Traveling to the Center from Major Airports
Nagoya / Centrair International Airport (NGO)
The Central Japan International Airport (NGO) at Nagoya, also commonly known as Centrair, is currently our preferred arrival terminal for JCMU. After you collect your luggage, you will enter into the lobby of the Passenger Terminal Building. Here you are able to ship your luggage to Hikone (at the far end to your right) and exchange your American dollars into yen.
The trip to JCMU takes at least 2 to 2.5 hours. The simplest method is to take the Centrair- Meitetsu Line from the airport to JR Nagoya Station. Take the stairs and moving sidewalk to the Access Plaza and buy your ticket for the Meitetsu Line to JR Nagoya Station.
Once you arrive at JR Nagoya Station, you will have to switch trains to the JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Maibara, or you can take an Express train (you can ask for more detailed information about these options at the information counters at the station). You will see a large entrance for the Tokaido, Chuo, and Kansai train lines. Enter here, and look at the bilingual signboard for the Tokaido Line. You want a train that goes to Maibara. Take the Tokaido train line from Nagoya Station to Maibara Station. The train has bilingual announcements and electronic signboards to tell you what the next stop will be. Get out at Maibara.
Leave Maibara Station via the West Exit. Take a taxi to JCMU. Tell the driver you want to go to the “mishigan sentaa.” We are located next door to the Hikone View Hotel (taxi fare = ¥1,600 to ¥2,000).
Osaka / Kansai International Airport (KIX)
Once you’ve exited customs and exchanged money, make your way to the second floor (2nd F), exit the terminal, and proceed across the walkway to the Kansai Airport Station across the bridge. From this train station, you have a few options to get you to Hikone. The easiest of these is JR West’s Haruka Limited Express train which makes two daily runs all the way to Maibara with a stop in Hikone. The advantage of this train is that it is much faster than other options and it is a direct route to Hikone. You will not have to change trains anywhere if you are able to take the Haruka Limited Express that goes directly to Maibara. The cost is, however, slightly higher than other options.
The other (and slightly cheaper) option is to take a train to Kyoto Station and change trains there to Hikone. You can take a Haruka Limited Express train from KIX to Kyoto (which takes about 75 minutes), then, from Kyoto Station, you will transfer to a train on the Biwako Line (track #2) that will be listed as going to Maibara or Nagahama. Both of these stops are past Hikone, so you can board any train with these destinations. The trip to Hikone takes about 50 or 90 minutes, depending on whether you board an express train or a local train. Train departure times are posted on the platform.
Another variation of this is to take a Haruka Limited Express train to Shin-Osaka, and again, from there transfer to the Biwako line headed toward Maibara. Both Hikone and Maibara Stations are near JCMU, so you can take a taxi from either of them to get to the Center. (Tell the driver to go to “Mishigan Sentaa.”)
The easiest way to purchase tickets is to ask at the information counter just off the JR Station lobby at the end of the row of ticket vending machines. Tell them you want to go to Hikone, and they will make the necessary arrangements. JR will accept credit card, though the automatic ticket machines do not. The cost usually ranges from ¥2,500 to ¥5,000 per person.
Tokyo / Narita International Airport (NRT)
From the Narita Airport in Tokyo, you must get onto the Narita Express train to Tokyo Station (about one hour). Once you arrive at Tokyo Station, take the Shinkansen to the Maibara Station on the Japan Railways (JR) line. The cost should be around ¥12,500 and it will take about 2 hours and 40 minutes. You can find train timetables at http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2323.html or by visiting http://www.hyperdia.com.