Hakone Ropeway (black eggs) in Japan
  • Mt Fuji & Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise in Japan
  • Odaiba Minato & Gundam Tokyo Bay, Japan
  • Asakusa Sensoji Kannon Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens
  • Meiji Jingu Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Sky Bus Tokyo ride in Marunouchi district, Japan
  • Kit Kat, Ikebukuro Tokyo Store
  • Tokyo Station & Tokyo Tower, Japan
  • Akihabara Anime, Manga and Maid Cafe in Tokyo, Japan
  • Hachiko Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan
  • Observation Deck: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Shinjuku Skyscraper & Kabukicho in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Subway Metro Train Guide in Japan
  • Japan Culture & Vending Machine Introduction

  • Monday, August 24, 2015

    Kyoto: Nijo Castle (Nijojo) in Japan


    Nijo Castle (二条城, Nijōjō) was built for the first Kyoto shogun resident named Tokugawa Ieyasu during Edo Period (1603 - 1867). Since after the fall of Tokugawa Shogunate in 1867, Nijo Castle was then converted as an imperial palace. 

    Ninomaru Palace is the only palace that opens to the visitors every day in Nijo Castle. Ninomaru Palace is used to serve as the residence and office for the shogun during the Edo Period. Ninomaru Palace is located in front of the entrance of Karamon Gate to the palace itself. All visitors are required to remove their shoes and put on Japanese home shoes (as provided by the officers there) before entering the Ninomaru Palace. Photography is prohibited during the tour in Ninomaru Palace in order to preserve the original painted walls, ceilings and sliding doors in the palace. 

    It is impossible for visitors to walk along the corridors without any squeaky sounds throughout the tour at Ninomaru Palace. The floor of corridors are called as nightingale floor which is built in such a way as a security measure against intruders into the palace. 

    Once you have finished touring the Ninomaru Palace, you can walk to Honmaru Palace, the next door of Ninomaru Palace. Honmaru Palace remains closed to visitors all the time but you can enjoy the serene of the garden and the lake at Honmaru garden. Honmaru garden is usually crowded during the seasons of cherry blossom, Spring and Autumn.

    Nijo Castle has been designated as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites in 1994 as it is recognized as one of the surviving palaces from Edo Period, which is also one of the most popular historical attractions at Kyoto, Japan.

    How to get to Nijo Castle?
    Subway Station : 
    Tozai Subway Line: Get down at Nijojo-mae Station  or

    Kyoto City Bus no. 9, 50 or 101 from Kyoto Station   or
    Kyoto City Bus no. 12 from Shijo-Kawaramachi 
    Opening Hours :  9am to 4pm 

                                (except Tuesdays and  26th Dec to 4th Jan yearly)
    Entrance Fee   :  600 yen


    This is the main entrance of Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
    This is the main entrance of Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

    Another main entrance gate to Honmaru Palace (main circle of defence with a five story castle) and Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
    Another main entrance gate to Honmaru Palace (main circle of defence with a five story castle) and Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

    All the building structures and gardens are in symmetrical at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
    All the building structures and gardens are in symmetrical at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

    Karamon Gate leads the visitors to Ninomaru Palace which used to be the residence and office of the shogun at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
    Karamon Gate leads the visitors to Ninomaru Palace which used to be the residence and office of the shogun at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

    A closer look at the beauty designs of colourful and gold plated of wood carving on Karamon Gate at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
    A closer look at the beauty designs of colourful and gold plated of wood carving on Karamon Gate at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

    Ninomaru Palace served as the residence and office of the shogun at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
    Ninomaru Palace served as the residence and office of the shogun at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

    Visitors must remove their shoes and slip on Japanese houses  shoes that are provided before entering the Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
    Visitors must remove their shoes and slip on Japanese houses  shoes that are provided before entering the Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

    This garden is located nearby Honmaru Palace and it is usually crowded during cherry blossom and autumn season at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan
    This garden is located nearby Honmaru Palace and it is usually crowded during cherry blossom and autumn season at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan


    My Older Post:
  • Kyoto: Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) in Japan
  • Kyoto: Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion (Day 1) in Japan
  • Owakudani Hakone Ropeway (black eggs) in Japan
  • Mt Fuji & Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise in Japan
  • Odaiba Minato & Gundam Tokyo Bay, Japan
  • Asakusa Sensoji Kannon Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens
  • Meiji Jingu Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Sky Bus Tokyo ride in Marunouchi district, Japan
  • Kit Kat, Ikebukuro Tokyo Store
  • Tokyo Station & Tokyo Tower, Japan
  • Akihabara Anime, Manga and Maid Cafe in Tokyo, Japan
  • Hachiko Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan
  • Observation Deck: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Shinjuku Skyscraper & Kabukicho in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Subway Metro Train Guide in Japan
  • Japan Culture & Vending Machine Introduction

  • Thursday, August 13, 2015

    Kyoto: Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) in Japan


    Kyoto Imperial Palace (京都御所, Kyōto Gosho) was the residence of Japan's Imperial Family until 1868 before the emperor and family were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo permanently.

    Visitors are only allowed to visit Kyoto Imperial Palace through guided tours (in English or Japanese) held by Imperial Household Agency. The free tours of Kyoto Imperial Palace are held several times in a day in English and Japanese. No tours are held on Sunday and national holidays. 

    Visitors are required to make reservation for the guided tours (in English or Japanese) by registering yourself in an advance on the official website of Kyoto Imperial Palace

    However, if the online reservation is full for the particular date, you can try to register for the guided tour at the Imperial Household Agency Office which is located at the northwestern corner of Kyoto Imperial Park. The office is open from Monday to Friday (8:45am to 12:00pm and (13:00pm to 17:00pm). It is strongly advised to visit the office early in the morning so that you can join the guided tours on the same day before the tour groups arrive. Most of the tour groups will arrive at the Kyoto Imperial Palace starting at 11am.

    The guided tour of Kyoto Imperial Palace takes about an hour. This is a very strict tour as visitors are guided through buildings and gardens of Kyoto Imperial Palace but visitors aren't allowed to enter any of the buildings. At the main entrance gate of Kyoto Imperial Palace, the officers will begin counting the number of visitors for every group before starting the tour. From the beginning till the end of the guided tour, there will be some officers walking behind of every group in order to make sure none of visitors are allowed to wander around within Kyoto Imperial Palace.

    So, is this guided tour to Kyoto Imperial Palace worth for a visit? It depends on every individual. If you have more time at Kyoto then, you can take a visit at Kyoto Imperial Palace otherwise, it is not highly recommended.

    How to get to Kyoto Imperial Palace?
    Subway Station : 
    Karasuma Subway Line: Get down at Imadegawa Station as it is closer to Imperial Agency Office and the main entrance gate of Kyoto Imperial Palace
    Opening Hours :  
    Guided Tours (in English) from 10am to 2pm (except Saturday, Sunday and National Holidays)


    Queuing up and waiting for the guided tour by the Imperial Household Agency at the main entrance of Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) in Kyoto, Japan
    Queuing up and waiting for the guided tour by the Imperial Household Agency at the main entrance of Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) in Kyoto, Japan

    The first ceremony hall building to be seen during the restricted tour at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan
    The first ceremony hall building to be seen during the restricted tour at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan

    Shunkoden with copper roof, was built to place the sacred mirror on the occasion of the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Taisho at Kyoto Imperial Palace, Japan
    Shunkoden with copper roof, was built to place the sacred mirror on the occasion of the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Taisho at Kyoto Imperial Palace, Japan

    Kenreimon is one of the main entrance gates from the outer to the inner courtyard at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan
    Kenreimon is one of the main entrance gates from the outer to the inner courtyard at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan

    The side view of Kenreimon which is one of the main entrance gates from the outer to the inner courtyard at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan
    The side view of Kenreimon which is one of the main entrance gates from the outer to the inner courtyard at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan

    Japanese traditional thatched roof made of bark trees at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan
    Japanese traditional thatched roof made of bark trees at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan

    The Hall of State Ceremonies but it is not open for public viewing at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan
    The Hall of State Ceremonies but it is not open for public viewing at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan

    The influential of Chinese and Japanese culture design for the main entrance to the Hall of State Ceremonies at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan
    The influential of Chinese and Japanese culture design for the main entrance to the Hall of State Ceremonies at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan

    Ogakumonjo is the study hall for reading rites, poetry recital and for the Emperor to receive nobles at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan
    Ogakumonjo is the study hall for reading rites, poetry recital and for the Emperor to receive nobles at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan

    Ending the guided tour by leaving this gate at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan
    Ending the guided tour by leaving this gate at Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan


    My Older Post:

  • Kyoto: Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion (Day 1) in Japan
  • Owakudani Hakone Ropeway (black eggs) in Japan
  • Mt Fuji & Hakone Lake Ashi Cruise in Japan
  • Odaiba Minato & Gundam Tokyo Bay, Japan
  • Asakusa Sensoji Kannon Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens
  • Meiji Jingu Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Sky Bus Tokyo ride in Marunouchi district, Japan
  • Kit Kat, Ikebukuro Tokyo Store
  • Tokyo Station & Tokyo Tower, Japan
  • Akihabara Anime, Manga and Maid Cafe in Tokyo, Japan
  • Hachiko Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan
  • Observation Deck: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Shinjuku Skyscraper & Kabukicho in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Subway Metro Train Guide in Japan
  • Japan Culture & Vending Machine Introduction