Location and Date

Asteroids, Comets, Meteors (ACM) 2012 will be held 16 - 20 May, 2012, in Niigata, Japan, at TOKI Messe (Niigata Convention Center). TOKI Messe, is located at the beautiful harbor of Niigata city, at the mouth of the Shinano River, the longest river in Japan. The meeting will start on Wednesday (16th) and end on Sunday (20th).

Niigata, with population 800,000, is the capital of Niigata Prefecture and one of the largest cities facing the Japan Sea. It is about 350km north from Tokyo and two hours away from Tokyo by bullet train on the Joetsu Shinkansen line. Niigata can be also accessed by airplane. It takes one hour from Osaka and Nagoya. Also Niigata has daily flights to/from Seoul, Korea.

Toki Messe on Google Map(a new window will be opened)

Travel to Niigata, Toki Messe

Note: The following information is "the information at the time of January 2012".

>> For the return trip after the conference, see here.

>> Time table of local public bus is added here.

>> Information of JR "special" Railway Pass is added here.

Travel to Toki Messe via Niigata Airport (KIJ):

Niigata Airport (KIJ):
located at just 6km east from the Toki Messe.
[NOTE] All Nippon Airways (ANA) will start service on a new route between Niigata and Tokyo(Narita) from March 25, 2012. It will be about one hour flight shuttling once per day.
It takes only less than 20 min. to the Toki Messe from Niigata Airport by Taxi. (Cost will be 3000 JPY.)
You can take an Airport Limousine bus to the JR Niigata station, which takes about 25 min. (Cost is 400 JPY, 200 JPY for children.) The frequency is approximately every 20 to 30 minutes. From Niigata station, refer to "ground transportation From Niigata station to the Toki Messe".

Travel to Niigata Sta. (Using railway)

Narita Airport (NRT) Arraival:
one of the major international airports in Japan.
We recommend you to take JR (Japan Railway Company) train at the Narita airport, because the Joetsu Shinkansen trains to go to Niigata is also operated by JR, so that you can easily change the trains at the Tokyo station.
From Narita Airport to Tokyo Station: "Narita Express (NEX)" trains are most convenient, which take just one hour to Tokyo Station. All the NEX trains will stop at the Tokyo Station, it doesn't depend on its terminal. The frequency is approximately every 30 min. from 8:00 until 21:00.
From Tokyo Station to Niigata Station: "Joetsu Shinkansen" trains are most convenient, which take about two hours to Niigata Station. The frequency is every 20-30 min.
Ticket price is 6620 JPY for one-way (Narita Airport to Niigata) together with additional special express charges; 1660 JPY for Narita Express, and 4810 JPY (reserved seat) for Joetsu Shinkansen trains, respectively.
Haneda Airport (HND) Arraival:
located at the central part of Tokyo area.
While this airport has been used mainly for domestic flights, it is opened for international flights in 2008. Several international flights will arrive at this airport.
From Haneda Airport to Tokyo Station, you have several options.
Railway by Keikyu
Take Keikyu-line from Haneda International Terminal Station to Shinagawa Station (cost is 400 JPY), where you can change to the JR Yamanote line. Tokyo Station is only 5 stops from Shinagawa Station (cost is 160 JPY). It takes about 30-50min including time to transfer.
On Keikyu-line, you might not need to change the train at Kamata Station, just only passing through (not stop) there. It's better to take a direct one to Shinagawa Station. Confirm its route before getting on it.
Tokyo Monorail
Take Tokyo Monorail from Haneda International Building Station to Hamamatsucho Station (cost is 470 JPY), where you can change to the JR Yamanote line. Tokyo Station is only 3 stops from Hamamatsucho Station (cost is 150 JPY). It takes about 25-40min including time to transfer.
Limousine Bus
There are Limousine Buses going to Tokyo station every 30-60 min. The cost is 900 JPY to the Tokyo Station. Especially during the daytime, we cannot expect the arrival time due to heavy traffic jam within the downtown. Also the fare and time will be extremely variable if you use taxi to Tokyo station from Haneda Airport.
From Tokyo Station to Niigata Station: JR "Joetsu Shinkansen" trains are most convenient, which take about two hours to Niigata Station. The frequency is every 20-30 min. Ticket price is 5460 JPY for one-way (Tokyo to Niigata) with additional special express charge; 4810 JPY (resereved seat) for Joetsu Shinkansen trains.

Useful Information: JR Convenient Railway Passes  [Update]

Ground Transportation from Niigata Station to Toki Messe:

Trains arrive and depart from JR Niigata Station, where is the terminal of the Joetsu-Shinkansen trains. Shinkansen trains run from 6:00 to 21:00, connecting Niigata to Tokyo by two hours. No train station is there at the Niigata Airport. Ground transportation options from the Niigata station are given below:

Taxies are available at the front of the Niigata Station. It takes 5-10 min. to the Toki Messe, and the fares are less than 1000 JPY.
Public Bus
The public buses to Toki Messe are frequently operated from the bus stop at the front of the Niigata station, Bandai exit. It takes 15 min. The frequency is every 15-40 min. depending on the time. For a one-way trip from Niigata station to the Toki Messe the cost is 200 JPY per person.
Time-table of public bus (Niigata Kotsu Bus / Sado Kisen Line)[PDF about 230KB]  [New]
On Foot
If you hope, you can walk to the Toki Messe. Distance is about 2.0 km from the Niigata Station, and it takes about 20-30 min., but strongly depends on how fast you walk. If you choose this option, we recommend you to get area map before start walking.
route map (on foot)[PDF about 350 KB] (outside of this site) [New]

Some other routes

Other routes might be available.

You can search route by yourself by using search-engine like the following:

See also,

For the Return Trip after the Conference

Some of you may be interested in arriving to the Tokyo area by the end of 20 May due to any reasons (ex., because of your flight schedule, or in order to enjoy the Annular Solar Eclipse on the morning of 21 May).

If you are going to arrive in Narita-Airport on 20 May (Sun.) after the end of the last session of ACM2012, few options are available but to take Joetsu Shinkansen and Keisei line. If you are going to arrive at Narita station on the same day, 20 May, to take Joetsu Shinkansen and JR Limited express is a practical option.
[Caution] Narita station and Narita Airport station are different stations.

The most practical routes are as follows:

To Narita Sta. (NOT Narita Airport Sta.)
Niigata 18:39 19:23
Toki 346 Max Toki 348
Tokyo 21:00 21:20 21:45
JR Ayame No.3 (Limited express)
Narita Sta. 22:42
To Narita Airport Sta. (NOT Narita Sta.)
Niigata 18:39 19:23
Toki 346 Max Toki 348
Ueno 20:54 21:14 21:33
JR Yamanote loop (inner-loop)
Nippori 21:36
>> Nippori/Keisei-Nippori translation
Keisei-Nipori 21:48
Keisei Narita Skyaccess
Access Express (*)
Narita Airport Sta. 22:47
(*) Note that "Access Express" is not cited in the timetable on Keisei line's Web page in English, because it is NOT the special express bound for Narita Airport, such as "skyliner", "cityliner" or "morning/eveningliner".

Alternatively, it is a good choice to book a hotel close to Ueno or Tokyo stations for the night on 20 May. You may find inexpensive hotels from hotel booking web sites, such as:

Rakuten Travel ( http://travel.rakuten.co.jp/kaigai/localsite/ )

Useful Information for Travel

Local Weather

Daily Forecasts: Niigata (in Japan Meteorological Agency WWW site)

Currency Exchange

Exchanging foreign currency (some money of your country) for the Japanese yen (or U.S. Dollar at least) before coming to Japan is recommended. In order to know which foreign currency can be exchanged at Narita Airport, see Banks & currency exchange counters at Narita International Airport. The Currency Exchange at Niigata Airport handles U.S. Dollar, Chinese Yuan, Korean Won, and Euro only. Note that inexpensive eating places or restaurants often accept cash only. When you take a local bus, you may need small coins.

Convenient Railway Passes  [Update]

[ADDITIONAL INFO] JR East has a "special" rail pass for non-Japanese short-term visitors, which allows 3 days of travel within 10 days for 10,000 JPY, much less than the regular pass (explained below). Normal round trip cost between Narita Airport by using JR trains and Niigata is about 26,000 JPY. Valid period of the special rail pass is from 1 April to 30 June, 2012. As for JR EAST PASS Special, you can purchase that in Japan (e.g., at Narita Airport) on the first day of 10 days period, as well as purchase that in advance from outside Japan. You cannot purchase that in advance in Japan. (2012-05-04)  [Update]
For detail: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass_sp/

Flexible 4-day JR East Pass costs 20,000 JPY for non-Japanese short-term visitors. This pass is valid for the eastern part of JR railways including Joetsu-Shinkansen and Narita Express. This price is cheaper than a round trip between NARITA Airport and Niigata Station. There are also (non-flexible) 5-day and 10-day passes. JR East Passes may be purchased at Narita Airport JR station as well as Tokyo and many other JR East main stations.
For detail: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass/

For foreign visitors who would like to travel also to western part of Japan (e.g, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Kyushu), Japan Rail Pass is a good choice. The Japan Rail Pass is valid for the railways and some of buses operated by JR companies. A 7-day pass costs 28,300 JPY and a 14-day pass costs 45,100 JPY. (There are also 21-day pass and the first class (Green) passes.) Remember, the Japan Rail Pass CANNOT be purchased inside Japan. You must purchase an Exchange Order from an authorized sales office or agent before you come to Japan. Althouth the pass offers an very economical way to travel throughout Japan by rail, it is not valid for NOZOMI and MIZUHO trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen lines. Please check the following page.
For detail: http://www.japanrailpass.net/

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