Quick Takes – May 16th, 2019

Welcome to this week’s Quick Takes! In this issue, lots of railway and hotel news, no rental car at KIX during G20 conference, Kifuneguchi Station getting a make over and more.

  • Nagoya Subway revise day pass to 24 hour pass: Transport Bureau of Nagoya will retire its subway one day pass and revive it as a 24 hour pass on May 27th. This is of course a good thing, as one day pass had the inherent issue of “how to use the pass up if you buy it in the afternoon or evening?”. A 24 hour pass regardless of start time is going to be a great solution. Pricing (740 yen for adults, 370 yen for children) and purchase locations (ticket machine and ticketing offices) remains the same.
  • Railway News: JR Hokkaido to raise price in October in response to sales tax increase, minimum fare will become 200 yen. At the same time, they will release a new pass covering East Hokkaido (that is Senmo Honsen). This area is where a lot of the wilderness of Hokkaido lies. The pass is for July to October this year, though there might be an update for winter later. Toei Subway is introducing automatic foreign exchange machines in three of their stations. The machine will accept bills from 14 different currencies, and exchange limit is up to 100K yen.
  • Eizan Electric Kifuneguchi Station to renovate for easier access: This belongs to the “Thank God they are finally doing something” category. Kifuneguchi Station, on the hills of Kyoto, is a small and ancient station. The first version was built on 1929, and even with improvements, it’s aging not so well. With more and more tourists going up the Kurama-Kifune area every year, the station is showing real signs of strain. I was there during Momiji season last year, and the station was jam packed in peak hours with passengers. So it is great news that Eizan Electric Railway will rebuild the station for more convenience to passengers. Plans called for barrier-free features (elevator, easier-to-Use toilets). Widening of the platform, plus addition of waiting area inside the station are in the plans too. Finally, the nearby bus stop area will be expanded. Currently, buses had to use an ad-hoc area off the curb for passengers to board, so this is a welcoming safety feature. 

That’s it for this week. This issue is pretty packed with lots of news. Will these work for your travels? Let us know in the comments. I will see you all next week!