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) Suigun 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 Tourist Information Office to collect Conan Street 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 -