Passports and visa
Valid passports from some countries MUST have at least 6 month before they expire or entry into the country can be deigned. Do you need a visa to enter Japan? This depends, as some foreign nationals are required to obtain a visa to enter Japan. Check online at the Japanese Government or Tourist Information sites. Visas are issued by the Japanese embassy or a consulate in your country. If you need a letter of invitation to obtain a visa, please request one by e-mail from the symposium secretariat (Akifumi Ohtaka: ). In order to do this we need you to send a copy of the passport photo page and include the following information in your message: name, e-mail address, home institution, full postal address. Please include the words VISA REQUEST in the subject line.
General information about visa requirements is available at:
»Japan National Tourism Organization
If you have questions, please consult the Japanese Embassy or a consulate in your home country: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
»Websites of Japanese Embassies, Consulates and Permanent Missions
The electricity supply is 100 volts AC in Japan. The electrical plugs have two, non-polarized pins (Type A) and accept to most electronics used in North America.
Free Wi-Fi connection is available at the Art Hirosaki City Hotel and most other hotels. Hirosaki City also provides free public Wi-Fi access in Hirosaki Park (including Hirosaki Castle) and surrounding municipal facilities. Educational roaming infrastructure (eduroam) is available in the whole area of Bunkyo-cho Campus of Hirosaki University. We recommend you to get eduroam ID in advance if your organization covers the eduroam. If not, you can get a tentative eduroam ID during the meeting.
Currency, credit cards
The national currency in Japan is the Japanese Yen (JPY). The JPY can be obtained from cash machines (in 7-Eleven and Japan Post Bank) within walking distance by using credit cards. Make sure you tell your credit card company you will be visiting Japan before you leave home. Otherwise they may stop your credit believing the card has been stolen. Most banks in Hirosaki do not exchange foreign currencies except for USD to JPY. Most local shops do not accept payments in foreign currencies. Although credit and debit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and large shops, other places do not; ask first to be safe.
Buses in Hirosaki
Buses in Hirosaki require you to put exact money shown display panel into a box on getting off the bus. The bus fare is 170 JPN (coins) between Hirosaki train station (Art Hotel Hirosaki City) and Main Gate of Hirosaki University. The driver does not carry changes, so it is necessary to have exact money with you. There is no credit or debit card machine on the bus.
Domestic travel guide
There are many websites for domestic travel guides in Japan, and the following are popular with tourists planning a visit.
To access package or free tours in Japan and in and around Hirosaki, please visit the following websites.
Tours in and near Hirosaki
Flights and trains from Hirosaki for domestic travels
Aomori airport (AOJ) has four airline routes as follows:
To Sapporo (New Chitose airport, CTS) 45m, 5 flights a day.
To Tokyo (Haneda airport, HND) 1h 15m, 6 flights a day.
To Nagoya (Nagoya airport, NKM) 1h 20m, 3 flights a day.
To Osaka (Itami airport, ITM) 1h 30m, 5 flights a day.
The Osaka flights are convenient to go to Kyoto and Nara.
To go to Tokyo by train, first, take JR local trains from Hirosaki station to Shin-Aomori station; then, change to Hayabusa (bullet train) along the Tohoku Shinkansen. It takes 3.5 hours from Shin-Aomori to Tokyo train station. Seat reservations are mandatory on Hayabusa trains between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori stations.