Sunday, June 16, 2013

Birthday Trip to Japan in June 2013 ~ Section 3

Welcome to the third section of my mid-term summer birthday vacation to Japan in June 2013. There will be a total of three focus topics that will be covered in this section of the report. They will mainly be my myriad train journeys towards the city of Fukuoka located in the southern island of Kyushu, Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport.

Part 1 ~ The Long Shinkansen Train Journey to Fukuoka in Kyushu

The next morning, which was Monday (10 June), I woke up at around five o' clock after my alarm went off early. As I was to take a long journey towards the city of Fukuoka in Kyushu and having prepared my belongings for the long journey the night before, I had a quick shower and changed into my day's attire to start off the day. Upon having all my necessary belongings prepared for the very long journey, I was officially ready to go at 5.20 a.m.. My dad then offered to give me a lift to Odawara Station in our rented car.

With that, we headed down to the secluded resort parking area near the chalets, and found our car. Starting our car up, we finally departed the compound of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa by 5.25 a.m. for a short drive time of just 15 minutes to Odawara Station. For the in-bound trip to Fukuoka, I would catch the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 800 bound for Tokyo, which would depart Odawara Station at 6.44 a.m., and arrive at the Tokyo terminal station at 7.20 a.m..

Upon arrival at Tokyo Station, I would connect to the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), which would depart Tokyo Station at 7.50 a.m., and arrive at the Hakata terminal station at 12.56 p.m.. I was very relieved since I had made my Green Car (first class) seat reservations the previous day when we exchanged our Japan Rail Pass Exchange Vouchers for our 7-day Green-type Japan Rail Passes.


The view of my chalet's living room in the early morning hours

The early morning view of Sagami Bay from my Chalet No. 2005 shortly after I woke up

The mini-kitchen in my chalet with the living room television beside it

The exterior view of my chalet cottage, Chalet No. 2005, in the early morning hours

A secluded car parking area near the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

Our rented Nissan car parked at the secluded parking area

Finally leaving our chalet area

Driving down the hilly road towards Odawara Station

Crossing a bridge that links between the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa and downtown Odawara

The lush green mountains of the city of Odawara in the early morning hours

The early morning view of the Sagami Bay and the mountainous road near my hotel

Driving along a mountainous road by the Sagami Bay towards Odawara Station

Bypassing the flyover bridge towards the Greater Tokyo Area

The JR Tokaido Main Line iron bridge that crosses between Odawara Station and Hayakawa Station

Finally approaching Odawara Station

After a short 15-minute drive from the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa cottage, I finally arrived at Odawara Station at 5.40 a.m.. Having all my belongings with me for the journey, my dad advised me to have fun and stay safe at all times. Upon entering the Shinkansen station concourse at 5.45 a.m., I went to check the departure information board to see what time the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 800 bound for Tokyo would depart from.

According to the departure information board located in the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Odawara Station, the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 800 bound for Tokyo would depart at 6.44 a.m. from Track No. 14. Though it was still quite early before my train, I decided to head up to Track No. 14 in preparation for the short morning journey towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo.

The Tokaido Shinkansen (東海道新幹線) is one of the major high-speed Shinkansen lines operating between the cities of Tokyo and Osaka in Honshu, Japan. Opened on 1 October 1964, it is the oldest Shinkansen line in Japan and the most heavily-travelled high-speed railway line in the world, with approximately 5.3 billion passengers using the line between 1964 and 2012. The line is operated by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) and has a maximum top speed of 270 km/h (170 mph), though this is scheduled to be raised to 285 km/h (177 mph) from spring 2015.

As of 16 March 2013, 16-car 700 series and N700 series sets operate along the line at a maximum speed of 270 km/h (170 mph) on the NOZOMIHIKARI and KODAMA services, with many NOZOMI and HIKARI services offering through service to the Sanyo Shinkansen line towards the cities of Okayama, Hiroshima in the Chugoku region, and Fukuoka in the southernmost island of Kyushu. NOZOMI trains are the only services on the Tokaido Shinkansen line that are not covered under the Japan Rail Pass.

KODAMA (こだま) is one of the train services that operate on the Tokaido Shinkansen and Sanyo Shinkansen lines in Japan. Stopping at every station along the line, the KODAMA is the slowest train service ever to operate on these two lines. The service is primarily used for travel between smaller cities such as Atami, Kurashiki and Shimonoseki. It also runs over shorter distances (i.e. Tokyo to Nagoya, Shin-osaka to Hiroshima), and even much shorter runs in the early morning and late night hours.

The service has a top speed of 285 km/h (177 mph). Many KODAMA services pull over at many intermediate stations to allow faster services, such as NOZOMI and HIKARI services to pass through. On early morning and late night runs, most services feature only non-reserved seating in the standard class cars to accommodate residents living in Hiroshima, Kanagawa, Okayama, Shizuoka and Yamaguchi Prefectures.

The KODAMA service commenced operations on 1 October 1964, in collaboration with the opening of the Tokaido Shinkansen line, using 0 series sets until their ultimate retirement in late 2008. From 1985 and 1992, 100 series and 300 series sets were introduced on these services until their retirements on 16 March 2012. As of 16 March 2013, the rolling stock used for these services are 8-car 500 series, 700 series and N700 series sets, as well as 16-car 700 series and N700 series sets.

In late 2008, 500 series sets were introduced on these services to replace the remaining 0 series sets. These sets were shortened to eight cars from their original 16-car formations, with their top speed reduced from 300 km/h (186 mph) to 285 km/h (177 mph). There is no smoking on these services, with segregated smoking compartments installed in Cars No. 3 and 7, as with 8-car N700 series sets.

From the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012, KODAMA services using special 8-car 700 series sets became entirely non-smoking. On-board trolley refreshment service was also discontinued on all KODAMA services truncated to the Tokaido Shinkansen line at the same time due to declining sales. Thus, this leaves the KODAMA the only Shinkansen service not to have on-board trolley refreshment service on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines.


The drop-off area by the entrance to Odawara Station

The main entrance to Odawara Station

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Odawara Station in the wee hours of the morning

The JR Central Ticket Office at Odawara Station

The Tokaido Shinkansen ticketing gates at Odawara Station

The departure information board showing the first Shinkansen trains of the day departing Odawara Station

The Tokaido Shinkansen name plate of Odawara Station

The departure information board on Track No. 14 indicating the first train departures bound for Tokyo

The Tokaido Shinkansen platforms of Odawara Station

The departure information board on Track No. 13 showing the trains departing for Hiroshima and Shin-osaka

The Tokaido Shinkansen platforms of Odawara Station facing the direction towards Tokyo shortly before the first train towards Osaka arrived

N700系新幹線 Z45編成 ひかり493号 広島行き 小田原駅で到着と出発シーン

An out-of-service N700 Series Shinkansen train passing through Odawara Station at high speed towards Tokyo

An N700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 99 service bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), passing through Odawara Station at high speed

Another N700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 1 service bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), passing through Odawara Station at high speed

The station platforms of Odawara Station facing the direction towards Nagoya and Shin-osaka, just before the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 800 bound for Tokyo arrived ath the station

After spending approximately 45 minutes of anticipated waiting on the platform, a 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C42, operating on the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 800 bound for Tokyo, finally arrived at Odawara Station at 6.43 a.m. on Track No. 14. I then boarded the train via one of the Green Car coaches, which was Car No. 8, and found my assigned Seat No. 10D for the quick and short 36-minute journey towards the heart of downtown Tokyo.

At exactly 6.44 a.m. itself, all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 800 finally pulled out of Odawara Station for the remaining sector of its regional journey towards the capital city of Japan. I was then on my way for a very quick and short 36-minute ride towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo, as well as for my first segment of the day between Odawara and Fukuoka.


700系新幹線 C42編成 こだま800号 東京行き 小田原駅に入線と乗車

The Green Car (first class) interior of the JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C42, on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 800 bound for Tokyo, at Odawara Station

Finally pulling out of Odawara Station

The Green Car interior of the JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen train on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 800 bound for Tokyo from my seat

My Green Car Shinkansen ticket for the first sector between Odawara and Tokyo

Passing by some houses in the town of Ninomiya

A view of my seat, 10D, during the short ride between Odawara and Tokyo

A pair of JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Green Car seats on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 800 bound for Tokyo

Passing by some rice paddy fields in the city of Hadano

Passing by some rice paddy fields in the city of Chigasaki

A suburban area near the city of Yokohama as the train approaches Shin-yokohama Station

Arriving at Shin-yokohama Station

The Shin-yokohama Prince Hotel as the train departs Shin-yokohama Station

Crossing the Tama River between Shin-yokohama and Shinagawa Stations

The early morning view of Minato-ku, Tokyo as the train approaches Shinagawa Station

Making a brief stopover at Shinagawa Station

700系新幹線 C42編成 こだま800号 東京行き 品川駅から終点東京駅間

After a short 36-minute journey from the suburban city of Odawara, I finally arrived at the Tokyo terminal station at 7.20 a.m. on Track No. 14. Knowing that I had only 10 minutes left before my connecting train towards Hakata (Fukuoka), I immediately headed down to the station kiosk to purchase a beef tongue lunchbox (gyutan bento) for my very long journey. At the same time, I went to check the departure information board to check which platform the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) would depart from.

According to the departure information board in the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse, the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) would depart from Tokyo Station at 7.50 a.m. from Track No. 16. Without wasting anymore time, I immediately took the escalator up to Tracks No. 16 and 17 for my continuing train bound for Hakata (Fukuoka). Tokyo Station was very lively with lots of busy commuters travelling to various destinations, either for business or for leisure, especially when it is early in the morning.

Tokyo Station (東京駅) is a railway station located in the Marunouchi business district of Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. It is the central intercity rail terminal in Tokyo and the busiest station in Japan in terms of the number of trains, with at least 3,000 trains arriving and departing the station per day. A majority of the nation's high-speed Shinkansen services in Japan start and terminate here.

The station also serves as a starting point for the Chuo Main Line, Tokaido Main Line, Sobu Main Line, Yokosuka Line and Keiyo Line, as well as a stopping point for the Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line, Yamanote Line and the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line. A majority of limited express trains bound for the Izu Peninsula and Boso Peninsula also start and terminate here. The station is also a mandatory stop for the Narita Express limited express service towards Narita International Airport.

NOZOMI (のぞみ) is the fastest train service operating on the Tokaido Shinkansen and Sanyo Shinkansen lines in Japan. The service stops only Shinagawa, Shin-yokohama, Nagoya and Kyoto Stations between Tokyo and Shin-osaka on the Tokaido Shinkansen line, as well as Shin-kobe, Okayama, Hiroshima and Kokura, along with certain stretch stations along the Sanyo Shinkansen line between Shin-osaka and Hakata (Fukuoka). NOZOMI services can easily reach to a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), with the fastest service between Tokyo and Hakata (Fukuoka) taking 4 hours 50 minutes, and 2 hours 25 minutes between Tokyo and Shin-osaka.

The service commenced on 14 March 1992, using 300 series equipment at a top speed of 270 km/h (170 mph), until their retirement on 16 March 2012. From 22 March 1997, 500 series sets were introduced at a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), until their retirement from these services on 28 February 2010. From 13 March 1999, 700 series sets were introduced on these services at a top speed of 285 km/h (177 mph). From 1 July 2007, N700 series sets were introduced on these services at a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), like the 500 series.

All through regular NOZOMI services between Tokyo and Okayama, Hiroshima and Hakata (Fukuoka) were operated using newer N700 series equipment from the start of the revised timetable on 13 March 2010From the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012, all regularly scheduled NOZOMI services, including runs limited to the Tokaido Shinkansen, were operated by newer N700 Series Shinkansen trains. All NOZOMI services using newer N700 series trains are entirely non-smoking, with smoking permitted only in the segregated smoking compartments located in Cars No. 3, 7, 10 and 15 of the 16-car formation.

The NOZOMI service is not valid for tourists travelling with a Japan Rail Pass, since a large number of these services do not make stop at many destinations containing popular tourist attractions in Hyogo, Kanagawa, Shiga, Shizuoka and Yamaguchi Prefectures. To use a NOZOMI train with a Japan Rail Pass, the basic fare and the Shinkansen express charge must be paid, including the Green Car (first class) surcharge when using a Green Car seat. A typical Green Car (first class) seat price for a Shinkansen NOZOMI train between Tokyo and Hakata (Fukuoka) costs approximately ¥29,250 (S$356.85), and ¥18,690 (S$228) between Tokyo and Shin-osaka, both in each direction.


Tracks No. 14 and 15 serving the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen trains at Tokyo Station

The relatively busy Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Tokyo Station in the morning

The departure information board in the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Tokyo Station

The departure information board for trains departing from Track No. 16 indicating that my train would depart at 7.50 a.m.

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 635 bound for Nagoya

Tracks No. 16 and 17 serving the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen trains at Tokyo Station

The logo of the new N700A Series Shinkansen train at Tokyo Station, of which, this N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G2, is operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 11 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka)

Tracks No. 16 and 17 serving the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen trains at Tokyo Station just before my train to Hakata (Fukuoka) arrived

The departure information board for the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen trains departing from Track No. 16, indicating that the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata is finally arriving

After spending approximately 10 minutes of anticipated waiting on the platform, a 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), finally arrived at Tokyo Station at 7.30 a.m. on Track No. 16. Once the train doors swung open, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 7 and went through Car No. 8 (one of the Green Car coaches), finding my assigned Seat No. 6D for the long journey time of 5 hours 06 minutes towards the city of Fukuoka in Kyushu. More passengers began to board the train as time went by.

Once the clock struck exactly 7.50 a.m., all the train doors closed, and the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 13 finally pulled out of Tokyo Station for its long journey time of 5 hours 06 minutes towards the city of Fukuoka located on the southern island of Kyushu. I was then on my way for my very first trip to the island of Kyushu, as well as my first long Shinkansen train ride in Japan. This trip would also mark my very first time riding the entire segment on the Sanyo Shinkansen line.

On board the Green Car (first class) coaches on the N700 Series Shinkansen trains running on the Tokaido Shinkansen, Sanyo Shinkansen and Kyushu Shinkansen lines, every seat is provided with an AC power outlet. This is a convenient enhanced seat feature, as it allows passengers to charge their electronic devices during long Shinkansen train journeys (i.e. Tokyo to Hakata, Shin-osaka to Kagoshima-chuo).

The Sanyo Shinkansen (山陽新幹線) is the second high-speed Japanese Shinkansen line operating between the major cities of Osaka in Honshu and Fukuoka in the southern island of Kyushu, Japan. Operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West), the line was opened in three stages between 1972 and 1975. The line has a maximum top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).

As of 16 March 2013, 500 series, 700 series and N700 series sets in both 8-car and 16-car formations operate on the following five services, which are mainly the NOZOMI, MIZUHO, HIKARI, SAKURA and KODAMA services along the line. MIZUHO and SAKURA services offer through service to the Kyushu Shinkansen towards Kumamoto and Kagoshima-chuo beyond Hakata Station. NOZOMI and MIZUHO trains cannot be used by tourists travelling with a Japan Rail Pass.


N700系新幹線 N6編成 のぞみ13号 博多行き 東京駅に入線シー

A view of my seat, 6D, during the boarding process at Tokyo Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), during the boarding process at Tokyo Station

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), at Tokyo Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), during the boarding process at Tokyo Station

The logo of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), at Tokyo Station

The view of the Green Car interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), during the boarding process at Tokyo Station

N700系新幹線 N6編成 のぞみ13号 博多行き 東京駅から品川駅間

N700系新幹線 N6編成 のぞみ13号 博多行き 品川駅から新横浜駅間

Making a brief stopover at Shin-yokohama Station

Passing by some housing and rural business areas somewhere in the town of Oiso

N700系新幹線 N6編成 のぞみ13号 博多行き 小田原 (通過) ~ 熱海 (通過)

My beef tongue lunchbox (gyutan bento) for the journey

Bypassing Mishima Station

Passing by Shin-fuji Station at high speed

Watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on my laptop

Passing by some housing areas between the cities of Fuji and Shizuoka in Shizuoka Prefecture

About to cross underneath the Tomei Expressway in Aoi-ku, Shizuoka

N700系新幹線 N6編成 のぞみ13号 博多行き 車窓から静岡駅を通過

Bypassing some suburban houses near the city of Shizuoka

Crossing over a river between Shizuoka and Kakegawa

Running parallel to the JR Tokaido Line tracks near Kakegawa Station

Bypassing Kakegawa Station

Bypassing a rice paddy field between Kakegawa and Hamamatsu

A bottle of Coca-cola for myself purchased from the on-board trolley refreshment service

Crossing a river by the city of Hamamatsu

Bypassing Hamamatsu Station

Crossing Lake Hamana between Shizuoka and Aichi Prefectures

Bypassing a farming area near the city of Toyohashi

Bypassing some housing areas in the city of Toyohashi

Bypassing Toyohashi Station

Bypassing some farming areas between the cities of Toyohashi and Anjo

Some greenhouses being built in a farm near the city of Toyohashi

Bypassing some farming areas near the city of Anjo

Passing by some housing areas in the city of Anjo

Bypassing Mikawa-anjo Station

The skyline of the city of Nagoya just as the train arrives at Nagoya Station

Stopping briefly at Nagoya Station

My Green Car Shinkansen ticket for the sector between Tokyo and Hakata (Fukuoka)

Doing a write-up on my blog report about the trip. Helvetica is the main typeface used for this report

Bypassing Gifu-hashima Station

Passing a large farming area in Hashima, Gifu

The view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), from my seat between Nagoya and Kyoto

Bypassing some lush green forests somewhere near Maibara in Shiga Prefecture

Bypassing Maibara Station

Bypassing some rice paddy fields in the town of Taga, Shiga

The city of Kyoto, where my mum will be going to meet a friend in a couple of days' time

Stopping over at Kyoto Station

Crossing the Katsura River in Kyoto Prefecture

Bypassing some rice paddy fields in Shimamoto, Osaka

Bypassing the Shinkansen train depot in Suita, Osaka

Approaching Shin-osaka Station

Making a brief stopover in Shin-osaka Station

A view of my seat, 6D, while stopping at Shin-osaka Station

The district of Yodogawa-ku, Osaka shortly after departing Shin-osaka Station

Crossing the Yodo River between Osaka and Hyogo Prefectures

Bypassing between the cities of Amagasaki and Nishinomiya

Crossing somewhere over the Shukugawa River between the cities of Osaka and Kobe

Stopping briefly at Shin-kobe Station

One of the segregated smoking compartments in Car No. 7 on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka)

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the city of Akashi

Bypassing Nishi-akashi Station

Crossing the Kakogawa River between the cities of Akashi and Himeji

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the city of Himeji

Making a brief stop at Himeji Station

The rear view of the Green Car interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), while stopping briefly at Himeji Station

A JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C31 operating on a Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 466 service between Okayama and Tokyo stopping at Himeji Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), between Himeji and Okayama

Bypassing a mountain in the city of Aioi

More mountain areas in the city of Aioi

Bypassing a lake in the city of Aioi

A roadbridge crossing a farming area in Higashi-ku, Okayama

Bypassing some flats in the city of Okayama as the train approaches Okayama Station

Stopping briefly at Okayama Station

N700系新幹線 N6編成 のぞみ13号 博多行き 岡山 (発車) ~ 福山 (通過)

Bypassing the city of Onomichi

Passing through the city of Mihara

Bypassing some housing areas in the city of Higashi-hiroshima

Bypassing Higashi-hiroshima Station

Making a brief stopover at Hiroshima Station

Bypassing some housing areas in Minami-ku, Hiroshima

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the city of Iwakuni

Passing through Shin-iwakuni Station

The front view of the Green Car interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), between Hiroshima and Kokura

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the city of Shunan

Passing through Tokuyama Station

A lush, green mountain in Yamaguchi Prefecture

Bypassing a rural area in Yamaguchi Prefecture

Passing through Shin-yamaguchi Station

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the city of Yamaguchi

Bypassing some suburban housing areas and farms in the city of Sanyo-onoda

Passing through Asa Station

The view of the city of Sanyo-onoda from the train

Passing some lush green forests near Shimonoseki

Bypassing a rural settlement near the city of Shimonoseki

The rear view of the Green Car interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), between Hiroshima and Kokura

Bypassing Shin-shimonoseki Station

The front view of the Green Car interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), in the Shin-kanmon Tunnel

The rear view of the Green Car interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), in the Shin-kanmon Tunnel

A view of my seat, 6D, in the Shin-kanmon Tunnel

Finally on the island of Kyushu

Stopping briefly at Kokura Station

N700系新幹線 N6編成 のぞみ13号 博多行き 小倉駅から終点博多駅間

After a very long Shinkansen journey time of 5 hours 06 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, I finally arrived at the Hakata terminal station at 12.56 p.m. on Track No. 14. Upon alighting the train, I knew that I had arrived at my very first destination in Kyushu. Feeling hungry after the long journey, I decided to have lunch at a nearby shopping mall first before seeing the city view of Fukuoka.

Looking around JR Hakata City, I found a mall called Amu Plaza at around 1.15 p.m.. Upon entering the shopping mall, I was feeling very hungry from my long Shinkansen train journey from Tokyo. I then went to the elevators, only to find that the restaurants were located on the ninth and tenth floors. With that, I took the elevator all the way up towards the tenth floor and looked around to see which good restaurants were there to eat at. I did the same thing when I took a flight of stairs down towards the ninth floor of the mall.

Hakata Station (博多駅) is a railway station located in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Japan. It is the main railway terminal serving the city of Fukuoka, as well as the busiest railway terminal in Kyushu, Japan. The station serves as an interchange station for the Sanyo Shinkansen, Kyushu Shinkansen, Kagoshima Main Line, Nagasaki Main Line and the Fukuoka City Subway Airport Line.

Hakata Station also serves as the main gateway for travellers coming to Kyushu by train. On 3 March 2011, a large shopping mall just above Hakata Station, called JR Hakata City, was opened for people to come and shop before and after their train journeys. Between 2009 and 2010, the station underwent an extensive renovation programme, with the renovations ending following the opening of JR Hakata City.

Fukuoka (福岡市) is the prefectural capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan. It is the largest city in the island of Kyushu, and the sixth-largest city in Japan, both in terms of population. The city serves as the main gateway for travellers coming into Kyushu, via its main railway terminal, Hakata Station, and Fukuoka Airport located in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka. The city is also most noted for its famous shopping district, Tenjin, located in Chuo-ku, Fukuoka.


Tracks No. 13 and 14 of the Sanyo Shinkansen and Kyushu Shinkansen tracks at Hakata Station

The logo of the N700 Series Shinkansen train I took as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 13 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) earlier

The logo of the new N700A Series Shinkansen train at Hakata Station, of which, this N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G2, is operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 32 bound for Tokyo, having arrived as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 11 from the same place earlier

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N6, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 34 bound for Tokyo, at Hakata Station

The Sanyo Shinkansen and Kyushu Shinkansen concourse in Hakata Station

One of the main entrances to Hakata Station

One of the JR Ticket Offices in the station concourse of Hakata Station

The elevators to Hakata City from the station concourse in Hakata Station

Some of the various signboards in the station concourse of Hakata Station

The floor level information board in Amu Plaza Hakata City on the second floor

The list of restaurants located on the ninth and tenth floors of Amu Plaza Hakata City

Some restaurants located on the ninth floor in Amu Plaza Hakata City

After looking through the many restaurants, I finally managed to stumble upon a famous beef tongue (gyutan) restaurant, known as Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu (牛たん炭焼利久). This restaurant is very famous all over Japan for serving beef tongue, a dish that originated from the city of Sendai in the Tohoku region of Japan. With the main headquarters in Sendai, there are several Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu restaurant chains in Japan.

When my turn in the queue came about, I requested for a non-smoking table for myself. The waiter of the restaurant offered to safekeep my baggage and umbrella in the baggage shelf, and showed me to an empty table. Leaving me with the food and beverage menus, I decided to have a good review before placing my main meal orders for lunch. After having a good review through the food and beverage menus, a waiter came by to take my orders.

I order a beef tongue (gyutan) teishoku lunch set, and an a la carte order of beef tongue, along with a glass of white wine to accompany my meal. The waiter took down my meal orders and within a few minutes, my main lunch course finally arrived.The beef tongue tasted really tender, and the rice went very well with it. I must say that this was one of the best beef tongue meals I have ever had in Japan. The white wine went very well with the meal, since it really hit the spot.


The entrance to Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu in Amu Plaza Hakata City

The food and beverage menu of Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu in Amu Plaza Hakata City

The interior of Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu in Amu Plaza Hakata City

A glass of white wine to accompany my main beef tongue lunch course

My a la carte side order of the famous beef tongue

My very sumptuous beef tongue (gyutan) lunch course with a glass of white wine at Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu

After having a nice and sumptuous lunch at Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu, I was finally stuffed to the brim. Grabbing all my belongings with me, I went up to the counter to pay my bill before continuing my day. Knowing that it might be dangerous to take a taxi into the city centre alone, I decided to go up all the way to the top floor, where the observation deck was located.

There, I viewed the entire city of Fukuoka for the very first time in my life, giving me the ability to observe what downtown Fukuoka was really like and to see Hakata Bay. The view of the city was very beautiful, and the weather was relatively cloudy and reasonably cool, allowing me to enjoy the beautiful and breathtaking views of the city of Fukuoka.


A small field growing onions on the open-air top floor of Amu Plaza Hakata City

A small open-air shop selling souvenirs in the top floor of Amu Plaza Hakata City

A compound with bushes and a mini-cafeteria in the top floor of Amu Plaza Hakata City

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 787-881 Dreamliner coming into land at Fukuoka Airport

The view of Hakata-ku, Fukuoka with some views of beautiful mountains in the background

The view of the city of Fukuoka with Hakata Bay visible in the background

Some mountain views from the top level of Amu Plaza Hakata City

The overall view of the open-air top level of Amu Plaza Hakata City from the observation deck

The view of Fukuoka Airport from the open-air top level of Amu Plaza Hakata City

Overlooking Hakata-ku, Fukuoka near Fukuoka Airport

The view of downtown Hakata-ku, Fukuoka from the open-air top level of Amu Plaza Hakata City

The view of Hakata-ku, Fukuoka with some mountain ranges in the background from the top level of Amu Plaza Hakata City

A Philippine Airlines Airbus A320 coming into land at Fukuoka Airport

The tracks of a mini free train ride attraction in the open-air top level of Amu Plaza Hakata City

A mini free train ride attraction in the open-air top level of Amu Plaza Hakata City

After spending approximately 1 hour 45 minutes of exploring Amu Plaza Hakata City and viewing the entire city of Fukuoka from the top floor, I decided that it was time to head back to Hakata StationMy itinerary for the return journey back to the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa would be to take the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, which would depart Hakata Station at 6.05 p.m., and arrive at the Tokyo terminal station at 11.13 p.m..

Upon arrival at Tokyo Station, I would connect to a JR Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Odawara, which would depart Tokyo Station at 11.39 p.m., and arrive at the Odawara terminal station at 1.02 a.m. the next morning. Though it was still early, I wanted to do some train-spotting at the station to pass the time.

With that, I took the elevator all the way down towards the JR Kyushu Line concourse of Hakata Station. Upon entering the ticket gates, I went to a nearby mini cafeteria, by the name of Café NESCAFE, to have a cup of cocoa before heading towards the Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen line platforms.


A lineup of shops located on the tenth floor of Amu Plaza Hakata City

The view of Hakata-ku, Fukuoka as seen from outside Hakata Station

An office building located in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka near Hakata Station

A taxi stand located near the Fukuoka City Subway Airport Line entrance at Hakata Station

The main entrance to Hakata Station during the mid-afternoon hours

The entrance to Amu Plaza Hakata City on the third floor near the JR Kyushu Line entrance to the station

Some toy models of trains operated by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) on display in the JR Kyushu Line concourse of Hakata Station

The menu of Café NESCAFE in the JR Kyushu Line concourse of Hakata Station

Having a cup of cocoa in the JR Kyushu Line concourse of Hakata Station

After having a cup of cocoa in the JR Kyushu Line concourse of Hakata Station, the clock was finally showing 3.25 p.m.. Wanting to do some train-spotting on the Sanyo Shinkansen and Kyushu Shinkansen platforms, I took the escalators up and down towards the Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen concourse, arriving there by 3.35 p.m.. According to the departure information board, the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo would depart at 6.05 p.m. from Track No. 12.

There were lots of hustle and bustle around the Shinkansen platforms, with trains coming and going to various destinations. I then headed up to the Shinkansen platforms to begin my Shinkansen train-spotting for almost a couple of hours. I even purchased some salmon and cheese sushi for a light dinner before my journey back to Tokyo. This would also mark my first time seeing the Sanyo Shinkansen and Kyushu Shinkansen trains, including the MIZUHO, SAKURA and TSUBAME trains.

MIZUHO (みずほ) is the fastest train service running on the Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen lines in Japan. Between Shin-osaka and Kagoshima-chuo, the service stops only at Shin-kobe, Okayama, Hiroshima, Kokura, Hakata and Kumamoto Stations. The service can reach a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) on the Sanyo Shinkansen, and 260 km/h (160 mph) on the Kyushu Shinkansen.

The service commenced on 12 March 2011 (the day after the March 11 Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Tsunami), following the opening of the entire Kyushu Shinkansen line between the cities of Fukuoka and Kagoshima. It currently uses special 8-carriage N700 series sets, which are painted in a very distinctive livery and designed to provide direct service between Honshu and Kyushu. Green Car (first class) accommodation is provided in half of one carriage (Car No. 6) of the 8-carriage formation, which can seat up to 24 passengers.

Initially, from the start of the revised timetable on 12 March 2011, the service operated four times daily in each direction (two in the morning, two in the evening). However, from the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012, an additional MIZUHO service was added to the schedule, allowing the total number of daily services to be increased from four to five.

As with the NOZOMI service that runs on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines, the MIZUHO is not valid for tourists travelling with a Japan Rail Pass. To use a MIZUHO train with a Japan Rail Pass, the basic fare and the Shinkansen express charge must be paid, including the Green Car (first class) surcharge when using a Green Car seat.


The escalators towards the Shinkansen concourse of Hakata Station

The overall view of the JR Kyushu Line platforms on the way towards the Shinkansen concourse

The exterior view of Hakata City located just above Hakata Station

The Sanyo Shinkansen and Kyushu Shinkansen concourse of Hakata Station in the late afternoon hours

The name plate of Hakata Station on Tracks No. 11 and 12 of Hakata Station

The logo of the 800 Series Shinkansen train at Hakata Station

A 6-carriage 800 Series Shinkansen Set No. U003, operating on the Shinkansen "TSUBAME" No. 353 bound for Kumamoto on Track No. 11 at Hakata Station

The LED destination panel on the 800 Series Shinkansen Set No. U003 operating on the Shinkansen "TSUBAME" Superexpress No. 353 bound for Kumamoto at Hakata Station

Tracks No. 11 and 12 of Hakata Station with a 16-carriage N700 Series Shinkansen train and a 6-carriage 800 Series Shinkansen train

The departure information panel showing the train departures from Tracks No. 13 and 14 at Hakata Station

A 6-carriage 800 Series Shinkansen Set No. U002, operating on the Shinkansen "SAKURA" Superexpress No. 415 service bound for Kagoshima-chuo on Track No. 14 at Hakata Station

The overall view of the Sanyo Shinkansen and Kyushu Shinkansen platforms at Hakata Station

The LED destination panel of a 16-carriage N700 Series Shinkansen set, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 48 service bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

A 16-carriage N700 Series Shinkansen set, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 48 service bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The LED destination panel of an 8-carriage N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. R7, operating on the Shinkansen "TSUBAME" Superexpress No. 348 service, on Track No. 11 at Hakata Station

The LED destination panel of an 8-carriage N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. R7, operating on the Shinkansen "SAKURA" Superexpress No. 307 service bound for Kumamoto, on Track No. 11 at Hakata Station

Tracks No. 11 and 12 with two N700 Series Shinkansen trains waiting on the platforms

The LED destination panel of an 8-carriage N700 Series Shinkansen set, operating on the Shinkansen "SAKURA" Superexpress No. 562 service bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 13 at Hakata Station

The Green Car logo of an 8-carriage N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. R7, operating on the Shinkansen "SAKURA" Superexpress No. 307 service bound for Kumamoto, on Track No. 11 at Hakata Station

An 8-carriage N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. R7, operating on the Shinkansen "SAKURA" Superexpress No. 307 service bound for Kumamoto, on Track No. 11 at Hakata Station

The LED destination panel of a 16-carriage JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z2, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 50 service bound for Tokyo, at Hakata Station on Track No. 12

N700系新幹線 Z2編成 のぞみ50号 東京行き 博多駅から出発シーン

A 6-car 800 Series Shinkansen Set No. U008, operating on the Shinkansen "TSUBAME" Superexpress No. 355 service bound for Kumamoto, on Track No. 11 at Hakata Station

A 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N10, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 29 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), arriving at the Hakata terminal station on Track No. 12

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N10, which previously operated on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 29 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The LED destination panel of an N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N10, indicating that the train is out of service

The logo of the 16-car JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G4, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 54 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The Green Car (first class) interior front view of a JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G4, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 54 service bound for Tokyo, at Hakata Station

The Green Car (first class) interior rear view of a JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G4, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 54 service bound for Tokyo, at Hakata Station

The LED destination panel of a JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G4, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 54 service bound for Tokyo, at Hakata Station on Track No. 12

The Sanyo Shinkansen and Kyushu Shinkansen concourse of Hakata Station in the early evening hours

An 8-carriage 500 Series Shinkansen Set No. V4, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 756 service bound for Shin-osaka, at Track No. 14

The departure information panel showing the train departures from Tracks No. 11 and 12 at Hakata Station

An 8-carriage 500 Series Shinkansen Set No. V4, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 756 service bound for Shin-osaka, awaiting departure from Hakata Station at 5.13 p.m. from Track No. 13

The reserved seating interior of an 8-car 500 Series Shinkansen Set No. V4, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 756 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process on Track No. 13 at Hakata Station

Tracks No. 13 and 14 of Hakata Station

The LED destination panel on a 8-car JR Kyushu N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. R9, operating on the Shinkansen "MIZUHO" Superexpress No. 604 service bound for Shin-osaka, at Hakata Station on Track No. 14

An 8-car JR Kyushu N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. R9, operating on the Shinkansen "MIZUHO" Superexpress No. 604 service bound for Shin-osaka, at Hakata Station on Track No. 14

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N5, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 service bound for Tokyo, at Hakata Station

The view of Track No. 12 of Hakata Station just before the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 service bound for Tokyo arrived at the platform

After spending approximately two hours worth of Shinkansen train-spotting on the station platforms, a 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7 finally arrived at Hakata Station at 5.39 p.m. on Track No. 12. The train had just arrived from Tokyo earlier as the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 33 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) earlier, and was to undergo an extensive cleaning process at the station before becoming the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo.

The entire cleaning process took no more than just 15 minutes. Once the entire cleaning process was completed, all the train doors were opened again at 5.55 p.m., allowing the passengers to board the train. With that, I quickly boarded the train through Car No. 8, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, and settled into my assigned Seat No. 8D for the long early evening Shinkansen journey duration of 5 hours 08 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo located in the Kanto region of Japan.

The seat adjacent to me, 8C, would remain unoccupied for the entire long journey between Hakata (Fukuoka) and Tokyo. Once the clock struck 6.05 p.m. sharp, all of the train doors were finally closed, and the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 60 finally pulled out of Hakata Station for its very long evening journey duration of 5 hours 08 minutes towards the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo. I was then on my way back for a long evening journey duration of 5 hours 08 minutes back to the capital city of Japan.


N700系新幹線 N7編成 のぞみ60号 東京行き 博多駅に入線シーン

The logo of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, at Hakata Station on Track No. 12

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, at Hakata Station on Track No. 12

Track No. 12 of Hakata Station during the cleaning process for the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo

The Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo waiting on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

Tracks No. 11 and 12 of Hakata Station just before the cleaning process for the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo was completed

The Green Car (first class) logo on the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, at Hakata Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7 operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process at Hakata Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7 operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process at Hakata Station

A view of my seat, 8D, during the boarding process at Hakata Station

A pair of Green Car (first class) seats on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process at Hakata Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set. No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo from my seat, just before departing Hakata Station

Awaiting departure from Hakata Station

N700系新幹線 N7編成 のぞみ60号 東京行き 博多駅から小倉駅間

Stopping briefly at Kokura Station

N700系新幹線 N7編成 のぞみ60号 東京行き 小倉 (発車) ~ 新下関 (通過)

Bypassing some rice paddy fields in Yamaguchi Prefecture

The view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set. No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, between Kokura and Hiroshima

Bypassing the city of Shunan near Tokuyama Station

Bypassing Tokuyama Station

My return ticket for the sector between Hakata (Fukuoka) and Tokyo

The Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set. No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, on approach to Hiroshima Station

The view of Hiroshima during approach to Hiroshima Station

Making a brief stopover at Hiroshima Station

Leaving the city of Hiroshima

Speeding through the city of Higashihiroshima

Bypassing Mihara Station

Passing some plantation areas between Mihara and Fukuyama

Stopping briefly at Fukuyama Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, between Fukuyama and Okayama

The front view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, between Fukuyama and Okayama

The Green Car carriage information sticker for the N700 Series Shinkansen on the table in front

Travelling between the cities of Fukuyama and Kurashiki

N700系新幹線 N7編成 のぞみ60号 東京行き 新倉敷 (通過) ~ 岡山 (到着)

Stopping briefly at Okayama Station

Pulling out of the city of Okayama

The Green Car (first class) interior view of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Okayama and Aioi

Passing through Aioi Station

Speeding through the city of Himeji at night

N700系新幹線 N7編成 のぞみ60号 東京行き 姫路 (通過) ~ 西明石 (通過)

Stopping briefly at Shin-kobe Station

Crossing the border between Hyogo and Osaka Prefectures

Stopping briefly at Shin-osaka Station on the newly-opened Track No. 27

Pulling out of Shin-osaka Station

Travelling between the cities of Osaka and Kyoto at night

The Green Car (first class) interior view of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Shin-osaka and Kyoto

Overlooking the JR Nara Line tracks of Kyoto Station

Stopping briefly at Kyoto Station

One of the smoking compartments in Car No. 7 of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7 operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, between Kyoto and Nagoya

Passing through Gifu-hashima Station

Entering the city of Nagoya

Stopping briefly at Nagoya Station

N700系新幹線 N7編成 のぞみ60号 東京行き 名古屋 (発車) ~ 三河安城 (通過)

Speeding through the line between Nagoya and Toyohashi

Speeding through Toyohashi Station

Travelling somewhere over Lake Hamana between Toyohashi and Hamamatsu

Bypassing Hamamatsu Station

Speeding through Kakegawa Station

A view of my seat, 8D, during the journey between Nagoya and Tokyo

Speeding through the city of Shizuoka

Passing through Shizuoka Station

The night scenery between Shizuoka and Shin-yokohama

Passing through Shin-fuji Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, between Shizuoka and Shin-yokohama

Speeding through the city of Mishima

N700系新幹線 N7編成 のぞみ60号 東京行き 熱海 (通過) ~ 小田原 (通過)

Speeding through the city of Odawara at night

The view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set. No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, between Odawara and Shin-yokohama

Speeding somewhere through the city of Chigasaki

Running in a tunnel while on approach to Shin-yokohama Station

Making a brief stop at Shin-yokohama Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set. No. N7, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, while stopping briefly at Shin-yokohama Station

N700系新幹線 N7編成 のぞみ60号 東京行き 新横浜駅から品川駅間

N700系新幹線 N7編成 のぞみ60号 東京行き 品川駅から終点東京駅間

After a very long Shinkansen train journey of 5 hours 08 minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka in the southern island of Kyushu, I finally arrived back at the Tokyo terminal station at 11.13 p.m. on Track No. 14. All of the remaining Shinkansen services arriving at Tokyo Station became out of service, since it was already very close to midnight. Knowing that I had approximately 25 minutes left before my connecting late night JR Tokaido Main Line local train towards Odawara, I left the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen platforms by 11.20 p.m..

Arriving at the JR Line concourse of Tokyo Station, I checked the departure information board to see which platform the nearest Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Odawara would depart fromAccording to the departure information board, the JR Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Odawara would depart from Tokyo Station at 11.39 p.m. from Track No. 7. With that, I headed over towards Track No. 7, only to find a 15-car E233 series EMU being serviced at the platform in preparation for its regional late night journey towards the suburban city of Odawara.

The LED destination panel of the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N7 at Tokyo Station, indicating that the train is out of service

Tracks No. 14 and 15 with two out-of-service N700 Series Shinkansen trains late at night

The deserted Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Tokyo Station late at night

The departure information board in the station concourse of Tokyo Station showing the last JR Tokaido Main Line departures for the day

The relatively deserted station concourse of Tokyo Station late at night

Tracks No. 6 and 7 serving the JR Tokaido Main Line at Tokyo Station

The name plate of the JR Tokaido Main Line at Tokyo Station

The LED destination panel of the 15-carriage E233 series EMU operating on the JR Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara in Japanese at Tokyo Station

The LED destination panel of the 15-carriage E233 series EMU operating on the JR Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara in English at Tokyo Station

The 15-carriage E233 series EMU operating on the JR Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara on Track No. 7 at Tokyo Station

The departure information board showing the last JR Tokaido Main Line departures of the day towards Odawara at Tokyo Station on Track No. 7

The entrance door towards Car No. 5 (Green Car carriage) for the JR Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara

After spending a few moments of anticipated waiting on the station platform, the doors of the 15-car E233 series EMU, operating on the JR Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara were finally opened at 11.30 p.m., allowing the passengers to board the train. This was just in good time for an 11.39 p.m. departure from Tokyo Station. I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 5, which was one of the bi-level Green Car (first class) coaches, and secured Seats No. 8C and 8D on the upper level for the short journey time of 1 hour 23 minutes towards the suburban city of Odawara.

At exactly 11.39 p.m., all the train doors closed, and the JR Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Odawara finally pulled out of Tokyo Station for its short late night journey of 1 hour 23 minutes towards the suburban city of Odawara. I was then on my way back towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa, and for my very first late night train journey in Japan.

In the Greater Tokyo Area, certain commuter trains operating on the Joban Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Sobu Main Line, Tokaido Main Line and Yokosuka Line feature two bi-level Green Car (first class) carriages. With a Green Car-type Japan Rail Pass, you can use this service free of charge, without the need for seat reservations. Simply show your Green Car Japan Rail Pass to the conductor and tell him or her your intended destination.

The front view of the upper level Green Car (first class) cabin of the E233 series EMU, operating on the JR Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara, at Tokyo Station

The rear view of the upper level Green Car (first class) cabin of the E233 series EMU, operating on the JR Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara, at Tokyo Station

The view of the upper level Green Car (first class) cabin of the E233 series EMU, operating on the JR Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara, from my seat at Tokyo Station

The seat number markings indicating where I am sitting

A sticker on the table detailing the instructions on how to use Suica cards in Green Cars on commuter trains


E233系 東海道本線 普通列車 小田原行き 東京駅から品川駅間

Overlooking the Shinagawa Prince Hotel at night

Passing Oimachi Station

Stopping briefly at Kawasaki Station

The view of the E233 series EMU Green Car (first class) cabin upper level from my seat while at Totsuka Station

Making a brief stop at Fujisawa Station

Making a stop at Tsujido Station

Stopping briefly at Chigasaki Station

Travelling between Chigasaki and Oiso

Stopping at Oiso Station

Pulling into Ninomiya Station

The E233 series EMU Green Car upper level cabin from my seat between Ninomiya and Kozu

The E233 series EMU Green Car (first class) upper level cabin from my seat while stopping briefly at Kozu Station

Stopping briefly at Kozu Station


E233系 東海道本線 普通列車 小田原行き 国府津駅から終点小田原駅間

After a very short late night journey time of 1 hour 23 minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo, I finally arrived back at the Odawara terminal station at 1.02 a.m. on Track No. 4. Ensuring that I had all of my belongings with me, I alighted the train and went up the escalator towards the main station concourse. Everywhere, which included all the shops, around the station concourse was closed by this time of late night.

As I went down via the out-of-service escalator towards the Tokaido Shinkansen entrance, I found my dad waiting for me by our rented car just outside the entrance to the station. With everything loaded into the boot of car, we finally departed the dark and quiet compound of Odawara Station at 1.10 a.m. for a very short late night road drive of just 15 minutes back towards our chalet No. 2005 the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.

Tracks No. 3 and 4 of Odawara Station serving the JR Tokaido Main Line in the late night hours

The JR Tokaido Main Line concourse of Odawara Station in the late night hours

The Odakyu Line concourse of Odawara Station in the late night hours

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Odawara Station in the late night hours

The Tokaido Shinkansen entrance to Odawara Station in the late night hours

Passing by a housing flat in Odawara late at night

The very pitch black night view of Sagami Bay as we head back towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

Climbing up the hilly mountains towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa late at night

Finally arriving back at our Chalet No. 2005 at 1.25 a.m.

After a short 15-minute late night drive from Odawara Station, we finally arrived back at our Chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa at 1.25 a.m.. Grabbing all my personal belongings with me while my dad and younger brother went to park the car, I went into the house and decided to have a nice, hot shower before settling down for the night.

Tired but happy from my long journey towards Fukuoka in Kyushu, my dad whipped up some supper for me to eat, noticing that I was quite famished from my very long day of travelling. By around 2.30 a.m., we were all finally in bed for a well-earned good night's sleep.

Overall, I have really enjoyed my long Shinkansen NOZOMI train ride towards Fukuoka in Kyushu. This would be recorded as the longest Shinkansen train ride I have ever taken in Japan, and was 100% better than the Korea Train Express (KTX) in South Korea. I shall come to Fukuoka on a Shinkansen NOZOMI train again when I get the chance to do so.

Part 3 ~ Sampling the Limited Express Narita Express to Narita International Airport

The next morning, which was Tuesday (11 June), I woke up at around 9.45 a.m. after having a well-earned good night's sleep. Having a nice, hot shower, I changed up into my day's attire to start off the day. Since this would be a rest day for my family, I decided to take a day trip towards Narita International Airport.

Grabbing all of my necessary belongings for the day, I left my Chalet No. 2005 at 10.25 a.m., and went towards the main hotel lobby of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa. There, I decided to catch the free Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa shuttle bus, which would depart the hotel at 10.45 a.m. towards Odawara Station.

The living room of my chalet in the late morning hours

The exterior view of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa on a cloudy summer's morning

The main hotel lobby of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa in the late morning hours

The logo of the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa just outside the hotel main entrance

The main car parking area outside the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa in the late morning

After spending approximately 10 minutes of waiting by the shuttle bus stop outside the hotel lobby, the free Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa shuttle bus bound for Odawara Station finally arrived outside the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa at 10.35 a.m.. I then boarded the bus, and saw that I was the only passenger on board this morning's bus service.

At exactly 10.45 a.m., the doors were closed and the shuttle bus finally left the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa for a short 20-minute road journey towards Odawara Station. The scenery of the forests and the Sagami Bay were very breathtaking along the way towards Odawara Station.


The free Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa shuttle bus bound for Odawara Station waiting by the entrance

Inside the free Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa shuttle bus bound for Odawara Station

Finally departing the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa for Odawara Station

The lush green mountain forests as the bus climbs down the mountain towards Odawara Station

A post office located near Nebukawa Station

Bypassing Nebukawa Station

The view of Sagami Bay shortly after climbing down the mountain from the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

A cloudy morning view of Sagami Bay as the bus travels midway between the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa and Odawara Station

The connecting flyover bridge between Odawara and Tokyo

The JR Tokaido Main Line trestle bridge that crosses between Hayakawa and Odawara

Crossing the river road bridge towards Odawara Station

Bypassing a fire station in the city of Odawara

Finally approaching Odawara Station

After a short 20-minute free shuttle bus ride from the Hitlon Odawara Resort & Spa, I finally arrived at Odawara Station at 11.05 a.m.. I thanked the driver for his services and went into the station to commence my journey. My first itinerary for the journey would be to take the Odakyu Romancecar Hakone limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku, which would depart Odawara Station at 12.06 p.m., and arrive at the Shinjuku terminal station at 1.21 p.m..

With that, I took the escalator up towards the Odakyu Line concourse and went towards the Odakyu Romancecar limited express ticket office. Surprisingly, the lady at the ticket office recognised me since she had met a few days earlier, and could speak English. She told me that as the ticket office was relatively crowded that morning, she showed me to a vending machine where I could also purchase my Odakyu Romancecar limited express tickets.

I thanked her for her assistance and went on to purchase my train ticket towards Shinjuku, which cost approximately ¥1,720 (S$21). According to the departure information board, the Odakyu Romancecar Hakone limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku would depart at 12.06 p.m. from Track No. 10. Going through the ticket gates, I went down towards Tracks No. 9 and 10, where my train would be departing from. While I was waiting for the Odakyu Romancecar Hakone limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku, I spotted some trains at Odawara Station.


The exterior view of the main entrance towards Odawara station

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Odawara Station in the early afternoon

The Odakyu Line ticket gates at Odawara Station

The Odakyu Line concourse of Odawara Station

The departure information board for the Odakyu Line trains at Odawara Station

Overlooking the Odakyu Line platforms of Odawara Station from the ticketing concourse

Tracks No. 9 and 10 serving the Odakyu Line trains at Odawara Station

A 10-carriage Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU unit, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 12 bound for Shinjuku on Track No. 10 at Odawara Station

Overlooking the Tokaido Shinkansen tracks from the Odakyu Line platforms at Odawara Station

A 10-carriage Odakyu 60000 series MSE EMU unit, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Metro Hakone" limited express No. 21 bound for Hakone-yumoto from Kita-senju on Track No. 7 at Odawara Station. Note that the last four carriages will terminate at Odawara

The departure information board showing the Odakyu Line trains departing from Tracks No. 9 and 10 at Odawara Station

The Odakyu Line name plate for Odawara Station

An elevator for handicapped people and passengers with bulky items serving the Odakyu Line Tracks No. 9 and 10 of Odawara Station

The Hakone-tozan Line tracks at Odawara Station

Track No. 10 serving the Odakyu Line trains at Odawara Station just before the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku arrived at the platform

After waiting for approximately 45 minutes on the station platform, a 10-car Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMU unit, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar Hakone limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku finally arrived at Odawara Station at noon on Track No. 10. With that, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 4 and found my assigned Seat No. 3A for the short journey time of 1 hour 15 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku in downtown Tokyo.

Once the clock struck exactly 12.06 p.m., all the train were doors closed, and the Odakyu Romancecar Hakone limited express No. 14 finally pulled out of Odawara Station for its short journey time of 1 hour 15 minutes towards the city of Shinjuku. I was then racing out of the suburban city of Odawara for my first train sector of the day from Odawara towards Narita International Airport.

On board the Odakyu Romancecar limited express services operated by the Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMUs and Odakyu 60000 series MSE EMUs, there are refreshment counters located in Cars No. 3 and 8 (for Odakyu 50000 series EMUs), and in Cars No. 3 and 9 (for the Odakyu 60000 series MSE EMUs) of the 10-car formation. There, whenever you order a drink, the cabin attendants will deliver it directly towards your seat, which I find to be a very clever and convenient feature on board trains like this.


小田急50000形 特急はこね14号 新宿行き 小田原駅に入線と乗車

The interior of the Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMU, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku, shortly after I boarded the train

小田急50000形 特急はこね14号 新宿行き 小田原 (発車) ~ 新松田 (通過)

A typical seating arrangement on the Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMU unit

My Odakyu Romancecar limited express tickets for the sector between Odawara and Shinjuku

A small tub of strawberry-flavoured ice cream on my table

Passing through Hadano Station

Passing some rice paddy fields near the city of Hadano

A view of my seat, 3A, during the sector between Odawara and Shinjuku

The rear interior view of the Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMU, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku

The front interior view of the Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMU, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku

The refreshment counter in Car No. 3 on the Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMU, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku

A nice, refreshing glass of orange juice specially ordered from the refreshment counter in Car No. 3

Meeting up with an Odakyu 30000 series EXE EMU at Hon-atsugi Station

Crossing a trestle bridge on the Odakyu Odawara Line via a river

Passing through Atsugi Station

Passing through Odakyu Sagamihara Station

The interior of the Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMU, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku between Atsugi and Machida

Stopping briefly at Machida Station

The interior of the Odakyu 50000 series VSE EMU, operating on the Odakyu Romancecar "Hakone" limited express No. 14 bound for Shinjuku between Machida and Yurigaoka

Bypassing Tamagawagakuen-mae Station

Passing through Kakio Station without stopping

Bypassing through Yurigaoka Station

Passing through Ikuta Station

Bypassing Mukogaoka-yuen Station

Crossing the Tama River on the Odakyu Odawara Line

Passing through Izumi-tamagawa Station

Passing Komae Station

Travelling between Komae and Kitami Stations

Passing Kitami Station

Passing through Seijogakuen-mae Station

Bypassing Soshigaya-okura Station

Passing through Chitose-funabashi Station

Passing through Kyodo Station without stopping

Passing through Gotokuji Station

小田急50000形 特急はこね14号 新宿行き 梅ヶ丘 (通過) ~ 新宿 (到着)

After a short journey time of 1 hour 15 minutes from the suburban city of Odawara, I finally arrived at the Shinjuku terminal station at 1.21 p.m. on Track No. 2. Knowing that I had yet to make my seat reservations for the continuing journey to and from Narita International Airport, I exited through the Odakyu Line ticketing gates, and headed over to the JR Ticket Office in the JR Line concourse to purchase my Green Car (first class) tickets.

For the in-bound journey towards Narita International Airport, I would take the Limited Express Narita Express No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport, which would depart Shinjuku Station from Track No. 5 at 2.10 p.m., and arrive at the Narita Airport (Terminal 1) terminal station at 3.27 p.m.. At the same time, I went to check which platform the Limited Express Narita Express No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport would depart from.

According to the departure information board, the Limited Express Narita Express No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport would depart at 2.10 p.m. from Track No. 5. Without wasting anymore time, I went through the station concourse and headed down towards Track No. 5 via the escalators at 1.35 p.m. in preparation for my connecting train service towards the Narita International Airport.

The Narita Express (成田エクスプレス) is a dedicated limited express train service operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) between Narita International Airport and the Greater Tokyo Area. The service frequency is approximately every half an hour, with some services making additional stops at Narita, Chiba and Yotsukaido Stations in the early morning and late evening. The Narita Express is capable of reaching a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph).

The service commenced on 19 March 1991, using 253 series EMU equipment in either 3-car or 6-car formations. These sets were frequently coupled together between Tokyo Station and Narita International Airport to form as one train service. From 1 October 2009, newer E259 series EMU equipment were introduced on these services, with a total of 22 sets consisting of six cars each. The E259 series EMU sets completely displaced the older 253 series EMUs on 30 June 2010.

Green private compartments were available on services operated by the older 253 series EMUs, but were phased out on 30 June 2010 as the newer E259 series equipment do not feature these compartments. There is no additional charge required for the Narita Express for tourists travelling with a Japan Rail Pass. All seats are reserved and non-smoking. However, following the Great East Japan Tsunami on 11 March 2011, all Narita Express services were completely suspended until further notice. They were partially restored on 4 April 2011, with the pre-earthquake and tsunami timetable and services finally reinstated on 3 September 2011.

The main competitor for the Narita Express is the Skyliner (スカイライナー), a limited express train service operated by Keisei Electric Railway between Ueno Station and Narita International Airport. The service uses the Keisei Main Line and the Narita Sky Access Line, officially known as the Keisei Narita Airport Line by Keisei Electric Railway. The service uses a dedicated fleet of 8-car Keisei AE series EMUs, operating at a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph).


Tracks No. 2 and 3 serving the Odakyu Odawara Line tracks of Shinjuku Station

The Odakyu Line concourse of Shinjuku Station

The Odakyu Line South Gate at Shinjuku Station

One of the JR Ticket Offices in the JR Line concourse of Shinjuku Station

The JR Line concourse of Shinjuku Station

Tracks No. 7 and 8 serving the JR Chuo Main Line commuter trains at Shinjuku Station

After walking down the concourse for approximately 10 minutes, I was finally on Track No. 5 of Shinjuku Station at 1.45 p.m., only to find a 6-car E259 series EMU waiting to take me as the Limited Express Narita Express No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport. The train had arrived from Narita International Airport as the Limited Express Narita Express No. 22 at 1.39 p.m., and was still undergoing extensive cleaning before becoming the Limited Express Narita Express No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport.

Once the entire cleaning process was completed, all the doors were opened at 1.55 p.m., allowing the passengers to board the train. I then boarded Car No. 6, which was the Green Car (first class) coach, and found my assigned Seat No. 4D for the journey time of 1 hour 17 minutes towards Narita International Airport. The Green Car seats were very leathery and comfortable, with power outlets available and each seat. I find the Narita Express to be a very comfortable and quiet train.

At exactly 2.10 p.m., all the doors were closed, and the Limited Express Narita Express No. 33 finally pulled out of Shinjuku Station for its journey time of 1 hour 17 minutes towards Narita International Airport in the city of Narita, Chiba, Japan. At Tokyo Station, my train would be joined to another E259 series EMU set, operating on the same service from Ofuna, Kamakura, and would form as one 12-car train between Tokyo Station and Narita International Airport.


Tracks No. 5 and 6 serving Limited Express trains towards Tochigi Prefecture and Narita International Airport at Shinjuku Station

The 6-carriage E259 series EMU waiting to take me as the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport on Track No. 5 at Shinjuku Station

The departure information screen showing information for the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport

The logo of the E259 series EMU operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport, at Shinjuku Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport, at Shinjuku Station

A view of my seat, 4D, during the boarding process at Shinjuku Station

The handicapped lavatory on the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport, at Shinjuku Station

The route information map for the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport indicating that the train is still boarding at Shinjuku

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス33号 成田国際空港行き 新宿駅から渋谷駅間

The Green Car (first class) cabin view of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport, from my seat while stopping briefly at Shibuya Station

Stopping briefly at Shibuya Station

Travelling through Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Travelling between Shibuya-ku and Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo

Bypassing Osaki Station

Running parallel to the Tokaido Shinkansen tracks

Bypassing Shinagawa Station

Passing through Shimbashi Station

Making a brief stop at Tokyo Station

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス33号 成田国際空港行き 東京 (発車) ~ 本八幡 (通過)

Running on the JR Sobu Main Line tracks towards Chiba

Passing by Shimosa-nakayama Station

Bypassing Nishi-funabashi Station

Passing through Funabashi Station

Travelling on the JR Sobu Main Line between Funabashi and Chiba

Passing through Tsudanuma Station

Passing through Makuhari-hongo Station

Running along the JR Sobu Main Line between Tsudanuma and Chiba

Bypassing Inage Station in Inage-ku, Chiba

My Green Car (first class) limited express ticket for the sector between Shinjuku and Narita International Airport

Passing Nishi-chiba Station

Bypassing some houses in the city of Chiba

Passing through Yotsukaido Station

Bypassing Monoi Station

Bypassing some rice paddy fields between Yotsukaido and Shisui

The information screen indicating the list of airlines serving Narita International Airport Terminal 1

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport, between Chiba and Narita

Another green field between Sakura and Narita

The Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 33 bound for Narita International Airport, from my seat between Chiba and Narita

Bypassing some houses in the town of Shisui

Bypassing Shisui Station

Travelling between Shisui and Narita

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス33号 成田国際空港行き 成田 (通過) ~ 成田空港 (到着)

After a short journey time of 1 hour 17 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku in downtown Tokyo, I finally arrived at the Narita Airport (Terminal 1) terminal station at 3.27 pm. on Track No. 1. Having all my belongings with me, I alighted the train and snapped some images on the station platform before I went up towards the station concourse via the escalators.

Upon clearing the passport checking area at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station, I decided on where to head towards next. Feeling very hungry since I had skipped breakfast earlier that morning, I decided to stop by at a nearby cafeteria first for lunch in the South Wing. With that, I went to the nearest elevator and went all the way up to the fourth floor, where the departure and check-in areas were located.

Narita Airport Station (成田空港駅) is an underground railway station located within Narita International Airport in the suburban city of Narita, Chiba, Japan. The station is located just beneath Terminal 1 of Narita International Airport, and serves as the terminus for the Narita Line (Airport Branch Line), Keisei Main Line and the Narita Sky Access Line (Keisei Narita Airport) Line.

As of 16 March 2013, there are a total of two island platforms serving a total of six tracks. Tracks No. 1 and 2 are operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) for the Narita Express limited express service towards the Greater Tokyo Area, Rapid services bound for the Yokosuka Line via Sobu Main Line and Yokosuka Line and for a few local train services operating on the Narita Line.

For the Keisei Electric Railway platforms, the Narita Sky Access Line (Keisei Narita Airport Line) platforms are located just adjacent to the Keisei Main Line platforms, separated by a separation wall. This has been in operation since the opening of the Narita Sky Access Line on 17 July 2010, in order to ensure separate fare structures for both the Narita Sky Access and the Keisei Main Line trains.

In the station concourse, there are passport security checks near the ticket gates, where travellers have their passports examined before being allowed to enter the terminal building. There, even if you are taking a day's trip to Narita International Airport, you should still show your passport to the station security staff, in order to keep the airport safe for travellers.

The South Wing of Terminal 1 at Narita International Airport is primarily dominated by Star Alliance carriers. Air New Zealand shifted its operations here from Terminal 2 on 25 March 2012, in order to ease connections with fellow Star Alliance partners. As of 1 June 2013, the only non-Star Alliance carriers operating out of the South Wing are:

1) Etihad Airways

2) EVA Airways (future Star Alliance carrier)*

3) MIAT Mongolian Airlines

4) Qatar Airways (future Oneworld carrier)**

5) Uzbekistan Airlines

*EVA Airways will become a full member of Star Alliance on 18 June 2013.

**Qatar Airways may shift its operations from Terminal 1 (South Wing) to Terminal 2 once the airline has become a member of Oneworld, in order to ease connections with other Oneworld partners in the near future.


Tracks No. 1 and 2 serving the JR Line trains at Narita Airport Station just after I arrived

The JR Line name plate of Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The overall view of the platforms at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

An 8-carriage Keisei AE series EMU, operating on the Keisei "Skyliner" limited express No. 30 bound for Ueno, on the Narita Sky Access Line Track No. 5 at Narita Airport Station

The main station concourse in Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The main ticketing concourse at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The list of airlines serving Terminal 1 (South Wing) at Narita International Airport

The elevators towards the arrivals and departures areas of Terminal 1 (South Wing) at Narita International Airport

The departures and check-in areas of Terminal 1 (South Wing) at Narita International Airport

The entrance to Garden Gourmet Court in Terminal 1 (South Wing) at Narita International Airport

After looking at the various restaurants available in the South Wing of Terminal 1, I finally managed to stumble upon a food court with a pasta restaurant called Garden Gourmet Court. There, I requested a dining table for myself and was ushered to an empty table by a waitress. With the food and beverage menus on my table, I decided to make a good review first before placing my lunch orders.

After having a good review through the food and beverage menus, a waitress came by to my table to take down my meal order. I ordered myself a spaghetti alla carbonara, along with a glass of red wine to accompany the meal with. Once my main meal was delivered to my table, I tucked into my lunch. The pasta was good, but the onions and garlic had to be removed, since I find that onions and garlic have a rather vile taste.


Overlooking the Garden Gourmet Court in Terminal 1 (South Wing) at Narita International Airport

The interior of the Garden Gourmet Court pasta restaurant in Terminal 1 (South Wing) at Narita International Airport

The cover page for the Garden Gourmet Court pasta restaurant in Terminal 1 (South Wing) at Narita International Airport

Reviewing the Garden Gourmet Court pasta restaurant in Terminal 1 (South Wing) at Narita International Airport

A glass of red wine to commence my lunch

My main lunch course of spaghetti alla carbonara

The interior of the Garden Gourmet Court pasta restaurant in Terminal 1 (South Wing) at Narita International Airport shortly after finishing lunch

The departure information board showing the many flight departures from the South Wing of Terminal 1

The fifth floor of Terminal 1 at Narita International Airport

The exterior view of Biplane Museum Shop in Narita International Airport Terminal 1

After having lunch at the Garden Gourmet Court pasta restaurant, I was quite full to the brim. I then paid my lunch bill and decided to look around for a good hobby shop selling miniature models of commercial aircraft. Upon leaving the food court, I took the escalator all the way up towards the fifth level of the passenger terminal. As I looked through the many shops located on the fifth floor, I managed to stumble upon a hobby shop selling model aircraft, known as Biplane Museum Shop. This shop is located between the North Wings and South Wings of Terminal 1 in Narita International Airport.

While shopping at Biplane Museum Shop, I purchased three new Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 commercial aircraft models. Upon purchasing my new Herpa Wings aircraft models, I decided to check out the open-air observation deck, which was also located on the same level. This observation deck is a perfect place at Narita International Airport for plane-spotters. While here, I observed many aircraft, mostly airliners from the United States, coming into land and taking off from Narita International Airport. Narita International Airport is a very important Asian hub for many United States carriers, such as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

As of my new Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 aircraft models, they were, as follows:

1) Air China Boeing 777-39L/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (518994-001)


Air China Boeing 777-39L/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (518994-001)

2) PIA - Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777-340/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (505307)


PIA - Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777-340/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (505307)

3) Qantas Boeing 747-438 "Go Wallabies" Herpa Scale 1:500 (520959
)


Qantas Boeing 747-438 "Go Wallabies" Herpa Scale 1:500 (520959)

The fifth floor of Narita International Airport Terminal 1 towards the observation deck

The open-air aircraft observation deck at Narita International Airport Terminal 1

The airport tarmac view at Narita International Airport Terminal 1

A United Airlines Boeing 747-422, registered N104UA, taxiing along the tarmac towards Terminal 1 (South Wing) after arriving from her long transpacific journey from the United States as United Airlines flight UA 837 from San Francisco. She will have a short rest in Narita before continuing her journey towards the Kingdom of Thailand as United Airlines flight UA 837 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi)

An Air Canada Airbus A330-343X, registered C-GFUR, roaring along the runway for her long transpacific journey back home to Canada as Air Canada flight AC 004 bound for Vancouver

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-451, registered N672US, taxiing along the tarmac towards Terminal 1 (North Wing) after arriving from her long transpacific journey from the United States as Delta Air Lines flight DL 155 from Seattle. She will soon have a short rest in Narita before continuing her journey to Hong Kong later this evening

A United Airlines Boeing 777-222/ER, registered N788UA, being prepared for her long transpacific journey home to the United States as United Airlines flight UA 801 bound for Los Angeles at Gate No. 27

Several Star Alliance aircraft parked at the South Wing of Narita International Airport Terminal 1

The departures and check-in areas of Terminal 1 (North Wing) at Narita International Airport

After spending approximately 1 hour 30 minutes of shopping for new aircraft models and plane-spotting at Narita International Airport, it was finally time to head back to the suburb of Odawara for a family dinner, knowing that it was already five o' clock. My itinerary for the return journey would be to take the Limited Express Narita Express No. 42 bound for Ofuna, which would depart Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station at 5.44 p.m., and arrive at the Ofuna terminal station at 7.36 p.m..

After arriving at Ofuna Station, I would connect to a JR Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Numazu, which would depart Ofuna Station at eight o' clock, and arrive at Odawara Station at 8.46 p.m.. With that, I went to see the North Wing of Terminal 1 first before heading down to Narita Airport Station.

The North Wing of Terminal 1 at Narita International Airport caters mainly to airlines which are members of SkyTeam. All SkyTeam members, except China Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, which currently operate out of Terminal 2, use this wing. British Airways previously operated out of this wing, but shifted its operations to Terminal 2 on 31 October 2010, in order to ease connections with Japan Airlines and other fellow Oneworld partners.

On 1 April 2012, Garuda Indonesia relocated from Terminal 2 to the North Wing of Terminal 1, as the airline prepares to join SkyTeam. China Southern Airlines moved its operations here from Terminal 2 in order to ease connections with fellow SkyTeam members on 12 September 2012.

After checking out the North Wing of Terminal 1, I took the elevator back down to Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station in preparation for the journey back to Odawara. According to the departure information board, the Limited Express Narita Express No. 42 bound for Ofuna would depart Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station at 5.44 p.m. from Track No. 1. I then went down to the JR Line Tracks No. 1 and 2, arriving at the platforms by 5.10 p.m..

Currently, as of 1 June 2013, the only non-SkyTeam carriers using the North Wing are:

1) Aircalin

2) Garuda Indonesia (future SkyTeam carrier)*

3) Virgin Atlantic Airways


*Garuda Indonesia will become a full member of SkyTeam on 5 March 2014.


The main entrance to Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The Travel Service Center and JR Ticket Office in the main ticketing concourse at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The main ticketing concourse at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station with a Starbucks Coffee cafeteria on the right side of the station

The JR line entrance at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The escalators leading to the JR Line platforms at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The trolley-picking area in the station concourse for passengers to pick up trolleys for their baggage

The JR Line platforms of Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

A 12-carriage E259 series EMU operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya and Ofuna on Track No. 1 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The train logo for the E259 series EMU operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya and Ofuna on Track No. 1 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

An 8-carriage Keisei AE series EMU, operating on the Keisei "Skyliner" limited express No. 38 bound for Keisei Ueno on Track No. 5 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The train information screen showing the information for my train to Ofuna

The logo for the Keisei "Skyliner" limited express trains commonly found on the 8-carriage Keisei AE series EMUs

After spending approximately 25 minutes of waiting on the platform, a 12-car E259 series EMU train finally arrived at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station at 5.29 p.m. on Track No. 1. The train had operated on the Limited Express Narita Express No. 41 from the Greater Tokyo Area earlier, and was to undergo extensive cleaning before becoming the Limited Express Narita Express No. 42 bound for Ofuna.

The entire cleaning process took approximately no more than 10 minutes. Once the entire cleaning process was completed, all the train doors were opened to allow the passengers to board the train for a 5.44 p.m. departure. I then boarded Car No. 12, which was the Green Car (first class) coach at the rear, and found my assigned Seat No. 3A for the journey time of 1 hour 52 minutes towards Ofuna.

At exactly 5.44 p.m., all the doors were closed, and the Limited Express Narita Express No. 42 finally pulled out of Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station for its journey of 1 hour 52 minutes towards Ofuna Station in the city of Kamakura. I was then on my way for the first part of the return journey towards Odawara between Narita International Airport and Ofuna Station. As most of the passengers alighted the train at Yokohama Station, I was the only passenger left in the Green Car cabin between Yokohama and the Ofuna terminal.


E259系 特急成田エクスプレス42号 大船行き 成田空港駅に入線シーン

Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station with the Limited Express "Narita Express" and Keisei "Skyliner"

The 12-carriage E259 series EMU, which would soon take me to Ofuna the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, on Track No. 1 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The LED destination panel for the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, on Track No. 1 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The train logo for the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, on Track No. 1 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, during boarding at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

A view of my seat, 3A, during the boarding process at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, during the boarding process at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, just before departure from Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, from my seat just prior to departure from Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス42号 大船行き 成田空港 (発車) ~ 成田 (通過)

Travelling along the first phase of the Narita Line towards Chiba

My Green Car (first class) limited express ticket between Narita International Airport and Ofuna

Bypassing Shisui Station

Bypassing some lush green forests between Narita and Sakura

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Sakura

Meeting up with an E217 series EMU, operating on the JR Sobu Main Line "Airport Narita" rapid service between Kurihama and Narita International Airport

Passing through Yotsukaido Station

Passing through Inage Station again

Some suburban housing areas along the Sobu Main Line between Chiba and Funabashi

Bypassing some suburban housing areas between Funabashi and Tokyo during sunset

A box of Jagariko potato sticks and a bottle of Coca-cola purchased from the on-board trolley service

Crossing a trestle bridge between the border of Chiba and Tokyo

The Green Car (first class) cabin view of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42, bound for Ofuna between Chiba and Tokyo

Bypassing some housing areas between Katsushika-ku and Sumida-ku, Tokyo

Passing through Bakurocho Station

The Green Car (first class) cabin view of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, while making a brief stopover at Tokyo Station

Making a brief stop at Tokyo Station

Bypassing through Shimbashi Station

Stopping at Shinagawa Station briefly

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス42号 大船行き 品川駅から武蔵小杉駅間

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス42号 大船行き 武蔵小杉駅から横浜駅間

Making a brief stop at Yokohama Station

The front view of the empty Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, shortly after departing Yokohama Station

The rear view of the empty Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, shortly after departing Yokohama Station

A pair of Green Car (first class) seats on the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, shortly after departing Yokohama Station

A view of my seat, 3A, during the sector between Narita International Airport and Ofuna

The front view of the empty Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, shortly before arriving at Totsuka Station

The Green Car (first class) baggage racks on the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna

The rear view of the empty Green Car (first class) cabin of the E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 bound for Ofuna, shortly before arrival at Totsuka Station

Stopping briefly at Totsuka Station

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス42号 大船行き 戸塚駅から終点大船駅間

After a journey time of 1 hour 52 minutes from Narita International Airport on the Narita Express train, I finally arrived at the Ofuna terminal station at 7.36 p.m. on Track No. 7. Knowing that I had approximately 20 minutes before my next train to Odawara, I grabbed all my belongings and alighted the train.

I then went up to the station concourse to see which track the nearest JR Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Numazu would be departing from. According to the departure information board, the JR Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Numazu would depart at eight o' clock from Track No. 3. With that, I headed over to Tracks No. 3 and 4 in preparation for my continuing journey towards Odawara.

Ofuna Station (大船駅) is a railway station located in the city of Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan. It is a major railway station serving the Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Tokaido Main Line, Yokosuka Line and the Shonan Monorail. The station also serves as one of the terminal stations for the Narita Express limited express service towards Narita International Airport. Some limited express trains bound for the Izu Peninsula also make stop here.


The 12-carriage E259 series EMU that had transported me from Narita International Airport and Ofuna as the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 42 earlier

Tracks No. 7 and 8 serving the JR Yokosuka Line and Sobu Main Line trains at Ofuna Station

The main station concourse of Ofuna Station

Tracks No. 3 and 4 serving the Tokaido Main Line trains in the direction towards Odawara, Atami and Numazu

The departure information board showing the information for trains departing from Track No. 3 at Ofuna Station

Tracks No. 3 and 4 of Ofuna Station shortly before my train to Odawara arrived

After spending approximately 20 minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platform, a long 15-car E231 series EMU, operating on the JR Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Numazu, finally arrived at Ofuna Station at 7.59 p.m. on Track No. 3. Of the entire 15-car formation, the first 10 cars would continue their journey towards Numazu, whereas the last five cars would terminate at Kozu Station.

Without wasting anymore time, I boarded Car No. 5, which was one of the bi-level Green Car (first class) coaches and secured Seats No. 6A and 6B on the upper deck of the carriage. I then settled down for the short 46-minute journey towards the suburban city of Odawara. At exactly eight o' clock, all the doors closed, and the JR Tokaido Main Line local train finally pulled out of Ofuna Station for its remaining journey towards the city of Numazu. I was then on my way for a short 46-minute journey towards the suburban city of Odawara.


E231系 東海道本線 普通列車 沼津行き 大船駅に入線と乗車

E231系 東海道本線 普通列車 沼津行き 大船駅から辻堂駅間

The view of the E231 series EMU Green Car (first class) cabin on the upper level while stopping at Tsujido Station

Making a brief stop at Chigasaki Station

The rear view of the E231 series EMU Green Car (first class) cabin on the upper level while stopping at Hiratsuka Station

The front view of the E231 series EMU Green Car (first class) cabin on the upper level while stopping at Hiratsuka Station

A typical pair of upper level Green Car (first class) seats on the E231 series EMU between Hiratsuka and Oiso

The front view of the E231 series EMU Green Car (first class) cabin on the upper level just before arrival at Ninomiya Station

A view of my seat, 6A, during the trip between Ofuna and Odawara

Travelling between the town of Ninomiya and the city of Odawara

Stopping briefly at Kozu Station

E231系 東海道本線 普通列車 沼津行き 国府津駅から小田原駅間

After a short 46-minute train ride from Ofuna Station in the suburban city of Kamakura, I finally arrived at Odawara Station at 8.46 p.m. on Track No. 4. Having all my belongings with me, I alighted the train and went down towards the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse, meeting up with my family at 8.55 p.m..

From the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse, we took the escalator upwards and then walked past the Odakyu Line, JR Tokaido Main Line and Daiyuzan Line concourse and out towards the other side of the station. There, we looked around the other side of the station to see what good restaurants were there to eat at for dinner.


Tracks No. 3 and 4 serving the Tokaido Main Line trains towards Atami and Numazu at Odawara Station

The Tokaido Main Line ticketing gates at Odawara Station

The Tokaido Main Line and Odakyu Line concourses of Odawara Station

The Tokaido Shinkansen ticketing concourse of Odawara Station

The other side main entrance towards Odawara Station

Some shopping areas of Odawara at night on the other side of Odawara Station

After looking through the various restaurants available near the other entrance to Odawara Station, we finally managed to stumble upon a local restaurant called Tsubohachi (つぼ八). An elderly waitress warmly welcomed us, and showed us towards a non-smoking table in the restaurant. With the food and beverage menus provided for us, we made a good review through the menus before placing our orders for dinner.

Upon having a very good review through the food and beverage menus of Tsubohachi, the elderly waitress finally came by towards our table to take down our main meal orders for dinner. We ordered a lot of food items from the dinner menu, such as grilled dishes and yakitori. Soon enough, that night, we had a very sumptuous family dinner at Tsubohachi Restaurant in Odawara.


The interior of Tsubohachi Restaurant Odawara

The cover page for the Grand Menu of Tsubohachi

Reviewing the grand menu of Tsubohachi

A bowl of steamed clams boiled in soup

A platter of seafood sashimi to be shared among us

A small basket of french fries and chicken nuggets for my brother

A mouthwatering plate of fried rice for my brother

A mouthwatering platter of Japanese style fried omelette, known as tamagoyaki

A mouthwatering platter of chicken tail (Bonjiri) yakitori

A mouthwatering platter of chicken skin yakitori

A plate of fried crispy fish to be shared among us

A grilling hot plate of beef steak for myself

A nice platter of scallop sashimi on our table

A mouthwatering platter containing four yakitori sticks of chicken skin

A mouthwatering platter containing four yakitori sticks of chicken tail (Bonjiri)

A platter of grilled chicken wings (Tebasaki)

Another mouthwatering platter of chicken skin yakitori

The interior of Tsubohachi Restaurant Odawara during dinner

After having a really sumptuous family dinner at Tsubohachi Restaurant Odawara, we were finally stuffed to the brim at around 10.05 p.m.. Upon payment of our dinner bill, we left the restaurant for the car parking area, which was located just adjacent towards the Tokaido Shinkansen entrance to Odawara Station.

We then walked via the Daiyuzan Line, Tokaido Main Line and Odakyu Line concourses, arriving at the car parking area outside the Shinkansen concourse by 10.20 p.m.. Once we were all ready, we left Odawara Station by 10.25 p.m. for a short night road drive of just 20 minutes back towards our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.


The exterior view of Tsubohachi Restaurant Odawara

The station building of Odawara Station at night

The other entrance towards Odawara Station towards the Daiyuzan Line and the Tokaido Main Line concourses

The Tokaido Main Line concourse of Odawara Station in the late evening

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Odawara Station in the late evening

Our rented car parked in the car parking area near the Shinkansen entrance of Odawara Station

The pitch black night view of the Sagami Bay as we journey back towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

Climbing a steep hill back to the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

Finally at the doorstep to our chalet No. 2005

After a short 20-minute drive from Odawara Station, we finally arrived back at our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa at 10.45 p.m.. I then followed my dad to park the car at the dark open-air parking space near the chalet areas and went back up to our own chalet No. 2005.

Upon entering the chalet, I had a nice, hot shower and changed up before turning in for the night. As I was to take a day's trip to Kansai International Airport in Osaka the next day, I set my alarm to 7.30 a.m. the next morning, and went to bed slightly past midnight after doing some stuff on my laptop.

Part 4 ~ Taking a Day Trip Towards Kansai International Airport

The next morning, which was Wednesday (12 June), I woke up precisely at 7.30 a.m. after the alarm on my mobile phone went off early. Leaping out of bed, I went to have a nice, hot shower and changed into my day's attire. Since I was to make a day's trip towards Kansai International Airport in Osaka on this day, I was very lucky since I had prepared most of my belongings the night before.

After I had packed the remainder of my necessary belongings for the day, I was officially ready to go at 8.50 a.m.. Seeing that I was all ready, my dad offered to give me a lift towards Odawara Station. With that, we headed down towards the secluded car parking area and once everything was loaded into our rented car, my dad and I finally left our chalet No. 2005 at 8.55 a.m. for a short drive of 15 minutes towards Odawara Station.


The miniature kitchen and dining area in my chalet No. 2005

Finally departing the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa for Odawara Station

Bypassing Nebukawa Station

Crossing a river bridge that flows towards Sagami Bay towards Odawara Station

Finally approaching Odawara Station

Finally arriving at the Shinkansen entrance to Odawara Station

After a short road drive of 15 minutes from our chalet at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa, we finally arrived at the Tokaido Shinkansen entrance to Odawara Station by 9.10 a.m.. As soon as I had grabbed all of my belongings with me, my dad left to fetch my mum, who would be journeying to Kyoto to meet up with a friend.

My itinerary for the in-bound journey towards Kansai International Airport in Osaka would be to take the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo, which would depart Odawara Station at 9.42 a.m., and arrive at the Tokyo terminal station at 10.17 a.m.. Upon arrival at Tokyo, I would have a layover of 40 minutes before catching the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, which would depart Tokyo Station at eleven o' clock, and arrive at the Shin-osaka terminal station at 1.33 p.m..

Thereafter, I would have a short 10-minute layover at Shin-osaka Station before catching the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, which would depart Shin-osaka Station at 1.45 p.m., and arrive at the Kansai Airport terminal station at 2.34 p.m.. As for my mum's itinerary for the in-bound journey towards Kyoto, she would catch the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 507 bound for Shin-osaka, which would depart Odawara Station at 10.08 a.m., and arrive at Kyoto Station at 12.14 p.m..

Upon entering the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Odawara Station, I decided to check which platform the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo would depart from. According to the departure information board, the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo would depart at 9.42 a.m. from Track No. 14. In spite of the fact that it was still early, I went through the ticket gates and took the escalator up towards Track No. 14 to spot some Shinkansen trains while waiting.


The Tokaido Shinkansen ticketing concourse at Odawara Station

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse towards the platforms at Odawara Station

The departure information screen on Track No. 14 of Odawara Station serving the trains towards Tokyo

The Tokaido Shinkansen name plate of Odawara Station

The Tokaido Shinkansen platforms at Odawara Station

An N700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 508 service bound for Tokyo from Shin-osaka, passing through Odawara Station

A 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C28, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 641 service bound for Shin-osaka, entering Odawara Station on Track No. 13

Track No. 14 serving the Tokaido Shinkansen trains bound for Tokyo at Odawara Station

An N700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 215 service between Tokyo and Shin-osaka, bypassing Odawara Station at high speed

After spending approximately 15 minutes of waiting on the platform, a 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C9, operating on the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo, finally arrived at Odawara Station at 9.36 a.m. on Track No. 14. I then boarded the train through Car No. 8, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, and found my assigned Seat No. 15A for the short 35-minute journey towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo.

The train had to wait for approximately a few minutes to allow a faster Shinkansen train bound for Tokyo to pass through. At exactly 9.42 a.m., all the doors were closed, and the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo finally pulled out of Odawara Station for its remaining segment of its journey towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo. I was then on my way for a short regional journey time of just 35 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo.


700系新幹線 C9編成 こだま632号 東京行き 小田原駅に入線シーン

The LED destination panel on the 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C9 operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo

The front view of Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C9, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo, while at Odawara Station

A view of my seat, 15A, for the short 35-minute journey towards Tokyo

Finally pulling out of Odawara Station

Overlooking the Tokaido Main Line tracks shortly after departing Odawara Station

Crossing the trestle bridge over a river in the city of Odawara

My Green Car (first class) Shinkansen ticket for the segment between Odawara and Tokyo

The view of Green Car (first class) cabin from my seat on board the 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C9, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo, between Odawara and Shin-yokohama

Travelling through the city of Chigasaki

Making a brief stop at Shin-yokohama Station

Meeting an N700 Series Shinkansen train operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 219 bound for Shin-osaka at Shin-yokohama Station

The rear view of Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C9, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo, while at Shin-yokohama Station

Bypassing some housing areas in Yokohama

Bypassing Musashi-kosugi Station

Crossing the Tama River between Kawasaki and Tokyo

Passing through Ota-ku, Tokyo

The view of Green Car (first class) cabin from my seat on board the 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C9, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo, between Shin-yokohama and Shinagawa

Making a brief stopover at Shinagawa Station

700系新幹線 C9編成 こだま632号 東京行き 品川駅から終点東京駅間

After a short journey time of just 35 minutes from the suburban city of Odawara, I finally arrived at the Tokyo terminal station at 10.17 a.m. on Track No. 17. Knowing that I still had 25 minutes before my connecting Shinkansen train bound for Shin-osaka, I went down to the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen concourse station kiosk to purchase a sliced pork belly lunch box for my continuing journey.

I also checked the train departure information board to see which platform the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka would depart from. According to the departure information board located in the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse, the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka would depart at eleven o' clock from Track No. 17, which was the same platform where I had arrived earlier. Without wasting anymore time, I headed back up to Tracks No. 16 and 17 for my train towards Shin-osaka.


Track No. 17 of Tokyo Station shortly after I had arrived from Odawara

The logo of the 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C9, which took me from Odawara as the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 632 bound for Tokyo earlier

The departure information board for Track No. 17 serving the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines trains bound for Shin-osaka, Hiroshima and Hakata (Fukuoka)

Tracks No. 16 and 17 serving the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines trains bound for Shin-osaka, Hiroshima and Hakata (Fukuoka)

The LED destination panel of an N700 Series Shinkansen train operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 25 service bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) at Tokyo Station on Track No. 16

The Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen platforms of Tokyo Station in the early afternoon hours

The train departure information screen in the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen concourse of Tokyo Station

Tracks No. 16 and 17 serving the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines trains bound for Shin-osaka, Hiroshima and Hakata (Fukuoka) just before Track No. 17 was cleared

The LED destination panel on the 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C41 operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 509 bound for Shin-osaka on Track No. 15 at Tokyo Station

Track No. 16 of Tokyo Station in the late morning hours

Two 700 Series Shinkansen trains at Tokyo Station on Tracks No. 15 and 17 respectively

The LED destination panel of an N700 Series Shinkansen train operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 107 service bound for Hiroshima at Tokyo Station on Track No. 16

After spending approximately 25 minutes of anticipated waiting on the platform, a 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35 finally arrived at Tokyo Station at 10.43 a.m. on Track No. 17. The train had operated as the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 112 between Hiroshima and Tokyo earlier, and was to undergo extensive cleaning before becoming the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka. The entire cleaning process took approximately 10 minutes.

Upon completion of the entire cleaning process, all the doors were opened at 10.53 a.m. to allow the passengers to board the train for an eleven o' clock departure. I then boarded one of the Green Car coaches (Car No. 8), and stowed my belongings. What I was not aware of was that I had accidentally taken the wrong Seat No. 15D, and I didn't realise this until the train was travelling midway between Shinagawa and Shin-yokohama Station.

At exactly eleven o' clock and once all of the passengers were on board, all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka finally pulled out of Tokyo Station. Between Shinagawa and Shin-yokohama, the conductor offered to relocate me to my assigned Seat No. 16D. I was then on my way for a journey time of 2 hours 33 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of the city of Osaka.


N700系新幹線 Z35編成 のぞみ225号 新大阪行き 東京駅に入線シーン

The small departure information panel on Track No. 17 detailing information about the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka at Tokyo Station

The logo of the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, at Tokyo Station

The LED destination panel of the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, at Tokyo Station

Track No. 17 of Tokyo Station just before I boarded the train to Shin-osaka

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process at Tokyo Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process at Tokyo Station

N700系新幹線 Z35編成 のぞみ225号 新大阪行き 東京駅から品川駅間

N700系新幹線 Z35編成 のぞみ225号 新大阪行き 品川駅から新横浜駅間

Departing Shin-yokohama Station

My pork belly lunch box for the journey between Tokyo and Shin-osaka

Bypassing some housing areas in Yokohama

Passing by some rural farm areas near the city of Yokohama

Crossing the Sagami River between Shin-yokohama and Odawara

Bypassing some rice paddy fields in the city of Chigasaki

N700系新幹線 Z35編成 のぞみ225号 新大阪行き 小田原 (通過) ~ 熱海 (通過)

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the city of Mishima

Passing through Mishima Station

Bypassing a clustered suburban settlement in the city of Fuji

Passing by some rice paddy fields in the city of Fuji

Bypassing Shin-fuji Station

Bypassing some rural housing areas between the cities of Fuji and Shizuoka

Bypassing through Shizuoka Station

Speeding through Shizuoka Station at high speed

Crossing the Abe River after passing through Shizuoka Station

My Green Car (first class) Shinkansen ticket between Tokyo and Shin-osaka

Passing by some suburban housing areas between the cities of Shizuoka and Kakegawa

Crossing a trestle bridge over a river between the cities of Shizuoka and Kakegawa

Passing by some rural housing areas near the city of Kakegawa

A view of my seat, 16D, on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35 operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, between Shizuoka and Kakegawa

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, between Shizuoka and Kakegawa

Passing through Kakegawa Station

Writing up an essay report on my blogspot for the trip

Bypassing some lush green fields near the city of Hamamatsu

N700系新幹線 Z35編成 のぞみ225号 新大阪行き 車窓から浜松駅を通過

Crossing Lake Hamana between the borders of Shizuoka and Aichi Prefectures

Passing by a small lake near Lake Hamana

Bypassing some housing areas somewhere near Toyohashi Station

Passing by some lush green areas between Lake Hamana and Toyohashi

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the city of Toyohashi

Passing through Toyohashi Station at high speed

Passing by some farms between the cities of Toyohashi and Anjo

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, between Toyohashi and Nagoya

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, between Toyohashi and Nagoya

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the city of Anjo

Crossing an expressway towards Nagoya

Passing by some housing apartments in the city of Nagoya

The many skyscrapers of Nagoya as the train approaches Nagoya Station

Making a brief stop at Nagoya Station

N700系新幹線 Z35編成 のぞみ225号 新大阪行き 名古屋 (発車) ~ 岐阜羽島 (通過)

The Green Car (first class) cabin view from my seat on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, between Gifu-hashima and Maibara

Passing by some rice paddy fields between Gifu and Shiga Prefectures

Bypassing a rice paddy field near the city of Maibara

Speeding through Maibara Station at high speed

Bypassing some industrial areas in the city of Maibara

Bypassing some lush green fields between the cities of Maibara and Omihachiman

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, between Nagoya and Kyoto

A view of my seat, 16D, between Maibara and Kyoto

One of the segregated smoking compartments in Car No. 7

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, between Nagoya and Kyoto

The Green Car (first class) cabin from my seat on the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z35, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 225 bound for Shin-osaka, between Nagoya and Kyoto

Finally entering the city of Kyoto

Passing by some houses in Yamashina-ku, Kyoto

Bypassing some housing areas in Yamashina-ku, Kyoto with the JR Kyoto Line and Biwako Line tracks

Making a brief stop at Kyoto Station

N700系新幹線 Z35編成 のぞみ225号 新大阪行き 京都駅から終点新大阪駅間

After a Shinkansen journey time of 2 hours 33 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, I finally arrived at the Shin-osaka terminal station at 1.33 p.m. on Track No. 21. Knowing that I had only 10 minutes left before my connecting limited express train towards Kansai International Airport, I took the escalator down towards the Shinkansen concourse, and changed to the JR Line concourse of Shin-osaka Station.

According to the departure information board, the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport would depart at 1.45 p.m. from Track No. 11. Without wasting anymore time, I headed down towards Tracks No. 11 and 12 in preparation for my connecting train to Kansai International Airport.

The Haruka (はるか) is a dedicated limited express train service operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) between Kansai International Airport and the Keihanshin metropolitan area. Dubbed the "Kansai Airport Limited Express" (関空特急はるか) by JR West, the Haruka is the fastest train service between Kansai International Airport and downtown Osaka and Kyoto.

A typical journey time between Kansai International Airport and Kyoto takes just 1 hour 15 minutes. Some services make additional stops at Hineno and Izumi-fuchu Stations, as well as continue on to or commence from Maibara Station in the early morning and late night. There are currently 24 return workings operating daily in each direction, with the service frequency every half an hour in the early morning and late evening hours. The service is capable of reaching a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph).

The Haruka service commenced operations on 4 September 1994, in collaboration with the opening of Kansai International Airport, using a dedicated fleet of 3-car and 6-car 281 series EMUs. Each formation of the service includes one Green Car (first class) coach (Car No. 1). Some services are also formed of nine cars, with an additional three cars coupled to the normal 6-car formation.

Between Shin-osaka Station and Tennoji Station, the service uses the Umeda Freight Line to get to the Osaka Loop Line, leaving no services stopping at Osaka Station (Passengers will have to change at Shin-osaka Station to the JR Kyoto Line to get to Osaka Station). There is no extra charge for the Haruka service for tourists travelling with a Japan Rail Pass. Without a Japan Rail Pass, a typical price for a Green Car ticket on the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka service between Kansai International Airport and Kyoto costs 4,220 yen (S$51.50).

The Haruka has a main competitor, known as the Rapi:t (ラピート), a limited express train service that is operated by Nankai Electric Railway between Kansai International Airport and Namba Station in downtown Osaka, at a maximum speed of 110 km/h (68 mph). The service uses a dedicated fleet of 6-car 50000 series EMUs, with oval-shaped windows, streamlined ends and painted in a completely dark blue livery, making the trains look like an aircraft.

Due to the relatively high fares for the Haruka, some tourists without a Japan Rail Pass may choose to take the Nankai Airport Limited Express Rapi:t towards Namba Station, and change to some other railway lines to get towards Kyoto, since the Rapi:t may have cheaper fares than the HarukaThe Haruka was also the very first Japanese train I have ever taken, when I first came to Japan in September 2001.

Shin-osaka Station (新大阪駅) is a railway station located in Yodogawa-ku, Osaka, Japan, and is one of the major railway terminals serving the Keihanshin metropolitan area. The station was opened on 1 October 1964, in collaboration with the opening of the Tokaido Shinkansen, due to construction problems in the city area for Shinkansen trains. The station serves as an interchange station for the Tokaido Shinkansen, Sanyo Shinkansen, JR Kyoto Line, JR Kobe Line and the Osaka Municipal Subway Midosuji Subway Line.

At Shin-osaka Station, many Shinkansen trains offer direct service between the Tokaido Shinkansen and Sanyo Shinkansen lines. On 16 March 2013, an additional Shinkansen platform (Track No. 27) was opened to relieve overcrowding at Shin-osaka Station during busy rush hours. As of now, Track No. 27 is the only Shinkansen platform at Shin-osaka Station to have half-height platform screen doors.


Tracks No. 21 and 22 at Shin-osaka Station serving the Shinkansen trains offering through service towards the Sanyo Shinkansen and Kyushu Shinkansen lines

A souvenir shop located in the Shinkansen concourse at Shin-osaka Station

The JR Line concourse at Shin-osaka Station packed with travellers

The JR Line tracks serving the JR Kyoto Line and JR Kobe Line at Shin-osaka Station

The departure information board for Track No. 11 at Shin-osaka Station showing the departures for the limited express trains bound for the Hanwa Line and Kinokuni Line

Tracks No. 11 and 12 at Shin-osaka Station serving the limited express trains for the Hanwa Line and Hokuriku Line

After spending 10 minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platform, a 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, finally arrived at Shin-osaka Station at 1.44 p.m. on Track No. 11. I then boarded the train through Car No. 1, which was the Green Car (first class) coach, and found my seat for the short 49-minute journey towards Kansai International Airport.

At exactly 1.45 p.m., all the doors were closed, and the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 25 finally pulled out of Shin-osaka Station for its remaining 49-minute journey towards Kansai International Airport. Throughout the segment between Shin-osaka and Kansai International Airport, I was the only passenger seated in the Green Car cabin, much to my delight.


281系 関空特急はるか25号 関西国際空港行き 新大阪駅に入線シーン

The front view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, at Shin-osaka Station

A view of my seat, 4C, for the short 49-minute journey towards Kansai International Airport

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, at Shin-osaka Station

281系 関空特急はるか25号 関西国際空港行き 新大阪 (発車) ~ 弁天町 (通過)

Bypassing Osaka Dome located in Nishi-ku, Osaka

Crossing a trestle bridge over a river between Nishi-ku and Taisho-ku, Osaka

Bypassing Taisho Station

My Green Car (first class) limited express ticket for the short segment between Shin-osaka and Kansai International Airport

Bypassing Imamiya Station

Passing through Shin-imamiya Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, between Shin-imamiya and Tennoji Stations

Stopping briefly at Tennoji Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, at Tennoji Station

Bypassing Bishoen Station

Passing some housing areas in Tennoji-ku, Osaka

Passing through Tsurugaoka Station

Bypassing Nagai Station

Bypassing some housing apartments in Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka

Passing through Sugimotocho Station

Bypassing some housing areas near Sugimotocho Station

Passing through Sakaishi Station

Bypassing Tsukuno Station

Passing through Kita-shinoda Station

Passing through Higashi-kishiwada Station

Passing by an open field by some housing areas in the city of Kaizuka

Bypassing some farming fields between the cities of Kaizuka and Izumisano

Bypassing some farming areas in the suburban city of Izumisano

Bypassing some suburban housing areas and fields in the town of Kumatori

281系 関空特急はるか25号 関西国際空港行き 熊取 (通過) ~ 関西空港 (到着)

After a short 49-minute journey from the hustle and bustle of the city of Osaka, I finally arrived at the Kansai Airport terminal station at 2.34 p.m. on Track No. 4. Having all my belongings with me, I alighted the train and took the elevator up to the ticketing concourse. I then exited through the ticket gates, and proceeded into the terminal building to see what good shops and restaurants were there. Having eaten a lunch box of pork belly during the journey between Tokyo and Shin-osaka, I knew that I wasn't that hungry. I then decided to find a good hobby shop selling passenger aircraft models first.

Kansai Airport Station (関西空港駅) is a ground level station located at Kansai International Airport in the town of Tajiri, Sennan District, Osaka, Japan. The station is the main railway station serving Kansai International Airport, and is linked directly to the terminal building via a pedestrian footbridge.

There are two island platforms serving a total of four tracks. Tracks No. 1 and 2 are used by the private Nankai Electric Railway, including the Nankai Airport Limited Express Rapi:t towards Namba in downtown Osaka, while Tracks No. 3 and 4 are used by trains operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West), including the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka towards downtown Osaka and Kyoto.

A JR Ticket Office is located near the JR Line ticket gates, with its business hours being from 5.30 a.m. to eleven o' clock at night. Here, foreign tourists can exchange their Japan Rail Pass Exchange Vouchers for their Japan Rail Passes. Near the Nankai Airport Line ticket gates, there is a Nankai Tourist Support Center, where passengers can purchase their Nankai line tickets, including tickets for the Nankai Airport Limited Express Rapi:t. This ticket counter is open daily from five o' clock in the morning to eleven o' clock at night.

Kansai International Airport (関西国際空港) is a Japanese airport located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay in Osaka, Japan. It is the central international airport serving the Keihanshin metropolitan area, and is one of the busiest airports operating in Japan. The airport serves as a major hub for All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Japan, Nippon Cargo Airlines and Peach.

The airport was opened for service on 4 September 1994 to replace overcrowding at the older Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport), which now caters solely to domestic flights, and is located in the suburbs of Toyonaka, Osaka. Kansai International Airport is directly connected to the mainland via the Sky Gate Bridge. The upper portion of the bridge is used by road vehicles, whereas the lower portion of the bridge is used by two railway operators, which are West Japan Railway Company (JR West) and Nankai Electric Railway.


The 6-carriage 281 series EMU that took me between Shin-osaka and Kansai International Airport as the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport earlier

Tracks No. 3 and 4 serving the JR Line trains at Kansai Airport Station

The JR Line concourse of Kansai Airport Station

The JR Ticket Office in the station concourse at Kansai Airport Station

The Nankai Airport Limited Express "Rapi:t" ticket office and the Nankai Railway line ticketing machines in the station concourse of Kansai Airport Station

The main station concourse of Kansai Airport Station

Overlooking all the levels on the second floor in the terminal building of Kansai International Airport

The domestic flight departures, arrivals and check-in areas on the second floor of Kansai International Airport

Outside the Hakuhinkan Toy Park in Kansai International Airport

After looking through the many shops available on the third floor of the terminal building, I managed to stumble upon a shop, known as Hakuhinkan Toy Park. This shop sells mainly toys for children, but also sell commercial aircraft models for aviation enthusiasts like me. While at the Hakuhinkan Toy Park in Kansai International Airport, I purchased two new Scale 1:500 commercial aircraft models, both of which were Boeing 747s.

Upon purchasing my aircraft models from Hakuhinkan Toy Park, I began to feel peaky after my long train journey from Odawara. I then looked through the various restaurants available to see which was the best restaurant to eat at for afternoon tea. Upon looking through the various restaurants available, I managed to stumble upon a restaurant specialising in deep-fried pork, tonkatsu, known as KYK.

I then entered the restaurant and requested for a non-smoking table for myself. A waitress then ushered me to a non-smoking table and provided the food and beverage menus for me to make my review before placing my meal orders. After having a good review through the food and beverage menus, the waitress finally came down to my table to take down my afternoon tea orders.

I ordered a tonkatsu pork cutlet set meal, an a la carte order of tonkatsu pork cutlet, along with a glass of red wine to accompany the meal. This meal tasted really exquisite, and the red wine went really well with it, though I prefer white wine better, since the taste buds are sweeter this way. As of my newly-purchased Boeing 747 Scale 1:500 aircraft models, they were, as follows:

1) ANA - All Nippon Airways Boeing 747-481D ANA Official Precision Models Scale 1:500 (NH 50070
)


ANA - All Nippon Airways Boeing 747-481D ANA Official Precision Models Scale 1:500 (NH 50070)

2) Lufthansa Boeing 747-430 "50 Years Partnership Lufthansa and Boeing" Herpa Scale 1:500 (517683)


Lufthansa Boeing 747-430 "50 Years Partnership Lufthansa and Boeing" Herpa Scale 1:500 (517683)

The entrance to KYK Restaurant in Kansai International Airport

Samples of model food items on display for customers to see what they intend to eat outside KYK Restaurant

A lineup of shops near KYK Restaurant in Kansai International Airport

The cover page for the food and beverage menu of KYK Restaurant in Kansai International Airport

Reviewing the food and beverage menu of KYK Restaurant in Kansai International Airport

The interior of KYK Restaurant in Kansai International Airport

My meal tray before my main meal orders arrived

The a la carte order of deep-fried tonkatsu pork cutlet on my table

The overall view of my deep-fried tonkatsu pork cutlet afternoon tea meal with a glass of red wine

After having a sumptuous deep-fried tonkatsu pork cutlet tea meal at KYK Restaurant, I decided that it was time to head back to Kansai Airport Station for my journey back to the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa. I then paid my bill and decided to have a peek at the main international departures and check-in area before heading back to the station. After I had arrived at Kansai Airport Station, I went through the JR Line ticket gates in preparation for my return journey towards Odawara. Knowing that my train would depart from Track No. 4, I took the elevator all the way down to Tracks No. 3 and 4 to commence my return journey towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.

I was originally scheduled to take the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 30 bound for Kyoto, which would depart Kansai Airport Station at 5.16 p.m., and arrive at Shin-osaka Station at 6.09 p.m.. Upon arrival at Shin-osaka Station, I was to have a layover of about 40 minutes before catching the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 250 bound for Tokyo, which would depart Shin-osaka Station at 6.50 p.m., and arrive at the Tokyo terminal station at 9.23 p.m.. Upon arrival at Tokyo, I was also to connect to the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 703 bound for Hamamatsu, which would depart Tokyo Station at 9.43 p.m., and arrive at Odawara Station at 10.20 p.m..

Unfortunately, an information screen in the JR Line concourse indicated that a passenger train accident occurred on the JR Hanwa Line at Higashi-sano Station at around 4.25 p.m. earlier. As a result, all services between Tennoji and Hineno were temporarily suspended, with all train operations expected to resume at around six o' clock. This made me very worried, knowing that I would not be able to be on time for my Shinkansen trains back to Odawara. Hence, I was stranded at Kansai Airport Station for approximately close to two hours.

As a result of the JR Hanwa Line accident at Higashi-sano Station, I knew that I would be back at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa very late that night, so I called my parents to tell them about what had happened. Most of the passengers affected opted to take the private Nankai Railway to reach their destinations. However, I was adamant about making my journeys entirely by JR, and pondered about what to do, since I wasn't in any mood to pay any extra fares just to take the private Nankai Railway. I then decided that it was best to change my seat reservations for the return journey to Odawara.

With that, I went to the ticket office and changed my Green Car seat reservations for the return trip to Odawara. This involved the cancellation of my Shinkansen KODAMA train to Odawara. As for the new itinerary, I was to take the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 34 bound for Kyoto, which would be expected to depart Kansai Airport Station at 6.16 p.m., and arrive at Shin-osaka Station at 7.09 p.m..

Upon arrival at Shin-osaka Station, I would be expected to have a short layover for about an hour before catching the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, which would depart Shin-osaka Station at 8.17 p.m., and arrive at the Tokyo terminal station at 10.53 p.m.. Once at Tokyo, I would connect to a JR Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Odawara, which would depart Tokyo Station at 11.39 p.m., and arrive at the Odawara terminal station at 1.02 a.m. the next morning.

Nevertheless, in spite of being stranded at Kansai Airport Station due to the train delays caused by the JR Hanwa Line accident at Higashi-sano Station, I managed to do some train spotting. I then went back down to the platform at around six o' clock, where the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 34 bound for Kyoto was expected to arrive on Track No. 4.


The departure information board for international flights departing from Kansai International Airport

The international departures and check-in area on the fourth floor of Kansai International Airport

Overlooking the third and fourth floors from the second floor in Kansai International Airport

The exterior view of Kansai Airport Station

A taxi stand outside the main terminal building at Kansai International Airport

The main station concourse of Kansai Airport Station in the hot late afternoon hours

The JR Line concourse of Kansai Airport Station in the late afternoon hours

The deserted JR Line and Nankai Line platforms of Kansai Airport Station in the late afternoon hours

A 6-carriage Nankai 50000 series EMU, about to form the Nankai Airport Limited Express "Rapi:t ß" No. 58 bound for Namba entering Kansai Airport Station towards Track No. 1

The station platform view of Kansai Airport Station with the 6-carriage Nankai 50000 series EMU, about to form the Nankai Airport Limited Express "Rapi:t ß" No. 58 bound for Namba on Track No. 1

A 6-carriage Nankai 50000 series EMU, about to form the Nankai Airport Limited Express "Rapi:t ß" No. 58 bound for Namba on Track No. 1 at Kansai Airport Station

A Nankai 8000 series EMU, operating on an Airport Express service bound for Namba, about to depart from Kansai Airport Station at 4.40 p.m. on Track No. 2

225系 シャトル列車 日根野行き 関西空港駅に入線シーン

A 6-carriage Nankai 50000 series EMU, operating on the Nankai Airport Limited Express "Rapi:t ß" No. 53 from Namba, arriving at the Kansai Airport terminal station on Track No. 1

A 4-carriage 225 series EMU, operating on a Shuttle service bound for Hineno, on Track No. 3 at Kansai Airport Station

The LED destination panel of a 4-carriage 225 series EMU, operating on a Shuttle service bound for Hineno, on Track No. 3 at Kansai Airport Station

The JR Line information screen showing details about the passenger train accident that occured on the JR Hanwa Line at Higashi-sano Station earlier at 4.25 p.m.

The JR Line ticket gates at Kansai Airport Station

A 4-carriage 223 series EMU, operating on a Shuttle service bound for Hineno, on Track No. 3 at Kansai Airport Station

After spending nearly 2 hours 30 minutes of being stranded and waiting in the station concourse and platform, a 6-car 281 series EMU finally arrived at Kansai Airport Station at 6.10 p.m. on Track No. 4. The train had arrived very late from Kyoto earlier as the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 29 earlier, due to the JR Hanwa Line accident at Higashi-sano Station, and was to undergo extensive cleaning before becoming the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 34 bound for Kyoto.

Once the entire cleaning process was completed, the train doors opened at 6.20 p.m., allowing the passengers to board the train. I then boarded Car No. 1, which was the Green Car (first class) coach, and found my assigned Seat No. 7C for the expected short journey towards Shin-osaka. Due to the late arrival at 6.10 p.m., the new departure time for the train was expected to be at 6.26 p.m., 10 minutes behind schedule.

At exactly 6.26 p.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 34 finally pulled out of Kansai Airport Station for its journey towards the ancient capital city of Japan. I was then on my way towards the hustle and bustle of Shin-osaka Station located within downtown Yodogawa-ku, Osaka.

Throughout the entire journey between Kansai International Airport and Shin-osaka, the train travelled at speeds ranging from relatively slow to very slow, as a result of the number of train delays caused by the JR Hanwa Line accident at Higashi-sano Station, and safety maintenance checks being carried out on the JR Hanwa Line after the accident at Higashi-sano Station.


The 6-carriage 281 series EMU, which would soon take me to Shin-osaka as the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 34 bound for Kyoto on Track No. 4 at Kansai Airport Station

Track No. 4 of Kansai Airport Station just before I boarded the JR West 281 series EMU operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 34 bound for Kyoto

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 34 bound for Kyoto, at Kansai Airport Station

A view of my seat, 7C, for the short segment between Kansai International Airport and Shin-osaka

The front view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 34 bound for Kyoto, at Kansai Airport Station

Awaiting departure from Kansai Airport Station

281系 関空特急はるか34号 京都行き 関西空港 (発車) ~ 日根野 (通過)

Passing by some suburban housing areas in the city of Izumisano

My Green Car (first class) limited express ticket for the short segment between Kansai International Airport and Shin-osaka

Passing through Kumatori Station

Bypassing some open fields in the town of Kumatori

Passing through Higashi-kishiwada Station

Passing a construction site near Higashi-kishiwada Station

Bypassing some suburban housing areas between the cities of Kishiwada and Izumi

Bypassing Izumi-fuchu Station

Passing by some suburban housing areas in the city of Izumi, Osaka

Passing through Shinodayama Station

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in Nishi-ku, Sakai

Passing through Tsukuno Station

Passing through Uenoshiba Station

About to cross a river between the cities of Sakai and Osaka

Bypassing Tsurugaoka Station

Bypassing some housing areas in Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka during sunset

Overlooking the JR Hanwa Line tracks towards Tennoji Station

Making a brief stop at Tennoji Station

Bypassing Shin-imamiya Station

Passing through Ashiharabashi Station

Passing the Osaka Dome in Nishi-ku, Osaka during sunset

281系 関空特急はるか34号 京都行き 弁天町 (通過) ~ 梅田貨物線 (通過)

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin of the 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 34 bound for Kyoto, as the train makes its final approach towards Shin-osaka Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin of the 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 34 bound for Kyoto, as the train makes its final approach towards Shin-osaka Station

Finally at Shin-osaka Station

After a somewhat prolonged journey time of 1 hour 28 minutes from Kansai International Airport, I finally arrived at Shin-osaka Station at 7.54 p.m. on Track No. 11. Knowing that I had only 20 minutes left before my connecting Shinkansen train towards Tokyo, I quickly grabbed my belongings and alighted the train. I then took the escalator up towards the JR line concourse and walked towards the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen concourse of the station, arriving there by eight o' clock.

I then went to check the departure information board to see which platform the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo would depart from. According to the departure information board located within the Shinkansen concourse, the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo would depart at 8.17 p.m. from the newly-opened Track No. 27.

Without wasting anymore time, I immediately went to a nearby station kiosk to purchase a Sendai Kuroge Wagyu Beef dinner box and some beverages in the Shinkansen concourse in preparation for my onward journey towards downtown Tokyo. I then took the escalator up towards the newly-opened Track No. 27, eventually arriving at the station platform by 8.05 p.m..


The 6-carriage 281 series EMU, which took me from Kansai International Airport to Shin-osaka as the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 34 bound for Kyoto, on Track No. 11 at Shin-osaka Station

Tracks No. 11 and 12 serving the Limited Express trains for the Hanwa Line and the Hokuriku region at Shin-osaka Station at night

The JR Line concourse of Shin-osaka Station leading to the Shinkansen ticket gates

The departure information screen in the Shinkansen concourse of Shin-osaka Station, serving "NOZOMI" and "HIKARI" trains bound for Tokyo

The Shinkansen station concourse of Shin-osaka Station at night

The departure information board showing the last Shinkansen "NOZOMI" train departures bound for Tokyo for the day from Track No. 27 at Shin-osaka Station

Track No. 27 serving the Tokaido Shinkansen line trains bound for Tokyo, alongside Tracks No. 23 to 26

Overlooking Tracks No. 23 to 26 from Track No. 27 at Shin-osaka Station

Track No. 27 just before the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo arrived at Shin-osaka Station

After spending 10 minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platform, a 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N13, operating on the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, finally arrived at Shin-osaka Station at 8.15 p.m. on Track No. 27. I then boarded the train through Car No. 8, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, and found my assigned Seat No. 9A for the journey time of 2 hours 36 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo.

Once the clock struck 8.17 p.m., all the doors were closed, and the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo finally pulled out of Shin-osaka Station, heading for its remaining journey towards the capital city of Japan. I was then on my way for a journey time of 2 hours 36 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo, and for the second segment of the return journey towards the suburban city of Odawara.


N700系新幹線 N13編成 のぞみ58号 東京行き 新大阪駅に入線シーン

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N13, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, at Shin-osaka Station

A view of my seat, 9A, for the second segment between Shin-osaka and Tokyo

The front view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N13, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, at Shin-osaka Station

N700系新幹線 N13編成 のぞみ58号 東京行き 新大阪駅から京都駅間

Making a brief stop at Kyoto Station

My Sendai Kuroge Wagyu Beef dinner box for the journey between Shin-osaka and Kyoto

The view of the Green Car (first class) interior from my seat on the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N13, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, between Kyoto and Nagoya

My Green Car (first class) Shinkansen ticket for the segment between Shin-osaka and Tokyo

Passing between the cities of Hikone and Maibara at night

Speeding through Maibara Station

Running through Gifu Prefecture at night

N700系新幹線 N13編成 のぞみ58号 東京行き 岐阜羽島 (通過) ~ 名古屋 (到着)

Making a brief stop at Nagoya Station

Speeding through Mikawa-anjo Station

Passing through Toyohashi Station

N700系新幹線 N13編成 のぞみ58号 東京行き 浜松 (通過) ~ 掛川 (通過)

Travelling between the cities of Hamamatsu and Toyohashi at night

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N13, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, between Kakegawa and Shizuoka

The smoking compartment in Car No. 7 of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N13, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo

Speeding through Shizuoka Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) interior of the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N13, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, between Shizuoka and Shin-fuji Stations

Travelling between the cities of Shizuoka and Fuji at night

Bypassing Shin-fuji Station

Travelling through the city of Mishima at night

Bypassing Mishima Station

Travelling in a tunnel between the cities of Mishima and Atami

N700系新幹線 N13編成 のぞみ58号 東京行き 熱海 (通過) ~ 小田原 (通過)

Travelling through the city of Chigasaki at night

The view of the Green Car (first class) interior from my seat on the JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N13, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, between Odawara and Shin-yokohama

Travelling through the city of Yokohama as the train approaches Shin-yokohama Station

Arriving at Shin-yokohama Station

N700系新幹線 N13編成 のぞみ58号 東京行き 新横浜駅から品川駅間

N700系新幹線 N13編成 のぞみ58号 東京行き 品川駅から終点東京駅間

After a quick journey time of 2 hours 36 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Osaka in Western Japan, I finally arrived back at the Tokyo terminal station at 10.53 p.m. on Track No. 14. Though I still had approximately 45 minutes left before my connecting train for the final segment towards Odawara, I decided to see the Shinkansen trains on Tracks No. 14 and 15. Since it was already late at night, most of the Shinkansen trains arriving at Tokyo Station were being taken out of service for the night.

Leaving the Tokaido Shinkansen platforms at around 11.05 p.m. with all of my belongings in hand, I walked through the somewhat deserted station concourse of Tokyo Station towards the JR Tokaido Main Line concourse. Upon arriving at the JR Tokaido Main Line concourse by 11.10 p.m., I went to check to see which platform the nearest JR Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Odawara would depart from.

According to the train departure information board, the nearest Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Odawara would depart at 11.39 p.m. from Track No. 7. Without wasting anymore time, I immediately took the escalator up towards Tracks No. 7 and 8. While waiting for my train, I went to a nearby station kiosk to purchase some beverages for the late night run.


The LED destination panel of the N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N13, indicating that the train is out of service

The logo of the N700 Series Shinkansen train that took me from Shin-osaka as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo earlier

Two out-of-service N700 Series Shinkansen trains on Tracks No. 14 and 15 at Tokyo Station late at night

The Tokaido Shinkansen ticket gates at Tokyo Station late at night

The Tokaido Main Line concourse of Tokyo Station late at night

Track No. 7 of Tokyo Station just before the 11.12 p.m. local train bound for Odawara departed

Tracks No. 7 and 8 serving the Tokaido Main Line trains at Tokyo Station

The departure information board on Track No. 7 showing the last trains bound for Odawara for the day at Tokyo Station

Track No. 7 of Tokyo Station just before the 11.39 p.m. JR Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Odawara arrived at the platform

After waiting for approximately five minutes on the Tokaido Main Line platforms, a 15-car E233 series EMU finally entered Tokyo Station at 11.16 p.m. on Track No. 7. The train had operated on a Tokaido Main Line local service from Atami earlier, and was to undergo an extensive cleaning process before becoming the Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara. The entire cleaning process took no more than 15 minutes.

Once the cleaning process was completed, the doors were opened at 11.30 p.m., allowing the passengers to board the train. I then boarded Car No. 4, which was one of the bi-level Green Car (first class) coaches, and managed to secure Seats No. 11C and 11D in the upper level. I would then sit in the intermediate level of the carriage between Kozu Station and the Odawara terminal station.

At exactly 11.39 p.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Tokaido Main Line local train bound for Odawara finally pulled out of Tokyo Station for its short late night journey time of 1 hour 23 minutes towards the suburban city of Odawara. On board the train, most of the passengers were commuters heading back home to their hometowns after spending a long day somewhere at work.


E233系 東海道本線 普通列車 小田原行き 東京駅に入線シーン

Tracks No. 7 and 8 of Tokyo Station with some the last Tokaido Main Line trains of the day towards Kozu and Odawara

The front view of the upper level Green Car (first class) interior of the E233 series EMU, operating on the Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara, at Tokyo Station

A typical seating arrangement in the upper level Green Car interior of the E233 series EMU operating on the Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara

The rear view of the upper level Green Car (first class) interior of the E233 series EMU, operating on the Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara, at Tokyo Station

A view of my seat, 11D, for the journey between Tokyo and Kozu

The view of the upper level Green Car (first class) interior of the E233 series EMU, operating on the Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara, from my seat at Tokyo Station

E233系 東海道本線 普通列車 小田原行き 東京駅から新橋駅間

Making a brief stop at Shimbashi Station

Travelling through Minato-ku, Tokyo late at night

The view of the upper level Green Car (first class) interior of the E233 series EMU, operating on the Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara, from my seat between Kawasaki and Yokohama

Travelling between the cities of Kawasaki and Yokohama at night

The view of the upper level Green Car (first class) interior of the E233 series EMU, operating on the Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara, from my seat between Fujisawa and Hiratsuka

Stopping briefly at Chigasaki Station

Making a brief stop at Hiratsuka Station

The front view of the upper level Green Car (first class) interior of the E233 series EMU, operating on the Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara, between Hiratsuka and Ninomiya

The front view of the intermediate level Green Car (first class) interior of the E233 series EMU, operating on the Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara, between Ninomiya and Odawara

A typical seating arrangement in the intermediate level Green Car interior of the E233 series EMU operating on the Tokaido Main Line local service bound for Odawara

Making a brief stop at Kozu Station

Stopping briefly at Kamonomiya Station

E233系 東海道本線 普通列車 小田原行き 鴨宮駅から終点小田原駅間

After a short late night journey of 1 hour 23 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, I finally arrived back at the Odawara terminal station at 1.02 a.m. on Track No. 4. Noticing how late it was that night, I exited the Tokaido Main Line platforms, and took the elevator down towards the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse. As it was already the wee hours of the early morning, everywhere was closed for the night.

Upon exiting the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse, I found my dad waiting just outside the entrance with our rented car. Having all my belongings loaded into the car, we left Odawara Station by 1.10 a.m. and drove back towards our chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa. The entire drive back towards our chalet at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa from Odawara Station took no more than just 15 minutes.


Tracks No. 3 and 4 serving the Tokaido Main Line trains at Odawara Station in the late night hours

The Tokaido Main Line concourse of Odawara Station late at night

The Odakyu Odawara Line concourse of Odawara Station late at night

The staircase towards the Odakyu Line and Tokaido Main Line concourses from the Shinkansen concourse at Odawara Station late at night

Beginning our short drive back to the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

The pitch black late night view between Odawara Station and the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

About to climb a steep hill towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa late at night

Climbing up a steep hill back towards the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa late at night

Finally arriving at the door step of our chalet No. 2005 and the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa

After a short 15-minute late night drive from Odawara Station, we finally arrived back at our Chalet No. 2005 at the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa at 1.25 a.m.. Upon parking the car at the car parking area, my dad and I entered the house, where I had a shower and changed into my pyjamas before having something to eat for supper and turning in for the night.

Noticing how tired I was from my three consecutive busy days, my parents decided that it was best to follow them around to the popular tourist town of Hakone the next day, so that I could take a break from my busy train journeys. By around two or three o' clock, all of us finally turned in for a well-earned good night's sleep.

Overall, I have enjoyed my two Shinkansen NOZOMI train rides on this birthday holiday to Japan. They were even better than my previous Korea Train Express (KTX) ride in South Korea. I shan't hesitate to go on a NOZOMI train again when I get the chance to do so on future trips to Japan, but I need to have at least ¥250,000 in my wallet on each Japan trip to take this train. As of 12 June 2013, among the 700 series and N700 series rolling stock used for these services, the only rolling stock I have ever used for NOZOMI trains is the newer N700 series equipment.

This officially brings the third section of my special birthday vacation in Japan in June 2013 to a formal conclusion. The remaining two sections of the special holiday report will be published once I have managed to select the best quality images and videos for them.

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