Yahiko is a small town in Niigata Prefecture with over 1000 years of history. Located 2-3 hours away from Tokyo, this historic cultural centre is a compact experience of rural Japan. Because of Japan's world-class Shinkansen (bullet train) system, rural areas are easily accessible. This post will help you navigate the Japanese train system, arrange taxis in Yahiko, and access currency exchange spots.
Travel information to make your trip to Yahiko stress-free.
What can I do in Yahiko?
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Trains from Tokyo Station to Yahiko take about 3 hours using the Shinkansen and one local train transfer.
Google Maps is reliable for searching the best routes.
We also recommend using Hyperdia to plan your trip.
Direct trains are infrequentbetween Tsubamesanjo Station and Yahiko Station. We have included the direct trains in the Riding the Train to Yahiko section.
The closest Shinkansen stop to Yahiko is at Tsubamesanjo Station. From there, travelers transfer to the local Yahiko Line to the last stop. If you book your ticket at the JR Station ticket counter, suitable transfer stations will be arranged for you.
We highly recommend purchasing advance tickets at a JR Station ticket counter (Midori no Madoguchi). This booking service has no additional charge.
When traveling, feel free to ask station attendants for help. Even if they do not speak English, if you show them your ticket, they will tell you where to go or how to insert your tickets into the gates.
You may use your JR Rail Pass for this trip, but make sure to check ordering information, times and availability before travel.
Buying Train Tickets to Yahiko:
Midori no Madoguchi JR Station ticket office -- Photo from Flickr cc lohasteru
Hyperdia's site comes with many helpful features, such as auto-filling the station names as you type. You can type in Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Tokyo Station, Ueno, or any other station you'd like to visit.
Hyperdia search results break down cost, travel time, train number, and transit stations -- Image courtesy of Hyperdia
Hyperdia's website comes with useful information, such as links to the train timetables and Google maps for the area.
Riding the Train to Yahiko:
Max Toki Shinkansen that goes to Tsubamesanjo Station -- Image by Athena Lam
1.If you are leaving from Tokyo Station, arrive about 1 hour before your departure time. Tokyo Station is one of Japan's busiest stations, so give yourself plenty of time to find the correct gates.
2. At your departure station, look for the Shinkansen ticket gates. These may be separate from the regular ticket gates. The bullet train to Yahiko is the Joetsu Shinkansen to Niigata. Usually, Shinkansen ticket gates have large green or blue signs that say Shinkansen. If you need help, ask a station attendant and show them your tickets. They will point you in the right direction.
3. Insert TWO tickets into the Shinkansen ticket gate. The first ticket is your ticket from Tokyo to Yahiko. The second ticket is your Shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Tsubamesanjo.
Train tickets from Tokyo to Yahiko and seat tickets for Shinkansen from Tokyo to Tsubamesanjo - Photo by Athena Lam
4. Find the correct platform for your train. Train names and numbers are displayed in English. Once you reach the platform, try to find the car you will be sitting in. Train car numbers are often labelled on the ground.
5. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Eating is permitted on the train.
6. Get off the train at Tsubamesanjo and insert your two tickets at the gate. You will only get one ticket back. Keep the remaining ticket.
7. Look for the local Yahiko Line train platform and walk down to wait for the train. DO NOT purchase another ticket. Your ticket is already covered.
8. Get on the train to Yahiko. We recommend taking a direct train between Tsubamesanjo and Yahiko (times below). An alternative is to take the train to Yoshida Station and transfer to Yahiko. Your pre-paid ticket covers any of these local trains, so don't worry if you miss your expected transfer.
Yoshida Station is a transfer station between Tsubamesanjo and Yahiko that has additional trains. For travelers going to Yahiko from Tsubamesanjo, trains to Yoshida Station come about once every hour. From Yoshida Station, check for additional trains going to Yahiko.
Route from Tsubamesanjo Shinkansen Station to Yahiko Station via Yoshida Statin Transfer -- Image Courtesy of Google Maps
9. Get off at the last stop, Yahiko Station. Give the station attendant your ticket. Enjoy your trip!