FLOPS 2008 Access and Travel Information
About trains in Japan
Japan has a mutiplicity of railway companies, which makes travel
interesting, but may introduce some complications.
Here we only consider the following 4 companies:
Contrary to many countries where your ticket is only checked on board,
in Japan all tickets are checked at entrance and exit. A nice
side effect is that you don't have to buy your ticket all the way to
your destination: it is okay to pay the difference when you
exit. Moreover, trains whose name start with "limited express" require
a supplement, that is checked on board (and can be bought on board if
you need no seat reservation.)
- Japan Railways
- Also known as JR, this is the main national carrier, and includes
both the Shinkansen (aka bullet train) and local lines. It is also
the easiest to use, as English information is available everywhere.
- This is probably the largest local railway, which connects Ise, Nagoya and
Osaka (and also Kyoto and Nara).
- A local railway, with trains to Nagoya-Centrair Airport
- A local railway, with trains to Osaka-Kansai Airport.
For your convenience, we provide here some provisional information,
assuming that current timetables do not change.
Additional timetable information can be found
using Hitachi's timetable service.
If you plan to travel a lot in Japan, the
JR Japan Rail Pass may cut
your costs (its price for 7 days is a bit more than a round trip from
Tokyo to Osaka). However, note that it is only valid on JR trains (not
Kintetsu for instance), and the fastest Shinkansen (Nozomi type) are
excluded, which is a real limitation.
If your travel is more limited in space, the
Kintetsu Rail Pass is much cheaper, and can include all your trip
from Osaka and Nagoya airports.
All trains come and go from the combined Nagoya station, which
contains JR (Shinkansen and local), Meitetsu and Kintetsu. Here is
a map of the
station, where you can see JR lines in middle (Shinkansen at the bottom),
and both Meitetsu and Kintetsu in the upper-right corner.
Both JR and Kintetsu have trains to Ise-shi. Which one you want to use
depends mainly of how you reach Nagoya. If you come by Shinkansen, JR
is definitely easier. If you come from the airport by Meitetsu,
Kintetsu is easier.
It runs at 30 minutes of each hour from 9:30 to 20:30 from
and takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Times in red were corrected on april 1st.
Back to Nagoya
Kintetsu limited express Ise-Shima Liner to Toba, Kashikojima and
They are departing from Nagoya at 10 and 50 minutes of every hour,
from 06:50 to 17:10. After that they depart at 45, 02, and 15 of every
hour until 22:00. They take about 1 hour 20 minutes. (You can already
check the times with Hitachi's timetable service.)
While they are faster and more frequent than JR trains, you have to
buy a supplement.
Centrair is on the
other side of the Ise bay from Ise, so you have to go through
Nagoya to reach Ise by land. There are also boats that cross the bay
Meitetsu railways to Meitetsu Nagoya
The station is inside the airport. Express trains take about 30
minutes to reach
Meitetsu Nagoya, which is just next to Kintetsu Nagoya.
Here are the
detailed directions on how to get from Meitetsu to Kintetsu in
Nagoya. For there, you can get on
the Kintetsu limited express to Ise-shi
You can also stop in
Kanayama and connect there to JR, with 1 stop to JR Nagoya.
Boats to Tsu and Matsusaka
There is a
boat service crossing the bay directly to Tsu and Matsusaka (40
and 45 minutes). Boats to Tsu (Nagisamachi port) leave at 7:00, 9:00,
11:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:00, 22:00, and from Tsu at 6:00, 8:00,
10:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00.
Boats to Matsusaka leave at 7:20, 9:20, 11:20, 13:20, 16:05,
18:05, 20:05, 22:05, and from Matsusaka at 6:20, 8:20, 10:20, 12:20,
15:05, 17:05, 19:05, 21:05.
Both of these cities are connected by railway to Ise-shi (they are on
both JR and Kintetsu railways from Nagoya), so it should be easy to
take a bus (leaving 10 minutes after the arrival of the boat, in both
cases) or taxi to the station and reach Ise-shi from there. It takes
about 35 minutes from Tsu to Ise-shi, and 20 minutes from
Matsusaka. This is the fastest route to Ise if you don't mind the
Shinkansen from Tokyo to JR Nagoya station take less than 2 hours.
From there you easily connect to the "Mie"
Here is an example of schedule for April 14th, to arrive in time for
the beginning of the conference. (Updated on
According to this
there also seems to be highway buses from Tokyo, for the
cost-conscious (only 7850 yen, compared to 13470 using
Shinkansen). Unfortunately, all the
data is only in Japanese. I.e., there are two buses, leaving
Ikebukuro East-entrance at 22:20 and 23:20, and arriving in Ise-shi at
07:10 and 08:10, and you should call the companies to book your seat.
The simplest way is to use Kintetsu railways, as JR has no direct
tracks from Osaka (you can still go through Nagoya).
Kintetsu limited express to Toba, Kashikojima and Uji-Yamada.
Trains are running from Kintetsu Namba station (in central Osaka) or
Tsuruhashi (on the Osaka loopline) to Ise-shi.
From Tsuruhashi, you have direct trains at 11 and 53 minutes of every
hour from 6:11 to 19:53. They take about 1 hour 45 minutes.
From Namba, direct trains are at 05 of every hour, and you can also
change in Tsuruhashi by taking a local train at 43.
Airport, you can either use JR trains, Nankai trains, or a
limousine service to Namba or Uehonmachi, and get your train there,
or take a JR train and connect to the Osaka Loopline at Tennoji
(another major station in Osaka) to go to Tsuruhashi.
JR and Nankai stations are in the same building, just in front of the
airport. Here are their
access map and timetables; you can see Tennoji, Namba and
Tsuruhashi (in small on the right) on the
JR Haruka and Airport rapid service
Both the Haruka limited express and the Airport rapid service go
through Tennoji station, on the south side of Osaka. From there you
can reach Tsuruhasi by the JR Osaka Loop Line.
The Airport rapid service is cheaper, since you don't need a
supplement. Some rapid service trains are bound to Namba (they take
about 50 minutes), where you get directly to Kintetsu (about 300
meters to the east).
Nankai Rapit and rapid trains
The Nankai Rapit is known for its futurist design, and it brings you
to Nankai Namba in 35 minutes. It requires a supplement, but normal
trains do not take much more time (45 minutes). (All Nankai trains are
bound to Namba.) Note however that Nankai Namba is a good 15 minutes
walk to Kintetsu Namba, in underground corridors.
Buses to Kintetsu Uehommachi, another Kintetsu station in Osaka,
take about 55 minutes. From there you can get all direct trains to
Ise-shi (at 8 minutes and 50 minutes of each hour). This seems to be
the route preferred by Kintetsu. It has the advantage of avoiding huge
and confusing stations like Namba or Tennoji.
There are also buses to Osaka City Air Terminal, in Namba, which take
about 50 minutes.
If you plan to spend the week-end before FLOPS in Kyoto or Nara, note
that there are direct Kintetsu limited express betwen both of these
cities and Ise-shi (for Nara you must go to Saidaiji, 2 stops away).
From anywhere else, your best bet is to go first to Nagoya, and then
to connect to Ise-shi, as connections in Osaka are a bit trickier.
(In particular, the Shinkansen Osaka station (Shin-Osaka) is north of
Osaka, not even on the JR Loop Line.)
There are many tools to optimize your rail trips.
Hitachi information systems provides a
service in English.
Note however that it is rather strict about the writing of station
names, in a sometimes unusual way. Spacing matters too.
Also note that for some mysterious reason, most timetable systems
(including this one) seem to dislike the JR rapid Mie, and prefer
|Station name||Input to give|
|Centrair||Chubu International Airport|
|Kansai Airport||Kansai Airport|
Last update: April 1, 2008.