Tag Archives: drive

Japan Expressway Pass: Exclusive Expressway Discount Pass for International Visitors

Previously, we wrote an article about how traveling by rental car gives you significantly more options on how to enjoy yourself once you arrive in a hot spring area, since there are many picturesque sightseeing locations around hot spring areas like ours that are inaccessible by public transportation.

Today, we wanted to share some more delightful news for international visitors who plan to travel Japan by rental car!

Starting October 13, 2017, you can purchase a pass that allows you unlimited access to expressways all across Japan.
It’s called the Japan Expressway Pass, and it will cost 20,000 yen for 7 days or 34,000 yen for 14 days of unlimited access.

The pass will be available at 275 rental car shops across Japan.
Unfortunately, you cannot purchase the pass in Gunma Prefecture, which is where Shima Onsen is located.
However, it will be available at rental car shops in Haneda Airport and Narita Airport, which are the airports closest to Shima Onsen, as well as in other major international airports.

Japan Expressway Pass Shop List

People with non-Japanese passports and Japanese citizens with permanent residence in other countries will be eligible to use this pass.
(Please note that you will also need a driver’s license that allows you to drive in Japan.)

All you need to do in advance is reserve an expressway electronic toll collection (ETC) card and a rental car that is compatible with the Japanese Expressway Pass from a shop that offers the pass.

Pick up your rental car from the shop on the day of your reservation, and please enjoy a pleasant journey by car.

(Please note that the pass cannot be used on expressways in certain areas, such as the Tokyo metropolitan area or Hokkaido.)

Traveling Japan by car allows you to enjoy the countryside that cannot be accessed by public transportation, so your trip is sure to be a deeply memorable one!

Japan Expressway Pass: Click here for more details

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

kashiwaya_totop_banner

Details Access to Shima Onsen : Approximately 3 Hours from Tokyo

Onsen Ryokan entrance

“Shima Onsen” is closer from Tokyo, where you can enjoy old-fashioned country taste of Japan. It is an Onsen resort, where we live.

Shima Onsen is located in Gunma Prefecture, which is at Kanto region in Honshu in Japan. It is located at approximately 150km in a straight line from Tokyo.

It will take about 3 hours by trains, a direct bus, cars, and so on to visit us.

Here is the detailed guide for the access.

Train and Local Bus

Train map to Shima Onsen

Continue reading

Drive trip in a car. Watch out road closures during winter.

Drive in Winter

In my previous blog, I wrote an article to recommend using a rental car for traveling areas close to airports and major cities, such as onsen near Tokyo.

By using a rental car, you can travel more freely at the destination suburbs.

Gradually more and more foreign customers also visit our Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan by rental cars.

For such customers, watch road closures information during winter.

Our Shima Onsen is located in Gunma, which is next to Shibu-Yudanaka Onsen in Nagano famous with snow monkeys, Tochigi with Nikko, Niigata with Naeba Ski Resort and so on.

The boundaries between those prefectures often pass through mountain roads.

In addition, some of main roads are closed during winter due to snow.

Kashiwaya winter scene

Also on the other day, a customer tried to visit us by a rental car from Nagano side.

But he had to take significant detour as the planned road was closed during winter.

Since this kind of information is hardly transmitted to customers overseas, it will be a sudden problem when they try to visit us with GPS and maps.

Although you can obtain information in Japanese through Japan Road Traffic Information Center, it seems that they do not transmit the information in English.

The winter road closures, which seem to be related to customers to Shima Onsen, are the following two sectors.

Route 292, From mid-November to late April
It is a road, which passes from Shibu-Yudanaka Onsen in Nagano famous with snow monkeys to Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma, through Shiga Kogen.

Route 120, From late December to late April
It is a road, which passes from Nikko in Tochigi with Nikko to Katashina in Gunma, through Konsei Toge.

If you’re planning to drive to snowy places during winter, obtain winter road closure information in advance and act with spare time, such as by inquiring to hotels and ryokan you are planning to stay.

Related article:
Let’s go to Shima Onsen by a rental car! You’ll have more fun!
“ETC Card” is essential when using a rental car in Japan

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

kashiwaya_totop_banner

Japan Romantic Road: Would you like to travel countryside In Japan by a car?

Mount Asama, Shima to Karuizawa
Mount Asama, Shima Onsen to Karuizawa

Overview

If you have been visited Japan several times and are thinking to drive in Japan, Japan Romantic Road is recommended.

Japan romantic road
Japan romantic road

Japan Romantic Road is a rural road with the total length of 320 km (200 mile), which connects Nikko, Tochigi and Ueda, Nagano, through our Gunma.

Our Shima Onsen is located around the middle of the road.

There are many sightseeing spots, such as rural Japanese landscape, three national parks, lakes, mountains, Onsen, ruins, and much more.

If you would run through all the route, it will take at least 2 nights and 3 days.

But if you spend more time, you can much more enjoy rural Japan and highlands. So you will get more satisfied. Continue reading

“ETC Card” is essential when using a rental car in Japan

ETC card

In my previous blog, I wrote an article to recommend using a rental car for traveling areas close to airports and major cities, such as onsen near Tokyo.

By using a rental car, you can travel more freely at the destination suburbs.

When you travel by a rental car, you will utilize the highway network that covers every corner of Japan.

As highways in Japan are paid, it is recommended to obtain ETC( Electronic Toll Collection ) card, which is useful to pay the fee.

Concerning ETC card, refer to the following link.
http://www.go-etc.jp/english/index.html

How to obtain the ETC card; there is a rental service for short-term users.

As English is available, you can rent an ETC card for 324JPY per day (February 2016 currently) also at Toyota Rental Car that I recommended in the previous blog.

Just set the ETC card in a vehicle-mounted device, then it automatically calculate fees. So you just liquidate collectively when you return the car.

They often sell valuable ETC cards, which are season limited or region limited.
http://www.go-etc.jp/english/expressway/index.html

When you rent a car, rent an ETC card at the same time. Then enjoy the drive travel !

Related article:
Let’s go to Shima Onsen by a rental car! You’ll have more fun!
Drive trip in a car. Watch out road closures during winter.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

kashiwaya_totop_banner

Let’s go to Shima Onsen by a rental car! You’ll have more fun!

Shiga Kusatsu Skyline

Overview

If you’re good at driving a car, how about renting a car to go to an onsen resort near Tokyo?

There are often many attractive sightseeing spots around onsen resorts.

So if you use a rental car, you’ll be able to have more fun after arriving at an onsen resort.

It’s good to directly go to an onsen resort near Tokyo from Tokyo.
Another way is to go to a closet station by a train and rent a car from there.

The recommended rental car company is Toyota Rental Car, as it has a wide network and you can book in English.

Text

Mount Asama, Shima to Karuizawa

Continue reading