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Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:56 am
by cpthuy
Hey guys,

I'm currently planning a short spotting trip at Tokyo during my 3-4 days layover there. The plan is probably spend 1 day (possibly 2) at Hyakuri and another one at Tokyo Heliport and either Haneda/Narita. It'll be a solo trip so I'll probably stick with public transport to save on the cost. Haneda/Narita and Tokyo Heliport should be relatively easy, however Hyakuri is proven to be quiet a challenge.
I'm planning to stay in Tokyo, because for some reason I can't find any hotel or airbnb near Hyakuri, and it takes about 2hr30mins just for the trip, so I am wondering how often do the F-4s fly per day. Also, I read that there is a place where there's a wooden tower that we can climb up to take pictures, but you'll have to call someone to open the gate and pay a fee. So I'm wondering where can I find the phone number, and how much would it be.

Thank you.

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:47 pm
by McG1967
Ibaraki airport is the civilian side of Hyakuri airbase. There is a direct bus service from Tokyo station.
When I visited using public transport the direct bus service wasn’t frequent so I took the train to a nearby village and then got a local bus.
The schedule of the bus from Tokyo station to Ibaraki airport can be found here:
http://www.ibaraki-airport.net/en/access/bus/tokyo.html

I didn’t make it round to the towers as it was mid morning by the time I got there. Others I know who have been have said proceedings start early, usually with ground running of the QRA jets before 8am.

If your a member of the Scramble website, they have a members only guide to Hyakuri.

Finally, if you search for hotels near Ibaraki airport you will find some hotels in the villages near by.

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:42 am
by cpthuy
McG1967 wrote:
Ibaraki airport is the civilian side of Hyakuri airbase. There is a direct bus service from Tokyo station.
When I visited using public transport the direct bus service wasn’t frequent so I took the train to a nearby village and then got a local bus.
The schedule of the bus from Tokyo station to Ibaraki airport can be found here:
http://www.ibaraki-airport.net/en/access/bus/tokyo.html

I didn’t make it round to the towers as it was mid morning by the time I got there. Others I know who have been have said proceedings start early, usually with ground running of the QRA jets before 8am.

If your a member of the Scramble website, they have a members only guide to Hyakuri.

Finally, if you search for hotels near Ibaraki airport you will find some hotels in the villages near by.

Do you know if ladder is required on the other side? And how good is the observation deck at Ibaraki? I just signed up on Scramble so i have to wait til the admins approve.

Thank you very much!

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:27 am
by McG1967
Yes a ladder would be helpful on the other side. I had to shoot through the fence as I did not have a ladder.
I didn’t visit the observation deck at Ibaraki so couldn’t say.

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:15 am
by cpthuy
I guess i won't have a ladder with me neither. Thanks for your help!

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:10 pm
by sovietjet
Hyakuri wooden towers have been rebuilt. They are now metal, taller and better. I spent a full day in Hyakuri in 2014. The F-4s flew all day from morning to dusk. Morning go to the towers, you have to drive to the gate and call the phone number. The old lady used to come out and collect a fee and open the gate for you. Unfortunately she passed away, and now the new owner does the same thing. I don't know the phone number though. I'm sure it can be found on Scramble. Around noon you can switch to the other side. A ladder is recommended. There are spots all along the runway, you can just sit in the field or at the road at the northern end of the runway. Here is my shot from the towers:

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Japan-Ai ... LxugM/4%3D

Here is my shotfrom the other side in the afternoon (north end of runway):

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Japan-Ai ... LxugM/4%3D

Here is a shot, from somewhere midway down the runway in afternoon:

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Japan-Ai ... LxugM/4%3D

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:01 am
by cpthuy
sovietjet wrote:
Hyakuri wooden towers have been rebuilt. They are now metal, taller and better. I spent a full day in Hyakuri in 2014. The F-4s flew all day from morning to dusk. Morning go to the towers, you have to drive to the gate and call the phone number. The old lady used to come out and collect a fee and open the gate for you. Unfortunately she passed away, and now the new owner does the same thing. I don't know the phone number though. I'm sure it can be found on Scramble. Around noon you can switch to the other side. A ladder is recommended. There are spots all along the runway, you can just sit in the field or at the road at the northern end of the runway. Here is my shot from the towers:

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Japan-Ai ... LxugM/4%3D

Here is my shotfrom the other side in the afternoon (north end of runway):

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Japan-Ai ... LxugM/4%3D

Here is a shot, from somewhere midway down the runway in afternoon:

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Japan-Ai ... LxugM/4%3D


Nice pictures! And thank you very much for the advices. How tall does the ladder have to be when you were there? I'm thinking about buying a small 2-3 step ladders in Tokyo before catching the bus to Hyakuri.

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:03 pm
by sovietjet
Probably 3 step should be OK. But I think you'll need a car to get around the base as the light changes and to catch takeoffs/recoveries

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:03 am
by cpthuy
sovietjet wrote:
Probably 3 step should be OK. But I think you'll need a car to get around the base as the light changes and to catch takeoffs/recoveries

I guess having a car is better. I'll send in my application for International Driver Permit in a few days and I'll probably rent a car there. Do you remember how much focal lens do you need for Hyakuri? I know from the tower it is pretty close, but what about other spots?
Thanks!

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:37 pm
by sovietjet
I used a 5D + 100-400mm everywhere throughout the day

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:24 am
by gh6912
Just discovered this thread. Planning a trip myself in 2 weeks, planning to stay nearby the base. Any word about those towers and what times they are accessible?

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:27 am
by McG1967
For the towers:

The daily access fee is 1500 Yen.

Depending on what time you arrive the gate may already be open, if not there is a number on the gate for you to phone and the owner will come and open the gate.

If the gate is open just drive in and park up. The opener comes round later in the morning to collect the access fee from anyone who has not already paid.

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:13 pm
by gh6912
McG1967 wrote:
For the towers:

The daily access fee is 1500 Yen.

Depending on what time you arrive the gate may already be open, if not there is a number on the gate for you to phone and the owner will come and open the gate.

If the gate is open just drive in and park up. The opener comes round later in the morning to collect the access fee from anyone who has not already paid.



Perfect! I’ve been searching for the towers using Google satellite imagery and can’t seem to find them. Any tips on where to search? Thank you again!

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:30 pm
by catsnrocketsav
Hi there,
I'm planing to go for Hyakuri Open Day / Show in December. The trip will include the day before and after the show for some spotting. I read and saw a lot pics including the towers.

So can you please tell me where is the gate to access the towers? Are there any marks for google maps to see where the spot are for spotting?

As this is my first spotting trip to Japan I appreciate any tips for this trip :-D

Many Thanks in advance

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:13 pm
by clickhappy
Please see this image:

Image (if you can't view the image right-click it and select "view in new tab)

You will drive up to the gate, your choices are to go straight (through the gate) or left, towards the spotting location. When you turn left you will be on a small dirt/grass road, with fence on either side. Eventually you will come to a gate (see instructions in previous posts). if it is crowded you can park at the shrine, if not, continue to the end, where the platforms are. Standard lens will cover you on the taxiway, You'll need some reach to shoot the stuff on the runway, like 300mm or better. An 80-400 or 100-400 will do the trick.

There are lots of websites to read about travelling to Japan. Aviation photography is universal there, with spotting locations at almost any airport. If you plan to drive, you will need an International Drivers License.

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:40 pm
by catsnrocketsav
@clickhappy
Thanks for this, that's awesome.
As I'm from Germany I need a translation of my drivers license, unfortunately ;-)
Thanks for th etips for the lenses. I wlll go for 200-500 and 300. It's quite difficult to carry the real heavy stuff with travel on luggage while traveling by plane...

Re: Hyakuri Planespotting tips.

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:15 pm
by gh6912
catsnrocketsav wrote:
@clickhappy
Thanks for this, that's awesome.
As I'm from Germany I need a translation of my drivers license, unfortunately ;-)
Thanks for th etips for the lenses. I wlll go for 200-500 and 300. It's quite difficult to carry the real heavy stuff with travel on luggage while traveling by plane...


Hi there! I was at Hyakuri in February. When I get home and get access to my laptop I’ll give you a layout as well as what focal lengths I used. I had a 100-400 lens the entire time and at the Peace Towers aircraft were so close I needed something less, maybe between 25-75mm during taxi out