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Hiroshima and Japan Travel Tips

1. Flights to Japan

APAMI president's tips for selecting flights are;
* If you are from Seoul, Taipei, Shanghai, Dalian, Beijing, Bangkok, think of using Hiroshima direct flights.
* If you are from other Asian cities, think of flying into Fukuoka, easy taxi(or subway) ride to Fukuoka/Hakata station, and to take 1 hour 15 min Shinkansen train to Hiroshima city.
* If you are from Americas, Europe, Oceania, Middle East,

option 1: Change flight at Seoul or Taipei, and the fly into Hiroshima.

option 2: Fly into Tokyo/Narita, use late afternoon Narita/Hiroshima IBEX/ANA flight. (Or train all the way 1 hour + 4 hour 30 min to Hiroshima (for railfans, or for Mt Fuji view)).

option 3: Fly into Osaka/Kansai, use Express Haruka 1 hour to Shin-Osaka, and then 1 hours 15 min Shinkansen train to Hiroshima city.

Both from America and Europe, you arrive Japan on the next day. And you return home on the same day.

Three major international airports in Japan is Tokyo/Narita (NRT) (serving Tokyo), Osaka/Kansai (KIX) (serving Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka) and Fukuoka (FUK). The nearer to the APAMI/COMHI venue is Hiroshima airport (HIJ).

Hiroshima airport has following scheduled international direct flights;

* Seoul/Inchoen daily by Asiana airlines

* Taipei daily by China airlines

* Beijing via Dalian 9 flights per week by China Southern

* Shanhai/Pudong daily by China Eastern

* Bangkok 2 flights per week by Bangkok airways

 

Tokyo/Narita has many non-stops from all over the world, while Osaka/Kansai has non-stop flights from;
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit and Honolulu (North America)
London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Amsterdam, Helsinki (Europe)
Sydney, Auckland, Christchurch (Oceania)
All major Asian cities

Fukuoka has flights from all major Asian cities.

Hiroshima airport has only one flight per day from above international gateway, IBEX airlines (code share with All Nippon) daily from Narita departing 1745pm.

One thing to note is that Hiroshima airport is rather far from Hiroshima city, with 45 minutes bus connection (Taxi fare will be 14000 yen.) On the other hand, Fukuoka airport is so close to Fukuoka/Hakata station and from the station to Hiroshima station is one hour Shinkansen ride.

 

2. Domestic Transportation to Hiroshima

1) From Tokyo/Narita by air

Only one direct flight from Tokyo/Narita airport to Hiroshima departs daily on 17:25pm by IBEX airlines, an ANA codeshare by CRJ-700. Return flight to Narita departs on 7:45am.

Almost hourly service to/from Tokyo/Haneda domestic airport.

2) From Hiroshima airport to Hiroshima city

From Hiroshima airport to/from Hiroshima city, 45 minutes bus service is frequently available. Taxi fare will be around 14000 yen.

Buses are for Hiroshima station and Hiroshima Bus center, which is nerer to the venue. Look for your hotel location for nearer stop.

Hiroshima airport HP for bus schedule: http://www.hij.airport.jp/english/

Hiroshima city HP for accomodation location:
http://www.hcvb.city.hiroshima.jp/e_navigator/access/index.html

3) From Tokyo/Narita by train

For railfans or for Mt Fuji view. From Tokyo/Narita airport to Tokyo station, JR Narita Express serves every 30 minutes and takes about an hour. Fare is about 3000 yen, which can be covered by JR nationwide pass
(http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en001.html This must be bought outside Japan beforehand.).
2000 yen for first class supplements. JR local train (not express but no train change) costs only 1280 yen and takes 1h30m.

Then take Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Hiroshima. (Do not take other Shinkansens for Tohoku,Joetsu, etc. they are going north.) There are three types of express. Nozomi (4h30m to Hiroshima), Hikari (slower), Kodama (all stop). Their destinations can be Hakata, Hiroshima, Okayama, Shin-Osaka. Cost is about 18000 yen. Hikari and Kodama can be covered by JR nationwide rail pass. If you use JR nationwide pass, chenge Hikari to Hikari at Shin Osaka. First class supplement is about 7000 yen.

Mt. Fuji is on your right (ask for row E seat for normal class, row D seat for first class), visible at 45-55 minutes after departure from Tokyo.

4) From Osaka/Kansai to Hiroshima

JR train express Haruka, takes 60 minutes, every 30 minutes, 3000 yen to Shin Osaka, which can be covered by JR nationwide pass (above) or JR Sanyo pass
http://www.westjr.co.jp/english/travel/jrp/index.html

Then from Shin Osaka to Hiroshima will be by Nozomi or Hikari-railstar, 1h20m, about 9000 yen, first class supplement 4000 yen. In western area, JR pass covers Nozomi and all SInkansen.

 

3. Visa, Climate, Tips, Power, Cell Phone

USA and most European citizens are exempted for non-labor entry. Please check JNTO homepage for your requirements.
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/index.html

If you need an invitation letter, please contact the secretary.

The climate is mild in Hiroshima at the period. 10-20 Celcius (45-65 F), rain is not likely.

Tips are included in the bill of hotels and restaurants. Virtually, you will have no occasion to tip in Japan. Polite hotel porters and taxi drivers may refuse your offer.

Power is 100 volt, 60Hz, two plone plug (American plug minus ground). Shape converter is available at hotel desk.

Cell phone protocol is mainly IMT2000, which is only for Japan, and 3G, some CDMA, but no GSM.

Cell phone rentals are available at international airports

If your SIM card has roaming contract, cell phone without SIM card is also available, and you can use your number.

4. Exchange and cash advance

Foreign currencies and traveler's cheques can be exchanged at airport facilities, bank branches, and hotel cashiers. Exchange rates are all the same. Restaurants and taxis do not accept them.

For cash advance by ATM, bank ATM's are not for foreign issued cards. Japan Postal Bank ATM and Seven-Eleven's Seven Bank ATM in the convenience stores accept VISA, PLUS, Master, CIRRUS, MAESTRO, AMEX, Diners club and UnionPAY. Ask hotel cashier for nearest locations.

5. Japanese restaurants

Most hotels serve breakfast buffet. Try some Japanese foods.

Some traditional Japanese restaurants require you to take off your shoes. Ladies, please be careful to choose pants in these occasions.

6. Excursions

Major excursions outside Hiroshima:

Miyajima:

Breathtaking Shrine on the sea. 30 minutes train ride.

(Excursions to Miyajima by ferry is planned by convention operator.)

Osaka:

Breathtaking Osaka castle. Second largest city, famous for foods. 1h20m train ride.

Kyoto:

Famous former capital, many temples, shrines. (not covered by Sanyo pass, but Osaka-Kyoto extension is only 500 yen.)

Himeji:

White crane castle, which is said to be the most beautiful in Japan. 1hour train ride.

Fukuoka:

Famous Hawker food outlets. 1h15m train ride.

There cities are covered by JR Sanyo Pass, and JR Nationwide Pass.



Tokyo:

Capital of Japan. Mixture of Yedo culture, modern culture and pop culture. 4hour 15 minutes train ride, which is covered by JR Nationwide Pass.

Nikko:

Shogun Tokugawa’s memorial shrine, fine waterfall in the forest, which is covered by JR Nationwide Pass. 1h30m from Tokyo.

Nagasaki:

Another A-Bomb city. 2h from Hakata/Fukuoka.

 

* Rail Passes

Must be purchased beforehand, outside Japan

Fastest Shinkansen Nozomi, excluded at Eastern part.

Japan Rail Pass (nationwide)

7 days 28300yen (1st class 37800yen), 14d, 21d,

http://www.japanrailpass.net/

JR Sanyo Pass

Sanyo: 4days 20000yen, 8d,

http://www.westjr.co.jp/english/travel/jrp/index.html