Station visitor information offices have ……

It seems like every JR destination has a small visitor information kiosk or office within the station area, or just outside. The same can be said for the numerous private railway line operators as well. Promoting local cultural sites, places of historical interest, and other places of interest to visitors is done in places large and small.

However much I pre-plan a day’s adventures, I always make a bee line for that Visitor Information Office. Friendly volunteers. Usually maps or brochures to take (with good graphics, maps in Japanese only can still be very useful).

At JR Onomichi the Information Office volunteer quickly sorted out a circular ferry route for our group, so we could explore that part of the Inland Sea by cruising out to Setoda, then getting back to Mihara via a different ferry before training it back to Hiroshima.

Many Information Offices have daily accommodation specials, listing those local places with rooms available that day. So if you turn up somewhere and decide to stay, or have not arranged accommodation beforehand – try the nice folks at the Information Office. Doing this at JR Nara I jagged a 5-Star hotel room for the price of a hostel dorm room.

I have hired bikes to explore towns from Information Offices in Masuda, Nara and Heda.

There is only a fleeting contact with the good folk of the Information Offices. A few times now I have written back to those offices, thanking them for how they have contributed to us enjoying their place. For the thousands of others – thank you all!

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About TonyJ2

I live in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. I started writing stories about my trips to Japan largely to be able to print them out for my Mum to read. Now it has got a bit out of control. After nine trips, 100+ posts and another 200 in rough draft, my irregular postings on Having a Ball in Japan will go on for a few years yet. Having a Ball in Japan is not just a bunch of travel photos, and picks up my interests in the history and culture of Japan, emergency services and disaster management, as well as hours travelling by railways big, small and tiny. Awareness to Action takes the emergency services and disaster management theme deeper into experience and resilience. Effectively Awareness to Action is my professional blog. My partner and I have been lucky enough to do a fair bit of travel both in Australia and overseas. Escaping the Nest chronicles our times in United States, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and soon to be Ireland. Tony
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8 Responses to Station visitor information offices have ……

  1. Pingback: Web Resources we used when Planning our Family Holiday to Japan | Journeys of the Fabulist

  2. TBM says:

    Good to know. And they sound super helpful!

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  3. Good tip! (Kind of makes me wish I hadn’t just finished booking all our accommodation in advance – then again, probably best not to wing it with a group of seven whose ages range from 3-70 – you could always *completely fail to snag a 5-star hotel for hostel prices*.)

    We’ll definitely remember to make use of the local maps and sightseeing info, though.

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    • TonyJ2 says:

      Fair enough. I wouldn’t be too keen on dragging around a tired and grumpy 3 year old.
      I love planning trips, not quite to the death. So for us leaving a few days to arrange on the run heightens the thrill. Makes us feel 20 again.
      Not related to Visitor Information Centres – we always plan at least 1 day a week ‘separate’. Firstly so we can do our own thing, and secondly to have time away from each other. This works very well.

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      • We usually go in totally different directions for a night or two, but this time we’ve got more of a tour group thing going just with the exact makeup of the group (and I got the job of tour leader… someone said I needed to bring a bright umbrella to hold up) but I think I can still shoo them off in different directions during the day time.

        I definitely agree about the thrill of being footloose for a few days at least. When the kids are older and more able to hold it together under pressure we’ll return to that, no doubt, and then tips like this will really come into their own.

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  4. that’s why some japanese are complain overseas. that’s why i want to know the outside more and more!

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  5. yeah, japanese service is pretty attentive.

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