In our previous post we spoke about the Labyrinth Festival and how great we thought it was. The entire journey to the festival was issue free. The one thing in which we found to be too brief were the directions and some of the general information about the area. Even though the directions to Labyrinth Festival were in English and Japanese, the map was a .jpeg file and was only in Japanese. So here’s the exact details of how to get to the Labyrinth Festival, hopefully ensuring that those heading to the Labyrinth Festival in 2013, you won’t get lost and miss some of the fun.
From Tokyo to The Labyrinth Festival
There are a few ways to get there, but the easiest way was by bullet train to Echigo Yuzawa. If you are in Japan for 7 or 14 days, it is recommended to get the unlimited Japan Rail ticket (JR pass) This will cost you around $345 for 7 days. This isn’t cheap, but it is worth it if you are travelling between cities in that time as you will definitely spend more than that. As we were there for 10 days with three days at the festival in the middle of our holiday, it was actually cheaper to try the pay as we go option. The ticket to Echigo Yuzawa can be bought either inside Tokyo train station or at venders outside. Bare in mind, when you buy from an outside vender, even though you may get it slightly cheaper, the ticket they give ISN’T the actual ticket, it is only a receipt. You must then take that to the JR Office inside the train station. This is clearly sign posted. The ticket you will need to get on the bullet train looks like this..
- The name of the train as MAX TANGAWA and the train number as 409.
- The date as 9/15 (15th of September).
- Journey from Tokyo to Echigo Yuzama.
- Time of journey as 11:52 – 13:21.
You then need to find the JR section of the Tokyo train station which is colour coded in GREEN. Once you have swiped your ticket through you will need to look out for this..
Obviously you are just looking for the time (11:52) and the train number (409) to find which platform to go to.. (22)
And then you have made it!
Unfortunately this is not the end of the line, but it is the bit we think most people will have trouble with. The next part is much more simple. When you get off the train at Echigo Yuzawa, you will need to turn right after walking through the ticket gates and walk through the train station to where the buses are at the back. You can get a taxi but it works out much more expensive and you may need to direct him as there are a few festivals on in the same area and he may not understand which one you want to go to. If you are arriving after 2pm on the first day of Labyrinth then you will most likely see other festival go-ers waiting in the same place for this bus.
If you’re camping at Labyrinth, you will want to stay on the bus until the final stop. People will be getting off at a couple of stops along the way as they will have hotels booked. This year there was much confusion as to when and where to get off as nobody seemed to know. It turned out that staying on until the end of the line worked out best. We were dropped off just outside the path leading to the festival, next to the Naeba Prince Hotel. We walked the rest of the way but if you wait there is a smaller bus that runs between the festival and the town that will pick you up. If in doubt, just stay with the pack until a bus driver spots you all.
So that’s it, hopefully this means not as many will have trouble arriving this year and you have an amazing time. We will back for sure!
Labyrinth Festival 2013 Line-up
As soon as we get the word, we will post it up here for you.
Best Accommodation for Labyrinth Festival
As the festival does not have showers and some of you might not like the idea of camping, we wanted to share the cheapest and closest accommodation with you. The tickets are not yet on sale for the 2013 festival, but you can beat everybody to the hotel rooms. Check HotelsCombined.com for the best prices as it compares all the other hotel websites. If you can’t get the Naeba Prince Hotel, which is the closest then there are sure to be some others quite close. The bus runs constantly throughout the day from the town to the festival.