Japan new year rail travel

Sep 27th, 2019, 08:43 AM
  #1  
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Japan new year rail travel

Hi
i would very much appreciate some help here
we leave Naoshima on Dec 31 and Tokyo Jan 6
we would like to see Hiroshima for maybe two days and possibly Osaka for a couple more and then backto Kyoto until we head back to Tokyo the morning of Jan 6

my question is given the busy rail travel schedule at that time would i be better going from Naoshima to Kyoto and then to Osaka and Hiroshima rather than the other way around so we are going against the traffic?

or shall we skip osaka and do it as one of the Kyoto daytrips?

thanks very much for your advice.

Ny comments and recommendations would be most appreciated.
RNigel is offline  
Sep 27th, 2019, 03:50 PM
  #2  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by RNigel View Post
or shall we skip osaka and do it as one of the Kyoto daytrips?
I would think that would depend on what you would want to visit in Osaka and Kyoto and how much time you have for Kyoto.

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Sep 28th, 2019, 08:04 AM
  #3  
 
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From Naoshima you would take the boat to Uno, then a JR local train from Uno to Okayama. Okayama is between Kyoto/Osaka to the north and Hiroshima to the south. It is only 40 minutes from Okayama to Hiroshima, but at least 60 minutes from Okayama to Kyoto. That means that you can avoid at least two hours of backtracking by going to Hiroshima before Kyoto.

I think that your thought about going against traffic is not valid. The trains and people will be going in both directions.

Last edited by mrwunrfl; Sep 28th, 2019 at 08:06 AM.
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Sep 28th, 2019, 09:52 AM
  #4  
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Thank you very much for this.
my point about going against the traffic was rhat from Dec 28-31 the traffic would be going out of the cities and from Jan1-5 the traffic would be going towards the major cities
i guess as busy as they are there should still be space maybe early in the morning

thanks again for your response
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Sep 28th, 2019, 01:41 PM
  #5  
 
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Of course there is more rail passenger traffic overall, but your presumption is correct - there is a far bigger exodus of people from the big cities just before major holiday periods, and their return to the big cities at the end. Or as already stated,
"Travel activity is usually particularly intense from December 29 to December 31 when many urbanites leave the big cities (especially Tokyo) and from January 2 to January 4 when they return home. As a result, trains, airports and expressways get very congested.
In 2019/2020, the travel peak is expected to take place between December 28 and 31 (especially on December 28-29) with people leaving the big cities, and between January 2 and 5 (especially January 4-5) in the opposite direction."


If you are not fighting the Japanese for the same seats, New Years doesn't have to be a nightmare at all.
Adastra2200 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2019, 08:22 AM
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by RNigel View Post
Thank you very much for this.
my point about going against the traffic was rhat from Dec 28-31 the traffic would be going out of the cities and from Jan1-5 the traffic would be going towards the major cities
i guess as busy as they are there should still be space maybe early in the morning

thanks again for your response
I understood that point, but the plan, IIUC, is to take two longer trips (Okayama to Kyoto and Kyoto to Hiroshima) that are opposite the peak flow instead of one shorter trip (Okayama to Hiroshima) that would be with the exodus from the big cities (Tokyo/Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka)

But the only date that matters is the 31st. Your travel from Hiroshima to Tokyo will be in January with the people returning to the big cities. Note that in the advisory that Adastra* gave the 31st is not the peak of the peak.

Okayama is an important station on the Sanyo shinkansen line. The passengers leaving the big cities on the 31st and bound for Shikoku, or Matsue and other San-in destinations, will be transferring from the shinkansen at Okayama.
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Sep 29th, 2019, 08:32 AM
  #7  
 
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RNigel, what is your itinerary now?
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Sep 30th, 2019, 06:24 AM
  #8  
 
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You could avoid some traffic altogether if you use a multi-destination search function to fly into Osaka and home from Tokyo, or vice-versa.
Southam is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 07:26 AM
  #9  
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Japan New Year Rail Travel

Thank you all for your excellent suggestions.
My dilemma is of course enhanced by my inability to book seats for the New Year period now from my home country.
Here is my latest idea:

Dec 31 leave Naoshima for Hiroshima (Dec 31 should be lighter traffic)
Jan 1 or 2 leave Hiroshima for Kyoto (If we skip Miyajima Jan 1 should be safe. If not Jan 2 which might not be worth the aggravation.)
Jan 5 Kyoto to Tokyo. ( I was thinking of blowing the budget by trying to book seats outside of the JR pass through www.govoyagin.com/pages/japan_shinkansen
If that doesn't work I guess we could find a freight train, cattle car or hitchhike back to Tokyo
OR
Jan 6 Kyoto to Tokyo (I was hoping to have a final day/night in Tokyo in case we missed anything the first time around.
Jan 6 Tokyo to Ottawa

Is this keeping me up at night? Absolutely!

Thank you all very much
RNigel is offline  
Oct 1st, 2019, 08:07 AM
  #10  
 
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When I asked for your itinerary I meant from the beginning. It starts on the 20th, I think.
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Oct 1st, 2019, 10:11 AM
  #11  
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Japan New Year Rail travel

Sorry......

Arrive Tokyo Dec 18
Tokyo to Kyoto Dec 23
Kyoto to Naoshima Dec 27
RNigel is offline  
Oct 4th, 2019, 09:09 AM
  #12  
 
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I don't get it. I don't see how a JR Pass will work for you and don't understand why you apparently are spending 4 nights on Naoshima.

I think you could just buy the individual tickets that you want and then you would be able to use any shinkansen. You could probably find a low/cheap airfare to fly back to Tokyo from Osaka or Hiroshima. You might be able to use FF miles though the dates in January are probably blacked out.
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