Seishun 18 Kippu – Kyoto

「The Seishun 18 kippu」 is a train ticket you can buy around the Spring, Summer and Winter Holidays, that lets you use any JR line across the country for five days during a set period.

Well, I said any JR line, but you can’t use the Shinkansen or Limited Express trains.
The ticket is hugely popular with students, and a lot of them will get up at the crack of dawn to ride local trains all the way to Hiroshima and such.
Being able to travel anywhere you want in the country for just over 10,000 yen is a bargain, so naturally I bought one last spring and gave it a go.Here’s some of the places I visited.

The first destination on my list was, of course, Kyoto!


I was originally planning to set off mid-morning, but in the end I messed up my sleep schedule and found myself awake at 4am.
Oh well, off to the train station.
I got on the first train of the day, surrounded by half-asleep zombies who’d missed the last train and spent all night in a karaoke box.
It was pretty fun, actually, riding a train at the crack of dawn while everyone else was ready to drop dead. Once I reached Shinagawa, I switched to a train heading for Odawara and began my journey.
It was wonderful riding the train and seeing the sun rise behind Mt Fuji, and the Japanese countryside, and it was pretty exciting making wild dashes across the train platforms so I could catch the next train in time.

In the end I arrived at Kyoto around early afternoon.
The whole trip took about 9 hours, and it was a lot of fun. But I was very tired afterwards!
I spent about 3 days in Kyoto, hanging out with friends I met there and visiting temples and shrines.Then I spent another 9 hours heading back home!Definitely one for the young (or young at heart).

(To be continued …!)