As many are planning to be travelling to Osaka for #DevCon5, most people plan to stick around for Japan Blockchain Week (7th — 15th October). Events will not only happen in Osaka but also in the blockchain capital of Japan — Tokyo. Here is a guide on some tips for getting from one city to another;
Japan Rail Pass (only available for foreigners)
The is the most economical way to travel around Japan. For example, a 7-day JR Pass costs around 28,500 yen, the same price as two one-way tickets from Osaka to Tokyo. The JR Pass gives you unlimited travel which covers buses, ferries, and airport transfers as well as bullet trains.
Japan Rail Pass (www.jrailpass.com) is a multi-use discounted ticket, valid for travels on all JR national trains in Japan. You can select 7, 14 or 21 consecutive validity days. Choose between Standard and Green Pass (first class). Order your JR Pass online. You will receive an Exchange Order (delivery in Japan available), which then needs to be exchanged and activated in Japan for the actual JR Pass.
1. The Shinkansen (bullet train)
The shinkansen (bullet train) is easily the best way to travel between Tokyo and Osaka (and vice versa). The fastest type of shinkansen is called the Nozomi, takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes and costs Y13,620 for a one-way trip in an unreserved seat. In Tokyo, you can catch the shinkansen at Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station. All shinkansen stop at both stations.
In Osaka, the shinkansen operate from Shin-Osaka Station, which is inconveniently located a few kilometers north of downtown. Shin-Osaka is on the Midosuji subway line, which stops in downtown Osaka (Umeda, Honmachi, Shinsaibashi, Namba, Tennoji etc).
Note for Japan Rail Pass: you cannot ride the Nozomi shinkansen, but you can ride the next fastest type of shinkansen, which is called the Hikari. The Hikari takes about 2 hours and 53 minutes between Tokyo and Osaka, so it’s almost as fast. Just be sure not take the slowest type of shinkansen (the Kodama) as it stops a lot and is much slower.
We’d advice you to reserve your seating online as it’s a very busy period in Japan with DevCon5, Rugby World Cup and all the other blockchain events that will be taking place.
Buying a ticket & making seat reservation
You can make seat reservations at a “Midori-no-madoguchi” (ticket office) at a JR station, or to the sales office of a JR-associated travel agency. So you need to be in Japan when you book. There, show your pass, and obtain your reserved-seat ticket before the boarding.
Note: The JR Pass is not valid for any seats, reserved or non-reserved, on “NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen. Please use “HIKARI,” “SAKURA,” “KODAMA,” and “TSUBAME” trains.
You can make a reservation anytime within one month prior the departure date. The ticket is on sale one month prior to departure date at 10:00am. Even if you are JR Pass user, you can make a reservation in advance.
Departure date — August 23 at 10:00 am. Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka
Ticket is on sale at 10:00 am on July 23.
Departure date — August 24 at 00:34 am. Sunrise Seto from Osaka to Tokyo
Ticket is on sale at 10:00 am on July 23, not July 24. Because this train originally depart from Takamatsu at 21:26 on August 23. Overnight trains are very few in Japan currently. But if you book a seat on overnight booking, please check the date at the original departure station.
Online reservations: Only JR East offer online reservation service. This site offers a seat reservation for the trains that operate in JR East and JR Hokkaido areas. So you CANNOT make a reservation for Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen (Tokyo-Kyoto or Osaka).
JR Bus services run from the JR Express Bus Terminal at Osaka Station to the following destinations in Tokyo: Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Tokyo Station and Yokohama. Both daytime and night-time services are available. The cost can vary between 4,000 and 8,000 yen depending on the service you book and your choice of seating.
How to make a booking?
- book online at kousokubus.net
- Osaka Station’s Bus Terminal Ticket Office
Willer Express are a reputable company that run fairly comfortable night bus services between Osaka and the following destinations: Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Tokyo Station, Tokyo Tower, and Tokyo Disneyland. Prices vary by the service and the date of the journey. The cheapest fares start at 3,520 yen but most tickets are in the 5,000–12,000 yen range, with the more expensive services having comfier seats.
How to book tickets?
- Umeda Sky Building (where the bus departs)
- Willer Express
Osaka has two airports (Kansai International Airport and Osaka Itami Airport) which both offer frequent flights to and from Tokyo. The flight takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes and can cost anything between 12,000 and 30,000 yen.
The cheapest option overall is to travel from Kansai International Airport to Narita Airport in Tokyo, because low cost airlines Peach and Jetstar operate 7 flights a day on this route.
It is possible to drive from Osaka to Tokyo via the Chuo Expressway or the Tomei Expressway. This will take 5 or 6 hours depending on traffic.
Hope this helps with planning your trip around DevCon and other blockchain events taking place during Japan Blockchain Week.
It’s very important to respect the Japanese culture and their way of doing business so please remember to bring your business cards!
Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Provenance Events Teamemail@example.com
Japan Blockchain Week is ran by local and international blockchain community that will be hosting an event during 7th — 15th Oct. Starting with DevCon5 in Osaka and finishing with Provenance Summit in Tokyo.