Travel Information


General information with regard to travel in Japan is available at Japan National Tourism Organization


Entering Japan

Visa information

Participants from some countries will need a visa in order to enter Japan. Please check if this will be necessary well in advance. For your information, please refer the links below.

If you need a visa, please write to


International Airport

Flights of major airlines will land at one of the following airports.

The nearest international airport to Kyoto is the Kansai International airport (KIX), which is located 80 km southwest of Kyoto. It takes about 75 min. to reach Kyoto station by JR WEST airport express called "HARUKA". It takes about 85 min. to reach Kyoto station by limousine bus. Please see the detail at the access information in Kansai International airport.

Narita International Airport (NRT) has direct flights from many countries, but is farther from Kyoto than Kansai International airport (50 km east of Tokyo, 500km east from Kyoto). You have to take another domestic flight to Kansai International airport or Osaka international (Itami) airport (and then you have to take local train lines to Kyoto), or Shinkansen (before you take Shinkansen, you have to go to Tokyo from Narita by train) to reach Kyoto. Please see the detail at the access information in Narita airport.

Central Japan International Airport (NGO) is located 150 km east of Kyoto. You have to take local train lines and Shinkansen to reach Kyoto. Please see the detail at the access information in Central Japan International Airport.

View Airports in Japan in a larger map




Travel inside Japan

Domestic Airlines

Closest airports are Kansai, Itami and Kobe.

View Airports in Kansai area in a larger map



Train Lines


Shinkansen, which is known as the Bullet Train, is a high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies (JRs). It is convenient to go on a trip to, for example, Tokyo, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, etc. from Kyoto. Please note that Japan Rail Pass is NOT valid for any reserved or non reserved seat on 'NOZOMI' and 'MIZUHO' trains. The map of all Shinkansen lines is available here.

The JRs operating the Shinkansen are ;
Local Train Lines

Local train lines

There are lots of local train lines operated by Japan Railways Group companies (JRs). All Japan Railways Group companies are;

If you are interested in traveling by train, it is valuable to check 'Japan Rail Pass'

Private railways and subway lines listed below will be useful to go sightseeing around 'Kansai' area (for example, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe).


Japan Rail Pass

Japan Rail Pass is a special train ticket for foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad for sight-seeing, under the entry status of "temporary visitor". A holder of the Japan Rail Pass can take all JR Group Railways' limited express trains, express trains, rapid or local trains, and Shinkansen "bullet trains" except any reserved or non reserved seat on "NOZOMI" and "MIZUHO" trains (You can check the detail at 'JAPAN RAIL PASS validity').

Please note that a Japan Rail Pass cannot be purchased inside Japan. You can purchase an "Exchange Order" from an authorized sales office or agent in your country before you come to Japan. You can turn in the "Exchange Order" to receive your Japan Rail Pass at an applicable JR station that has a Japan Rail Pass exchange office.

If you are interested in traveling by train, it is valuable to check 'Japan Rail Pass'




Cash (Japanese Yen) is the most widely accepted method of payment. Coins are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen and bank notes in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yen. You can buy yen at currency exchange counters at the international airports, foreign exchange banks, post offices, and a limited number of hotels. At the international airports, currency exchange counters are usually open during normal office hours. Bank counters are open 9 am to 3 pm, post offices financial services from 9 am to 4 pm.

Major international credit cards such as American Express, VISA and MasterCard are widely accepted, except in some small sole traders.

Traveler's checks are only accepted for exchange in banks and post offices, and in general, cannot be used to purchase goods and services.

Credit card or traveler's check transactions are not always convenient especially outside big cities. Obtaining cash beforehand is recommended when you travel to the countryside.



Consumption Tax

Consumption tax is a flat rate of 5% on all purchases. There are no additional local taxes. The displayed price on goods and services is required by law to be tax-inclusive. Receipts and bills often indicate tax and service charge for your reference.




The HCP2012 organizers do not accept liability for individual medical, travel or personal insurance. Participants are strongly advised to take out their own personal insurance.




In November, The maximum and minimum temperature in Kyoto are around 15 C / 60 F and 5 C / 40 F, respectively. Rainfall is low during this time of year. You can expect great autumn colors which provide an impressive backdrop to Kyoto's many temples and shrines.

Check Kyoto-shi Weather Forecasts




The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly AC 100V. There are two kinds frequencies in use; 50Hz in eastern Japan (including Tokyo, Yokohama, Sendai, and Hokkaido) and 60 Hz in western Japan (including Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, and Fukuoka). Most portable computers and cameras are internationally compatible. If you don't have a convertible type of electrical appliance such as a hair dryer, travel iron and shaver, a step-down transformer is required to convert the voltage. It is advised to check your equipment before departure. Type A (2-flat-blades) plugs are used in Japan (See a right picture). It is advised to purchase a plug adapter beforehand.





Updated on April. 26th, 2012