Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Special Mid-Term Summer Birthday Trip to Japan in June 2014 ~ Section 3

Welcome to the third segment of my special mid-term summer birthday vacation to Japan in June 2014. There will be a total of three focus topics that will be covered in this segment of the report. They will mainly be my myriad train journeys towards Fukuoka located in the southern island of Kyushu, Narita International Airport and spending another shopping visit to Kansai International Airport.

Part 1 ~ Spending A Day Trip To Fukuoka In Kyushu

The next morning, which was Thursday (5 June), I woke up at around seven o' clock after having a well-earned good night's sleep. Knowing that I was to take a day trip to the city of Fukuoka in Kyushu on this day, I quickly leapt out of bed and had a nice, hot shower before changing into my attire and preparing the remainder of my necessary belongings for the day. I was very lucky since I had made my Shinkansen seat reservations three days prior to the trip to Fukuoka.

For the in-bound journey to Fukuoka, I would catch a morning Special Rapid Service train bound for Himeji, which would depart Kyoto Station at 8.06 a.m., and arrive at Shin-osaka Station at 8.32 a.m.. Upon arrival at Shin-osaka Station, I would connect to the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), which would be scheduled to depart Shin-osaka Station at 9.05 a.m., and arrive at the Hakata terminal station at 11.34 a.m..

My dad, who also happened to be awake at that time, offered to give me a lift to the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance to Kyoto Station. Grabbing my belongings and an umbrella, we left our Machiya by 7.35 a.m. and headed towards the car parking area near the main road. Paying up the parking fare machine and loading my belongings into the boot of the car, we finally left the car parking area near the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at 7.40 a.m. for a short road drive of just 15 minutes to the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance at Kyoto Station.

The bar area inside the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya during the early morning hours

The interior of the tatami-style living room in the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya during the early morning hours

The interior of the kitchen in the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya during the early morning hours

The exterior view of the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya in the early morning hours

Finally arriving at our rented Toyota car at the car parking area near the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya in the early morning hours

Finally driving past some quiet housing areas in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, during the cloudy early morning hours

Bypassing a hotel located in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, on a cloudy early summer morning

Bypassing some housing apartment flats in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, on a cloudy early summer morning

Bypassing some old traditional shophouses located between Nakagyo-ku and Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

About to cross a short underground roadway linking towards Kyoto Station

Travelling adjacent to the Tokaido Shinkansen viaduct near Kyoto Station on a cloudy early summer morning

Finally approaching the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance at Kyoto Station

After a short road drive of just 15 minutes from the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya located in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, I finally arrived at the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance to Kyoto Station at 7.55 a.m.. Claiming my belongings from the boot of the car, I thanked my dad for the short lift and he warned me to be careful at all times whenever I am in a different area in Japan. Upon leaving me to commence my morning journey to Fukuoka, I immediately took the escalator up to the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse and another set of escalators up to the JR Line concourse.

Arriving at the JR Line concourse, I went to check the departure information board to see which platform the closest Special Rapid Service train bound for Himeji would depart from. According to the departure information board in the JR Line concourse, the closest Special Rapid Service train bound for Himeji would depart at 8.06 a.m. from Track No. 6. Without wasting anymore time, I immediately headed down the escalators to Tracks No. 6 and 7 in preparation for the first segment of the day between Kyoto and Shin-osaka, arriving at the platforms by eight o' clock.

The exterior view of Kyoto Station at the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance on a cloudy early summer morning

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Kyoto Station during the early morning rush hour

The passageway linking between the Tokaido Shinkansen and JR Line concourses of Kyoto Station during the early morning rush hour

The JR Line concourse of Kyoto Station during the early morning rush hour

Overlooking Tracks No. 8 to 10 serving the Nara Line trains at Kyoto Station during the early morning rush hour

Track No. 6 at Kyoto Station shortly before the 8.06 a.m. "Special Rapid Service" train bound for Himeji arrived at the station

After spending approximately five minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platforms, a 12-car 223 series EMU, operating on the 8.06 a.m. Special Rapid Service bound for Himeji, finally arrived at Kyoto Station at 8.05 a.m. on Track No. 6. Once the doors were opened, I quickly boarded the train through the first car at the front end and settled in for the short and quick morning journey duration of just 26 minutes to the lively and busy hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka.

Once the clock struck exactly 8.06 a.m., all of the train doors were closed, and the Special Rapid Service train finally pulled out of Kyoto Station for its morning journey duration of 1 hour 36 minutes towards the suburban city of Himeji located to the west of Kobe. I was then on my way for a short and quick morning journey duration of just 26 minutes towards the lively and busy hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka. The train gradually began to become crowded after departing Takatsuki Station.

223系 新快速 姫路行き 京都駅に入線シーン

Awaiting departure from Kyoto Station

223系 新快速 姫路行き 京都駅から新大阪駅間 (1/2)

The interior of the 12-car 223 series EMU, operating on the "Special Rapid Service" bound for Himeji, while making a brief stop at Takatsuki Station

Making a brief stop at Takatsuki Station

223系 新快速 姫路行き 京都駅から新大阪駅間 (2/2)

After a very short and quick morning journey duration of just 26 minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Kyoto, I finally arrived at Shin-osaka Station at 8.32 a.m. on Track No. 17. Grabbing my belongings and squeezing through the crowded train, I alighted the train and took the escalator up to the JR Line concourse before walking along the passageway to the Shinkansen interchange ticketing gates and sorting out all of my belongings there. At the same time, I showed my Green-type Japan Rail Pass to the man at the staffed interchange ticketing gate before entering the Shinkansen concourse of the station.

In the Shinkansen concourse, I went to check the departure information board to see which platform the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) would depart from. According to the departure information board located within the Shinkansen concourse, the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) would depart at 9.05 a.m. from Track No. 22. Without wasting anymore time, I quickly took the escalators all the way up towards Tracks No. 21 and 22, where I did my normal train-spotting as I waited for my train towards Hakata (Fukuoka).

The Sanyo Shinkansen (山陽新幹線) is a major high-speed Japanese Shinkansen line operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) between the major cities of Osaka and Fukuoka in Honshu and Kyushu, Japan. Opened in stages between 1972 and 1975, it is the second Shinkansen line in Japan, and mainly passes through several rural areas in Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi Prefectures. The line serves as a major competitor for many domestic airliners between the major cities of Osaka and Fukuoka, and has a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).

On 12 March 2011, which was the day after the March 11 Great East Japan Tsunami, more direct access towards the other areas of southern Kyushu began with the opening of the remaining Kyushu Shinkansen segment between Hakata (Fukuoka) and Shin-yatsushiro to complement the existing route between Shin-yatsushiro and Kagoshima-chuo. This allowed new MIZUHO and SAKURA services to commence using special 8-car N700 series sets painted in a distinctive livery to promote direct and improvised access between Honshu and Kyushu.

A majority of train services from the Tokaido Shinkansen offer through services as far as Okayama, Hiroshima and Hakata (Fukuoka). As of 15 March 2014, 500 series, 700 series and N700 series sets in both 8-car and 16-car formations operate on the line on the various NOZOMI, MIZUHO, HIKARI, SAKURA and KODAMA services. There is no Green Car (first class) accommodation available on HIKARI Rail Star services and most KODAMA services on the line. NOZOMI and MIZUHO trains cannot be used by foreign tourists travelling with a Japan Rail Pass.

Tracks No. 17 and 18 serving the Limited Express trains bound for the San'in region, as well as a few commuter trains for the JR Kobe Line, at Shin-osaka Station during the early morning hours

The JR Line concourse at Shin-osaka Station during the early morning rush hour

The Shinkansen interchange ticketing gates at Shin-osaka Station during the early morning rush hour

The Shinkansen concourse of Shin-osaka Station during the early morning rush hour

The logo of a 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z54, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 3 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), on Track No. 21 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z54, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 3 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), on Track No. 21 at Shin-osaka Station

Tracks No. 21 and 22 serving some of the Tokaido, Sanyo & Kyushu Shinkansen trains bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) and Kagoshima-chuo at Shin-osaka Station

The departure information board for Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen trains departing from Tracks No. 21 and 22 at Shin-osaka Station

A 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X13 (formerly Z13), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 218 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 23 at Shin-osaka Station

An 8-car JR Kyushu N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. R3, operating on the Shinkansen "MIZUHO" Superexpress No. 605 bound for Kagoshima-chuo, on Track No. 20 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of an 8-car JR Kyushu N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. R3, operating on the Shinkansen "MIZUHO" Superexpress No. 605 bound for Kagoshima-chuo, on Track No. 20 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X13 (formerly Z13), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 218 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 23 at Shin-osaka Station

A 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 293 bound for Shin-osaka, arriving at the Shin-osaka terminal station on Track No. 21

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, which previously operated on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 293 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 21 at Shin-osaka Station

Track No. 22 at Shin-osaka Station shortly before the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) arrived at the station

After spending 20 minutes of anticipated waiting on the platforms, a 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), finally arrived at Shin-osaka Station at 9.03 a.m. on Track No. 22. Once the train doors were opened, I immediately boarded the train via Car No. 8 and went into Car No. 9, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, before settling into my assigned Seat No. 7D for the morning journey duration of 2 hours 29 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka on the southernmost island of Kyushu.

The seat adjacent to me, 7C, would remain unoccupied throughout the entire morning trip to Fukuoka. Once the clock struck exactly 9.05 a.m., all the train doors were closed and the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 5 finally pulled out of Shin-osaka Station for the remaining half of its very long morning journey from downtown Tokyo to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka located in the southern island of Kyushu. I was then on my way for a journey duration of 2 hours 29 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka on the southernmost island of Kyushu, and for my second trip to Kyushu.

Fukuoka (福岡市) is a large major port city located on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan. With a total population of approximately 1,515,995, as of 1 June 2014, it is the largest and most populous city on the southern island of Kyushu, and the prefectural capital of Fukuoka Prefecture. The city serves as the central gateway for passengers coming into Kyushu, with its main railway station being Hakata Station and central airport being Fukuoka Airport. The city is also noted for its Hakata Ramen and Tenjin, its busiest and most lively shopping area.

N700系新幹線 N9編成 のぞみ5号 博多行き 新大阪駅に入線シーン

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), on Track No. 22 at Shin-osaka Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), during the boarding process on Track No. 22 at Shin-osaka Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), during the boarding process on Track No. 22 at Shin-osaka Station

A view of my seat, 7D, during the boarding process on Track No. 22 at Shin-osaka Station

Awaiting departure from Shin-osaka Station

N700系新幹線 N9編成 のぞみ5号 博多行き 新大阪駅から新神戸駅間

Making a brief stop at Shin-kobe Station

My Green Car (first class) Shinkansen ticket for the in-bound segment between Shin-osaka and Hakata (Fukuoka)

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the suburban city of Akashi

Bypassing a rail yard on the JR Kobe Line in the suburban city of Akashi

N700系新幹線 N9編成 のぞみ5号 博多行き 西明石 (通過) ~ 相生 (通過)

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), from my seat between Aioi and Okayama Stations

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), between Aioi and Okayama Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), between Aioi and Okayama Stations

A view of my seat, 7D, between Aioi and Okayama Stations

Crafting out my essay report for the in-bound segment to Fukuoka on my blog

Bypassing a large rice paddy farming field in the sparse, rural city of Akaiwa

Bypassing several suburban housing areas located in Higashi-ku, Okayama

Bypassing a housing apartment located in Kita-ku, Okayama, as the train approaches Okayama Station

Making a brief stop at Okayama Station

N700系新幹線 N9編成 のぞみ5号 博多行き 岡山 (発車) ~ 新倉敷 (通過)

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), from my seat between Shin-kurashiki and Fukuyama Stations

Bypassing several housing areas in the suburban city of Fukuyama as the train approaches Fukuyama Station

Making a brief stop at Fukuyama Station

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Mihara

Passing through Mihara Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), from my seat between Mihara and Higashi-hiroshima Stations

A bottle of Coca-cola and a box of Jagariko (じゃがりこ) potato sticks for myself

Passing through Higashi-hiroshima Station

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Higashihiroshima

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), from my seat between Higashi-hiroshima and Hiroshima Stations

Bypassing several housing areas in Aki-ku, Hiroshima, as the train makes its final approach to Hiroshima Station

Making a brief stop at Hiroshima Station

Bypassing some housing areas in Minami-ku, Hiroshima, shortly after departing Hiroshima Station

About to cross the Ota River between Minami-ku and Naka-ku, Hiroshima

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), between Hiroshima and Tokuyama Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), between Hiroshima and Tokuyama Stations

Another rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), between Hiroshima and Tokuyama Stations

Passing through Shin-iwakuni Station

Another front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), between Hiroshima and Tokuyama Stations

A view of my seat, 7D, between Hiroshima and Tokuyama Stations

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), from my seat between Hiroshima and Tokuyama Stations

Bypassing some sparse, rural housing areas in the sparse, rural city of Kudamatsu

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the suburban city of Shunan near Tokuyama Station

Passing through Tokuyama Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), from my seat between Tokuyama and Shin-yamaguchi Stations

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the suburban city of Shunan shortly after passing through Tokuyama Station

Bypassing a mountainous suburban housing area in the suburban city of Yamaguchi

N700系新幹線 N9編成 のぞみ5号 博多行き 新山口 (通過) ~ 新下関 (通過)

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), from my seat between Shin-shimonoseki and Kokura Stations

Finally entering the southern island of Kyushu

Making a brief stop at Kokura Station

N700系新幹線 N9編成 のぞみ5号 博多行き 小倉駅から終点博多駅間

After a quick Shinkansen journey duration of 2 hours 29 minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka in the Kansai region of Japan, I finally arrived at the Hakata terminal station at 11.34 a.m. on Track No. 15. Checking to see that I had left none of my personal belongings behind on board, I alighted the train and went down towards the main station concourse via the escalators before exiting through the staffed ticketing gate located within the Shinkansen concourse
.

Upon exiting the Shinkansen concourse of the Hakata Station, I decided to head to Canal City Hakata as my first destination for some lunch first. With that, I immediately headed to the Chikushi entrance of the station and headed to the cab stand located just outside the entrance. At the cab stand, I managed to hail the closest cab and informed the driver to take me to Canal City Hakata. With all my belongings loaded into the cab, I finally left the vicinity of Hakata Station at 11.45 a.m. for a short five-minute cab ride to Canal City Hakata.

Hakata Station (博多駅) is a major railway station located in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Japan. It is the central railway terminal serving the hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka and the largest and busiest station in Kyushu. The station also serves as the central gateway for passengers coming into Fukuoka by train, and serves as the western terminus for the Sanyo Shinkansen and the northwestern terminus for the Kyushu Shinkansen. Many Shinkansen trains in shorter car formations offer through service to the Kyushu Shinkansen here.

Hakata Station also serves the Kagoshima Main Line, Nagasaki Main Line and the Fukuoka City Subway Airport Line. Prior to the opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen line linking from Hakata to Shin-yatsushiro on 12 March 2011, the station underwent a major and extensive renovation programme between 2009 and 2010. The renovations were finally completed on 3 March 2011, with the opening of JR Hakata City, a large luxury shopping mall located just above the entire station complex.


Canal City Hakata (キャナルシティ博多) is a large and major entertainment and shopping complex located in downtown Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Japan. Open on 20 April 1996, the mall is popularly known as "City within a city" and boasts a large number of shops, restaurants, cafeterias, game centres, cinemas and a theatre. Located within the middle of Fukuoka's entertainment and shopping district, the mall is a most popular tourist attractions located in Fukuoka. The mall is easily accessible via a five-minute cab ride from Hakata Station.

Tracks No. 15 and 16 serving some through Kyushu Shinkansen trains bound for Kumamoto and Kagoshima-chuo, along with some terminating Sanyo Shinkansen trains, at Hakata Station

The logo of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N9, which previously operated on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), on Track No. 15 at Hakata Station

Overlooking Tracks No. 15 and 16 serving some of the Shinkansen trains at Hakata Station again

The Shinkansen concourse at Hakata Station during the early afternoon hours

The Shinkansen ticketing gates at Hakata Station during the early afternoon hours

The main station concourse at Hakata Station near the Chikushi exit during the early afternoon hours

The Chikushi entrance to Hakata Station during the early afternoon hours

The black luxury cab which would soon take me to Canal City Hakata from Hakata Station

Finally departing Hakata Station

Travelling along the roads of downtown Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, on the way to Canal City Hakata

Canal City Hakata coming into view as I approach the mall in downtown Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Finally arriving at Canal City Hakata

After a short cab ride of just five minutes from Hakata Station, I finally arrived at the cab stand located outside Canal City Hakata at 11.50 a.m.. Paying up my cab fare, the driver helped me to unload my baggage from the boot of his cab, which I thanked him for before he left me to enjoy my day at Fukuoka. Feeling very hungry, I went into the mall and took the escalators up to the various floors in Canal City Hakata to look for a good restaurant to eat at for lunch.

Soon enough, after looking through the various restaurants available, I finally stumbled upon a local Japanese restaurant, known as Umaya (うまや), at 12 noon once I was on the fourth floor of the Canal City Hakata. Entering the restaurant itself, I promptly requested for a non-smoking table for myself. A waitress then offered to take care of my baggage at the cheque payment counter and showed me to an empty non-smoking table before leaving me with the food and beverage menus with me to make my reviews before lunch.

Having a good review through the food and beverage menus, a waitress came by to my table to take down my main meal orders for lunch. I managed to order a grilled beef tongue Teishoku meal set, along with a glass of white wine to accompany my upcoming meal. Soon enough, with all of my meal orders delivered, I also placed an additional side order of grilled beef tongue. The entire meal tasted quite good, especially with the beaten raw egg in soy sauce. The white wine also went quite well with the meal.

The overall view of the upper levels of Canal City Hakata during the early afternoon hours shortly after I had entered the mall

Looking across the Grand Hyatt Hotel from Canal City Hakata

Overlooking the indoor mall canal from the fourth floor in Canal City Hakata

The fourth level housing most of the restaurants in Canal City Hakata

Overlooking the Grand Hyatt Hotel Fukuoka from Canal City Hakata during the bright early afternoon hours

Finally stumbling upon Umaya Restaurant on the fourth level at Canal City Hakata

The cover page for the food and beverage menu of Umaya Restaurant in Canal City Hakata

Reviewing the food and beverage menu of Umaya Restaurant in Canal City Hakata

A glass of white wine for myself to accompany the upcoming main lunch course

A large grilled beef tongue Teishoku lunch set for myself

An additional side order of grilled beef tongue for my Teishoku lunch set

The interior of Umaya Restaurant in Canal City Hakata during lunchtime

After having a filling and hearty lunch at Umaya Restaurant, the clock was finally showing 12.50 p.m.. Wanting to save my stomach for dessert, I paid up my lunch bill and went to the main restaurant cashier to claim my baggage before leaving the restaurant. Once I had left the restaurant by 12.55 p.m., I looked around the various cafeterias available on the fourth floor to see which cafeteria would be the most suitable place for dessert in order to suit my tastes and preferences.

Soon enough, I finally managed to stumble upon a small cafeteria, with the name of CAFFÈ OTTO.Cyclo, on the fourth level of Canal City Hakata at one o' clock. Entering the cafeteria itself, I looked through the many cakes on display in the cake display cooler, where I placed an order for a chocolate cake served with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, along with a large glass of iced Earl Grey Tea. Soon enough, that afternoon, I had a nice afternoon tea of cake and iced Earl Grey Tea at CAFFÈ OTTO.Cyclo at Canal City Hakata.

Overlooking the indoor mall canal from the fourth floor in Canal City Hakata again

Overlooking the Grand Hyatt Hotel Fukuoka from Canal City Hakata again

The exterior view of Umaya Restaurant on the fourth floor at Canal City Hakata during the early afternoon hours

Walking along the fourth floor in Canal City Hakata, where a majority of the restaurants are located

Finally stumbling upon CAFFÈ OTTO.Cyclo on the fourth level at Canal City Hakata

Several snack samples on display in CAFFÈ OTTO.Cyclo on the fourth level at Canal City Hakata

The interior view of CAFFÈ OTTO.Cyclo on the fourth level of Canal City Hakata

A tray consisting of chocolate cake served with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream with a glass of iced Earl Grey Tea

Another interior view of CAFFÈ OTTO.Cyclo on the fourth level at Canal City Hakata

After having a very sumptuous and filling afternoon tea at CAFFÈ OTTO.Cyclo, I was finally stuffed to the brim at 1.50 p.m.. Feeling stuffed to the brim already, I paid up my afternoon tea bill and left the cafeteria by 1.55 p.m.. Since I could tell that there was going to be a mall fountain show in five minutes' time, I immediately took the escalator all the way down to the second level, since I had wanted to see a fountain show from a good spot at the mall first before doing anything else.

Soon enough, the fountain show finally started at two o' clock, which was just as scheduled. During the show, several drops of water shot up as high as the fourth floor of Canal City Hakata, which made the in-mall fountain show a spectacular sight, and leading to me snap several photographs of the show to bring back as a memorable event from Fukuoka. The entire in-mall fountain show located at Canal City Hakata lasted no more than approximately five minutes, which was too short for my liking, but still spectacular.

With the short fountain show finished, I crossed a footbridge towards an open area of Canal City Hakata, where I took an escalator down to the first floor, where a nearby cab stand was located. Since JR Hakata City at Hakata Station was my next destination in Fukuoka, I went to the cab stand and hailed a nearby cab to JR Hakata City at Hakata Station. While I went into the cab, the driver understood my intended destination and offered to help me load my baggage into the boot of his cab. Soon enough, I finally left Canal City Hakata at 2.15 p.m. for a short five-minute cab ride to JR Hakata City at Hakata Station.

Walking down the escalator at Canal City Hakata

The fountain show at Canal City Hakata commencing

The fountain spraying in a curved manner at Canal City Hakata

The fountains at Canal City Hakata forming V-shaped sprays

A lineup of branded luxury shops located on the second floor on the other side of Canal City Hakata

A lineup of cafeterias and shops located on the first floor on the other side of Canal City Hakata

The cab stands located on the other side of Canal City Hakata

The white cab which would soon take me to JR Hakata City at Hakata Station from Canal City Hakata

Finally departing the vicinity of Canal City Hakata

Travelling along the roads of downtown Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, on the way to JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

JR Hakata City at Hakata Station coming into view

Finally arriving at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

After a short cab ride of just five minutes from Canal City Hakata, I finally arrived at the cab stands outside JR Hakata City at Hakata Station at 2.20 p.m.. Upon paying my cab fare, the driver offered to help me unload my baggage from the boot of the cab. Thanking the driver for his services, I took the escalator up to the second floor of the mall, where I changed to an elevator all the way up towards the second floor of the mall, eventually arriving there by 2.30 p.m..

Once I was on the tenth floor of the mall, I changed to a set of escalators towards the open observation area located on the topmost eleventh level. Unlike in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the weather in Fukuoka was reasonably cooler, which allowed me to enjoy the breathtaking views of downtown Fukuoka, and to see Hakata Bay and Fukuoka Airport. At the same time, the breathtaking views allowed me to take several photographs of Fukuoka to bring back as memorable events.

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

The entrance to Amu Plaza in JR Hakata City at Hakata Station during the mid-afternoon hours

The interior of the tenth level in JR Hakata City at Hakata Station during the mid-afternoon hours

The escalators linking to the eleventh level from the tenth level in JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

Several small shops selling snacks and beverages in the open-air topmost eleventh level at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

A small shady resting area on the open-air topmost eleventh floor at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

A small children's free train ride in the open-air topmost eleventh floor at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

Overlooking Fukuoka Airport from JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

The overall view of downtown Fukuoka facing Hakata Bay from the observation deck at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

Overlooking Hakata Bay from JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

Overlooking the small children's free train ride from the observation deck at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

The overall view of downtown Fukuoka facing near Fukuoka Airport from the observation deck at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

The open-air observation deck in JR Hakata City at Hakata Station during the cloudy mid-afternoon hours

The open-air rest area on the topmost open-air eleventh level at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

The view of the open-air topmost eleventh floor at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station shortly before I headed back down to the mall for dinner

After spending 1 hour 55 minutes of enjoying the very fresh and breathtaking scenery of downtown Fukuoka at the open-air observation deck, the clock was finally showing 4.25 p.m.. Since there was still plenty of time left, I decided to have an early dinner in Fukuoka first before heading back to Kyoto later that evening. With that, I took the elevator back down to the tenth floor and looked through the various restaurants available before looking at more restaurants on the ninth floor.

Soon enough, I finally managed to stumble upon a local beef tongue restaurant located on the ninth floor, known as Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu (牛たん炭焼利久). I was very familiar with this particular restaurant since I had eaten lunch here before on my first trip to Fukuoka in June 2013. Though this restaurant is relatively small in size, it serves high quality and very thickly-cut beef tongue. When you enter the restaurant and get a table, the staff will take care of your baggage at the cashier counter at the restaurant entrance.

Feeling very hungry already, I promptly requested for a bar table located by the galley area for myself. The waitress offered to take care of my baggage at the cashier counter and she directed me to an empty bar table located by the galley area. She then left me with the food and beverage menus to make my reviews before placing my main meal orders for the early dinner. Having a good review through the food and beverage menus, the waitress came by to my table to take down my main meal orders for the upcoming early dinner.

For the upcoming early dinner, I ordered a large grilled beef tongue Teishoku dinner set for myself, along with a glass of white wine to accompany the main course. While waiting for my main dinner courses, I saw how skilful the chefs were in grilling the beef tongue pieces in the galley. With my main dinner meal orders delivered, I took a bite of the grilled beef tongue pieces. The grilled beef tongue tasted very tender, and the taste does melt in your mouth. The white wine also went very well with my early grilled beef tongue dinner.

Walking down the escalator towards the tenth floor from the eleventh floor at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

Looking through the various restaurants available on the tenth floor at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

Walking down another set of escalators to the ninth floor from the tenth floor at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

Finally stumbling upon Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu (牛たん炭焼利久) on the ninth level at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

The interior of Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

The set meal section of the food and beverage menu of Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

The beverage section of the food and beverage menu of Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

The galley area from the bar table at Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

A glass of white wine for myself to accompany the upcoming main early dinner course

A small bowl of cold-cut beef tongue to start off the early dinner at Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu

Several pieces of thickly-sliced beef tongue grilling on the charcoal barbecue griller in the galley at Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu

A large grilled beef tongue Teishoku dinner set for myself at Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu

After having a sumptuous and filling early dinner of grilled beef tongue at Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu in JR Hakata City, the clock was finally showing five o' clock. Feeling stuffed to the brim already, I paid up my restaurant dinner  bill and left the restaurant by 5.05 p.m.. Since I still had approximately one hour left before my return trip back to Kyoto, I decided to head back towards Hakata Station to do some of my usual train-spotting activities while waiting for my return Shinkansen train to Osaka.

As for the evening return trip back towards Kyoto, I would catch the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, which would be scheduled to depart Hakata Station at 6.55 p.m., and arrive at Shin-osaka Station at 9.17 p.m.. After arrival at Shin-osaka, I would have a 15-minute layover before connecting to a Special Rapid Service train bound for Maibara via Kyoto, which would be scheduled to depart Shin-osaka Station at 9.34 p.m., and arrive at Kyoto Station at 9.59 p.m..

With that, I immediately proceeded to the elevator lobby and took the elevator all the way down to the second floor and changed to a set of escalators leading down to the station entrance, eventually arriving there by 5.15 p.m.. Once I was in the main station concourse, I quickly headed to the Shinkansen ticketing gates and showed my Japan Rail Pass to the lady at the staffed ticketing gate. I then checked with the ticketing gate officer to see which platform the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo would depart from.

According to the lady at the staffed ticketing gate, the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo would depart at 6.55 p.m. from Track No. 12. She also informed me that the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo would be the last daily eastbound Shinkansen train service to Tokyo. Though it was still too early before my train to Shin-osaka, I went up to Tracks No. 11 and 12 by 5.25 p.m. to do some of my normal train-spotting activities while waiting for my train.

The exterior view of Gyutan Sumiyaki Rikyu on the ninth level at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

The glass elevator lobby on the ninth floor linking to the other levels at JR Hakata City at Hakata Station

A large poster advertising Tokyo Disney Resort near the in-mall entrance to Hakata Station

The main station concourse at Hakata Station during the late afternoon rush hour

The Shinkansen ticketing gates at Hakata Station during the late afternoon hours

The Shinkansen concourse at Hakata Station during the late afternoon hours

The departure information board for Sanyo & Kyushu Shinkansen trains departing from Tracks No. 11 and 12 at Hakata Station

Tracks No. 11 and 12 serving some of the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen trains bound for Tokyo and Kagoshima-chuo at Hakata Station during the early evening hours

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

The logo of the 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X12 (formerly Z12), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 56 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X12 (formerly Z12), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 56 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

An 8-car JR West 500 Series Shinkansen Set No. V7, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 756 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 13 at Hakata Station

N700系新幹線 N2編成 のぞみ58号 東京行き 博多駅に入線シーン

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N2, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The logo of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N2, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N2, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N2, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

A 6-car JR Kyushu 800 Series Shinkansen Set No. U004, operating on the Shinkansen "TSUBAME" Superexpress No. 337 bound for Kumamoto, on Track No. 11 at Hakata Station

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

N700系新幹線 N2編成 のぞみ58号 東京行き 博多駅から出発シーン

The logo of the 16-car JR West N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. K13 (formerly N13), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 13 at Hakata Station. I remember riding on this particular train as Set No. N13 on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 58 between Shin-osaka and Tokyo back in June 2013

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. K13 (formerly N13), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 13 at Hakata Station

Tracks No. 11 and 12 at Hakata Station with a few waiting passengers

A 6-car JR Kyushu 800 Series Shinkansen Set No. U001, operating on the Shinkansen "TSUBAME" Superexpress No. 339 bound for Kumamoto, on Track No. 11 at Hakata Station

The LED destination panel of the 8-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. S18, operating on the Shinkansen "SAKURA" Superexpress No. 566 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

An 8-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. S18, operating on the Shinkansen "SAKURA" Superexpress No. 566 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The departure information board for Shinkansen trains departing from Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

Track No. 12 at Hakata Station shortly before the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo arrived at the station

A 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z56, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 62 bound for Tokyo, arriving at Track No. 13 at Hakata Station

After spending approximately 50 minutes of anticipated waiting and train-spotting along the station platforms, a 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1 finally arrived at Hakata Station at 6.14 p.m. on Track No. 12. The train had initially arrived from Tokyo as the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 35 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) earlier, and was to undergo extensive cleaning prior to becoming the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, which currently serves as the last eastbound train service from Hakata (Fukuoka) to Tokyo, as of 15 March 2014. The entire cleaning process took approximately 25 minutes.

Once the entire train cleaning process was completed, all of the train doors were opened again at 6.40 p.m. to allow the passengers to board the the last eastbound train bound for Tokyo. I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 9, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, and settled into my assigned Seat No. 9A for the early evening journey time of 2 hours 22 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka in the Kansai region of Japan. The seat adjacent to me 9B, would remain unoccupied throughout the evening return trip back to Osaka.

Once the clock struck exactly 6.55 p.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 64 finally pulled out of Hakata Station for its long evening train journey duration of 4 hours 50 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Japan. I was then on my way for an evening Shinkansen journey of 2 hours 22 minutes to the hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka in the Kansai region of Japan. This would be an exciting ride, as this would be my first time riding on a new N700A Series Shinkansen set.

N700系新幹線 F1編成 のぞみ64号 東京行き 博多駅に入線シーン

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The logo of the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The Green Car (first class) logo on the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

Track No. 12 serving the Sanyo Shinkansen trains bound for Hiroshima, Shin-osaka and Tokyo during the early evening hours just before I boarded the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

A view of my seat, 9A, during the boarding process on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

Another rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

Another front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, from my seat during the boarding process on Track No. 12 at Hakata Station

Awaiting departure from Hakata Station

N700系新幹線 F1編成 のぞみ64号 東京行き 博多駅から小倉駅間

Making a brief stop at Kokura Station

N700系新幹線 F1編成 のぞみ64号 東京行き 小倉 (発車) ~ 新山口 (通過)

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Shin-yamaguchi and Tokuyama Stations

Bypassing some forests by a mountain in the suburban city of Yamaguchi

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

Crafting out my essay report for the return segment to Osaka on my blog

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, between Shin-yamaguchi and Tokuyama Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, between Shin-yamaguchi and Tokuyama Stations

Passing through Tokuyama Station

A view of my seat, 9A, between Tokuyama and Shin-iwakuni Stations

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the suburban city of Shunan

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Tokuyama and Shin-iwakuni Stations

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in the suburban city of Iwakuni

Passing through Shin-iwakuni Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Shin-iwakuni and Hiroshima Stations

Bypassing some housing areas by the Ota River between Naka-ku and Minami-ku, Hiroshima

Making a brief stop at Hiroshima Station

Bypassing several urban infrastructure by a JR Line train yard in Minami-ku, Hiroshima, shortly after departing Hiroshima Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, between Hiroshima and Mihara Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, between Hiroshima and Mihara Stations

A view of my seat, 9A, between Hiroshima and Mihara Stations

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Hiroshima and Mihara Stations

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Mihara

Passing through Mihara Station

Travelling through a dark area between the suburban cities of Mihara and Onomichi

N700系新幹線 F1編成 のぞみ64号 東京行き 新尾道 (通過) ~ 岡山 (到着)

Making a brief stop at Okayama Station

Bypassing several housing areas located in downtown Kita-ku, Okayama, at night

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Okayama and Aioi Stations

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, between Okayama and Aioi Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, between Okayama and Aioi Stations

A view of my seat, 9A, between Okayama and Aioi Stations

Bypassing some housing areas in the sparse, rural city of Akaiwa

Travelling past some rural areas near the sparse, rural town of Kamigori

N700系新幹線 F1編成 のぞみ64号 東京行き 相生 (通過) ~ 西明石 (通過)

Travelling through the Rokko Tunnel between Nishi-akashi and Shin-kobe Stations

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Nishi-akashi and Shin-kobe Stations

Travelling through the Rokko Tunnel as the train approaches Shin-kobe Station

Making a brief stop at Shin-kobe Station

N700系新幹線 F1編成 のぞみ64号 東京行き 新神戸駅から新大阪駅間

After a quick evening Shinkansen journey time of 2 hours 22 minutes from the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka in the southern island of Kyushu, I finally arrived at Shin-osaka Station at 9.17 p.m. on Track No. 26. Checking to see that I had my belongings with me, I alighted the train and filmed a video of its departure  on Tracks No. 25 and 26 before going down to the Shinkansen concourse of the station via the escalator, where I showed my Japan Rail Pass to the man at the staffed interchange ticketing gate.

Upon arriving at the JR Line concourse of the station, I immediately went to check the train departure information board to see which platform the closest Special Rapid Service train bound for Maibara via Kyoto would depart from. According to the train departure information board, the closest Special Rapid Service train bound for Maibara via Kyoto would depart at 9.34 a.m. from Track No. 13. Without wasting anymore time, I immediately took the elevator down to Tracks No. 13 and 14 in preparation for the final segment back to Kyoto.

The logo of the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 26 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. F1, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 64 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 26 at Shin-osaka Station

Tracks No. 25 and 26 serving some of the Tokaido Shinkansen trains towards Nagoya and Tokyo shortly before the last eastbound train bound for Tokyo departed Shin-osaka Station

N700系新幹線 F1編成 のぞみ64号 東京行き 新大阪駅から出発シーン

A 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X69 (formerly Z69), operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 696 bound for Nagoya, on Track No. 27 at Shin-osaka Station

The Tokaido Shinkansen departure information board for trains heading to Nagoya and Tokyo on Tracks No. 25 and 26 at Shin-osaka Station

Tracks No. 25 and 26 serving some of the Tokaido Shinkansen trains towards Nagoya and Tokyo shortly after the last eastbound train bound for Tokyo departed Shin-osaka Station

The Shinkansen concourse of Shin-osaka Station during the late night rush hour

The JR Line interchange ticketing gates in the Shinkansen concourse at Shin-osaka Station during the late night rush hour

The JR Line concourse at Shin-osaka Station during the late night rush hour

Tracks No. 13 and 14 serving some of the JR Kyoto Line trains bound for Kyoto and Maibara at Shin-osaka Station during the late night rush hour

The departure information board for trains departing from Tracks No. 13 and 14 at Shin-osaka Station

Track No. 13 at Shin-osaka Station shortly before the 9.34 p.m. "Special Rapid Service" train bound for Maibara via Kyoto arrived at the station

After spending just five minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platforms, a 12-car 223 series EMU, operating on the Special Rapid Service bound for Maibara and Kyoto, finally arrived at Shin-osaka Station at 9.33 p.m. on Track No. 13. Once the doors were opened, I immediately boarded the train through the first car at the front and settled in for the short journey duration of just 25 minutes towards downtown Kyoto. This would also be my final segment of the day back to Kyoto.

Once the clock struck exactly 9.34 p.m., all of the train doors were closed, and the Special Rapid Service finally pulled out of Shin-osaka for the remainder of its evening journey time of 1 hour 21 minutes towards the suburban city of Maibara in Shiga Prefecture. I was then on my way for a short evening travel duration of just 25 minutes back to the lively hustle and bustle of the historical capital city of Japan, as well as for my final segment of the day back to downtown Kyoto.

223系 新快速 京都方面米原行き 新大阪駅に入線シーン

223系 新快速 京都方面米原行き 新大阪駅から京都駅間 (1/2)

223系 新快速 京都方面米原行き 新大阪駅から京都駅間 (2/2)

After a short journey time of just 25 minutes from the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka, I finally back at Kyoto Station at 9.59 p.m. on Track No. 2. Checking that I had all of my personal belongings with me, I alighted the train and went up to the JR Line concourse of the station, where I showed my Japan Rail Pass to the lady at the staffed ticketing gate before exiting the JR Line concourse. Upon showing my Japan Rail Pass, I went down to the Shinkansen concourse and took another set of escalators down to the cab stands.

Crossing the road towards the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto, I finally found my dad waiting for me in our rented Toyota car. Once he came to receive me, I loaded my belongings into the boot of the car before boarding the car. Soon enough, once all of my belongings were loaded into the car, we finally departed the vicinity of Kyoto Station at 10.10 p.m. for a short late night drive of just 20 minutes back towards the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya located in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto.

Tracks No. 2 and 3 serving some of the commuter trains bound for the Biwako Line and Kosei Line at Kyoto Station during the late night rush hour

The departure information board in the JR Line concourse at Kyoto Station during the late night rush hour

The JR Line concourse at Kyoto Station during the late night rush hour

The Tokaido Shinkansen ticketing gates in the Shinkansen concourse at Kyoto Station during the late night rush hour

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse at Kyoto Station during the late night rush hour

Approaching the Hachijo Shinkansen West Gate at Kyoto Station via the escalators

The exterior view of Kyoto Station near the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto at night

Our rented Toyota car waiting for me by the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto

Finally departing Kyoto Station

Travelling parallel to the Tokaido Shinkansen viaduct just aft of Kyoto Station

Travelling between downtown Shimogyo-ku and Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, at night

Travelling along the dimly-lit roads of downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, at night

Parking our car at the car parking area near the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

About to walk along the dark alley leading to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

Finally arriving back at the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

After a short late night road drive of just 15 minutes from Kyoto Station located in downtown Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, we finally arrived back at the car parking area near the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at 10.25 p.m.. While I unloaded my belongings from the boot of our rented car, my dad went to the automatic payment machine to pay for the overnight parking. Upon paying our overnight parking fee, we walked along the dark alley for about five minutes to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya.

Soon enough, we finally arrived back at the entrance to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at 10.30 p.m.. Entering the Machiya, I put my baggage in my room and went to have a nice, hot shower before changing into my pyjamas for the night. As I was to have a day journey to Narita International Airport the next morning, I set up my electronic devices to be charged and prepared some of my necessary belongings. Soon enough, between midnight and one o' clock, I finally turned in for a well-earned good night's sleep.

Overall, my second trip to Fukuoka was quite a nice experience, along with my Shinkansen NOZOMI train ride there. Like the previous day on my 19th birthday, this would be the first time riding on a Shinkansen NOZOMI train on two consecutive days. Both my Shinkansen NOZOMI train rides have proven to be very enjoyable and much better than the Korea Train Express (KTX) in South Korea. I will not hesitate to take a Shinkansen NOZOMI train again, especially on longer train journeys on the Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen lines, when I get a chance to do so.

Part 2 ~ Spending The Afternoon At Narita International Airport

The next morning, which was Friday (6 June), I woke up at 6.30 a.m. after my mobile phone alarm blasted off early. Leaping out of bed, I prepared my attire for the day and went to have a nice, hot shower to start off the day right. Upon changing into my attire for the day, I went to prepare all of my necessary belongings for the day, including my electronic devices and their battery chargers.


Since I was scheduled to journey to Narita International Airport on this day, I was very lucky as I had made my seat reservations a couple of days before the tripI had also arrange for an MK Cab to come and fetch me to Kyoto Station at 7.30 a.m. the day before the tripFor the in-bound trip towards Narita International Airport, I would catch the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, which would be scheduled to depart Kyoto Station at 8.56 a.m., and arrive at the Tokyo terminal station at 11.40 a.m..

Upon arriving at Tokyo, I would connect to a JR Yamanote Line Inner Loop train, which would be scheduled to depart Tokyo Station at 11.55 a.m., and arrive at Ikebukuro Station at 12.18 p.m.. After arriving at Ikebukuro Station, I would connect to the Limited Express Narita Express No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, which would depart Ikebukuro Station at 1.03 p.m., and arrive at the Narita Airport (Terminal 1) terminal station at 2.29 p.m.. While waiting for my pre-arranged MK cab to Kyoto Station, I did some stuff on my laptop after packing up most of my electronic devices.

The view of my bedroom shortly after I had woken up early that morning

The view of the kitchen area of the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya during the early morning hours

The interior view of the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya during the early morning hours

After spending the entire morning packing my baggage in preparation for my day outing to Narita International Airport, my pre-arranged MK cab to Kyoto Station finally arrived at the entrance to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at 7.25 a.m., five minutes ahead of schedule. The MK cab driver then got out of the cab and offered to load my baggage into the boot of his cab, while I got into the cab.

I also informed the driver at the same time that my intended entrance at Kyoto Station was the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance, of which, the driver knew where the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance was. Soon enough, with all of my baggage loaded into the cab, I finally departed the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at the same timing, with the entire MK cab journey to Kyoto Station taking no more than just 15 minutes.

The MK cab that would soon take me to Kyoto Station outside the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

Travelling past some houses near the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

About to turn towards the main road in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, in the direction towards Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

Bypassing a traditional Japanese Machiya between Nakagyo-ku and Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

About to cross underneath the San'in Main Line tracks between Nakagyo-ku and Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

Travelling along the busy roads of downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, during the early morning rush hour

About to enter the underpass roadway near Kyoto Station, while overlooking the Tokaido Shinkansen viaduct

Travelling parallel to the Tokaido Shinkansen viaduct while approaching Kyoto Station

Finally arriving at the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance to Kyoto Station

After a very short MK cab ride of just 15 minutes from the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, I finally arrived at the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance to Kyoto Station at 7.40 a.m.. Checking to see that I had left none of my belongings on board, I paid my cab fare and thanked the driver for his services before going into the station building. Entering the station, I took the escalator up to the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse and made my way to the JR Central Ticket Office to make my Green Car (first class) seat reservations for Kansai International Airport the next day.

I then showed my Japan Rail Pass to the officer at the staffed ticketing gate at 7.45 a.m., and went to check the departure information board to see which platform the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo would depart from. According to the train departure information board, the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo would depart at 8.56 a.m. from Track No. 11. Though it was still early before my train bound for Tokyo, I took the escalators up towards Tracks No. 11 and 12 at 7.50 a.m. so that I could do some of my usual train-spotting activities while waiting for my train to Tokyo.

HIKARI (ひかり) is the name of a high-speed train service operating along the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines in Japan. Slower than the NOZOMI but faster than the KODAMA, the HIKARI is the fastest train service on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines that can be used with the Japan Rail Pass. A majority of these services make stop at popular tourist attractions in Hyogo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Shiga and Yamaguchi Prefectures. The service is capable of reaching a maximum top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).

The service commenced operations on 1 October 1964, in collaboration of the opening of the Tokaido Shinkansen line, using 0 series sets at a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph), until they were retired from these services on 14 December 2008. From 1985 and 1992, 100 series sets at a maximum speed of 230 km/h (143 mph), followed by 300 series sets at a maximum speed of 270 km/h (170 mph), until they were retired from active service on 16 March 2012. From late 2000, 700 series sets were introduced at a top speed of 285 km/h (177 mph), followed by newer N700 series sets on 15 March 2008 at a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).

A special promotional service, commonly known as HIKARI Rail Star (ひかりレールスター), was introduced by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) on 11 March 2000 to provide competition with airliners operating between Osaka and Fukuoka. The service uses special 8-car 700 series sets painted in grey with black stripes over the windows, separated by a sunny yellow stripe just below the windows, and operating at a top speed of 285 km/h (177 mph). While there is no Green Car (first class) accommodation provided for these services, the reserved seats are arranged in a 2-2 configuration.

However, following the opening of the entire Kyushu Shinkansen Kagoshima Route on 12 March 2011, many HIKARI Rail Star services are gradually being replaced with much newer SAKURA services in order to enhance travel comfort and increase accessibility between Honshu and Kyushu. From the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012, HIKARI Rail Star services using the special 8-car 700 series sets on the Sanyo Shinkansen line became entire non-smoking.

About to walk up the escalator leading up to the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse at Kyoto Station

The Tokaido Shinkansen ticketing concourse of Kyoto Station during the early morning rush hour

The Tokaido Shinkansen ticketing gates at Kyoto Station during the early morning hours

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse leading to the Shinkansen platforms of Kyoto Station during the early morning hours

The Tokaido Shinkansen departure information board for trains heading to Nagoya and Tokyo on Tracks No. 11 and 12 at Kyoto Station during the early morning hours

Tracks No. 11 and 12 serving the Tokaido Shinkansen trains heading towards Nagoya and Tokyo during the early morning hours

The logo of the 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X77 (formerly Z77), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 212 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X77 (formerly Z77), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 212 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

Tracks No. 11 and 12 serving the Tokaido Shinkansen trains heading towards Nagoya and Tokyo shortly before the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 638 bound for Tokyo arrived at Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. B4, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 638 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

A 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z52, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 493 bound for Hiroshima, arriving at Kyoto Station on Track No. 13

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z66, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 110 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

A 16-car JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G10, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 1 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), arriving at Kyoto Station on Track No. 13

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z59, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 214 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

A 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z28, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 112 bound for Tokyo, arriving at Kyoto Station on Track No. 12

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z28, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 112 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

A 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z51, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 3 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), arriving at Kyoto Station on Track No. 13

A 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X74 (formerly Z74), operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 512 bound for Tokyo, arriving at Kyoto Station on Track No. 12

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X74 (formerly Z74), operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 512 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

A 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X8 (formerly Z8), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 216 bound for Tokyo, arriving at Kyoto Station on Track No. 11

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. X8 (formerly Z8), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 216 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 11 at Kyoto Station

A 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C51, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 306 bound for Tokyo, arriving at Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C51, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 306 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

The departure information board for Tokaido Shinkansen trains heading towards Nagoya and Tokyo on Tracks No. 11 and 12 at Kyoto Station

A 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z55, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 114 bound for Tokyo, arriving at Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z55, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 114 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

A 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N2, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 5 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), arriving at Track No. 13 at Kyoto Station

A 16-car JR West N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. K5 (formerly N5), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 2 bound for Tokyo, arriving at Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West N700 (700A) Series Shinkansen Set No. K5 (formerly N5), operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 2 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 12 at Kyoto Station

Tracks No. 11 and 12 serving the Tokaido Shinkansen trains heading towards Nagoya and Tokyo shortly before the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo arrived at Track No. 11 at Kyoto Station

After spending approximately 1 hour 05 minutes of anticipated waiting along the platforms, a 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, finally entered Kyoto Station at 8.55 a.m. on Track No. 11. Once the train doors were opened, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 9, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, and went to my assigned Seat No. 15A for the morning journey time of 2 hours 44 minutes to downtown Tokyo. The seat next to me, 15B, would remain unoccupied for the entire morning journey to downtown Tokyo.

Once the clock struck exactly 8.56 a.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 460 finally pulled out of Kyoto Station for the remainder of its long morning journey of 5 hours 27 minutes between Hiroshima and Tokyo. I was then on my way for a morning high-speed Shinkansen travel duration of 2 hours 44 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of the national capital of Japan located in the Kanto region. The weather became rainy as the train made its final approach into the Greater Tokyo Area.

700系新幹線 C17編成 ひかり460号 東京行き 京都駅に入線シーン

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 11 at Kyoto Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process at Kyoto Station

A view of my seat, 15A, during the boarding process at Kyoto Station

700系新幹線 C17編成 ひかり460号 東京行き 京都 (発車) ~ 米原 (通過)

Bypassing several lush green fields near the suburban city of Maibara

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Maibara and Gifu-hashima Stations

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

Bypassing a rural farming area near the suburban city of Ogaki

Bypassing some infrastructure in the suburban city of Ogaki

Crossing the Nagara River near Gifu-hashima Station

Passing through Gifu-hashima Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, between Gifu-hashima and Nagoya Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, between Gifu-hashima and Nagoya Stations

A view of my seat, 15A, between Gifu-hashima and Nagoya Stations

Crafting out my report for the in-bound trip to Tokyo on my blog

Making a brief stop at Nagoya Station

700系新幹線 C17編成 ひかり460号 東京行き 名古屋 (発車) ~ 三河安城 (通過)

Bypassing some suburban farming and housing areas in the suburban city of Anjo

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Mikawa-anjo and Toyohashi Stations

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Toyohashi

Passing through Toyohashi Station

Crossing Lake Hamana between the border of Aichi and Shizuoka Prefectures on a clear summer's morning

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, between Toyohashi and Hamamatsu Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, between Toyohashi and Hamamatsu Stations

A bottle of Coca-cola and a box of Jagariko (じゃがりこ) potato sticks for myself

Making a brief stop at Hamamatsu Station

A 16-car N700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 116 bound for Tokyo, bypassing my train at Hamamatsu Station

Crossing the Tenryu River shortly after departing Hamamatsu Station

Bypassing some houses in the suburban city of Hamamatsu

Bypassing a rice paddy farming field near the suburban city of Kakegawa

Passing through Kakegawa Station

Bypassing another rice paddy farming field in the suburban city of Kakegawa

Bypassing more housing areas as the train gets nearer to the city of Shizuoka

Making a brief stop at Shizuoka Station

A 16-car 700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 308 bound for Tokyo, bypassing my train at Shizuoka Station

A 16-car N700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 4 bound for Tokyo, bypassing my train at Shizuoka Station

Bypassing some housing areas in downtown Aoi-ku, Shizuoka

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Shizuoka and Atami Stations

Bypassing a rice paddy field located somewhere near the suburban city of Fuji

700系新幹線 C17編成 ひかり460号 東京行き 新富士 (通過) ~ 熱海 (到着)

Making a brief stop at Atami Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, between Atami and Odawara Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, between Atami and Odawara Stations

A view of my seat, 15A, between Atami and Odawara Stations

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Atami and Odawara Stations

Another packet of Jagariko potato sticks (じゃがりこ) for myself

Passing through Odawara Station

Bypassing some suburban infrastructure in the suburban town of Ninomiya

Bypassing more housing areas in the suburban city of Hiratsuka

Bypassing some housing apartments as the train gets closer to downtown Yokohama

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, between Odawara and Shin-yokohama Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, between Odawara and Shin-yokohama Stations

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Odawara and Shin-yokohama Stations

Making a brief stop at Shin-yokohama Station

700系新幹線 C17編成 ひかり460号 東京行き 新横浜駅から終点東京駅間

After a morning Shinkansen journey time of 2 hours 44 minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Kyoto in the Kansai region of Japan, I finally arrived at the Tokyo terminal station at 11.40 a.m. on Track No. 16. Checking to see that I had left none of my belongings behind on board, I alighted the train and went down to the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of the station before making my way towards the JR Line concourse of the station. I then went to check to see what time the nearest JR Yamanote Line Inner Loop train would depart at.

According to the departure information board located in the JR Line concourse, the closest Yamanote Line Inner Loop train would depart at 11.55 a.m. from Track No. 4. Without any hesitations, I immediately took the escalators up towards Tracks No. 3 and 4 in preparation for the short journey towards the lively hustle and bustle of Ikebukuro located in downtown Toshima-ku, Tokyo. The rain was pelting down very heavily by this time, which made the platforms edges rather slippery, which meant that everyone had to be extra careful.

Tracks No. 16 and 17 serving some of the Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen trains at Tokyo Station on a rainy early afternoon

The logo of the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C17, which previously operated on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 460 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 16 at Tokyo Station

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Tokyo Station during the rainy early afternoon rush hour

The JR Line concourse of Tokyo Station during the rainy early afternoon rush hour

Tracks No. 3 and 4 serving the Yamanote Line Inner Loop trains and the Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line trains bound for Ueno and Omiya at Tokyo Station during the rainy early afternoon rush hour

Track No. 4 at Tokyo Station shortly before the 11.55 a.m. Yamanote Line Inner Loop train arrived at the station

After spending approximately five minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platforms, an 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on a routine Yamanote Line Inner Loop service, finally entered Tokyo Station at 11.55 a.m. on Track No. 4. Boarding the train, I secured a seat for the short hop towards Ikebukuro Station. Soon enough, all the train doors were closed, and the Yamanote Line Inner Loop train finally pulled out of Tokyo Station. I was then on my way for a short and rainy journey time of just 23 minutes towards Ikebukuro located in downtown Toshima-ku, Tokyo.

Ikebukuro Station (池袋駅) is a major railway station located within the district of Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan. It is the second-busiest railway terminal in the world in terms of the number of passengers after Shinjuku Station, and the busiest railway station operated by Seibu Railway, Tobu Railway and Tokyo Metro. The station primarily serves commuters heading to and from Saitama Prefecture, and is a major stopping point for limited express trains heading to Tochigi Prefecture. The Narita Express limited express service linking to Narita International Airport also stops here.

An 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on the 11.55 a.m. Yamanote Line Inner Loop service, arriving at Tokyo Station on Track No. 4

The interior of the 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on a routine Yamanote Line Inner Loop service, during the boarding process at Tokyo Station

Finally departing Tokyo Station

Overlooking the Tohoku, Joetsu and Nagano Shinkansen tracks shortly after departing Tokyo Station

Making a brief stop at Kanda Station

Making a brief stop at Okachimachi Station

Making a brief stop at Ueno Station

Overlooking the Takasaki Line, Tohoku Main Line and Joban Line tracks shortly after departing Ueno Station

The interior of the 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on a routine Yamanote Line Inner Loop service, between Ueno and Nishi-nippori Stations

Making a brief stop at Nishi-nippori Station

Overlooking the Tohoku, Joetsu and Nagano Shinkansen viaduct shortly after departing Nishi-nippori Station

Making a brief stop at Komagome Station

Travelling through downtown Toshima-ku, Tokyo, between Komagome and Ikebukuro Stations

The interior of the 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on a routine Yamanote Line Inner Loop service, between Komagome and Ikebukuro Stations

Finally arriving at Ikebukuro Station

After a short journey duration of just 23 minutes from Tokyo Station located in the hustle and bustle of downtown Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, I finally arrived at Ikebukuro Station at 12.18 p.m. on Track No. 6. Checking to see that I had all of my belongings with me, I quickly alighted from the relatively crowded train and went down to the station concourse leading to the other JR Line platforms. At the same time, I went to check to see which platform the Limited Express Narita Express No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport would depart from.

According to the departure information board in the station concourse, the Limited Express Narita Express No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport would depart at 1.03 p.m. from Track No. 2. Though it was still too early before my connecting train to Narita International Airport, I took the escalators up towards Tracks No. 1 and 2 in preparation for the continuing trip to Narita International Airport. While waiting for the Limited Express Narita Express No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, I did some train-spotting on Tracks No. 1 and 2.

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 a total of 27 daily return workings operating in both directions, as of 15 March 2014. A typical travel duration between Tokyo Station and Narita International Airport takes about one hour, with some services making additional stops at Chiba, Yotsukaido and Narita Stations during the early morning and late night hours. The service has a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph).

The service commenced on 19 March 1991, using 3-car and 6-car 253 series EMUs at a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph). These sets were frequently coupled together to form as either nine or twelve cars between Tokyo Station and Narita International Airport. From 1 October 2009, new 6-car E259 series EMUs were introduced on these services, gradually replacing the older 253 series EMUs by 30 June 2010. Like the earlier 253 series sets, these sets are coupled together to form as 12 cars between Tokyo Station and Narita International Airport.

Green private compartments were available on services operated by the older 253 series EMUs, but these were phased out by 30 June 2010 as the newer E259 series EMUs do not feature these private compartments. All seats are reserved and non-smoking, with Green Car (first class) accommodation provided in Car No. 6 for six-car formations, and in Cars No. 6 and 12 for 12-car formations. Extra charges for the Narita Express are not mandatory for foreign tourists travelling with a Japan Rail Pass or JR East Pass.

The Narita Express has a direct competitor, which is the Skyliner (スカイライナー), a limited express train service operated by the private Keisei Electric Railway between Keisei Ueno Station and Narita International Airport. The service uses a dedicated fleet of 8-car Keisei AE series EMUs at a maximum top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph), and runs over the Keisei Main Line and Narita Airport Line over its route. A typical travel time on the Keisei Airport Limited Express Skyliner between Keisei Ueno and Narita International Airport takes about 44 minutes.

However, unlike the Narita Express, only standard class seating is available on the Keisei Airport Limited Express Skyliner services as the Keisei AE series EMUs are solely mono-class. Following the Great East Japan Tsunami on the dreaded afternoon of 11 March 2011, all Narita Express services were suspended until further notice. They were partially restored on 4 April 2011, with the pre-earthquake and tsunami timetable finally reinstated as normal on 3 September 2011.

Tracks No. 5 and 6 serving the Yamanote Line Inner Loop trains at Ikebukuro Station

The JR Line concourse leading to the platforms at Ikebukuro Station in the afternoon

The overall view of the Saikyo Line and Shonan-Shinjuku Line platforms at Ikebukuro Station

A 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 27 bound for Narita International Airport, on Track No. 2 at Ikebukuro Station

The logo of the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 27 bound for Narita International Airport, on Track No. 2 at Ikebukuro Station

A 6-car 253 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Kinugawa" No. 4 bound for Shinjuku, on Track No. 2 at Ikebukuro Station

A 15-car E231 series EMU, operating on a Shonan-Shinjuku Line "Special Rapid Service" bound for Odawara, arriving at Track No. 2 at Ikebukuro Station

Tracks No. 1 and 2 serving the Saikyo Line and Shonan-Shinjuku Line trains bound for Osaki and Odawara at Ikebukuro Station

Tracks No. 1 and 2 at Ikebukuro Station shortly before the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport arrived at the station

After spending approximately 35 minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platforms, a 6-car E259 series EMU, which would soon operate on the Limited Express Narita Express No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, finally entered Ikebukuro Station at one o' clock on Track No. 2. Once the doors were opened, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 6, which was the Green Car (first class) coach, and settled into my assigned Seat No. 5D for the short and rainy travel duration of 1 hour 26 minutes to Narita International Airport.

My train would then be coupled with another similar 6-car E259 series EMU from Yokohama to form as 12 cars between Tokyo Station and Narita International Airport. At exactly 1.03 p.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Limited Express Narita Express No. 29 finally pulled out of Ikebukuro Station for its short but rainy journey duration of 1 hour 26 minutes to Narita International Airport. I was then on my way for a journey time of 1 hour 26 minutes to the vicinity of Narita International Airport in the suburban city of Narita in Chiba Prefecture.

Narita International Airport (成田国際空港) is a Japanese first-class airport located within the suburban city of Narita, Chiba, Japan. It is the main international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area as a large number of international flights depart and arrive here, and serves as the largest and busiest hub for Japan's two largest airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines. Narita International Airport also serves as a major Asian hub for many American carriers, such as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

The airport was opened on 20 May 1978 to cope with the increasing number of international flights into the Greater Tokyo Area, which were initially served by Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport). Since that date, with a majority of international flights shifting to Narita International Airport, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) mostly catered to domestic flights to and from Tokyo. However, with the opening of a large and new international flight terminal at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) on 21 October 2010, competition for international arrivals has arose between both airports.

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス29号 成田国際空港行き 池袋駅に入線シーン

The 6-car E259 series EMU, which would soon take me as the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, on Track No. 2 at Ikebukuro Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, during the boarding process at Ikebukuro Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, during the boarding process at Ikebukuro Station

A view of my seat, 5D, during the boarding process at Ikebukuro Station

Awaiting departure from Ikebukuro Station

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス29号 成田国際空港行き 池袋駅から渋谷駅間

Making a brief stop at Shibuya Station

The Limited Express "Narita Express" on-board trolley refreshment service menu on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport. On-board trolley refreshment service for the Limited Express "Narita Express" usually functions between Tokyo Station and Narita International Airport

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

Passing through Ebisu Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, between Shibuya and Tokyo Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, between Shibuya and Tokyo Stations

A view of my seat, 5D, between Shibuya and Tokyo Stations

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, from my seat between Shibuya and Tokyo Stations

Passing through Osaki Station

Overlooking the Tokaido Shinkansen tracks between Osaki and Shinagawa Stations

Travelling parallel to the Tokaido Shinkansen tracks near Shinagawa Station

Passing through 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29号 成田国際空港行き 東京 (発車) ~ 下総中山 (通過)

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, from my seat between Tokyo and Tsudanuma Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, between Tokyo and Tsudanuma Stations

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, between Tokyo and Tsudanuma Stations

Passing through Tsudanuma Station

Bypassing a commuter train depot near Tsudanuma Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, from my seat between Tsudanuma and Chiba Stations

Passing through Inage Station

Crafting out my report for the in-bound trip to Narita International Airport on my blog

Bypassing some housing areas between Inage-ku and Chuo-ku, Chiba

Passing through Chiba Station

The on-board trolley refreshment service on board the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport

A bottle of Coca-cola and a box of Jagariko (じゃがりこ) potato sticks for myself

Passing through Sakura Station

Bypassing a rice paddy field in the rain in the sparse, rural town of Shisui

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, from my seat between Chiba and Shisui Stations

Passing through Shisui Station

Bypassing a lush green forest in the rain near the suburban city of Narita

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス29号 成田国際空港行き 成田 (通過) ~ 成田空港 (到着)

After a short and rainy travel duration of 1 hour 26 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Ikebukuro in downtown Toshima-ku, Tokyo, I finally arrived at the Narita Airport (Terminal 1) terminal station at 2.29 p.m. on Track No. 1. Checking to see that I had left nothing behind on board, I alighted the train and went up to the main station concourse. Upon arriving at the main station concourse, there was a passport check area situated between the main station concourse and the platforms.

For security reasons, even if you are taking a day trip towards Narita International Airport, it is important to carry your passport with you to be checked by the airport security staff. Upon clearing the passport security, I went up to the passageway leading to the South Wing and took the elevator up to the fourth floor, where the departures and check-in hall was located. Since I was feeling rather hungry already, I walked through the South Wing and decided to search for a good restaurant to eat at for lunch first.

Narita Airport Station (成田空港駅) is an underground railway station located below Narita International Airport in the suburban city of Narita, Chiba, Japan. The station is located just below Terminal 1 at Narita International Airport, and is directly managed by both East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and Keisei Electric Railway. The station serves as the eastern terminus for the Narita Line (Airport Branch Line), and for the Keisei Main Line and for the Keisei Narita Airport Line (Narita Sky Access Line).

As of 15 March 2014, there is one island platform serving two tracks for the JR Line trains, and two island platforms serving five tracks for the Keisei Line trains. On 17 July 2010, with the opening of the Keisei Narita Sky Access Line, the Keisei Line platforms and concourses were segregated, with one portion serving the Keisei Main Line trains, and the other portion serving the Narita Sky Access Line trains. For separate fare structure reasons, passengers not using the Narita Sky Access Line have to pass through a second ticketing gate before entering the Keisei Main Line platforms.

The 6-car E259 series EMU, which previously took me from Ikebukuro as the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, on Track No. 1 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The logo of the 6-car E259 series EMU, which previously took me from Ikebukuro as the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 29 bound for Narita International Airport, on Track No. 1 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

Tracks No. 1 and 2 serving the JR Line trains at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station during the mid-afternoon hours

The JR Line concourse leading to the platforms at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station during the mid-afternoon hours

The JR Line concourse at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station during the mid-afternoon hours

The JR East Travel Service Center in the main station concourse at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station during the mid-afternoon hours

The interior of the main station concourse of Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station during the mid-afternoon hours

The list of airlines using Terminal 1 at Narita International Airport near the entrance to Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The entrance to the passageway linking towards Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station during the mid-afternoon hours

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

A large shopping area at Terminal 1 at Narita International Airport undergoing renovations

Finally stumbling upon Royal Coffee Shop Restaurant in Terminal 1 at Narita International Airport

After looking through the various restaurants available between the North and South Wings at Terminal 1 at Narita International Airport, I finally stumbled upon a Western restaurant, by the name of Royal Coffee Shop Restaurant, at 2.45 p.m.. Feeling very hungry already, I went into the restaurant and promptly requested for a table by the window for myself. Soon enough, a waitress directed me to an empty table by the window and left with the Grand Menu to make my reviews before placing my main meal orders for lunch.

Once I was ready to place my main lunch orders, a waitress came by to my table to take down my intended meal orders. I ordered an Angus beef strip loin meal set and a side dish of assorted sausages and french fries, accompanied by a glass of white wine. Soon enough, with my main lunch orders delivered to my table, I finally had a delicious and filling lunch at Royal Coffee Shop Restaurant at Narita International Airport. The white wine also went very well with my lunch meal.

Upon finishing my lunch courses, I was finally stuffed to the brim at 3.20 p.m.. Paying up my restaurant lunch bill, I left the restaurant by 3.25 p.m. and decided to search for a good shop to shop at before ending off my visit to Narita International Airport. At the same time, I took the escalators all the way up to the fifth floor to search for a good shop to shop at before I managed to find one shop that would really suit for my tastes and preferences. Many areas around the fourth floor at Narita International Airport were in renovations at that time.

The cover page for the Grand Menu of Royal Coffee Shop Restaurant at Narita International Airport

The interior of Royal Coffee Shop Restaurant at Narita International Airport during lunch hours

Reviewing the Grand Menu of Royal Coffee Shop Restaurant at Narita International Airport

The interior of Royal Coffee Shop Restaurant at Narita International Airport while waiting for my lunch courses to arrive at my table

A glass of white wine to accompany my upcoming lunch course

A platter of assorted sausages and french fries for myself

An Angus beef strip loin meal set for myself

The interior of Royal Coffee Shop Restaurant at Narita International Airport shortly before leaving the restaurant

The departure flight information screen on the fourth floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 1

Taking the escalator up to the fifth floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 1

The interior of the fifth level of Terminal 1 at Narita International Airport

Finally stumbling upon Biplane Museum Shop on the fifth floor in Narita International Airport Terminal 1

After looking at the various shops available on the fifth floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 1, I finally stumbled upon a notable hobby shop, known as Biplane Museum Shop, at 3.35 p.m.. I was very familiar with this shop since I had been to this shop before back in May & June 2010 and in June 2013. Entering the shop, I looked through the various aircraft models available on display before making my selections on which ones to purchase. At the shop, I purchased three new Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 aircraft models.

These newly-purchased Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 aircraft models consisted of one Airbus A330-200 and two Boeing 777-300/ERs. Upon purchasing my aircraft models, I went to a public massage chair area for a brief rest, where I spotted a few Delta Air Lines aircraft and several cargo aircraft parked at the cargo terminal at Narita International Airport. As the rain was pouring down very heavily since the early morning, I could not go out to the observation area to do my usual plane-spotting activities.

As for the three new Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 aircraft models I had purchased, they were, as follows:

1) Air France Boeing 777-328/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (506892-002)

Air France Boeing 777-328/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (506892-002)

2) Emirates Boeing 777-31H/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (518277-001)

Emirates Boeing 777-31H/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (518277-001)

3) Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-203 Herpa Scale 1:500 (517676)

Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-203 Herpa Scale 1:500 (517676)

The interior of the fifth level of Terminal 1 at Narita International Airport facing the South Wing

The open-air observation area at Narita International Airport Terminal 1 on a wet and rainy afternoon

The cargo terminal with a Korean Air Boeing 747 Freighter and three FedEx Express Boeing 777 Freighters at Narita International Airport

The interior of the public massage chair area on the fifth floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 1

Two Delta Air Lines aircraft parked at Narita International Airport Terminal 1 (North Wing)

The view of the rainy airport tarmac with four freighter aircraft parked near the cargo terminal at Narita International Airport

After spending about 1 hour 45 minutes of shopping and dining around Narita International Airport, the clock was finally showing 4.30 p.m.. Knowing that it was soon time to head back to Kyoto, I decided to head back to Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station. As for the return trip back towards Kyoto, I would catch the Limited Express Narita Express No. 40 bound for Ofuna and Omiya, which would be scheduled to depart Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station at 5.16 p.m., and arrive at Ikebukuro Station at 6.53 p.m..

Upon arriving back at Ikebukuro Station , I would connect to a nearby JR Yamanote Line Outer Loop train, which would be scheduled to depart Ikebukuro Station at seven o' clock, and arrive at Tokyo Station at 7.23 p.m.. After arriving at Tokyo Station, I would have a short layover of 15 minutes before connecting to the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, which would be scheduled to depart Tokyo Station at 8.03 p.m., and arrive at Kyoto Station at 11.01 p.m..

With that, I took the escalator back down to the fourth floor and went into the departures and check-in hall of the North Wing, where I changed to an elevator down towards the first floor of the terminal building, where the North Wing arrivals and meeting area was located. Once I was in the arrivals and meeting area of Narita International Airport Terminal 1 (North Wing) at 4.35 p.m., I went to a set of escalators leading to Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station, and walked along the underground passageway leading to the station concourse.

Arriving at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station at 4.40 p.m., I immediately went to check the departure information board to see which platform the Limited Express Narita Express No. 40 bound for Ofuna and Omiya would depart from. According to the departure information board, the Limited Express Narita Express No. 40 bound for Ofuna and Omiya would depart at 5.16 p.m. from Track No. 1. Though it was still early before my train to Ikebukuro, I went down to Tracks No. 1 and 2 to save some time to spot some trains while waiting.

Walking down the escalator to the fourth floor from the fifth floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 1

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

The arrivals and meeting hall in Terminal 1 (North Wing) at Narita International Airport

A Limited Express "Narita Express" train advertisement near the entrance to Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The escalators leading to the main entrance to Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The interior of the main station concourse of Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station during the late afternoon hours

The Keisei Line ticket office in the main station concourse at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station during the late afternoon hours

The JR Line ticketing gates at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station during the late afternoon hours

Walking down the escalator to the JR Line platforms at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

Tracks No. 1 and 2 serving the JR Line trains at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station during the late afternoon hours

The departure information board for the JR Line trains at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

Overlooking the Keisei Line tracks at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The logo of the 12-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 38 bound for Ofuna and Shinjuku, on Track No. 1 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

A 12-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 38 bound for Ofuna and Shinjuku, awaiting departure from Track No. 1 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

A 15-car E217 series EMU, operating on a "Rapid Service" bound for Kurihama via the Yokosuka Line, on Track No. 2 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The JR Line name plate on Tracks No. 1 and 2 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

An 8-car Keisei AE series EMU, operating on the Keisei Limited Express "Skyliner" No. 36 bound for Keisei Ueno, on Track No. 1 of the Keisei Line platforms at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

Track No. 1 at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station shortly before the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Ofuna and Omiya arrived at the station

After spending approximately 10 minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platforms, a 12-car E259 series EMU finally arrived at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station at 4.56 p.m. on Track No. 1. The train had just arrived from Ofuna and Ikebukuro as the Limited Express Narita Express No. 39 bound for Narita International Airport, and was to undergo extensive cleaning before becoming the Limited Express Narita Express No. 40 bound for Ofuna and Omiya, with Cars No. 1 through 6 being bound for Ofuna and Cars No. 7 through 12 being bound for Omiya.

The entire cleaning process took no more than approximately 10 minutes. Once the entire cleaning process was completed, the doors were opened again at 5.05 p.m. to allow the passengers to board the train. I then boarded the train via Car No. 11 and went to Car No. 12, which was the Green Car (first class) coach bound for Omiya, and went to my assigned Seat No. 3A for the early evening journey duration of 1 hour 37 minutes towards the busy hustle and bustle of Ikebukuro in downtown Toshima-ku, Tokyo.

The seat next to me, 3B, would remain empty throughout the journey towards Ikebukuro. At exactly 5.16 p.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Limited Express Narita Express No. 40 finally pulled out of Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station for its routine journey towards the Greater Tokyo Area. I was then on my way for an early evening travel duration of 1 hour 37 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Ikebukuro in downtown Toshima-ku, Tokyo. Strangely enough, I was the only passenger left in the Green Car (first class) cabin between Tokyo and Ikebukuro Stations.

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス40号 大宮・大船行き 成田空港駅に入線シーン

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

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

Tracks No. 1 and 2 serving the JR Line trains at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station with the two limited express trains serving Narita International Airport at the station

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

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, during the boarding process at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, during the boarding process at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, from my seat during the boarding process at Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

The Limited Express "Narita Express" on-board trolley refreshment service menu on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Ofuna and Omiya

Awaiting departure from Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Station

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス40号 大宮行き 成田空港 (発車) ~ 成田 (通過)

Bypassing a lush green forest in the rain near the suburban city of Narita

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

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, from my seat between Narita and Yotsukaido Stations

Bypassing some housing areas in the sparse, rural town of Shisui

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, between Narita and Yotsukaido Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, between Narita and Yotsukaido Stations

A view of my seat, 3A, between Narita and Yotsukaido Stations

Bypassing a lush green forest and field in the sparse, rural town of Shisui

Bypassing another forested area near the suburban city of Sakura

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Yotsukaido

Passing through Yotsukaido Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, from my seat between Yotsukaido and Chiba Stations

Bypassing some housing areas located in downtown Wakaba-ku, Chiba

Passing through Tsuga Station

Bypassing several housing areas in downtown Chuo-ku, Chiba

Passing through Higashi-chiba Station

Bypassing several housing areas in downtown Inage-ku, Chiba

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, from my seat between Chiba and Tokyo Stations

Bypassing several housing areas in the suburban city of Narashino

The on-board trolley refreshment service on board the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Ofuna and Omiya

A box of almond chocolates and a bottle of Coca-cola for myself

About to enjoy my box of almond chocolates

Bypassing several housing areas in the suburban city of Funabashi

Bypassing several housing areas in the suburban city of Ichikawa

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス40号 大宮行き 市川 (通過) ~ 東京 (到着)

Making a brief stop at Tokyo Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, between Tokyo and Shinagawa Stations

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, between Tokyo and Shinagawa Stations

A view of my seat, 3A, between Tokyo and Shinagawa Stations

Passing through Shimbashi Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, from my seat between Tokyo and Shinagawa Stations

Passing through Shinagawa Station

Bypassing several downtown infrastructure in downtown Minato-ku, Tokyo, near Shinagawa Station

Passing through Osaki Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, between Osaki and Shibuya Stations

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car E259 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, between Osaki and Shibuya Stations

Making a brief stop at Shibuya Station

E259系 特急成田エクスプレス40号 大宮行き 渋谷駅から池袋駅間

After a short and very rainy evening travel duration of 1 hour 37 minutes from the vicinity of Narita International Airport located in the suburban city of Narita, Chiba, I finally arrived at Ikebukuro Station at 6.53 p.m. on Track No. 3. Checking to see that I had left none of my belongings on board, I alighted the train and walked along the slippery platforms down to the main station concourse, where I went to check the departure information board to see which platform the closest Yamanote Line Outer Loop train would depart from.

According to the departure information board located in the station concourse, the closest Yamanote Line Outer Loop train would be scheduled to depart at seven o' clock from Track No. 7. Without wasting anymore time, I immediately proceeded to Tracks No. 7 and 8 in preparation for the short ride back to Tokyo Station located in the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. The platforms were beginning to become relatively crowded with waiting commuters as it was already the start of the early evening rush hour.

The 6-car E259 series EMU, which took me from Narita International Airport earlier as the Limited Express "Narita Express" No. 40 bound for Omiya, on Track No. 3 at Ikebukuro Station

Tracks No. 3 and 4 serving the Shonan-Shinjuku Line and Saikyo Line trains bound for Omiya and Takasaki at Ikebukuro Station during the early evening rush hour

The JR Line concourse leading to the platforms at Ikebukuro Station during the early evening rush hour

Overlooking the Yamanote Line platforms at Ikebukuro Station during the early evening rush hour

Tracks No. 7 and 8 serving the Yamanote Line Outer Loop trains at Ikebukuro Station during the early evening rush hour

Track No. 7 at Ikebukuro Station shortly before the seven o' clock Yamanote Line Outer Loop train arrived at the station

After spending just five minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platforms, an 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on the seven o' clock Yamanote Line Inner Loop service, finally arrived at Ikebukuro Station at seven o' clock on Track No. 7. Once the train doors were opened, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 3 and secured a seat for the very short early evening hop of just 23 minutes back towards Tokyo Station located in downtown Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

Soon enough, within just a few seconds, all the train doors were closed, and the Yamanote Line Outer Loop train finally pulled out of Ikebukuro Station for its routine evening journey round around the various 23 special wards of downtown Tokyo, with the cabin being slightly crowded as it was already the early evening rush hour. I was then on my way for a short evening journey duration of just 23 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of Tokyo Station in downtown Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

An 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on the seven o' clock Yamanote Line Outer Loop service, arriving at Ikebukuro Station on Track No. 7

The interior of the 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on a routine Yamanote Line Outer Loop service, during the boarding process at Ikebukuro Station

Finally departing Ikebukuro Station

Making a brief stop at Sugamo Station

Travelling through downtown Toshima-ku, Tokyo, between Sugamo and Tabata Stations

Making a brief stop at Tabata Station

Making a brief stop at Nishi-nippori Station

Making a brief stop at Nippori Station

The interior of the 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on a routine Yamanote Line Outer Loop service, between Nippori and Uguisudani Stations

Making a brief stop at Uguisudani Station

Overlooking the Takasaki Line, Tohoku Main Line and Joban Line tracks shortly before arriving at Ueno Station

Making a brief stop at Ueno Station

Travelling through downtown Taito-ku, Tokyo, between Ueno and Okachimachi Stations

The interior of the 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on a routine Yamanote Line Outer Loop service, between Ueno and Kanda Stations

Travelling through downtown Taito-ku and Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, between Ueno and Kanda Stations

Making a brief stop at Kanda Station

The interior of the 11-car E231 series EMU, operating on a routine Yamanote Line Outer Loop service, between Kanda and Tokyo Stations

Finally arriving back at Tokyo Station

After a short and rainy early evening travel duration of just 23 minutes from the lively hustle and bustle of Ikebukuro in downtown Toshima-ku, Tokyo, I finally arrived at Tokyo Station at 7.23 p.m. on Track No. 5. Being sure to check that I had left none of my belongings behind, I alighted from the train and took the escalator down to the JR Line concourse before I made my way to the Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen concourse of the station, eventually arriving at the Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen interchange ticketing gates by 7.30 p.m..

Upon showing my Japan Rail Pass to the staff at the manned interchange ticketing gates, I immediately went to check to see which platform the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka would depart from. According to the departure information board, the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka would depart at 8.03 p.m. from Track No. 17. Without wasting anymore time, I quickly took the escalators up to Tracks No. 16 and 17 in preparation for the final segment of the day back to Kyoto.

Tracks No. 5 and 6 serving the Yamanote Line Outer Loop and Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line trains bound for Yokohama and Ofuna at Tokyo Station during the early evening rush hour

Walking down the escalator to the JR Line concourse at Tokyo Station during the early evening rush hour

The JR Line concourse of Tokyo Station during the early evening rush hour

A "Thomas & Friends: 110 Children's Safety Stations" placard in the JR Line concourse at Tokyo Station

The Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen ticketing gates at Tokyo Station during the early evening rush hour

The Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen concourse of Tokyo Station during the early evening rush hour

The logo of the 16-car JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G10, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 129 bound for Hiroshima, on Track No. 16 at Tokyo Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G10, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 129 bound for Hiroshima, on Track No. 16 at Tokyo Station

Tracks No. 16 and 17 serving some of the Tokaido Shinkansen trains at Tokyo Station during the early evening rush hour

The departure information board departing for Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen trains departing from Tracks No. 16 and 17 at Tokyo Station

Tracks No. 16 and 17 at Tokyo Station with two N700 Series Shinkansen trains at the platforms during the early evening rush hour

An out-of-service 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z33 on Track No. 16 at Tokyo Station. I remember riding on this train for my 15th birthday as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 60 between Shin-osaka and Tokyo in May & June 2010

The logo of an out-of-service 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z33 on Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station

A 16-car JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G9, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 259 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 18 at Tokyo Station

Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station shortly before the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka arrived at the station

After spending approximately 10 minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platforms, a 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39 finally entered Tokyo Station at 7.47 p.m. on Track No. 17. The train had arrived as the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 670 from Shin-osaka earlier, and was to undergo extensive cleaning before becoming the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka. The cleaning process took no more than approximately 15 minutes.

Once the cleaning process was completed, the doors were finally opened again at 7.58 p.m. to allow the passengers to board the train. I immediately went through Car No. 8, and into Car No. 9, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, and headed towards my assigned Seat No. 7D for the rainy late night journey time of 2 hours 58 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Kyoto. The seat next to me, 7C, would remain empty for the whole return trip back to Kyoto.

After the clock struck exactly 8.03 p.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 533 finally pulled out of Tokyo Station for its late night trip of 3 hours 13 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka in the Kansai region of Japan. I was then on my way for a late night journey time of 2 hours 58 minutes towards the hustle and bustle of the historical capital of Japan. The weather gradually started to change from rainy to cloudy as the train approached Shizuoka and Aichi Prefectures.

700系新幹線 C39編成 ひかり533号 新大阪行き 東京駅に入線シーン

The logo of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station

Tracks No. 16 and 17 at Tokyo Station with a 700 Series Shinkansen train and an N700A Series Shinkansen train at the platforms

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station

The 16-car 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station

A 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C58, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 419 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 15 at Tokyo Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C58, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 419 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 15 at Tokyo Station

The train departure information board for Tokaido Shinkansen trains departing from Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station, indicating that the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka is the first train to depart

Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station shortly before the cleaning process for the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka was completed

A view of my seat, 7D, during the boarding process on Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process on Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process on Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station

Awaiting departure from Tokyo Station

700系新幹線 C39編成 ひかり533号 新大阪行き 東京駅から新横浜駅間

Making a brief stop at Shin-yokohama Station

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, from my seat between Shin-yokohama and Odawara Stations

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

Crafting out my essay report for the return segment to Kyoto on my blog

Travelling through the suburban city of Chigasaki at night

Travelling through the suburban town of Ninomiya at night

700系新幹線 C39編成 ひかり533号 新大阪行き 小田原 (通過) ~ 三島 (通過)

Travelling through the suburban city of Mishima at night

Reading through "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" on my iPad

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, from my seat between Mishima and Shin-fuji Stations

Travelling through the suburban city of Fuji at night

Passing through Shin-fuji Station

A view of my seat, 7D, between Shin-fuji and Shizuoka Stations

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, between Shin-fuji and Shizuoka Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, between Shin-fuji and Shizuoka Stations

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, from my seat between Shin-fuji and Shizuoka Stations

Making a brief stop at Shizuoka Station

A 16-car N700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 131 bound for Okayama, bypassing my train at Shizuoka Station

A 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C58, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 419 bound for Shin-osaka, bypassing my train at Shizuoka Station

Crossing the Abe River shortly after departing Shizuoka Station at night

Passing through Kakegawa Station

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, from my seat between Kakegawa and Hamamatsu Stations

Crossing the Tenryu River as the train approaches Hamamatsu Station at night

Bypassing some downtown infrastructure in downtown Hamamatsu as the train approaches Hamamatsu Station at night

Making a brief stop at Hamamatsu Station

A 16-car N700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 261 bound for Shin-osaka, bypassing my train at Hamamatsu Station

A view of my seat, 7D, between Hamamatsu and Toyohashi Stations

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, between Hamamatsu and Toyohashi Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, between Hamamatsu and Toyohashi Stations

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, from my seat between Hamamatsu and Toyohashi Stations

Air France Boeing 777-328/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (506892-002)

Travelling through the suburban city of Toyohashi at night

Passing through Toyohashi Station

Travelling through the suburban city of Anjo at night

700系新幹線 C39編成 ひかり533号 新大阪行き 三河安城 (通過) ~ 名古屋 (到着)

Making a brief stop at Nagoya Station

700系新幹線 C39編成 ひかり533号 新大阪行き 名古屋駅から岐阜羽島駅間

Making a brief stop at Gifu-hashima Station

A 16-car N700 Series Shinkansen train, operating on the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 133 bound for Okayama, bypassing my train at Gifu-hashima Station

Travelling through the suburban city of Ogaki at night

A typical pair of Green Car (first class) seats on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, between Gifu-hashima and Maibara Stations

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, between Gifu-hashima and Maibara Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, between Gifu-hashima and Maibara Stations

The overall view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, from my seat between Gifu-hashima and Maibara Stations

Travelling near the suburban city of Maibara at night

Bypassing an arcade centre in the suburban city of Maibara at night

Overlooking the Hokuriku Main Line tracks as the train approaches Maibara Station at night

Making a brief stop at Maibara Station

700系新幹線 C39編成 ひかり533号 新大阪行き 米原駅でのぞみ423号の通過待ち

700系新幹線 C39編成 ひかり533号 新大阪行き 米原駅から京都駅間

After a late night high-speed Shinkansen duration of 2 hours 58 minutes from the rainy lively hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo, I finally arrived back at Kyoto Station at 11.01 p.m. on Track No. 14. Checking that I had left none of my belongings behind, I alighted the train and filmed a video of its departure before taking the escalator down to the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse before changing to another set of escalators to the ground floor concourse. The station was relatively quiet as the last eastbound Shinkansen trains had already departed.

Upon exiting through the ground floor Shinkansen ticketing gates, I went out to the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance and crossed the road to the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto, where I found my dad waiting for me in our rented Toyota car. I then loaded all my belongings into the boot of the car before getting in. Soon enough, we finally departed the vicinity of Kyoto Station at 11.15 p.m. for a short late night road drive of no more than just 15 minutes back to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya located in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto.

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C39, operating on the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 14 at Kyoto Station

700系新幹線 C39編成 ひかり533号 新大阪行き 京都駅から出発シーン

The Tokaido Shinkansen platforms at Kyoto Station during the late night hours

The Tokaido Shinkansen concourse leading to the platforms at Kyoto Station during the late night hours

The ground floor Shinkansen concourse at Kyoto Station during the late night hours

The exterior view of Kyoto Station from the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance during the late night hours

Our rented Toyota car waiting for me by the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto

Finally departing Kyoto Station

Overlooking the Kintetsu Line and Tokaido Shinkansen tracks near Kyoto Station

Travelling between downtown Shimogyo-ku and Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, at night

Travelling along the roads of downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, late at night

Travelling through a dimly-lit alley near the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, late at night

Finally arriving back at the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

After a short and quick late night road drive of 15 minutes from Kyoto Station in downtown Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, we finally arrived back at the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at 11.30 p.m.. Grabbing my belongings from the boot of the car, I went inside while my dad went to park the car. Once I was in the Machiya itself, I put up my electronic devices to be charged and went to have a nice hot shower before changing into my pyjamas.

Upon changing into my pyjamas, I had a late night supper and was left to my own devices to keep me company for the rest of the night. Since I was to make another day trip to Kansai International Airport the next day, I set up my mobile phone and watch to be charged so as not to have the battery powers depleted the next day. Soon enough, by around one or two o' clock late that night, I finally turned in for a well-earned good night's rest.

Part 3 ~ Another Trip To Kansai International Airport

The next morning, which was Saturday (7 June), I woke up at around 9.30 a.m. after having a well-earned good night's sleep. Getting out of bed, I went to have a nice, hot shower and changed into my attire for the day before getting my necessary belongings ready. I was to take another afternoon shopping trip to Kansai International Airport on this day, as stated on my train itinerary plans in Japan.

For the in-bound trip to Kansai International Airport, I would catch the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, which would be scheduled to depart Kyoto Station at 1.15 p.m., and arrive at the Kansai Airport terminal station at 2.34 p.m.. I was quite lucky since I had made my Green Car (first class) seat reservations the day before the trip at Kyoto Station.

I then took my mobile phone and called the MK Cab company and decided to arrange for an MK cab to the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance at Kyoto Station to pick me up at 11.30 a.m.. To my surprise, the recipient of my cab reservation call could understand English, and she had agreed to arrange for an MK cab to pick me up from the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at the stated timing. While waiting for my pre-arranged 11.30 a.m. MK cab to Kyoto Station, I went to prepare my necessary belongings for the day.

The bar area inside the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya during the mid-morning hours

The small garden and gazebo located outside our living room at the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya during the mid-morning hours

The inside of my bedroom in the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya during the mid-morning hours

After spending the rest of the morning packing up my necessary belongings for the day, my pre-arranged MK Cab to Kyoto Station finally showed up at the main entrance to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at 11.30 a.m., which was just as scheduled. The driver then got out of the cab and offered to load my baggage into the boot of the cab, where I informed him that my intended destination at Kyoto Station was the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance.

I then boarded the MK Cab while the driver helped to load my baggage into the boot of the cab. Soon enough, within just a few seconds after everything was loaded, I finally departed the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya for Kyoto Station in downtown Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto. Like all the other previous road trips, the entire journey linking between the Mibu Machiya and Kyoto Station located in downtown Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, took no more than 15 minutes.

The MK cab that would soon take me to Kyoto Station outside the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

About to depart the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

Bypassing a small house in a narrow alley in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

Bypassing a small housing flat in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

Bypassing an office building between downtown Nakagyo-ku and Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

Overlooking the Kintetsu Line and Tokaido Shinkansen tracks near Kyoto Station in the afternoon

Travelling adjacent to the Tokaido Shinkansen viaduct near Kyoto Station in the afternoon

The exterior view of the New Miyako Hotel Kyoto just as I approach the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance at Kyoto Station

Finally arriving at the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance to Kyoto Station

After a short MK Cab ride from the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, I finally arrived at the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance to Kyoto Station at 11.45 a.m.. Before paying my cab fare, the driver offered to help me unload my baggage from the boot of his cab. Upon having all of my belongings with me, I thanked the MK Cab driver for his services and took the escalators up to the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse before changing to another set of escalators to the JR Line concourse.

Arriving at the JR Line concourse, I showed my Japan Rail Pass at the staffed ticket gate and went to check the departure information board to see which platform the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport would depart from. According to the departure information board, the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport would depart at 1.15 p.m. from Track No. 30.

Though it was still too early before my train to Kansai International Airport, I walked along the station concourse and took the escalators down to Tracks No. 30 and 31 so that I could do some of my usual train-spotting activities while waiting for the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport. At the same time, I also went to purchase some light snacks and beverages from a kiosk on Tracks No. 30 and 31.

The ground floor Shinkansen concourse at Kyoto Station during the early afternoon hours at the entrance

The Tokaido Shinkansen ticketing concourse of Kyoto Station during the early afternoon hours

The crowded JR Line concourse of Kyoto Station during the early afternoon rush hour

A "Thomas & Friends: 110 Children's Safety Stations" placard in the JR Line concourse at Kyoto Station

The departure information board for Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" trains in the JR Line concourse at Kyoto Station

The passageway leading to Track No. 0 and the San'in Main Line platforms at Kyoto Station

Tracks No. 31 to 33 serving the San'in Main Line trains at Kyoto Station

The departure information board for trains departing from Tracks No. 30 and 31 at Kyoto Station

A 4-car 221 series EMU, operating on a San'in Main Line "Rapid Service" bound for Sonobe, on Track No. 32 at Kyoto Station

A 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 23 bound for Kansai International Airport, on Track No. 30 at Kyoto Station

A 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C38, operating on the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 654 bound for Tokyo, approaching Kyoto Station

A 7-car 321 series EMU, operating on a local service bound for Nishi-akashi, approaching Kyoto Station

A 12-car 223 series EMU, operating on the "Special Rapid Service" bound for Omi-shiotsu via Maibara, approaching Kyoto Station on Track No. 2

Track No. 30 serving the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" trains linking to Kansai International Airport at Kyoto Station

A 6-car KTR 8000 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Hashidate" & "Maizuru" No. 5 bound for Toyooka via Amanohashidate and Higashi-maizuru, on Track No. 31 at Kyoto Station

A 12-car 683 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Thunderbird" No. 17 bound for Toyama via Kanazawa, approaching Kyoto Station

A 7-car 207 series EMU, operating on a local service bound for Nishi-akashi, approaching Kyoto Station

281系 関空特急はるか23号 関西国際空港行き 京都駅から出発シーン

Track No. 30 serving the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" trains linking to Kansai International Airport at Kyoto Station shortly before the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport arrived at the station

After spending approximately 35 minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platforms, a 6-car 281 series EMU finally arrived at Kyoto Station at 12.31 p.m. on Track No. 30. The train had arrived from Kansai International Airport as the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 16 bound for Kyoto earlier, and was to undergo extensive cleaning before becoming the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport. The entire cleaning process took no more than approximately 10 minutes.

Once the entire cleaning process was completed, the doors were finally opened again at 12.40 p.m. to allow the passengers to board the train. With that, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 1, which was the Green Car (first class) coach, and went towards my assigned Seat No. 5A for the short afternoon journey duration of just 1 hour 19 minutes to Kansai International Airport. The seat just adjacent to me, 5B, would remain vacant for the entire afternoon journey towards Kansai International Airport.

With the clock striking exactly 1.15 p.m. sharp, all of the train doors were closed, and the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 25 finally pulled out of Kyoto Station for its short afternoon travel duration of just 1 hour 19 minutes towards Kansai International Airport. I was then on my way for a short and quick afternoon travel duration of just 1 hour 19 minutes towards Kansai International Airport located on the artificial island surrounded by the waters of Osaka Bay.

281系 関空特急はるか25号 関西国際空港行き 京都駅に入線シーン

The 6-car 281 series EMU, which would soon operate on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, on Track No. 30 at Kyoto Station

The LED destination panel of the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, on Track No. 30 at Kyoto Station

Tracks No. 30 and 31 serving the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" trains bound for Kansai International Airport and the San'in Main Line trains at Kyoto Station

The logo of the 6-car 281 series EMU, which would soon operate on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, on Track No. 30 at Kyoto Station

A 9-car 681 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Thunderbird" No. 19 bound for Wakura-onsen via Kanazawa, entering Kyoto Station on Track No. 0

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, during the boarding process at Kyoto Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, during the boarding process at Kyoto Station

A view of my seat, 5A, during the boarding process at Kyoto Station

Another front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, during the boarding process at Kyoto Station

Another rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, during the boarding process at Kyoto Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, from my seat during the boarding process at Kyoto Station

Awaiting departure from Kyoto Station

281系 関空特急はるか25号 関西国際空港行き 京都 (発車) ~ 島本 (通過)

Travelling past a hilly settlement area near the suburban city of Takatsuki

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, from my seat between Yamazaki and Takatsuki Stations

Passing through Takatsuki Station

Travelling through the suburban city of Takatsuki

Bypassing some suburban infrastructure near Settsu-tonda Station

Passing through Settsu-tonda Station

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Ibaraki

Passing through Ibaraki Station

Crossing a flyover rail bridge towards the Umeda Freight Line between Ibaraki and Senrioka Stations

Passing through Kishibe Station

Bypassing a freight container railway yard in the suburban city of Suita

Passing through Suita Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, between Suita and Shin-osaka Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, between Suita and Shin-osaka Stations

Making a brief stop at Shin-osaka Station

281系 関空特急はるか25号 関西国際空港行き 新大阪駅から天王寺駅間

Making a brief stop at Tennoji Station

281系 関空特急はるか25号 関西国際空港行き 天王寺 (発車) ~ 上野芝 (通過)

Bypassing some suburban housing areas in Nishi-ku, Sakai

Passing through Tsukuno Station

Passing through Otori Station

A view of my seat, 5A, between Otori and Kita-shinoda Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, between Otori and Kita-shinoda Stations

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 bound for Kansai International Airport, between Otori and Kita-shinoda Stations

Passing through Kita-shinoda Station

Bypassing a farming area in the suburban city of Izumi

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

After a short journey duration of just 1 hour 19 minutes from the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Kyoto, I finally arrived at the Kansai Airport terminal station at 2.34 p.m. on Track No. 4. Checking to see that none of my belongings behind on board, I alighted the train and decided to film a video of a Nankai Airport Limited Express Rapi:t train arriving at the station from Namba in downtown Chuo-ku, Osaka before taking the elevator up to the main station concourse, where I showed my Japan Rail Pass to the lady at the staffed ticketing gate.

Upon exiting the main station concourse, I walked along the pedestrian footbridge linking to the main passenger terminal building, eventually entering it through the second floor by 2.45 p.m.. Since I was feeling very hungry already, I decided to look for a good restaurant to eat at for lunch first before looking for a good shop to shop at. Without anymore hesitations, I took the elevator up to the third floor of the airport passenger terminal building, and looked through the various restaurants available to see which one would attract my interests.

The 6-car 281 series EMU, which transported me to Kansai International Airport as the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 25 from Kyoto earlier, on Track No. 4 at Kansai Airport Station

Tracks No. 3 and 4 serving the JR line trains towards downtown Osaka and Kyoto at Kansai Airport Station during the early afternoon hours

南海50000系 空港特急ラピートβ51号 関西国際空港行き 終点関西空港駅に入線シーン

The Nankai Tourist Support Center in the main station concourse of Kansai Airport Station during the early afternoon hours

The main station concourse of Kansai Airport Station during the early afternoon hours

The exterior view of Kansai Airport Station during the early afternoon hours

Looking up all the way towards the fourth level of the main passenger terminal at Kansai International Airport

The domestic flight level on the second floor of the passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport

A lineup of restaurants on the third floor of the passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport

Finally stumbling upon KYK Restaurant in the third level of the passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport

After looking at the various restaurants available on the third floor of the main passenger terminal building very carefully, I finally stumbled upon KYK Restaurant again at 2.55 p.m., having eaten here just five days earlier. Feeling very hungry already, I immediately entered the restaurant and requested for a table for myself. I was then directed to an empty table by the entrance and was left with the food and beverage menus to make my reviews before placing my main meal orders for lunch.

Having a good review through the food and beverage menus, a waitress finally came by to my table to take down my main meal orders for lunch. I placed an order for a deep-fried Tonkatsu pork prime fillet meal set, a side order of a deep-fried Tonkatsu pork loin, along with a glass of red wine to accompany the upcoming lunch. That afternoon, I had a very sumptuous and filling lunch of succulent deep-fried Tonkatsu pork at KYK Restaurant at Kansai International Airport, with the red wine being a perfect complement.

Upon finishing my succulent deep-fried Tonkatsu pork lunch at KYK Restaurant, I was finally stuffed to the brim at 3.25 p.m.. Paying up my lunch bill and leaving the restaurant at 3.30 p.m., I decided to look for a good shop to shop at before doing anything else at Kansai International Airport. With that, I looked at the various shops available on the third floor of the main passenger terminal building to search for one that would be the most suitable for my tastes and preferences.

The interior of KYK Restaurant during lunch hours on the third floor of the main passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport

Reviewing the food and beverage menu for KYK Restaurant in the third level of the main passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport

A glass of red wine to accompany my upcoming Tonkatsu meal

An overall view of my Tonkatsu meal during lunchtime

A deep-fried Tonkatsu pork fillet meal for myself as the main lunch course

A platter of deep-fried Tonkatsu pork loin for myself

The interior of KYK Restaurant during lunch hours on the third floor of the main passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport shortly before I left

A small area on the third floor of the passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport on the right side under renovation

Finally stumbling upon Hakuhinkan Toy Park in the third floor at Kansai International Airport

After looking through the various shops available in the third floor of the central passenger terminal building, I finally managed to stumble upon Hakuhinkan Toy Park again at 3.35 p.m.. Entering the shop, I looked at the various items on sale carefully before making my selections on which aircraft model to purchase. While I was shopping at Hakuhinkan Toy Park, I managed to purchase an Airbus A380 Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 commercial aircraft model to be added into my massive Herpa Wings aircraft collection.

Upon purchasing my Airbus A380 Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 aircraft model, I quickly took the escalator up to the fourth floor, where the international departures and check-in area was located, and stumbled upon a cafeteria, known as Eikokuya AZERIA (英国屋 アゼリア店), at 3.55 p.m.. Parking myself at an empty table, a waiter provided me with the food and beverage menus to make my reviews before placing my main orders for the light afternoon tea at the cafeteria itself.

Once I had made a good review through the food and beverage menus, the waiter came by to my table to take down my orders, where I simply had a cup of hot cocoa with whip cream and sugar. With my hot cocoa delivered to my table, I took a sip and discovered that the hot cocoa tasted exquisite with the sugar and whip cream being good accompaniments. As a result of its nice taste, I could not resist ordering another cup of hot cocoa again.

As for the new Airbus A380 Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 aircraft model I had purchased, it was, as follows:

1) China Southern Airlines Airbus A380-841 Herpa Scale 1:500 (513401)

China Southern Airlines Airbus A380-841 Herpa Scale 1:500 (513401)

The exterior view of Hakuhinkan Toy Park in the third floor of the main passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport

The international departure information board in the third floor of the main passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport

The international departures and check-in hall at Kansai International Airport during the late afternoon hours

Two small cafeterias in the departures and check-in area on the fourth floor at Kansai International Airport

The overall view of Eikokuya AZERIA Cafeteria (英国屋 アゼリア店) in the international departures and check-in area on the fourth floor at Kansai International Airport

The cover page for the food and beverage menu of Eikokuya AZERIA Cafeteria (英国屋 アゼリア店) in the international departures and check-in area on the fourth floor at Kansai International Airport

Reviewing the food and beverage menu of Eikokuya AZERIA Cafeteria (英国屋 アゼリア店) in the international departures and check-in area on the fourth floor at Kansai International Airport

My first cup of nice, warm hot cocoa at Eikokuya AZERIA Cafeteria (英国屋 アゼリア店)

My second cup of nice, warm hot cocoa at Eikokuya AZERIA Cafeteria (英国屋 アゼリア店)

After spending about two hours of shopping and dining at Kansai International Airport, the clock was finally showing 4.45 p.m.. Knowing that it was soon time to head back to Kyoto by train, I decided to head back to Kansai Airport Station. For the return trip back to Kyoto, I would catch the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 32 bound for Kyoto, which would be scheduled to depart Kansai Airport Station at 5.46 p.m., and arrive at the Kyoto terminal station at 7.02 p.m..

With that, I paid my tea bill and left the cafeteria, heading towards the elevator lobby, where I caught the nearest elevator down to the second floor of the passenger terminal building. Arriving at the second floor by 4.50 p.m., I promptly exited the passenger terminal building and walked across the pedestrian footbridge linking to Kansai Airport Station. Once I was in the station concourse, I immediately went to check to see which platform the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 32 bound for Kyoto would depart from.

According to the departure information board, the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 32 bound for Kyoto would depart at 5.46 p.m. from Track No. 4. Though it was still too early before my return train back to Kyoto, I showed my Japan Rail Pass to the lady at the staffed JR Line ticketing gate and took the elevator down towards Tracks No. 3 and 4 at 4.55 p.m.. While waiting for the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 32 bound for Kyoto, I spotted some trains on the platforms to pass the time.

The international departures and check-in hall at Kansai International Airport during the late afternoon hours shortly before I headed back to Kansai Airport Station

Looking up all the way towards the fourth level of the main passenger terminal at Kansai International Airport as I make my way back to Kansai Airport Station

The exterior view of Kansai Airport Station during the late afternoon hours

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

The Nankai Line ticketing gates in the main station concourse of Kansai Airport Station during the late afternoon hours

The JR Line ticketing gates in the station concourse of Kansai Airport Station during the late afternoon hours

The Nankai Tourist Support Center in the main station concourse of Kansai Airport Station during the late afternoon hours

The JR Ticket Office in the main station concourse of Kansai Airport Station during the late afternoon hours

A "Thomas & Friends: 110 Children's Safety Stations" placard in the JR Line ticketing gate at Kansai Airport Station

A 4-car 225 series EMU, operating on a "Kansai Airport Rapid Service" bound for Tennoji, on Track No. 4 at Shin-osaka Station

A 6-car special red-liveried Nankai 50000 series EMU, operating on the Nankai Airport Limited Express "Rapi:t β" No. 60 bound for Namba, on Track No. 1 at Kansai Airport Station

The overall view of the station platforms of Kansai Airport Station during the late afternoon hours

A 4-car 225 series EMU, operating on the "Kansai Airport Rapid Service" bound for downtown Osaka, awaiting departure from Track No. 3 at Kansai Airport Station

An out-of-service Nankai 50000 series EMU, which previously operated as the Nankai Airport Limited Express "Rapi:t β" No. 55 between Nankai Namba and Kansai International Airport, on Track No. 1 at Kansai Airport Station

A 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 30 bound for Kyoto, awaiting departure from Track No. 4 at Kansai Airport Station

281系 関空特急はるか30号 京都行き 関西空港駅から出発シーン

Tracks No. 3 and 4 serving the JR line trains towards downtown Osaka and Kyoto at Kansai Airport Station during the early evening hours

A 6-car Nankai 50000 series EMU, operating on the Nankai Airport Limited Express "Rapi:t β" No. 62 bound for Namba, on Track No. 1 at Kansai Airport Station

Track No. 4 at Kansai Airport Station shortly before the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto arrived at the station

After spending approximately 35 minutes of anticipated waiting on the platforms, a 6-car 281 series EMU finally arrived at Kansai Airport Station at 5.32 p.m. on Track No. 4. The train had initially arrived from Kyoto as the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 31 bound for Kansai International Airport earlier, and was to undergo an extensive cleaning process before becoming the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 32 bound for Kyoto. The entire cleaning process took no more than just 10 minutes.

Once the entire train cleaning process was completed, the train doors were finally opened again at 5.40 p.m. to allow the passengers to board the train to Kyoto. Without wasting anymore time, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 1, which was the Green Car (first class) coach, and went towards my assigned Seat No. 8C for the short early evening journey duration of just 1 hour 16 minutes back towards the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Kyoto.

With the clock striking exactly 5.46 p.m. sharp, all of the train doors were closed, and the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 32 finally pulled out of Kansai Airport Station for its short early evening travel duration of just 1 hour 16 minutes towards the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Kyoto. I was then on my way for a short early evening travel duration of 1 hour 16 minutes back to the lively hustle and bustle of the historical capital city of Japan.

281系 関空特急はるか32号 京都行き 関西空港駅に入線シーン

The 6-car 281 series EMU, which would soon operate on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, on Track No. 4 at Kansai Airport Station

The LED destination panel of the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, on Track No. 4 at Kansai Airport Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, during the boarding process at Kansai Airport Station

A view of my seat, 8C, during the boarding process at Kansai Airport Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, during the boarding process at Kansai Airport Station

Awaiting departure from Kansai Airport Station

281系 関空特急はるか32号 京都行き 関西空港 (発車) ~ 下松 (通過)

Passing through Kumeda Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, between Kumeda and Izumi-fuchu Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, between Kumeda and Izumi-fuchu Stations

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, from my seat between Kumeda and Izumi-fuchu Stations

Passing through Izumi-fuchu Stations

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Izumi

My Green Car (first class) limited express ticket for the return segment between Kansai International Airport and Kyoto

Bypassing some housing areas in Nishi-ku, Sakai

Bypassing a local train depot near Otori Station in Nishi-ku, Sakai

281系 関空特急はるか32号 京都行き 鳳 (通過) ~ 天王寺 (到着)

Making a brief stop at Tennoji Station

281系 関空特急はるか32号 京都行き 天王寺駅から新大阪駅間

Making a brief stop at Shin-osaka Station

Bypassing the Tokaido Main Line local tracks near Higashi-yodogawa Station

Passing through Higashi-yodogawa Station

Bypassing some suburban infrastructure in the suburban city of Suita

Passing through Suita Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, between Suita and Ibaraki Stations

Passing through Kishibe Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, between Suita and Ibaraki Stations

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, from my seat between Suita and Ibaraki Stations

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Ibaraki near Ibaraki Station

Passing through Ibaraki Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, between Ibaraki and Settsu-tonda Stations

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 6-car 281 series EMU, operating on the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, between Ibaraki and Settsu-tonda Stations

A view of my seat, 8C, between Ibaraki and Settsu-tonda Stations

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Ibaraki

Passing through Settsu-tonda Station

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Takatsuki

281系 関空特急はるか32号 京都行き 高槻 (通過) ~ 京都 (到着)

After a short early evening journey duration of 1 hour 16 minutes from Kansai International Airport located on the surrounding waters of Osaka Bay, I finally arrived back at the Kyoto terminal station at 7.02 p.m. on Track No. 30. Being sure to check that I had left none of my belongings on board, I alighted the train and took the escalators up towards the JR Line concourse of the station, where I showed my Japan Rail Pass to the ticketing officer at the staffed ticketing gate before exiting the JR Line concourse.

The JR Line concourse was beginning to get very crowded as it was already the start of the evening rush hour. Upon exiting the JR Line concourse, I took the escalator down towards the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse, before transferring to another set of escalators down to the Hachijo West Exit of the station. Exiting the station, I crossed the road leading to the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto, where the MK cab stand was located, so that I could get an MK cab back to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto.

Reaching the MK cab stand at the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto at 7.15 p.m., I hailed the nearest MK cab available and informed the driver to take me to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya located in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto. The MK cab driver, who managed to understand the address, offered to help load my baggage into the boot of his cab. Soon enough, I finally departed the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto at 7.20 p.m., with the entire early evening journey back to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya taking no more than just 15 minutes.

Tracks No. 30 and 31 serving the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" trains bound for Kansai International Airport and the San'in Main Line trains at Kyoto Station during the early evening hours

The 6-car 281 series EMU, which previously took me from Kansai International Airport as the Kansai Airport Limited Express "Haruka" No. 32 bound for Kyoto, on Track No. 30 at Kyoto Station

A 7-car 287 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Kinosaki" No. 15 & "Maizuru" No. 13 bound for Toyooka and Higashi-maizuru, on Track No. 31 at Kyoto Station

Tracks No. 31 to 33 serving the San'in Main Line trains at Kyoto Station during the early evening rush hour

The main station concourse leading to the JR Line platforms at Kyoto Station during the early evening rush hour

The JR Line concourse of Kyoto Station during the early evening rush hour

Walking along the passageway leading to the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse from the JR Line concourse at Kyoto Station during the early evening rush hour

The Tokaido Shinkansen ticketing gates at Kyoto Station during the early evening rush hour

The Tokaido Shinkansen ticketing concourse of Kyoto Station during the early evening rush hour

The cab stands located outside the Hachijo Shinkansen entrance at Kyoto Station

The exterior view of Kyoto Station during the early evening hours

The exterior view of the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto during the early evening hours

The MK cab stand located just below the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto during the early evening hours

Finally departing the Ibis Style Hotel Kyoto

Travelling parallel to the Tokaido Shinkansen viaduct near Kyoto Station during the early evening hours

Bypassing the Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto near Kyoto Station

Travelling past an old and large temple between downtown Shimogyo-ku and Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, in the early evening hours

Turning towards downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, at a road junction during the early evening hours

Travelling past some housing apartments in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, in the early evening hours

Travelling along a secluded and quiet alley near the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya during the early evening hours

Arriving back at the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at 7.35 p.m.

After a very short 15-minute early evening MK cab ride from Kyoto Station in downtown Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, I finally arrived back at the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at 7.35 p.m.. Paying up my cab fare, the driver offered to help me unload my baggage from the boot of his cab, which I thanked him for. Claiming the Machiya key from the key locker, I opened the front door and went into the Machiya itself for a well-earned evening rest until my family returned from their outings.

It was not long until my family returned from their day out at around 7.45 p.m., which I had not expected as I was looking forward to a well-earned rest. Explaining to me that they had plans to go out for dinner, I grabbed my haversack and followed them to our rented Toyota car, which was waiting just near the Machiya. Soon enough, we finally departed the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at 7.55 p.m., where we drove around the area of Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, in search for a good restaurant to eat at for dinner.

The view of my bedroom shortly after I had just arrived back at the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

The interior of the kitchen in the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at night

The spare tatami room with my parents' bed sheets laid out near the living room in the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

The exterior view of the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at night

Travelling along the roads of Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, near the alley leading to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at night

Travelling along the roads of downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, at night

Travelling past some housing areas between downtown Nakagyo-ku and Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, at night

Travelling past some office buildings and housing flats in downtown Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, at night

Finally arriving at Washoku Sato Family Restaurant (和食さと)

After a short night road drive of just 15 minutes from the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, we finally arrived at a local family restaurant, known as Washoku Sato (和食さと), at 8.10 p.m.. Parking our car at the car parking area near the restaurant itself, we walked up to the double-storey restaurant building and promptly went into the restaurant. At the restaurant reception counter, we immediately requested for one non-smoking table for the four of us.

Soon enough, we were finally directed to an empty non-smoking table located near a few window tables and were left with the food and beverage menus to make our reviews before placing our main meal orders for dinner. Once we were ready to eat, we saw that there were electronic iPad menus, and we made use of those to order whatever food items that would suit our tastes and preferences, as well as drinks, such as wines. That night, we had a very sumptuous and filling family dinner at Washoku Sato.

Overlooking Jyu-jyu Karubi Yakiniku Restaurant from the entrance to Washoku Sato

The entrance to Washoku Sato Family Restaurant in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

The interior view of Washoku Sato Family Restaurant in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, shortly after we arrived at our table

The cover page for the Sato-shabu menu at Washoku Sato Family Restaurant in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

Reviewing the Sato-shabu menu at Washoku Sato Family Restaurant in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

The cover page for the Grand Menu at Washoku Sato Family Restaurant in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

Reviewing the Grand Menu of Washoku Sato Family Restaurant in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

A bottle of white wine to accompany the upcoming family dinner

A steak bowl meal set for my dad

Two small baskets of deep-fried chicken wings to be shared among us

A pot of vegetable hot pot for my mum

A pot of beef sukiyaki for my younger brother

A pot of beef sukiyaki for myself

Two platters containing sliced pork and beef for our sukiyaki courses

The interior view of Washoku Sato Family Restaurant in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, shortly before we left for the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

After having a huge and sumptuous family dinner at Washoku Sato Family Restaurant, the clock was finally showing 9.45 p.m.. Feeling stuffed to the brim already, we decided to head back to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya. With that, we headed to the cashier counter to pay our dinner bill and took the stairs down to the car parking area located just adjacent to the restaurant buildings, where our rented Toyota car was parked.

Arriving at our car, we loaded our belongings into the car and hopped on board for the short late night drive back to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto. Soon enough, once everything was loaded and all of us were on board, we finally departed Washoku Sato Family Restaurant at 9.50 p.m.. The entire road journey back to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya took no more than just 20 minutes.

Overlooking the main roads of Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, from Washoku Sato Family Restaurant at night

Arriving back at our rented Toyota car at the car parking area near Washoku Sato Family Restaurant

Finally driving along the roads of Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, on the way back to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

Travelling past some housing apartments between Shimogyo-ku and Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, late at night

Travelling past several closed shops in downtown Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, at night

Finally arriving back at the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya

After a short late night road journey from Washoku Sato Family Restaurant in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, we finally arrived back at the entrance to the Mibu Machiya Kyoto Cotoriya at 10.10 p.m.. Unloading our belongings from the car, my dad went to park the car at the car parking area near the main road, while my mum unlocked the front door so that we could get into the Machiya. Entering the Machiya, we put away our belongings in our rooms and set up our electronic devices to be charged overnight.

As for me, I went to have a nice, hot shower and changed into my pyjamas before settling down for the night. Since I was to make a long journey to Nagano the next morning, I set up all of my electronic devices to be charged overnight and prepared some of my necessary belongings in preparation for the trip. At the same time, I set up my mobile phone alarm to wake me up at five o' clock the next morning. With that, I finally turned in at around eleven o' clock for a well-earned good night's rest.

This officially brings the third segment of my special mid-term summer birthday trip to Japan in June 2014 to a formal conclusion. The remainder of the two segments of the whole report will be published once I have selected the highest quality videos and photographs for the segments, as I display high importance in photograph and video quality of each of my blog reports.

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