A few updates to the site.
First, I’ve started the process of adding a couple links here and there. You can see them on the right. Over there. Look. They’re sites that have been helpful to me, so hopefully it can benefit others as well.
As nerdy as that site sounds, it’s actually a really good message board thread that’s well over 5 years old, yet is continuously updated on a near daily basis. Seems more of a place to share pictures of different trains throughout Japan, but also includes some good travelogues by both visitors and residents of Japan. A few posters also translate Japanese news articles pertaining to trains, into English. (Check out the recent post about the new Shinkansen station set to open soon. They allowed the public to take a peek around the yet-to-be-opened station as well as walk around the tracks.)
Both are really good Japanese timetables. They both also support easy access from Japanese cell phones, including the iPhone and other smart phones. Almost impossible to live with if traveling throughout Tokyo. The differences? Jorudan is good for quick searches. Few options, but gives you the information you need fast. Hyperdia does the same, but it’s also good for planning other routes if you like options. Also, it gives timetable information about each line, so it’s like carrying around one of those giant JTB or JR timetable books, without the weight and bulkiness of actually having to lug one around.
JR offers a lot of different rail passes to travel throughout Japan. But if time isn’t a worry, using the Seishun 18 Kippu is one of the best. It allows 5 days of travel throughout all local rail lines in the JR system, but only for specific dates 3 times a year. I’ll go into more detail about this in a future post, as I’ll most likely be using it soon. Anyways, this site has the most comprehensive information I can find about this pass (in English).
Finally, the About page has been updated. I’m not sure if anyone is reading this blog yet, but if you want to recommend other useful sites, let me know. I’ll throw it up.
As for future posts, I have a couple ideas down the pipe. Some include talking about the stamp system in Japan, other useful passes, and I’ll be starting my series of posts covering the train lines of Niigata Prefecture. Gotta start somewhere!