Important Information

Getting to


From Kansai Airport (Osaka, Japan) take a train to JR Osaka the main station in Osaka city.

There are 2 main ways to get to Mimasaka, by bus or train.


Please contact us if you need advice regarding travel.

There are some travel tips--->Go to Japan National Tourist Organization's site


Most of passengers use Kansai Airport (Osaka), you need to get to JR Osaka Station by train from the airport. 

Okayama Prefecture also has Okayama-airport with flights between destinations in Japan, Korea and China. There are buses from the airport to Okayama City, the capital city of Okayama Prefecture, and also Tsuyama City. (Tuyama city is 30min drive away from Mimasaka)


From JR Osaka station you will need to ask someone where the "Highway Bus" office is. It is located inside the train station but Osaka is quite a large train station. At the office tell them (show them, mime, body language - anything is okay) that you want to go to Mimasaka-Interchange. There is a regular bus service (JR Chugoku Highway Bus) that runs between JR Osaka Station and Tsuyama via Mimasaka-Interchange. Mimasaka-Interchange is a few stops before Tsuyama. The last bus leaves at 7:30pm and travel time is about 3 hours.


If you take the Shinkansen-train, you'll stop at Shin-Osaka Station. There is a bus stop of same one. You need to find EXIT No.6, there is a bus stop.

(at the bus stop of Shin-Osaka Eki)


(There are 2companys called "Chugoku JR Bus" & "Shinki Bus" .If you use JR rail-pass, you can use "JR" one with your pass. If ride on "Shinki", you have to pay. Please ask it at the ticket counter before riding.)

see the bus Time table


Mimasaka's Hayashino Station can be reached by local trains called "Kishin-Line" from Himeji Station. Take a rapid train or bullet train (Shinkansen) from Osaka Station to Himeji Station, then transfer the train. (They are all JR lines)

Alternatively, take aShinkansen) from Osaka to Okayama City and then local trains to Mimasaka's Hayashino Station via Tsuyama City. 


search the time table (input the name of stations)

JR rail-pass  -a special ticket that is available only to travelers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sight-seeing.


You can purchase Japanese yen at the airport in Japan or from many Japanese Post Offices and banks. You can also purchase Japanese yen in your own country. Japan is a very safe country but you should not carry large sums of cash with you. It is recommended that you purchase travelers checks (US dollars and Japanese yen are best but French francs, Pounds sterling, German marks, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars or Swiss francs may also be accepted) and then exchange them for Japanese yen (cash) at one of the many approved Post Offices in Japan. You can do this at the Mimasaka Post Office.



You can withdraw money with your cards by day and by night at more than 13,000 ATMs installed in Seven-Eleven Stores all over Japan.
Please use our ATMs during your stay in Japan.


Credit Cards

Credit cards are not popular in Japan. Your credit card will not work in automatic banking machines (ATMs) in Japan but you may be able to use it to pay for hotels, restaurants, shop purchases, etc

International Phone Calls

International phone calls from Japan are expensive. There are international public phones located across the road from the Mimasaka Post Office, at the Mimasaka Highway Interchange and in front of the Mimasaka Town Office. They are a gray color and give instructions in English. You will be shown how to use them and where to buy the phone cards. Please ask before you use your host family's phone. To contact an international operator from a private phone dial 0051. You can ask the operator to call you back with the cost of your call. Do not assume your home country callback service, your home country discount card or number will work in Japan. Check with the company for instructions on how to use your service IN JAPAN before you leave your home country.


Your host family may have internet access but you will be confronted with a Japanese language browser (Explorer/Netscape). Don't panic - the buttons work basically the same as other versions. If you intend to send email from Japan it is recommended that you set up a web-based email account before you leave your home country.

There is free internet access available at Town Office. It is a touch screen system that makes it difficult (but not impossible) to write long email messages.

Home stay

When you go out by yourself after 5pm, or on free days, you should give the Contact Card to your host family and let them know what time you will return. You should be back by curfew. Please help your host family with housework, cooking, washing, weeding, etc. You are not a guest. You are a member of your host family.

Please don't be afraid to tell your host family what food you like or dislike. Keep a record of your host family's phone number and mobile phone (cell phone) number on you at all times.

Bring some photos from home (house, rooms, family, pets, sports, etc) to show your host family what life is like in your country.

Contact Card

Japan is a very safe country but during your stay in Mimasaka you are the responsibility of your host family. Consequently, they must be aware of your movements at all times. Please, don't view this as an invasion of your privacy. Your free time is your own, but for safety, please remember to inform your host family - via the Contact Card - of your movements. We will introduce the Contact Card to you when you arrive.


Can you ride a bike?

While you are in Mimasaka, we will be using bikes quite a lot - so brush up on your riding skills. In Japan, bikes generally use the FOOTPATH and not the road! If you do use the road, remember that in Japan we drive/ride on the LEFT.

A Final Word

It is the wish of the Mimasaka International Exchange Association (MIEA) that you enjoy your stay in Mimasaka and that you participate actively in the exchange of ideas between peoples of the world. This is the fourth year this program has been in operation and we are looking forward to the two weeks of fun and learning. Your host families are also very excited about hosting people from other countries (remember to bring some photos from home). They are keen to make your stay in Mimasaka comfortable and enjoyable but please remember that any negative behavior on your part reflects badly on your host family. The rules of social conduct that you adhere to in your home countries also apply in Japan. Please be respectful to others, be punctual and lastly, be home by curfew. (not too late)



Mr. Satomi Inoue

568 Aso, Mimasaka, Okayama,

 707-0053 JAPAN


(81) -(0)90-1011-4193

(81) -(0)868-72-5294


Some things are different in Japan

Japanese Parties.


Japanese people love to eat and drink. This is done seated on the floor at low tables. Nobody eats or drinks anything until everyone is present. A small speech is given, a toast is made (kampai!) and then the party begins. It is customary for Japanese to pour each other their drinks pouring one's own drink is considered strange. It is polite to keep everyone's glasses full to the brim. BEWARE: this can lead to over-drinking. If you don't wish to drink anymore, leave you glass full or ask to drink tea or juice. If you are not comfortable with eating any of the weird and wonderful stuff that the Japanese eat,just leave it (wriggling) on the plate or tell your host.

Japanese Baths


Japanese families like to take a bath at the end of the day. Family members often use the same bath water but they wash and rinse BEFORE getting into the bath. This means the water remains free of soapsuds. As a guest you may be invited to use the bath first. There is usually a shower nozzle in the same room as the bathtub so you can shower (morning/evening) if you prefer.

Japanese Toilets.


Many are standard western-style toilets. Others have additions including bidet, bum dryer, heater, etc. Some are the squat type face towards the hooded end of the bowl and take aim. It is quite common in country areas like Mimasaka for toilets of any type to be located above a pit in the ground - they stink. Public toilets are sometimes without toilet paper. Carry your own or purchase some from the coin dispensers sometimes located at the toilet entrance. Japanese have special slippers for the toilet room. Remember to put them on AND take them off after..

Indoor footwear


In Japan people take their shoes off and put on slippers when they go into a house (and some other buildings). You will usually see some slippers just inside the door for the use of guests. Japanese also have special slippers for toilets (rest room, bathroom). You will be taking your shoes off and putting them on many times in a single day. For this reason, it may be a good idea to bring some outdoor shoes that slip on and off easily (lace-up boots are inconvenient for daily use). You might also be able to buy elastic shoelaces in your own country.

Gift Giving


When Japanese travel they often return with regional foods to be given as gifts (cakes, chocolates, alcohol, etc are popular). It would be a nice gesture if you were to bring food or something similar from your own country to be given as a gift to your host family.