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Arrival in Japan

Meeting the Staff Escort

All students arriving at the designated airport, on the designated day, and before the designated time can meet a JCMU staff member at the airport outside baggage claim. Attendance will be taken. This is exactly why it is critical for you to give us your flight itinerary ahead of time. A judgement call will be made by the staff member to ship baggage or not, which the group would do together if deemed necessary.

If you arrive at the airport long before the group meeting time, there are restaurants, shops, and even an onsen for you enjoy while you wait. There are also hotels connected to the airport and nearby where you can stay overnight.

Students will travel with the staff member to the Center either by charter bus or train. Please note travel from the airport to the Center will be at the student's own expense.

If you are not planning on meeting the staff escort, you are expected to travel to the Center on your own. If this is the case for you, read the information under "Traveling to the Center from Major Airports," and then contact the JCMU program office with any questions.

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Traveling to JCMU 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 for about $20-30 per bag (at the far end to your right).

The trip to JCMU takes at least 2 to 2.5 hours. The simplest method is to take the Meitetsu Line from the airport to Meitetsu Nagoya Station. Take the stairs and moving sidewalk to the Access Plaza and buy your ticket for the Meitetsu Line to Meitetsu Nagoya Station. Once you arrive at Meitetsu Nagoya Station, you will need to follow signs to transfer to JR Nagoya Station.

Once you arrive at JR Nagoya Station, take either a local rapid express train (~70 mins) or the shinkansen (~25 mins) bound for Maibara station. Station attendants can assist you with purchasing tickets and finding the appropriate track if you have questions.

Leave Maibara Station via the West Exit. At the exit you will find an area where taxis wait for passengers. Take a taxi to JCMU. Tell the driver you want to go to the "mishigan sentaa."  The taxi fare is typically ~¥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"). There are often several taxis waiting outside the station.

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 Japan-Guide or on Hyperdia.

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