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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Japan Autumn Nov 2017 一人で日本の旅 - Mito JR Station 水戸駅

Ticket gates.
Mito is the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture. As the train station is served by several railway lines, Mito is an excellent pit stop for exploring nearby cities within Ibaraki Prefecture.

Some of the railway lines serving Mito JR Station include:
(1) Joban line (常磐線): connects Tokyo to Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture.
from Mito,
- train commutes southwards to Tsuchiura, Toride, Ushiku and Tokyo.
- train commutes northwards to Hitachi and Takahagi, and eventually to Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture.
Both Tokiwa (ときわ) and Hitachi (ひたち) are limited express trains commuting along Joban line and there are about two limited express trains operated every hour.

Boarded Limited Express Tokiwa from Ueno Station heading for Mito.
(2) Suigan line (水郡線): from Mito, trains commute northwards to Fukuroda and Shimonomiya.
- Alight at Fukuroda for Fukuroda no taki (袋田の滝).
- Alight at Shimonomiya (下野宮駅) for Tsukimachi no taki (月待の滝).

(3) Mito line (水戸線): from Mito, trains commute westwards to Tomobe and Kasama.
- Alight at Kasama for Kasama Inari Shrine (笠間稲荷神社).

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What's nearby?

South Exit of Mito JR Station. Building on the left is OPA while the right one is Excel Minami.
(1) Shopping malls, fast food chains and restaurants
There are a couple of shopping facilities connected seamlessly to the train station.
  • Excel and Excel Minami: Anchor tenants include Bic Camera, MUJI and local bookstore chain, Kawamata Books (川又書店). Yoshinoya, MacDonalds and Soup Stock Tokyo are located on the same floor as the ticket gates. 
  • Mito OPA (水戸オーパ) located outside the South Exit of train station. Can Do (¥100 shop) can be found on on 5F while restaurants are located from 8F to 10F. 
  • Marui Mito (丸井水戸店) located outside the North Exit of train station. ABC Mart and Daiso can be found on 5F while restaurants are located on 10F. 

(2) Tourist Information Center (水戸観光案内所), situated just outside the ticket gates.
Visited the information center on two occasions and was extremely grateful for the assistance rendered and advice provided by the approachable staff. It has been a routine ritual for me to drop by here whenever I reached a new place on the map. Followed their recommendations to explore Mito city by rental bicycle and also to try out several local specialties such as Hitachiaki Soba (常陸秋そば) and Stamina Ramen (スタミナラーメン).

(3) South Exit Rental Bicycles (水戸駅北口レンタサイクル), a minute walk away from the South Exit of train station.
If you are able to ride a bicycle, I will highly recommend utilising it to commute to nearby attractions especially when the rental cost is not too pricey. Rented a bicycle here and moved in an clockwise direction, covering Lake Senba (千波湖), which has a wide circumferential track catered for both cyclists and pedestrians, Kairaku-en (偕楽園) and Koudoukan (弘道館). Inclusive of lunch, it took me about 6 hours to cover the entire itinerary mentioned.
Operating hours: 0900 - 1800 hrs
Cost: 500 yen/day (only conventional bicycles; no battery operated ones)
Location (Point 1 on the map): http://www.mitokoumon.com/sightseeing/renta.html

North Exit of Mito JR Station.

Mito city.
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Commemorative stamp:


Friday, February 9, 2018

Japan Autumn Nov 2017 一人で日本の旅 Okayama 岡山県 - Day 15: Takahashi-shi 高梁市, Okayama-shi 岡山市

Day 15: 20.11.2017 (Mon)

Breakfast: Toyoko Inn Okayama Eki Nishi-guchi Hiroba 東横INN岡山駅西口広場

Okayama JR 岡山駅 (0804 hrs) > Bicchu Takahashi JR 備中高梁駅 (0839 hrs)
🚆 by Limited Express Yakumo やくも 3. [1,560 yen]

Bicchu Takahashi JR 備中高梁駅 (0950 hrs) > Fuigo Touge ふいご峠
🚖 by shared taxi. [500 yen]



Visited Bicchu Matsuyama Castle 備中松山城. [300 yen]
http://www.city.takahashi.okayama.jp/soshiki/9/shiro4240131.html

Fuigo Touge ふいご峠 (1140 hrs) > Raikyuji 頼久寺
🚖 by shared taxi. [500 yen]


Visited Raikyuji 頼久寺. [300 yen]
http://raikyuji.com/



Visited Takahashi City Library 高梁市図書館.
https://takahashi.city-library.jp/library/

Bicchu Takahashi JR 備中高梁駅 (1301 hrs) > Okayama JR 岡山駅 (1338 hrs)
🚆 by Limited Express Yakumo やくも 14. [1,560 yen]


Lunch: Cafe Honmachi 喫茶 ほんまち

Okayama JR Station West Exit Bus Stop 21 (1540 hrs) > Okayama Airport 岡山空港 (1610 hrs)
🚍 by bus. [760 yen]
https://www.okayama-airport.org/access/bus

Okayama Airport 岡山空港 (1830 hrs) > Haneda Airport Terminal 1 羽田空港第1ビル (1940 hrs)
✈ by JL242.

Haneda International Airport 羽田空港 (0005 hrs) > Singapore Changi Airport シンガポール・チャンギ国際空港 (0645 hrs)
✈ by JL35.

- End of Japan Nov 2017 trip - 

Japan Autumn Nov 2017 一人で日本の旅 Tottori 鳥取県, Shimane 島根県 - Day 14: Hokuei-cho 北栄町, Hoki-cho 北栄町, Matsue-shi 松江市

Day 14: 19.11.2017 (Sun)
* Day 14 of 14 Days Japan Rail Pass

Breakfast: Toyoko Inn Yonago Ekimae 東横INN米子駅前

Yonago JR 米子駅 (0839 hrs) > Yura JR 由良駅 (0921 hrs)
🚆 by local train.


Returned to Hokuei Town Tourist Information Office to collect stamp rally completion sticker!

Yura JR 由良駅 (0933 hrs) > Yonago JR 米子駅 (1042 hrs)
🚆 by local train.

Yonago JR 米子駅 > Shoji Ueda Photography Museum 植田正治写真美術館
🚖 by taxi. [2,000 yen]



Visited Shoji Ueda Photography Museum 植田正治写真美術館.
http://www.japro.com/ueda/

Shoji Ueda Photography Museum 植田正治写真美術館 > Yonago JR 米子駅
🚖 by taxi. [2,000 yen]

Yonago JR 米子駅 (1318 hrs) > Matsue JR 松江駅 (1339 hrs)
🚆 by Limited Express Yakumo やくも 9.

Matsue Ekimae Bus Stop 7 松江駅前 > Matsue Castle 松江城
🚍 by Lakeline Bus レイクラインバス. [200 yen]
http://matsue-bus.jp/lakeline


Visited Matsue Castle 松江城. [280 yen, discount for foreigners]
http://www.matsue-tourism.or.jp/m_castle/

Matsue Castle 松江城 > Matsue Ekimae 松江駅前
🚍 by Lakeline Bus レイクラインバス. [200 yen]


Dinner: Kakeru Ramen かけるラーメン, Matsue JR Station
http://nakanishiya.com/buisiness/kakeru/

Matsue JR 松江駅 (1854 hrs) > Okayama JR 岡山駅 (2136 hrs)
🚆 by Limited Express Yakumo やくも 30.

Checked in: Toyoko Inn Okayama Eki Nishi-guchi Hiroba 東横INN岡山駅西口広場
https://www.toyoko-inn.com/search/detail/00167/

- End of Day 14 -

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Japan Autumn Nov 2017 一人で日本の旅 Tottori 鳥取県 - Day 13: Tottori-shi 鳥取市, Hokuei-cho 北栄町

Day 13: 18.11.2017 (Sat)
* Day 13 of 14 Days Japan Rail Pass

Breakfast: Toyoko Inn Yonago Ekimae 東横INN米子駅前

Yonago JR 米子駅 (0659 hrs) > Tottori JR 鳥取駅前 (0803 hrs)
🚆 by Limited Express Matsukaze まつかぜ 2.

Tottori Ekimae 鳥取駅前 (0955 hrs) > Hakuto Jinja 白兎神社 (1035 hrs)
🚍 by Nihomaru Bus 日ノ丸バス, Shikano line 鹿野線. [600 yen]
http://www.hinomarubus.co.jp/kousoku_rosen/rosen.html



Visited Hakuto Jinja 白兎神社.
https://hakutojinja.jp/

Hakuto Jinja 白兎神社 (1155 hrs) > Tottori Ekimae 鳥取駅前 (1234 hrs)
🚍 by Nihomaru Bus 日ノ丸バス, Shikano line 鹿野線. [600 yen]



Lunch: Cafe Source カフェソース
https://cafe-source.com/

Tottori JR 鳥取駅 (1402 hrs) > Yura JR 由良駅 (1503 hrs)
🚆 by local train.


Visited Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory 青山剛昌ふるさと館. [700 yen 600 yen for foreigners]
http://www.gamf.jp/

Yura JR 由良駅 (1725 hrs) > Yonago JR 米子駅 (1826 hrs)
🚆 by local train.



Dinner: Genmai Cafe Hibinokate 玄米カフェ日々の糧
http://www.iyashirochi.net/hibinokate/

- End of Day 13 -

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Japan Autumn Nov 2017 一人で日本の旅 Shizuoka 静岡県 - Day 12: Hamamatsu-shi 浜松市, Kanzanji Onsen 舘山寺温泉

Day 12: 17.11.2017 (Fri)
* Day 12 of 14 Days Japan Rail Pass


Breakfast: Kai Enshu 界 遠州



Visited Kanzanji 舘山寺.
http://www.kanzanji.gr.jp/


Lunch 1: Hamanoki 浜乃木
http://www.hamanoki.com/

Kanzanji Onsen 舘山寺温泉 (1300 hrs) > Hamamatsu Ekimae 浜松駅前 (1340 hrs)
🚍 by Hamanako, Kanzanji Onsen free shuttle bus 浜名湖、舘山寺温泉無料シャトルバス.


Lunch 2: Ishimatsu Gyoza 石松餃子
http://www.ishimatsu-gyoza.co.jp/

Hamamatsu JR 浜松駅 (1436 hrs) > Okayama JR 岡山駅 (1719 hrs)
🚅 by Hikari ひかり 473, via Tokaido Shinkansen 東海道新幹線, Sanyo Shinkansen 山陽新幹線.

Okayama JR 岡山駅 (1804 hrs) > Yonago JR 米子駅 (2025 hrs)
🚆 by Limited Express Yakumo やくも 23.

🏨 Checked in: Toyoko Inn Yonago Ekimae 東横INN米子駅前
https://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/search/detail/00161

- End of Day 12 - 

Japan Autumn Nov 2017 一人で日本の旅 Shizuoka 静岡県 - Day 11: Shizuoka-shi 静岡市, Hamamatsu-shi 浜松市, Kanzanji Onsen 舘山寺温泉

Day 11: 16.11.2017 (Thu)
* Day 11 of 14 Days Japan Rail Pass

Breakfast: Toyoko Inn Kakegawa-eki Shinkansen Minami-guchi 東横INN掛川駅新幹線南口

Kakegawa JR 掛川駅 (0748 hrs) > Shizuoka JR 静岡駅 (0801 hrs)
🚅 by Kodama こだま 630, via Tokaido Shinkansen 東海道新幹線.



Visited Sunpu Castle Koen 駿府城公園. [360 yen]
Admission to:
- East Gate, Tatsumi Yagura Arsenal Building 東門,巽櫓
- Hitsujisaru Yagura 坤櫓
- Momijiyama Japanese Garden 紅葉山庭園
http://sumpu-castlepark.com/


Visited Shizuoka Kencho 21st floor Observatory 静岡県庁.
http://www.pref.shizuoka.jp/soumu/so-120/tenbou.html

Shizuoka JR 静岡駅 (1310 hrs) > Hamamatsu JR 浜松駅 (1331 hrs)
🚅 by Hikari 471, via Tokaido Shinkansen 東海道新幹線.

Hamamatsu Ekimae 浜松駅前 (1400 hrs) > Kanzanji Onsen 舘山寺温泉 (1140 hrs)
🚍 by Hamanako, Kanzanji Onsen free shuttle bus 浜名湖、舘山寺温泉無料シャトルバス.
Note: Prior reservation required to make use of free shuttle bus service.
http://www.kanzanji.gr.jp/map/


Checked in: Kai Enshu 界 遠州 
http://kai-ryokan.jp/enshu/


Dinner: Kai Enshu 界 遠州

- End of Day 11 -

Japan Autumn Nov 2017 一人で日本の旅 Shizuoka 静岡県 - Day 10: Shimizu-ku 清水区, Shizuoka-shi 静岡市

Day 10: 15.11.2017 (Wed)
* Day 10 of 14 Days Japan Rail Pass

Breakfast: Toyoko Inn Kakegawa-eki Shinkansen Minami-guchi 東横INN掛川駅新幹線南口

Kakegawa JR 掛川駅 (0748 hrs) > Shizuoka JR 静岡駅 (0801 hrs)
🚅 by Kodama こだま 630, via Tokaido Shinkansen 東海道新幹線.

Shizuoka Ekimae Bus Stop 11 静岡駅前 (0820 hrs) > Nihondaira Ropeway 日本平ロープウェイ (0908 hrs)
🚍 by Shizutetsu Bus 静鉄バス 42. [580 yen]
http://data.justline.co.jp/nanj/table.do?paperNumber=1&busstopcode=10010&polecode=11&dataType=1

Nihondaira 日本平 > Kunozan 久能山
by Nihondaira Ropeway 日本平ロープウェイ. [Round trip = 1,100 yen]


Visited Kunozan Toshogu Shrine 久能山東照宮. [500 yen]
https://www.toshogu.or.jp/


Kunozan 久能山 > Nihondaira 日本平
by Nihondaira Ropeway 日本平ロープウェイ.

Nihondaira Ropeway 日本平ロープウェイ (1103 hrs) > Higashi Shizuoka eki minami guchi 東静岡駅南口 (1130 hrs)
🚍 by Shizutetsu Bus 静鉄バス 42. [580 yen]
http://data.justline.co.jp/nanj/table.do?paperNumber=1&busstopcode=12170&polecode=1&dataType=1

Higashi Shizuoka JR 東静岡駅 > Shimizu JR 清水駅
🚆 by local train.


Lunch: Kishiya 岸屋, Kashi no ichi 河岸の市
http://www.kishiya.jp/

Shimizu Ekimae Bus Stop 3 清水駅前 > Miho no matsubara iriguchi 三保の松原入口
🚍 by Shizutetsu Bus 静鉄バス 257. [360 yen]
http://data.justline.co.jp/nanj/table.do?paperNumber=1&busstopcode=20005&polecode=3&dataType=1

🚲 Rented bicycle from Cafe Matsubokuri. [500 yen]


Visited Kami no michi 神の道.

Visited Hagoromo no matsu 羽衣の松.


Visited Miho no matsubara 三保の松原.
https://www.visit-shizuoka.com/spots/detail.php?kanko=336


🚲 Cycled along Pacific Coast Bicycle Route 太平洋岸自転車道.
- Shimizu Todai 清水灯台
- Masaki Todai 真崎灯台

Miho no matsubara iriguchi 三保の松原入口 (1647 hrs) > Shimizu Ekimae Bus Stop 3 清水駅前 (1712 hrs)
🚍 by Shizutetsu Bus 静鉄バス 257. [360 yen]
http://data.justline.co.jp/nanj/table.do?paperNumber=1&busstopcode=20690&polecode=1&dataType=1

Shimizu JR (1736 hrs) 清水駅 > Shizuoka JR 静岡駅 (1748 hrs)
🚆 by local train.


Dinner: Yokou よこう, Aoba Yokocho 青葉横町

Shizuoka JR 静岡駅 (2024 hrs) > Kakegawa JR 掛川駅 (2037 hrs)
🚅 by Kodama こだま 681, via Tokaido Shinkansen 東海道新幹線.

- End of Day 10 -