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Honshu

Travel Guide Asia Japan Honshu

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Introduction

Mt. Fuji with a baseball cap

Mt. Fuji with a baseball cap

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Honshu is the largest island in Japan at almost 228,000 square kilometres. Located to the north is Hokkaido, and Shikoku and Kyushu islands are located to the south and southwest respectively.

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Regions and Geography

Five out of 8 regions in Japan are on Honshu:

  • Tohoku, in northern Honshū, is a scenic rugged area. The most major city is Sendai.
  • Kantō, in eastern Honshū, is the most urban and developed part of Japan, home to the Tokyo metropolis and the city of Yokohama.
  • Chūbu, in central Honshū, to the west of Tokyo is divided by the Japanese Alps and includes iconic Mount Fuji.
  • Kansai (or Kinki), in south-western Honshū, is the cultural and historical heart of Japan and home to the major cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.
  • Chūgoku, the westernmost region in Honshū, includes the cities of Hiroshima and Okayama

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Sights and Activities

Mount Fuji is one of the best known natural features of Japan and is conveniently located in Chubu region, west of the capital Tokyo. It is 3,776 metres high and the walk up to the summit is tough but require no special climbing skills. Mount Fuji has an exceptionally symmetrical cone which is a recognisable symbol of this East Asian country.

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Getting There

By Plane

The major airports are Narita Airport (NRT) and Haneda Airport (HND) near Tokyo and Kansai Airport (KIX) and Osaka International Airport (ITM) near Osaka and Kyoto. The latter is a major domestic airport.

Other airports offering international connections are Nagoya's Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) and Hiroshima Airport (HIJ). Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) have extensive services, as well as dozens of international airlines.

By Train

Japan Railways has fast trains going north to Hokkaido and south and southwest to Shikoku and Kyushu respectively.

By Boat

China
There are regular ferry services linking Chinese ports, like Tianjin with Kobe on a weekly basis. Chinese Express Line is the major carrier on the Tianjin to Kobe route.
To add, there are also weekly ferries crossing the sea between Shanghai and Kobe and Osaka. The ferry's destination alternates each week between Osaka and Kobe and the journey takes two days. Another line travels weekly as well between Shanghai and Osaka only.

Russia
FESCO runs a service from Vostochny Port/Nakhodka in Far Eastern Russia to the ports of Yokohama, Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka.
Business Intour Service operates a line between Fushiki in western Honshu and Vladivostok in Russia, which is where the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow terminates.

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Getting Around

By Plane

Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA), among other, have connections between various cities, though taking a train might be just as fast given the speed.

By Train

Rail is a major form of transport on Honshu. Operated by Japan Railways Group, the services are exceedingly efficient, fast and comfortable and almost without exception represent the most convenient option for travellers.
The Japan Rail Pass, or JR Pass, is a deal devised specifically for visitors to Japan including Honshu. Seven-day, 14-day and 21-day passes will allow unlimited travel on all JR lines and affiliated buses and ferries for the period of the pass. If you planning on travelling by train for even moderate distances, the pass will likely be the cheapest option. The pass is only available to international travellers on a tourist visa and must be purchased overseas. On purchase, you will be issued a Japan Rail Pass Exchange Order, which must be exchanged for a JR Pass at a designated in JR Travel Service Centre in Japan. When you exchange the pass, you need to specify the day you want the period to commence and that day must be within three months of the issue of the Exchange Order.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 13:42 on Dec 29, 10 by Utrecht. 18 articles link to this page.

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