This is the second of a series on using the Seishun 18 Kippu to explore Japan. You can see the first post here.
|A train at Bingo-Ochai Station (備後落合駅) in Rural Hiroshima Pref.|
- Make the best use of your money. For the Seishun 18 Kiipu, travel more than 2,300 yen in a single day.
- Maximize the amount of territory covered.
- Make sure include some breaks for some adventuring on foot and gathering provisions. (beer, snacks, bento)
It is important to remember that you have five days to use also. I have found that using them all at once can be tiring. What’s worked for me is four days and then use the last one for a day trip. Or a three-day trip and a two-day trip a few days later. One of my long-term goals is to ride, at least, every JR line in Japan and as many of the private railways as possible. To complete this goal I try to maximize my journeys as to travel as much as possible on lines I haven’t been on before. This is all about my quirky goals and you are, most likely, not as manic-obsessive about this like me.
Riding a train for five hours straight will fatigue you. A good break and walk around outside is worth it. It’s during these breaks that you will have time to get food, beer, and snacks. Grab a smoke if you are so inclined. Most important, this is a chance to get a better look at the landscape that you have been traveling through. And, although the majority of these trains will have bathrooms on board, I think we can all agree that we would rather use one that’s not rumbling while risking giving up your seat.
So in this post I’ll talk about planning your trip using those three rules.
Rule #1 Travel more than 2,300 yen in a single day.
|iPhone Norikae Apps|
For iPhone users the built in routing via the Maps app works well, but for more control the free version of the 乗換案内 (Norikaiannai) app from Jorudan is hands down the best. A good alternative, although it is ad sponsored, is 駅すぽあと (ekisupoato).
The cost of a journey is calculated regardless of when you travel as the costs are defined by distance. To make sure I hit that 2,300 yen a day target. I search a general route typically with Jorudan in their Seishun 18 Kippu search to see if the distance covered will cost a sufficient amount.
|ChizuKyuko's norihodai ticket with stamp rally sheet and eraser.|
Rule #2 Maximize the amount of territory covered.
|Shobunsha compact maps|
It's important to take a break from being on the train. Ekiben, omiyage, jizake, and jibiru for eats and tips for exploring a the ekimae area while you're waiting for the next train will be covered in the next post.