Himeji Castle and city travel guide with the JR Pass

Himeji Castle – also known as the White Heron Castle due to its unique coloration – may be the most widely esteemed castle in Japan. It has been named both a National Heritage Building and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Himeji Castle and the surrounding city is a popular day trip among tourists to this area of Japan.

The city can be easily accessed using your Japan Rail Pass, and a visit to Himeji Castle is like a trip back in time. Consider the following travel tips to make your visit to Himeji memorable.

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The future of Japanese bullet trains

The Japanese Shinkansen train network keeps extending its reach every decade. This one makes no exception. Currently, Japan is expanding the Shinkansen lines and installing a number of newly built and technologically advanced trains. Some of these are even going to set new world records for the fastest train speed developed on a commercial train. What will such innovations imply for the Japanese commuters and society? Find out more in the following article.

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Haruka Express: Osaka & Kyoto airport transfer with the JR Pass

The Kansai International Airport (KIX) services the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. If you hold a Japan Rail Pass, travel from the airport can be a simple and exciting process, as the Japan Railway West’s Express Haruka train offers direct transportation from the Kansai International Airport to downtown Osaka and Kyoto.

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Miyajima travel guide: access and getting around with the JR Pass

Posted on Categories Destinations

Miyajima means “shrine island,” and this small island has since ancient times been a sacred place of worship, where the gods were thought to live in harmony with mortal man.

Also called Itsukushima, Miyajima Island is a densely wooded place of tranquil peace and beauty. The island is sparsely populated and home to native deer and wild monkeys. The Itsukushima Shrine and its Torii Gate have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and have been celebrated as one of the Three Views of Japan since 1643.

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Hiroshima travel guide: Access and getting around

Posted on Categories Destinations

Hiroshima is a city with deep historical roots, evident in its ancient gardens and castles. During the 20h century, Hiroshima became the center of unenviable international attention after the first atomic bomb was detonated there on August 6, 1945 – destroying everything within two kilometers of impact.

Like the phoenix of legend, Hiroshima and its residents emerged from the ashes. Historical structures were restored, and the city took on aspirations of continued peace. Today, it is home to over one million people and a favorite stop for international tourists, thanks to the bullet train.

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Tokyo to Nikko itinerary: access and things to do

Nikko is a historic and scenic retreat in the heart of Japan, nestled in the mountains north of Tokyo. Located at the entrance to Nikko National Park, the town offers beautiful mountain vistas, waterfalls, and hot springs. Hiking in the park, you may even spot a troop of wild native monkeys. The area has been sacred to the religions of Buddhism and Shinto for many centuries.

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Riding the Sagano Scenic Railway, Kyoto’s romantic train

Western Kyoto has long been known for its natural beauty. In fact, the Arashiyama district has been a favorite of tourists for well over 1,000 years. The beauty of this region peaks twice a year, first during the cherry blossom season, and later during the time of autumn color.

The Sagano Scenic Railway is a wonderful way to tour and enjoy the natural beauty of this rural region. The train has come to be known as the Sagano Torokko, or Romantic Train, because its passage takes guests sightseeing through such romantic scenery. If you’ve seen enough of the city, one of these day trips from Kyoto will bring a smile to your face.

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Things to do in Kyoto: travel guide

Many travellers ask us: what to do in Kyoto? If you are visiting Japan for a week, three days in Tokyo and three days in Kyoto are perfect to explore the two great capitals of Japan: the ancient and the modern one.

Following is a pleasant 3-day Kyoto travel guide, with ideas about what to see, where to go and how to use your Japan Rail Pass to move through the city, its temples, gardens, and geisha alleys. Let us begin!

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