An Apology and How We Go Forward

On this blog, there’s one article that had continuous visits from everywhere. It is the one talking about Kansai Thru Pass shutting down. I bet some of you might have noticed it before. You won’t find it here anymore, though.
Because the research was incorrect. I got the facts wrong, and thus the article was not valid.

In 2016 Surutto Kansai Group, the governing group of a multi transportation companies cooperative announced phase-out of Kansai Thru Pass (KTP in short) in January 2018. KTP was the go-to choice for people traveling in Kansai area and a direct competitor against JR West. It was big news, as KTP is a flexipass. It was very popular with travelers that stay in a few areas, and do not need Shinkansen access by default. I wrote a big piece analyzing the so-called fall of flexipass in Kansai area, and the rise of Smart Card based systems like Suica and Pitapa.

There’s a catch though. KTP had two categories: Surutto Kansai issued one. All participating transportation companies sold them. The other was a class of specialty passes issued by the individual transportation companies. These passes offer the full KTP experience, plus added discounts from the individual companies. It was this class of specialty passes that were canceled earlier this year. I misunderstood the cancellation as for the other category (i.e. the general KTP).

I found out something odd when I researched for my Kansai/Kanto trip in May. I found that local travel agencies in Hong Kong still had KTP for sale. Then I checked JCB US and Japanican, and they both had KTP available. Something didn’t add up.

By that time, I was about to leave. And so with some trepidation, I flew into Kansai International, hoping for the best yet dreading the possibility that I am wrong. And I was wrong indeed. KTP was available for sale at the ticket counter of Nankai Electric Railway station in Kansai International, and I got this for my trip to Koyasan.

I found it very bad that I made this mistake, and I knew deep down that I need to pull the article down. Yet, the article had been bringing consistent traffic to my website for the past two years. It made me hesitant to pull it straight out. 

Why pull it now then? It is all about integrity. I would expect websites I visit to present correct and throughly researched information, and I know you would expect the same from me. To think you would expect less is not right. So, I removed the article in question today.

Moving forward, you have my promise that I will take my research ever more seriously from this point on. I had also enrolled in Japanese course that started this month, which I will learn the language formally for the next year. This would allow me to read better, thus making researches even more airtight. Finally, I have already visited Japan twice this year and had tried out plenty of stuff during my trips. So, stay tuned for more posts on these two trips in the next few months.

Thank you for reading so far. And thanks for your support.