XRM2005 (The 8th International Conference on X-ray Microscopy)
26(Tue) - 30(Sat), July 2005 at Egret Himeji, Japan

Guide from the Kansai International Airport
     to Himeji on trains

Access to SPring-8 is also useful for foreign attendants.

Part 1

The easiest way to Himeji is......

(1) Take an international flight to the Kansai International Airport.
Arrival at the Kansai Airport

(2) Buy some Yen at the Kansai airport. US dollars and Euro may be changed to Japanese Yen in Himeji. Other currencies may not.

(3) Take an express train Haruka from the airport, and change to Shin-Kansen at Shin-Osaka. You need go to the "JR" ticket office at the Kansai rail station. Then, buy a ticket to Himeji. Just three words "Himeji, Haruka, Shin-Kansen" will take you to Himeji. The station staff speak English reasonably well. You can add "non-reserved seat" "one ticket" if appropriate (you can buy a ticket for a reserved seat but usually there are vacant non-reserved seats). It costs about 6000 yen. A credit card can be used. Haruka leaves every 30 minutes.

Ticket gate of the JR Kansai Airport station

Follow the sign "Railways" (1)

Follow the sign "Railways" (2)

Follow the sign"Railways" (3)

JR Ticket Office at the Kansai Airport station

(4) It takes about 50 minutes to Shin-Osaka (this is not a terminal, do not oversleep). Manage to find a way to the correct Shin-Kansen platform. There are several platforms, and you have to go to the one from which the next train to Himeji leaves. Thus, the best way to find the platform is to ask the station staff. Show them your ticket, and they will give you an instruction in English (hopefully).

Haruka (this one is bound for Kyoto via Shin-Osaka)

Follow the sign of Shin-Kansen at the Shin-Osaka station

(5) The Shin-Kansen train can be Nozomi or Hikari or Kodama. Since not all trains stop at Himeji, the choise of the train is important (all Kodama trains stop at Himeji). It takes 30-50 minutes from Shin-Osaka to Himeji.

Sign of Himeji at the station

Part 2

There may be two difficulties in coming to Himeji (although most people will not notice them).
One is changing trains from Haruka to Shin-Kansen at the Shin-Osaka station. The structure of the station is very confusing. Asking the station staff is the best to find the way.
The second difficulty exists in the Himeji station. If your hotel is in the north of the station, you need go to the north exit by crossing the station. North is the direction of the castle, which is the best landmark but you cannot see it when you are within a building!
Some people with big luggages may find it difficult to travel from Kansai Airport to Himeji, because there is no downward escalator in the Himeji station. Also, some upward escalators are also missing in the Himeji and Shin-Osaka stations.

Himeji Station Map

Part 3

The Himeji station splits the city of Himeji into North and South districts. To cross the station (which you must do every day if your hotel is in the south), there are two corridors, each in the east and the west side of the station. These corridors go over the station. There is no ground or underground path. For some people, finding a corridor will be the first task in the city.

I (Y. Suzuki) would like to express much appreciation to Dr. N. Yagi for giving me a permission to use his wonderful guide to Himeji.