Tag Archives: transportation

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 >


Let’s travel to Shima Onsen with a money-saving Japan Rail Pass

JR express KUSATSU
JR express KUSATSU

Shima Onsen is in a rural Onsen resort area near Tokyo ( about 150 km north of Tokyo).

There are several ways to get from Tokyo to Shima Onsen; by expressway bus direct to Shima Onsen, car, or a combination of train and bus.
(See ACCESS & MAP link in the blog).

Coming to Shima Onsen by the rail and bus option can be very economical if foreign travelers use one of Japan Rail (JR) passes available to them.

These passes are exclusively for non-resident foreign tourists, and offer excellent value for the money.

We would like to introduce you to the available JR passes with which you can enjoy unlimited train travel (on available routes) around Shima Onsen area.

We would like you to find a JR pass that matches your travel plans. We hope you can enjoy your travels in Japan with one of these bargain passes.
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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

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Direct Access from Airports to Shima Onsen


“Shima Onsen,” reasonable proximity of about 3 hours from Tokyo, where you can taste rural rustic spa atmosphere.

In recent years, more customers directly head to Shima Onsen from airports and more customers directly return to airports from Shima Onsen.

So, here are direct access methods to Shima Onsen from Haneda Airport and Narita Airport, using public transportation.

Our nearest station is Nakanojo Station of JR Agatsuma Line.

From Nakanojo Station, use a local bus toward Shima Onsen.

Arrive by 7:00pm at Nakanojo Station so as to be in time for the final time.

From Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)

1) The rout with the most lots of number and easy transits are monorail and JR.

The travel time is about 3 hours and 15 minutes and costs about 6500 yen for one way.

Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
   15 minutes      Tokyo Monorail
    6 minutes      JR Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tohoku Line
   55 minutes      JR Joetsu or Hokuriku Shinkansen
   50 minutes      JR Agatsuma Line
   26 minutes      Local bus toward Shima Onsen
Seiryu-no-yu Iriguchi (Entrance of Seiryu-no-yu) (the nearest bus stop)

Hokuriku Shinkansen
Hokuriku Shinkansen

– There is another way: From Hamamatsucho, go to Ueno (about 15 minutes), from there take direct express Kusatsu to Nakanojo Station.

Express Kusatsu departs twice a day, 10 o’clocks and 12 o’clocks

Limited Express Kusatsu
Limited express Kusatsu

2) There is also a means to use “Shima Onsen Go” ,a direct bus to Shima Onsen from Tokyo Station.

It is very easy because there is not transfer once after you got on the bus.

We have a package plan of a set of this bus and staying.


However, this bus does not run many times.

There are only 9:00 departure (throughout a year) and 10:40 departure (as an extra bus during winter).

It takes about 4 hours and costs about 3700 yen one way.

Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
   15 minutes      Tokyo Monorail
    6 minutes      JR Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tohoku Line
    5 minutes      (walk)
Tokyo Station Yaesu Street bus stop
   3 and a half hours
Onsenguchi (the nearest bus stop)

From Narita International Airport

1) A route to go to Ueno Station or Tokyo Station, and use JR from there.

Keisei Skyliner is convenient to Ueno Station.

It takes 45 minutes from Narita Airport to Keisei Ueno Station and costs about 2500 yen.

From Ueno Station, as same as 1) from Tokyo International Airport, use Shinkansen or direct express Kusatsu.

There are mainly two accesses to Tokyo Station.

It takes 65 minutes by JR Narita Express and costs about 3000 yen.

This is also cheap buses to Tokyo Station and they are also convenient. It takes 70 minutes and costs about 1000 yen.

For bus stop and ticket purchase method, contact airport counters.

From Tokyo Station, use the methods of 1) or 2) from Tokyo International Airport.

2) Bus from Narita to Takasaki, then take JR.

There are 10 round trip highway buses a day from Narita Airport to Takasaki, the starting station of JR Agatsuma Line, our nearest route.For bus stop and ticket purchase method, contact airport counters.

Total is about 6300 yen, including the bus fare of 4,650 yen and the subsequent railway buses. Total time is about 4 and a half hours.

Narita International Airport
    3 hours     highway bus Azalea Go
   50 minutes      JR Agatsuma Line
   26 minutes      Local bus toward Shima Onsen
Seiryu-no-yu Iriguchi (Entrance of Seiryu-no-yu) (the nearest bus stop)

There is a head shop of “Yamada Denki,” the Japan’s largest consumer electronics retailer, directly connected to Takasaki Station East Exit, the transfer of highway bus Azalea Go, Shinkansen, and JR Agatsuma Line.

As there is a tax-free corner at the shop, it is also recommended to enjoy shopping Japanese consumer electronics at Yamada Denki, if you are directly heading to Narita International Airport from Shima Onsen.
Yamada Denki at Takasaki
Yamada Denki Head Shop at Takasaki

– Refer to the following url for English version of route search system to JR NAKANOJO Train Station.

– There are local buses about one per 1 hour between Nakanojo Station and Shima Onsen.

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