when one is in a hurry simply do NOT have time to make early reservations, which is just what you need when trying to take the /easy/ flight from Seoul to Tokyo via Kimpo or Gimpo Airport to Haneda Airport – both although originally built before as an international hub, now outdated and taking domestic flights only BUT with a few exceptions to a few nearby overseas cities .
also both are within an hour or even 30 minutes from their serving Capital which makes it a prime attraction compared to their Millennium counterparts which, although mammoth to be heralded by Global jetsets as THE most advanced airport in the World .. TWO hours drive into town is simple a waste even in hard times of IMF .
and as Japan going through hard times as much as South Korea to lure more visitors OR to make-believe of further development have opened up several more airports in mid-nation around the vicinity of Tokyo, although NOT close by any standards . still, unless from Nagoya down South OR up North Sendai which is both an hour away by Japan’s early bullet train Shinkansen, you have to opt from any of these few stray airports to get into Tokyo for business or even pleasure .
yes I have lived in Japan and return regularly and have tried a few of these, namely Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport AND ibaraki Airport and will share my experience with you in turn, for not much information is available /anywhere/ especially in languages other than Japanese – and short even at that, perhaps it was meant as a means for the locals to get away ~
both Shizuoka AND ibaraki Airports have two things in common :
- first they shout “inaka” meaning rural, although it still may be a bigger town for those coming from still afar . ofcourse city-wise Shizuoka is larger and more urban than ibaraki but airport-wise Shizuoka Airport is far remote than ibaraki Airport to the nearest larger town or even city .
- then you won’t notice merely by measuring the distance from both airports into the Capital of Tokyo but the mode of transportation into Tokyo from the two airports are simply degrading in terms of hopping from bus to train (and /change/ trains in case of ibaraki) and then that it takes over TWO hours even THREE to get into Tokyo boundaries ! although the total time it takes to get into downtown Tokyo is only slighty more than from the mammoth Narita Airport : this is quite different from getting on a direct limousine bus with luggage on a separate compartment and sleeping all the way -_-
then IF you are NOT destined for Tokyo and interested in the surounding itself again, Shizuoka Airport takes the hand because of natural hot spring resorts in the immediate area – and the Godly Mount Fuji is near by !
everything ! you wanted to know about
– MT. FUJI SHIZUOKA AIRPORT –
but didn’t know WHERE to ask :
no, there simple ain’t enough information out there for an outsider to find their way into Shizuoka Airport and ibaraki Airport alike . so I’ll let you in a secret : I read Japanese, yawn ..
it is interesting how both destinating cities announce how grand the opening is going to be, only to see one square building upon arrival . and expect no more, perhaps with ONE convenience store inside . after you land, as you taxi into the main and only terminal you realize this ain’t JFK international . not even on-lookers atop on railing atop buildings as in ibaraki, for this is quite out-of town area relatives don’t have NOT come this far . at Passport Check you will be ushered in a separate row for strangers for the rest are Japanese . but once at Customs they will inquire curiously WHY you have come here OR taken this route into Tokyo AND suspiciously try to check your luggage .
[ SHUTTLE BUS TO SHIZUOKA TRAIN STATION ]
once you are out of Customs you have to decide to stroll OR run ! depending upon the bus schedule you checked before on their Official Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport Website because bus departs in 30 minutes to ONE hour intervals . and if you miss one, you have NOTHING to do here -_-
this is the bus schedule link for October 2010 ONLY : it kindly lists arriving flights you would be in – at center column 😉
( OK I tried to link English pages for your convenience but it would /really/ pay to LEARN Japanese and study their own website to really make this adventurous but lonesome journey work for you )
thus /really/ : if you study the bus AND Shinkansen bullet train schedule well and plan ahead, it will NOT be as frustrating as most foreigner would initially !
basic time reference :
- Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport to JR (Japan Railways) Shinkansen bullet train Tokaido Line Shizuoka Station via shuttle bus : 50 minutes, 1000 Yen,
( there is a closer Shinkasen train station in ‘Shimada’ Station which only takes 25 minutes by another bus, but the faster express train don’t stop here, thus going to Shizuoka train station would be better in the long run, to Tokyo )
- Shizuoka Station to Tokyo Station via Shinkansen : 60 minutes, 6180 Yen with Express charge included,
( prices as of October 2010 )
if you know you don’t have much time to catch the bus at the airport : don’t waste time looking for the bus stop . just ask at the information counter directly in front of the gate you exit Customs and they, knowing rather long time intervals between buses, will even run out to herald the bus driver for you !
and oh the shuttle bus is NOT free, so pay Y1000 at the counter .
once at Shizuoka Station there are much more you can do if you have time before the next express to Tokyo (choose station layout)
(page takes a while to load so be patient)
go to the ticket counter on the first floor and ask for the type of ticket AND seat location you prefer .
[ SHINKANSEN BULLET TRAIN TO TOKYO STATION ]
in the same Tokaido Line stretching from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo there are three types of trains Nozomi / Hikari / Kodama, out of which ‘Nozomi’ is the fastest Express but does NOT stop at Shizuoka but Hikari does – so you would want to take this one .
here is the schedule link for Shizuoka Station to Tokyo Station in October 2010 :
and colored in BLUE is the faster ‘Hikari’ train type passing every hour .
fare calculator : choose ‘Tokaido Shinkansen – Hikari’ and Departing ‘Shizuoka’, Arriving ‘Tokyo’
( Japan’s railways are charged by distance AND additional express charge if take faster trains )
all the help you will need in using Shinkansen bullet train in their information site :
and remember, if you had to rush in that you didn’t have the time to eat at the station : some of the tastiest dishes can be had in the form of take-out ‘bento’ which you can buy from the passing vendor in cart wheels 😉
( continued ) I will introduce ibaraki Airport in a separate dedicated Page linked on top of my blog, and have a nice trip ~
[ Incheon Airport to Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport to Shizuoka Shinkansen Train Station to Tokyo Station – a PhotoLog ]
and like any other main subway station in Tokyo and Osaka, filled with shops and restaurants – pretty good too,
ready to take the early Japanese Wonder of a bullet train in Shinkansen up to the Capital of Tokyo, in almost an hour :