JR EAST PASS SPECIAL

This is my first post since the massive earthquake and tsunami hit northern Japan in March 11, 2011. 

Although it’s a part of my job to promote Aomori tourism, honestly I couldn’t really write “Come to Aomori for sightseeing!” while suffering from thousands of tremors in these 2 months. Finally, the earth seems to be calm down and I am glad to resume this blog.

Japan is trying really hard to have our normal lives back. Here is one encouraging example of quick and great restorations! East Japan Railway repaired the seriously damaged facilities and equipment of Tohoku Shinkansen line, and full Shinkansen service between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori has been restored from April 29. 

Now I can introduce this unbelievably reasonable offer for foreign tourists! JR East Pass Special valid until June 30, 2011 allows you to travel throughout East Japan on the JR East Shinkansen trains for 3 days. The price is only 13,000 yen!  FYI, usually I can’t even buy the one way Shinkansen ticket from Shin-Aomori to Tokyo with only 13,000 yen as Japanese….I wish I could be a foreigner until the expiry date of this pass!  Please check the detailed info by clicking the following image.

 

Once you stepped on a ground of Aomori Prefecture, please don’t fail to present your JR East Pass of JR East Pass Special at the designated Tourist Centers to receive nice gifts (for details pls click the following image). Only the first 50 – 500 visitors would be eligible to receive  those gifts. Hope you can make it.

The weather is getting nicer in Aomori, and Japanese tourists start visitng Lake Towada, Lake Juniko and Mt. Hakkoda to  experience lush greenery and fresh air.

I’m currently working at the 8th floor of ASPAM, where you can receive (B)Apple Lanyard at the desk of Aomori Prefecture Tourist Information Center located on the 1st floor of the building. If you ever come to ASPAM, please feel free to visit me :)

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5 Responses to “JR EAST PASS SPECIAL”

  1. Hi Yuko, I really hope you see this! My name is Xan, and I live in Fukushima. I stumbled on your post about really delicious uni in Sai Village a while back, and happened to discover their famous uni matsuri that takes place each year, too! As a result, I REALLY want to attend it this year- here in Iwaki, Fukushima, our beloved uni is not allowed to be eaten this year, due to high levels of radiation found in the uni…

    In any case, my goal is to come up (perhaps with some friends!) on the evening of the 17th, after work, perhaps from Koriyama city! Do you think this is possible? I know it sounds crazy, but… I really love uni!

    Thanks so much!! I wouldn’t mind trading e-mails, too!

  2. Hello Xan-san. Thank you for reading our blog and thinking about coming to Aomori! First of all I’m so sorry for the serious effect on seafood in Fukushima by the high levels of radiation.

    In honor of your enthusiasm for uni, I’d be glad to be of your help :)

    I hope you already know that you have to transfer Shinkansen if you come from Koriyama.
    Here is the ideal itinerary from Koriyama to Sai:
    Koriyama – Sendai(Yamabiko)
    Sendai – Shin-Aomori(Hayate)
    Shin-Aomori – Aomori (5-7 minutes)
    Stay in Aomori
    (Cruise Ship Polar Star ) Aomori 9:40am – Sai 12:00pm Fare: 3,460 yen

    You could get to Sai if you really want to. The problem is how to get back to Aomori. The final ship from Sai to Aomori is 12:35pm, so literally you can stay only for 35 minutes if you want to make a day trip to Sai.
    Staying in Sai is not really recommended. The area is not developed for tourism and you can find nothing but peaceful local country residensial area. If you still want to make it, please let me know and I’ll give you more detailed info.

    If just eating delicious uni can make you happy, Aomori-City can offer you fresh and reasonable “uni don(uni rice bowl)” in the restaurants in a seafood market. If you are interested let me know.

    FYI this pass should be the cheapest to get on Tohoku Shinkansen.
    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2055384

    Hope this helps.

    Yuko

  3. Hi again!

    I posted a follow-up comment, but I’m not sure it went through.

    Would it be okay to stay at one of the minshuku or the like in Sai? I found a few listed on the Sai tourism webpage!

    Is there anything I should book ahead for? Thanks a ton again!

  4. Good morning Xan-san. Seems like I didn’t receive your follow-up comment. If you want to stay in Sai on Sunday night, the closest minshuku
    from “Arusasu” are Kawabata Ryokan (5 min walk) and Minshuku Miyano(10-15 minu walk). Both would be more reasonable if you do not order meals. FYI there is only one convenience store open 7am-10pm near Arusasu and that would be the only place you can buy your breakfast.
    They would not speak English, but I assume you understand Japanese so it should be okay.

    Since the ship operation between Aomori and Sai are very limited, you would need to stay overnight both in Aomori and Sai if you leave Koriyama in the evening.
    http://www.sii-line.co.jp/route.html

    As I said Sai is not the developed area for tourism, I still hope you would spend your time longer in Aomori, but what you put the higher priority on traveling is up to each person. So I hope you have a nice stay in Sai.

    Anyways – if you arrive at JR Aomori station on weekdays between 8:45am – 6:00pm, please stop by the tourist center Aspam (7 min walk from the station) . I’m working on the 8th floor of the building :)

  5. Thank you so much, Yuko. Yeah, I’m little short of time, unfortunately… this is literally going to be a weekend trip for me! :O I’d like to return in the summer, too, so I bet this will help then too!

    If all goes well this Friday, I hope to arrive in Aomori city at 10:40pm. I’ll stay there overnight, then catch the 9:40am Polar Star to Sai, then stay overnight there! Is it okay to wait until I get to Sai in the afternoon to book a room at the ryokan or minshuku? I’m thinking about Miyano, since their price of 3500 without meals is very reasonable! I just hope they have rooms, I guess? :)

    I can buy tickets for the Polar Star on the ship, or at the dock? Gosh, I hope I can get one!

    Speaking of booking a room, I still don’t have something for Friday night in Aomori! I looked up some things, but is there anything you could suggest?

    I’m linking this post to my keitai, so hopefully I can reply at work, too! Also, I guess you won’t be working on Sunday? That’s the day I go home, and I’ll have some time! From 9:25 until 15:45-ish! I think I’ll explore the city a little!

    Thanks again so much for your help! Tomorrow I’ll buy my one-day-in-advance tickets for the Tohoku area!

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