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I’m going to Miyazaki City in Japan next month. I would like to see around the prefecture but I can’t seem to find enough details about “trains” (assuming there are trains) or busses on google maps as it only shows directions by car. I wonder if any of you could direct me to a preferably English website where I can find more details with a map of famous attractions. For example I would love to go visit Takachiho-cho but not sure if there are trains to there. I’ll be staying at the Grande Sheraton in Miyazaki.

  • Is hiring a car an option for you? – Greg Hewgill Apr 20 '18 at 0:16
  • I would if turns out to be the only option. So no trains in Miyazaki? – PhDeveloper Apr 20 '18 at 0:30
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    Well Google Maps shows me train stations and some inter-city lines, mainly the Nippo Main Line which runs along the coast north of Miyazaki. – Greg Hewgill Apr 20 '18 at 0:49
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    Yes you are right thanks. I think the reason I’m not finding routes is because of the time I’m searching. Setting the time to 10am on google maps shows it takes around 2 hours to Takachiho Cho – PhDeveloper Apr 20 '18 at 0:59
  • Takachiho is a popular destination and is well documented even in English... – fkraiem Apr 20 '18 at 1:08
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There is some information that looks useful on Wikivoyage: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Miyazaki

The Miyazaki train station is served by JR Kyushu: http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/

The Miyazaki City Tourism Association has links to information about transportation including bus companies: http://www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/en/access/index.html

Japanese sites that offer an English language selection usually do it one of two ways:

  • Actual edited English language content
  • Translated through Google Translate from Japanese

For the machine translated ones, you have to be a bit careful about interpreting the exact information you are getting from the site.

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I’ve used the HyperDia app as an essential part of my kit for travel planning in Japan.

*Pro: It is up to date, and provides exquisitely detailed train routing and fare results. In my experience, it provides more options than google maps. If you are using JR Pass, which is often economical, it has a switch to avoid trains & routes not covered by the pass.

*Con: Phone app is a paid service. Not map-based, so you need to know the station names, which may differ from place names. In practice I’ll use it alongside google maps to get correct station names.

In your specific case, it will be limited as there is no train station in Takachiho (Nearest one is Nobeoka), so bus or train+bus may be your only public transport options.

Specifically, the best bet might be the Miyazaki - Takachiho bus line, for 2500 Yen. You can have fun with google translate trying to puzzle it out, but hotels and excellent tourist information offices located in train stations will be able to help if you do not speak/read Japanese.

  • Welcome to the site. Nice answer (+1) with some personal experience to back up the links you give. Although it has been a while since I was in Japan, I had the same positive experience with Tourist information office and actually all staff who spoke (some) English anywhere. – Willeke Apr 21 '18 at 8:35
  • Thanks for sharing your experience that’s very helpful. When you say using google translate did you use the offline version or did you get a sim-card with internet access? If the latter I would really appreciate it if you could tell us how you managed to get that as when I went to Tokyo few years ago they didn’t allow me to buy one as they wanted me to have a Japanese bank account. – PhDeveloper Apr 21 '18 at 11:09
  • Great! To clarify--I meant google translate on my laptop browser over WiFi--not sure about on the phone! – J I Apr 21 '18 at 17:45
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    (You raise an excellent other question about using a smartphone in Japan that I have experience with. I'm new here, but I think the gist I get is that it might be better dealt with as another question? Regardless, look into "Pocket WiFi" rentals--a personal hotspot for your phone/laptop. Depending on the company, you can have it delivered to you before you leave, pick it up at the airport, or have it delivered to your hotel. It's great because you never have to worry about finding free WiFi, which is scarce, though improving. Your mobile company may also offer an international roaming plan. – J I Apr 21 '18 at 17:53
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    PS Also, I believe it is the voice sims that are hard to get, but you can find data-only sim cards at the airport. With that or hotspot, you'll probably need to use WhatsApp/Skype/GoogleVoice to make phone calls without costing a fortune! – J I Apr 21 '18 at 18:01

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