IFAAP 2018 : May 27 – June 1, 2018, Hiroshima, JAPAN
Travel and useful information
In this Newsletter contribution you find some useful information about how to travel to Hiroshima to attend the 2018 ISAF-FMA-AMF-AMEC-PFM Joint Conference (IFAAP 2018), and also some information about life in Japan.
Access to Hiroshima
Hiroshima can be accessed by air through the Hiroshima Airport, which is located about 50 km east of the city center. International and intercontinental flights will likely take you to Japan landing either at Tokyo Narita Airport or Tokyo Haneda Airport. Internal flights to Hiroshima are offered from both airports, with the following approximate flight times:
From Narita International Airport: about 1 hour 40 minutes
From Haneda Airport: about 1 hour 15 minutes
Access to the city from Hiroshima Airport is provided either by Limousine Bus (70 minutes travel time; cost: 1,340 Yen) or by taxi (50 minutes travel time; cost: 15,000 Yen). For more information see here.
By Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
Hiroshima can also be reached using the famous “Shinkansen” bullet train network from all major Japanese cities to JR (Japan Rail) Hiroshima Station. Approximate travel times are as follows:
From Tokyo: 4 hours
From Nagoya: 2 hours 25 minutes
From Kyoto: 1 hour 40 minutes
From Shin-Osaka: 1 hour 20 minutes
Access to the Venue
Being located at the center of the Hiroshima City, the International Conference Center Hiroshima (ICCH, the venue of IFAAP) is easily accessible in a variety of ways, depending on the starting point. For more information, see the conference home page. Approximate travel time and cost from JR Hiroshima station is as follows:
By Bus: 20 minutes (180 yen)
By Streetcar: 20 minutes (180 yen)
By JR Line and Astramline: 30 minutes (330 yen)
By Taxi: 15 minutes (about 1,400 yen)
About Hiroshima City
Despite being often associated with tragic events that occurred in its past history, Hiroshima is a city of peace and happiness. This thriving, modern city itself is a living monument to the relentless courage of the Japanese people. Everyone should visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the World Cultural Heritage Site “A-Bomb Dome”, one of the few buildings that partly survived the atomic bomb blast in 1945. These sights should warn present and future generations that war, and especially the reckless race to weapons of mass destruction, is an ever present danger that threatens the existence of the whole Human Race on this planet.
Hiroshima is blessed with beautiful nature, a long history and traditional culture, and this is demonstrated by the rich heritage of religious sites in the vicinity of the city center. In particular, the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island is world-famous for being constructed almost entirely on water. This shrine is also a UNESCO site, and the excursion planned for the last day of IFAAP 2018 will give you the opportunity to visit it.
Hiroshima is also famous for culinary pleasures of Japan, especially Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki (salty pancake), Japanese oysters and fresh raw fish from the local sea. Please don’t forget to try one of the many Japanese noodles shops in Hiroshima. Further information about food offered around the Conference Venue is provided on the Conference website for lunch tickets and IFAAP recommended restaurants.
Additional tourist information can be found here.
The entire country of Japan is in the same time zone, 9 hours ahead of G.M.T.
Japan does not adopt the practice of daylight saving time.
Average high and low temperatures of the late May in Hiroshima are approximately 25°C and 15°C. Sudden showers may occur – bring an umbrella with you at all times.
The currency in Japan is yen (JPY, ￥).
When you travel in Japan, you will need both a credit card and some cash. However, many small stores or restaurants, particularly in rural areas only accept cash.
Cash can be exchanged at any “Authorized Foreign Exchange Bank” (signs are displayed in English) or at some of large hotels. ATMs installed in Banks, Post offices (JP bank), Train stations, Shopping malls and Convenience stores are very useful to withdraw money. However, please be aware that some European ATM cards (Maestro, V-Pay) may not be usable in Japan. Cash can be generally withdrawn using a VISA or Mastercard credit cards, but not from every ATM. Refer to your card issuing institute to obtain more information. VISA and Mastercards can be used for payments almost everywhere in Japan.
All in all, it is generally recommended to travel to Japan with enough cash to supply for card-related problems.
Convenience stores in Japan can be found literally on every corner and they are open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. They sell food, basic accessories and amenities, drinks, beer… very useful for late night hunger or thirst.
Basically, not only is tipping unnecessary in Japan, but your attempts to tip will either be greeted with bemused expressions or utter confusion. Hotel bills include tips in their service charge. There is no tipping at restaurants, nor do you tip taxi drivers, although a small tip for bellhop services may be accepted.
Taxi drivers in Japan are generally highly trustworthy and will not try to take advantage of their clients. Fare calculation is almost always by the meter. Taxi fares differ slightly according to region, company and size of the vehicle. When using a standard four-passenger taxi, fares typically start around 400-700 yen for the first 1.5 kilometers and increase by around 80-90 yen for every additional 300-400 meters traveled. The cost also increases when the taxi is not moving for a prolonged time. Late in the evening, rates are raised by typically 20 percent. Eventual expressway toll fees incurred during the trip are added to the fare.
The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts AC. This is different from most of the world and means that you will need an adapter for sensitive equipment like computers if you are coming from the U.S. or Europe. Japan does not use three-pronged or Schucko plugs, so it may be necessary for you to buy an adapter to use Japan’s two pronged outlets.
That’s all for now! Have fun planning your trip to Japan and I’m looking forward to seeing you in Hiroshima!
Special thanks to Dr. Takuya Hoshina – Tokyo Institute of Technology – for contributing to this guide!