tomroyal.com

Japan on a Budget: Sapporo to Ueno on the Hokutosei

Having returned from Furano to Sapporo, I needed to get back to Tokyo in time to fly back home. There’s one simple and obvious way to do that: domestic flights from New Chitose airport to Haneda run just about every 30 minutes, take 90 minutes, and aren’t too expensive. Instead, I took a 16 hour long […]

Read More

The Dai-Kannon of Ashibetsu

In Japan, big statues are no big deal. There’s the Daibutsu at Nara, of course, but I’ve stumbled across other monumental, well, monuments in several other towns. But then, rolling through the countryside on a local train somewhere between Takikawa and Furano, I spotted a giant white figure on the horizon. The Dai-Kannon at Ashibetsu […]

Read More

Japan on a Budget: Furano and Biei

From the port of Otaru I jumped a train to Sapporo, from there took an express to Takikawa, and from there hopped a tiny, chuntering one-man train to Furano. In Furano, I rented a small car – there’s a large Toyota Rental shop right outside the station if you turn left – and drove out […]

Read More

Japan on a Budget: Otaru

Otaru lies to the northeast of Sapporo, and in the winter is on the train route to the ski resort of Niseko. In spring or summer, though, it’s a major domestic tourism destination. To get there, take a futsuu train from Sapporo’s JR station – it’s not far, and the journey down the coast is […]

Read More

Japan on a Budget: Sapporo

Sapporo is, appropriately, the easiest place in Hokkaido to get to. There’s a huge JR station, it’s the terminal for buses to all over the island, and of course there’s New Chitose airport, served by loads of flights from Honshu and beyond. I rolled in on a coach from Toyako Onsen. There are three subway […]

Read More

Japan on a Budget: Toyako Onsen

About half way between Hakodate and Sapporo you’ll find an almost circular lake with a handful of islands in the middle, and on the southern shore of that lake the resort town of Toyako Onsen. Lonely Planet describes it as “faded”, which is a pretty fair description, but if you have the time it’s worth […]

Read More

Japan on a Budget: Hakodate

Six months after leaving Kyushu, I couldn’t resist a super-cheap flight into Haneda in early May. Having never visited Japan in springtime before, this was a chance to finally see the famous cherry blossoms – except that I would be arriving a bit late, and the only area still blooming with sakura would be the […]

Read More

Booking Japanese train tickets from outside Japan

I’ll say this upfront – if you’re visiting Japan as a tourist, probably using a Japan Rail Pass, there’s really no need to book tickets before you go. I’ve hauled myself around most of Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido on dozens of trains, usually booking a day or two, at most, before traveling. But then, sometimes […]

Read More

Japan on a Budget: Beppu and Aso-San

My last must-see stop in Kyushu was the area around Aso-San, a massive volcano in the middle of the island. To get from Aoshima (via Miyazaki) to there involves passing through Beppu – take a limited express up via Oita. Beppu: All about the Onsen I’ll be absolutely honest: if you don’t like onsen*, you […]

Read More

Japan on a Budget: Aoshima

From Kagoshima I decided to head around Kyushu anticlockwise, with the first stop being Miyazaki and, just to the south of that city, Aoshima. There’s no Shinkansen access to the east of the island, but ‘Kirishima’  Tokkyu express trains run across in a couple of hours. Miyazaki City I was only passing through Miyazaki, but […]

Read More

All © 2019 Tom Royal. Theme available here.