FLOPS 2008 Access and Travel Information


FLOPS 2008 will be held in Ise, Japan, an historic city of the Kii Peninsula. The conference will be held at the Ise City Plaza (sorry, the link is in Japanese) in central Ise. Here is a detailed map including the conference site and hotel. The venue is number 19 on this map.

Here is some schematic access information from the Ise Tourist Society.

Directions from

Nagoya (about 1 hour 30 minutes)
Nagoya Airport - Centrair
(2 hours 15 minutes by train, or 1 hour 30 minutes by boat and train)
Tokyo (about 3 hours 30 minutes)
Osaka (about 1 hour 45 minutes)
Kansai Airport (about 2 hours 45 minutes)
Kyoto and Nara
(about resp. 2 hours and 1 hour 30 minutes)
Other places
Timetable service

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:
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.
Kintetsu Railway
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
Nankai Electric Railway
A local railway, with trains to Osaka-Kansai Airport.
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.)

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.

From Nagoya

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.

JR express "Mie" to Toba

It runs at 30 minutes of each hour from 9:30 to 20:30 from platform 12, and takes about 1 hour 30 minutes. Times in red were corrected on april 1st.

Nagoya 09:3010:3011:3012:3013:30 14:3015:3016:3017:3018:30 19:3020:30
Ise-shi 10:5612:0412:5613:5714:58 15:5816:5917:5619:0220:09 21:0722:05

Back to Nagoya
Ise-shi 07:4308:5710:0311:0312:05 13:0114:0215:0716:0317:02 17:4719:25
Nagoya 09:1910:3911:3912:3913:39 14:3915:3916:3917:4118:41 19:2621:02

Kintetsu limited express Ise-Shima Liner to Toba, Kashikojima and Uji-Yamada.

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.

From Nagoya Airport - Centrair

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 directly.

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 map, timetable, and 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 boat.

From Tokyo

Shinkansen from Tokyo to JR Nagoya station take less than 2 hours. From there you easily connect to the "Mie" express on platform 12.

Here is an example of schedule for April 14th, to arrive in time for the beginning of the conference. (Updated on april 1st)

TokyotrainNagoya arr. Nagoya dep.trainIse-shi
08:30Nozomi 1310:13 10:30Mie 312:04
08:33Hikari 40510:21 10:30Mie 312:04
09:30Nozomi 1711:13 11:30Mie 512:56
09:33Hikari 40711:21 11:30Mie 512:56

According to this information, there also seems to be highway buses from Tokyo, for the cost-conscious (only 7850 yen, compared to 13470 using Shinkansen). Unfortunately, all the concrete 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.

From Osaka

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.

From Kansai Airport

From Kansai 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 map.

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.

Limousine service

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.

From Kyoto and Nara

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).

Other places

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.)

Timetable service

There are many tools to optimize your rail trips. Hitachi information systems provides a timetable service in English. Note however that it is rather strict about the writing of station names, in a sometimes unusual way. Spacing matters too.
Station nameInput to give
CentrairChubu International Airport
Kintetsu NagoyaKintetsuNagoya
Kansai AirportKansai Airport
Namba (Nankai)Nanba
Kintetsu NambaKintetsuNanba
Kintetsu KyotoKyoto
Kintetsu NaraKintetsuNara
Also note that for some mysterious reason, most timetable systems (including this one) seem to dislike the JR rapid Mie, and prefer Kintetsu.

Last update: April 1, 2008.