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Hakone - Kyoto - do we have to switch multiple trains?

Hakone - Kyoto - do we have to switch multiple trains?

Old Nov 10th, 2009, 09:52 PM
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kdd
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Hakone - Kyoto - do we have to switch multiple trains?

Hi,

How easy is it to get from Hakone to Kyoto? I originally had the impression that there was one shinkasen from Odawara to Kyoto but from the train websites it appears that we have to switch multiple trains. If the latter is true then it would not be very convenient especially with a child and luggage. Any experiences on this?

Thanks
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 10:24 PM
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There are direct Shinkansen Kodama and Hikari trains between Odawara and Kyoto. Go to www.hyperdia.com and search for Shinkansen trains but uncheck the Nozomi box.
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 10:28 PM
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The problem is that these trains are a lot less frequent than the Nozomis, which don't stop at Odawara. And the all-stop Kodama is pretty slow - 3 hours to from Odawara to Kyoto. You want to pick a time when there is a direct Hikari, like 8:09a, 10:09a, 12:09p. These take just two hours.
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 02:48 AM
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The trains between Odawara and Kyoto are exactly like local and express trains in many cities: All of the trains share the same track. The express trains stop at only a few stations, but the local trains stop at every station. Most people who are traveling a long distance, if they're boarding at a station where the local train stops but the express train doesn't, will take the local train only to the stop where they can pick up the express, and then they'll take the express to their destination.

That's how the train schedules are listed for Odawara-Kyoto. Most people traveling between the two will take the local shinkansen (Kodama) from Odawara to the next station where they can pick up the Nozomi. In fact, it's often quicker -- but more expensive -- to backtrack from Odawara to Yokohama and pick up the Nozomi there.

People are, of course, welcome to just get on the local and clunk along on it until they get to their destination. Or, as rkkwan points out, there are also the "semi-local" trains, the Hikari, which aren't true express trains like the Nozomi, but stop at far fewer stations than the Kodama.
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 07:28 AM
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Very well explained, rizzuto.
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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There are many more Kodama trains than Hikari or Nozomi. These three types of shinkansen are only on the Tokaido& Sanyo lines. There are other type of shinkansen depending on which line you travel. You can check out the timetables below for the JR West Tokaido & Sanyo route.

http://www.japanrail.com/pdf/timetab...able1_west.pdf

http://www.japanrail.com/pdf/timetab...able1_east.pdf

If you read this site below in detail, it will answer about all of your questions regarding rail travel in Japan

http://www.japanrail.com/

rizzuto's analogy is good,the Hikari is also considered an express train and the Nozomi considered the super express. The Hikari was the express train before they introduced the Nozomi. See this link for the official definitions, press the Tokaido&Sanyo button.

http://www.japanrail.com/index.php?p...n-bullet-train

Regarding your luggage question.....The Japanese rarely travel anywhere with luggage in tow. They all utilize the takuhaibin services with detailed explanation here:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html

I have used this service numerous times. It is the best way to move your luggage around Japan. That said, there is some room on the train for your luggage like behind the last row in your train car or some cars have a luggage hold area as you enter the car(most all green cars). See here for some explanations:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2274.html

Aloha!
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