Getting from Tokyo to kyoto

Old Aug 13th, 2016, 04:20 AM
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Getting from Tokyo to kyoto

We are first time visitors to Japan and need some feedback on travel between to,kyoand Kyoto. We are spending 3 days in Tokyo and 3 days in Kyoto, we fly in and out of Tokyo for our international flight. I've looked at the jr pass but it seems expensive. I've also looked at flights and they are cheaper than the train. Can anyone give me the pros and cons of school method of travel and any other tips or suggestions
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 05:19 AM
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If you are just traveling Tokyo to Kyoto round trip, there is no need to purchase a JR pass. Just purchase the tickets at the station when you arrive. With 6 days, I would spend all of your time in Kyoto.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 07:20 AM
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Yes, no need for a JR pass - it takes a LOT of train travel to make the pass worthwhile. Just buy the individual tickets that you need. Take a look at www.hyperdia.com for train schedules and costs.

Like tripplanner, if it were me and I only had 6 days (that means 7 nights), I'd spend it all in Kyoto. But many people would divide their time. Spend some time on www.japan-guide.com and get a sense of what you want to see/do/experience in each place.

While both flights and the train work fine, you may want to experience Japan's stellar train system.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 08:52 AM
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If you are already committed to flying into and out of Tokyo, consider putting all your time there at the end of the trip.

Another strong recommendation to consult japan-guide.com.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 09:37 AM
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Which Tokyo airport(s) are you using?

If Day 1 is your arrival day in Japan then what Day is your departure?

I can't rule out JR Pass without knowing the answers to those questions. It very well could be less expensive than paying as you go. (i.e. NRT ... NRT in 7 days)

But, you have options.

The shinkansen was built for the trip you want to take. You go from city center to city center. The chance that your trip will be on time is about as close to 100% as you can get.

Flying involves city-airport transfer time and cost. Flights can be delayed for various reasons, including weather.

There are discount shinkansen tickets available, special airfares for visitors, and low cost airlines.

Here is a place to start looking for rail discount tix:
http://english.jr-central.co.jp/shin...our/index.html

follow the Japanican link. I think there is a discount one-way shinkansen ticket. Rail+hotel or rail only. Package starting at Narita Airport.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 10:15 AM
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I agree 100% with mrwunrfl - I was going to post something along the same lines but he kindly saved me all that work.

A JR Pass for seven calendar days if that is your schedule will probably save you a bit from separate tickets as it would include the fare from Tokyo to NRT.

And flying to Kyoto will involve the time and money for the trip from the airport to the city.

You can check train fares on hyperdia.com - be sure to use the total ¥ amount.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 10:42 AM
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Tokyo <-> Kyoto is ¥27,600 round-trip on Hikari shinkansen with reserved seats at regular price. That's only ¥1,510 less than a 7-day JR Pass. That's about the cost of a Nara day trip, less than a Kamakura day trip, much less than a Nikko day trip. Half the cost of a Narita Express trip. And could use it for a couple hundred worth of JR lines in Tokyo.

But, if you can connect an international flight with a domestic one, eliminating a city-airport transfer, then that would be a good idea. Especially if you can get the domestic flight on the same ticket. A bonus would be checking bags through.

I would expect, but check with ANA first, that if I got one ticket on ANA from Osaka Itami to Narita Airport and had another ticket flying ANA from NRT to USA that they would check me in for both flights at ITM and my bag would be checked through.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 10:46 AM
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just now saw your post, Mara
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 11:54 AM
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I think you need to clarify things just a bit -- 'days' really isn't clear.

If you want 3 full days in each city than you really would need 8 nights

Arrival day/night is basically just travel/logistics/jet lag. 3 full/useable days in Tokyo would require 3 additional nights. Then half a day getting from Tokyo. To get 3 full days in Kyoto would again mean 4 nights

Sooooo - how long is your actual trip? If just 5 or 6 nights -- pick one or the other, Tokyo or Kyoto.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 03:57 PM
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I think it's fine to split your days between the two cities for a first visit, but that's not really what you were asking, correct? You were asking about trains versus planes between the two cities, I believe.

Aside from Mara's and mrwunrfl's great information, another advantage of the train is that you have flexibility as to what time to leave. Let's say you wake up the last morning in Kyoto (assuming you go there first), and you decide you are temple over-dosed. You pack up your stuff, and hop on the next train.

Alternatively, if you decide that you must see more temples in Kyoto, then you pack up your stuff anyway, leave it at the front desk, look at temples until 4PM. Then you grab your luggage, some beer, and a bento box, and take a 6 PM train to Tokyo, just like the Japanese do.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 05:32 PM
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>>I think it's fine to split your days between the two cities for a first visit
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 06:08 PM
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Because one can travel between Kyoto and Tokyo in less than 3 hours, I agree that it can make sense to split time between the two cities if that's what the OP wants. JMO.
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 09:45 AM
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Here is a train-only discount option:
http://www.japanican.com/en/tour/det...U&kw=E-Voucher

and good prices on train+hotel packages:
http://www.japanican.com/en/special/...px#tokyo_kyoto
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 11:15 AM
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Kyoto is ¥27,600 round-trip on Hikari shinkansen with reserved seats at regular price.>>

Even on low season unreserved seats are ¥26,160 RT, which makes the difference between the rack rate of the JR pass (29,110) and your RT tickets for just Tokyo-Kyoto still LESS than the cost of RT tickets for just Tokyo-Kyoto plus Narita Express RT tickets.

I'm not sure how the JR pass can "seem expensive" when it'll go wherever you want and for as many trips as you can imagine in 7 days and you can buy it for $275 online.
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 12:37 PM
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¥580, 30 min, Tokyo station to Haneda Airport, 1 transfer
¥10,800, 65 min, Yokoso! or Experience Japan one-way airfare
¥1,310, 60 min, bus from Osaka Itami airport to Kyoto
=======
¥12,690 and 2 hours 35 minutes of actual travel time.

Add on time spent at the airports, say an hour at Haneda and then 25 min to get to and board the bus at Itami. It's a 4-hour trip, at least.

Or, if you have the oneworld or Star Alliance miles then you could fly for free.

The fastest, most expensive, most frequent train option would be a Nozomi shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto. In a regular car (not Green car) with reserved seat, it would be:
¥14,110, 2 hours 18 minutes.

The Hikari shinkansen that you would use with your JR Pass would take 17 minutes longer than the Nozomi.
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 01:57 PM
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>

That doesn't even account for picking up luggage, if you check it.

>

Well, no money. It's not free because of the opportunity cost of using the miles (or some points) for a different travel plan.

And Kathie - they'll probably save money with the JR pass because they HAVE to return to Tokyo. This is because they can get JR pass vouchers for less than the direct exchange rate - currently $287, there are sites selling for $275 (which is about 13000 yen off the retail price).
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 01:57 PM
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ACH. Make that 1300 yen.

Bloody math.
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