Japan help Tokyo to Kyoto

Old Sep 4th, 2010, 10:01 PM
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Japan help Tokyo to Kyoto

My husband and I are well-travelled seniors. In order to use our frequent flyer miles we had to fly through Tokyo and were able to add a short stay in Japan. We'll be arriving at Tokyo airport at about 4 p.m. on December 7th and departing on December 12th, giving us only 4 full days and one evening in Japan. We will not be jet lagging as this will be at the end of our trip. Can we see both Tokyo and Kyoto in that short period of time and , if so, we'd appreciate your suggestions on how to do it and the not to be missed sights. Are there any discounted senior Shinkansen tickets?

Thank you for your help.
skiski6 is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2010, 12:09 AM
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People are trying to do and more with less and less time

Its do-able but, you really are pushing it. The Shinkansen takes about 2.5 hours or so to go from Tokyo to Kyoto. Depends if you take NOZOMI or HIKARI.
They do not have any discounted tickets for seniors in Japan. There are shops that sell discount tickets, but, as a new comer to Japan, you would not know where to look and what to do. I lived there for some years and thats why I state this.

OK..Japan Rail pass good for HIKARI ), is Yen 28,300 for 7 days, and that is good for transport from Narita into Tokyo on the Narita Express,and on all Japan Rail trains.. Does not work on subways either. The rail pass is Yen 28,300 and good for 7 days. Here are a couple of links that may help you decide what tickets to buy. I think, if you had a JR PASS, you could save some money, rather than come into Japan, then purchase tickets separately.

So, you could come to Japan, take Narita Express into town ( NEW), stay the night in Tokyo, then take Hikari to KYOTO. Return trip exactly the same.
The HIKARI is Yen 13,220 from Tokyo to Kyoto. I recall the NEX is around Yen 3,000 from Narita .. Some Googling will probably give you the current prices.

Hope this help..


gearsau is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2010, 12:12 AM
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Sorry.... Narita Express is called NEX ( Not NEW )
gearsau is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2010, 05:26 AM
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What airline are you flying? I might skip Tokyo (we love it but it is super hectic) and fly to Kyoto and back - there are $100 tickets if you fly with certain airline partners. Spend the entire time in Kyoto.
usernameistaken is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2010, 06:19 AM
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Agree with usernameistaken: with just 4 days for your fist trip, spending all the time in Kyoto s a very good idea (and I love both Tokyo and Kyoto).

Kyoto is instantly approachable for a visitor: Lots of terrific areas to visit, including the very traditional-type places that appeals to first-timers on a visceral level. The zeitgeist of Tokyo, on the other hand, takes a bit longer to sink in.

It takes about 2-1/2 hours longer to get to Kyoto if you fly in Tokyo, so it doesn't cut much into your total time, depending, on your flight arrival and departure times. Rail travel between Tokyo and Kyoto is ultra-simple, as there are several high-speed trains each hour.

Please do not at this point worry about logistics, such as rail passes. Decide where you want to go, then work from there.
DonTopaz is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2010, 06:34 AM
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I hope that you realize you cannot fly into KYOTO direct from overseas. You would fly into Kansai ( Osaka )...Still though, this airport is much closer to Kyoto than Tokyo.


Note: the information from rizzuto is slightly mis-leading. Should you fly into NARITA, you still have to take the NEX into town, and thats a one hour trip, then you transfer to the Shinkansen line and then take an Hiraki or Nozomi to Kyoto. So, please dont think it is only 2 - 1/2 hours difference, when , in fact, its more like 4 hours, plus.

If you fly into KANSAI, you can take a train all the way from there direct to KYOTO.

I have done this on many occasions when I was doing some work in Kusatsu ( near Kyoto) in 2004.
gearsau is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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There are also some (not a lot) international flights into Nagoya's Chubu Centrair Airport. No direct transportation to Kyoto, but the train-to-train transit will still be easier, cheaper and faster than from Narita by a bunch.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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I don't think flying into another airport is an option for the op, it sounds like they have a booking and the stopover (and short visit to Japan) is secondary to the rest of their travel plans. With four days, I'd choose one place, either Tokyo or Kyoto, definitely do not try to visit both places.
justshootme is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2010, 11:12 AM
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I'd also just choose one. For me, that would be Kyoto, even if you do have to spend some time on the train.
lcuy is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2010, 07:39 PM
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Another option is to use a JAL Yokoso air voucher to fly from Narita to Nagoya (and then by train to Kyoto) or Osaka- especially good if you are flying in on a OneWorld carrier.
Sydney2K is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2010, 10:10 PM
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Thank you all so much for your help. Sorry to take so long to get back but life and some surgeries took over.

justshootme, you had it right, this is the end of our trip (Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, India) We are using frequent flyer miles and had to fly through Japan in order to get back to JFK and so decided to spend a few days in Japan. We have taken the advice of so many of you and will spend all of our time in Kyoto. We are booked on a flight from Singapore to Narita and a flight to Osaka. We plan to continue by train to Kyoto all on the same day. A lot of traveling in one day but we wanted the maximum time in Kyoto (3 full days and as long as we need on the 4th day before taking the train to Tokyo). We have a reservation for this last night near Narita airport.

We are planning to come back into Tokyo on the train.

Several questions:

Do we have to book the train in advance or can we just purchase tickets at the train station the day before we want to go back to Tokyo?

If we arrive in Tokyo early in the day, would it be worthwhile to check our luggage at the train station and see some sights before going to our hotel? This will be our last day in Japan as we are flying home the next morning. If so, what would you suggest we do?

Thank you so much for your help.

skiski6 is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2010, 05:30 AM
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No, you do not have to purchase your tickets in advance. (It's advisable to purchase in advance only if you travel during one of the heavy travel periods, which your trip is not.)

It would certainly be worthwhile for you to spend some time in Tokyo on the day before you leave. In fact, it is now probably faster to get to Narita Airport from some central Tokyo hotels (especially those in Nippori and Ueno) than from some airport hotels. That's because the shuttles from the airport hotels can take an enormously long time (45-50 mins, in some cases), while the train from Nippori takes only about 36 minutes to arrive directly at the Narita terminal.
DonTopaz is offline  
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