2008/09/26

Cool Tool for Travel Planning


I recently found a "cool tool" for planning travel in Japan. The site is in both Japanese and English and offers detailed information about rail and air travel from point A to point B.

The site is called "Hyperpedia Timetable" by Hitachi Information Systems, Ltd. and it starts here: http://www.hyperdia.com/

(Just click on English for that service).

I've used it for planning on train trips from a station near us on the Kashima Rinkai Tetsudo ŇĆarai-Kashima Line which runs from Kashima City to Mito City. I've printed out timetables for trains to and from Mito for our local station (specific to my needs and much easier to read than the tiny print of the pocket timetable they offer). We also used it a few weeks ago for planning out trip on the JR Joban Line from Mito City to Otsuko Station in Kita-Ibaraki (the north end of of our fair prefecture) where we saw an art exhibit I'll be posting about.


Kashima Rinkai Railway

The only drawback I have found is that you have to input the exact station name, so you have to find that out ahead of time. Sometimes the name is all one word as well, so that "Kashima Jingu" is entered as "Kashimajingu". Otherwise, it's great and gives you full timetables, any train changes along the way, and all the fares for your trip. It also offers maps, hotel and rental car information. Very handy website.

I've been making lots of business trips of late to Mito, so I really like having this service. You can plan trips anywhere in Japan and even compare rail with air travel. Check it out.

Another handy service I've found for English speaking travelers is Japan Google maps in English (well, Romaji letters anyway): http://maps.j-talk.com/ and this one, called Diddlefinger, which lets you look up specific addresses in English or Japanese: http://diddlefinger.com/

Bon Voyage.

13 comments:

jam said...

I think train is one of the best transport modes when traveling especially if one is not in hurry.

Don Snabulus said...

Cool stuff and it will come in useful when we make it to Japan. I found all the places I went to last time. ;)

Pandabonium said...

Jam - That's true. Here in Japan it is often just as fast as other transport. For me, going to Mito is almost as fast as by car, but without the hassles and cost of car ownership. And the Shinkansen often beats airlines when one looks at "door to door" travel time. Plus trains use far less energy and emit much less CO2.

Snabby - the program has its quirks, but if you play with it a while you can figure those out. I hope you'll get to visit someday soon.

IceGlacial™ said...

Nice, i hope i have the chance to get my bum to Japan next time.

And oh, did i introduce myself? Well, i'm YD(libra-6-perspective)'s lil' brother, aged 15, from Malaysia, still in Malaysia.

My bloggie's at glacialz.blogspot.com, mind being blog-pals or something, panda? lol..

Btw, added your blog to my links (this is the main one, right?), and i'll be checking it from time to time, promise.

So long, XD.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

For travelling in Fiji the Lonely Planet thorntree may have many tips as I don't think bus schedules, ferry rides are well publicised or perhaps out of date. Maybe a brochure of tips would be a good thing to give out at the airport - suggested cost of taxis, buses, etc.
w.

Pandabonium said...

iceglacial - Welcome and thanks for visiting! How is YD these days? I know I speak for many people when I say we miss her very much in the blogosphere. I'll check out your blog and add a link as well.

Wendy - nice to see you again. It's been a while since I visited Babasiga - sorry. Handouts at the airport with transport suggestions is a great idea. I know from personal experience that it seems like visitors to Fiji are expected to fly everywhere (like we're all rich) and finding out how to take a ferry or bus takes some sleuthing.

IceGlacial™ said...

@Panda:

Well, YD's fine, but since she came back from London, rarely does she own the luxury of being active on the blogosphere / internet anymore - probably because of the stresses of her work?

And yeah, i've seen all the comments in her blog - everybody seems to question her disappearance, >.<.. Well, she asked me to get in touch with her old blogpals anyway, so this is my first try, lol.

Btw, why don't ya drop her an email or something? :P

Islanesia said...

I loved visiting family in Japan, but spent a third of my time there being lost or missing trains. This is an excellent tool-- I'm tempted to brave another trip there!

Pandabonium said...

Islanesia - great name. I hope you do come to Japan again. I remember during my first visit here I missed a stop in Tokyo and it seemed to take me forever to get back where I wanted to be. It was the end of a long day too, and I was beat and needed to find my hotel - but first needed to find my way out of Shinjuku Station! Happily, a nice businessman came to my aid and walked me to the correct exit and gave me directions to the hotel. What a country. :)

By the way, you be interested in the post here about students from my alma matter visiting Palau - Oh, wow - Palau!.

Thanks for visiting. I'll put up a link to your site.

The Moody Minstrel said...

And to think that, till now, I've always had to find my way around Japan's railway labyrinth by looking at traditional maps and timetables...or simply getting on a train that looks like it goes in the right direction and hoping for the best.

jam said...

Totally agree on your energy saving and greenpeace ideas! Cheer!

PinkPanther said...

Thanks for your useful travel link in JP. Already marked it down for my future reference when I visit JP. [May be next year.]

Speaking of Shinkansen, my colleague and her friend visited Tokyo on last week. They lost their way by taking Shinkansen when they went back to their Hotel after watched the night show in DiskneyLand. Luckily, almost 10 minutes to mid-night, they caught a right way rail to their destination. What an adventurous!

Pandabonium said...

PP - when you visit Japan, if come anywhere near Tokyo, you and K and I will have to get together.