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Japan rail pass - yes or no?

Old Nov 16th, 2006, 02:11 PM
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Japan rail pass - yes or no?

Our family of four is looking to take the following trips by train:

Narita to Tokyo
Tokyo to Kyoto
Kyoto to Osaka

I believe a rail pass is ~38,000 yen (1st class) or ~ 28,000 yen (2nd class). Is it worth it to get a pass or should we just buy individual tickets? Also, what's the difference in classes?
Thanks.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 08:02 PM
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Narita Airport to Tokyo Station is ¥2940 per person. Therre are other trains for less. You don't say where you are staying, but it might be easier to take a limo bus from the airport right to your hotel rather than deal with luggage in the train stations.

Tokyo to Kyoto is ¥13,520 on a Nozomi, ¥13,220 on a Hikiri.

Kyoto to Osaka is cheap...under ¥1000 yen if you don't use shinkansen. Many many choices of train.

Maybe you meant to Kansai Airport, though...that's maybe ¥3,500 or so. There is a limo bus service from many hotels and the station that we use all the time for less money.

Japanese trains have regular cars and Green cars. Green cars have slightly bigger seats and a lounge area and I think a TV in the car. Maybe. Regular cars on most long distance trains have airplane style seats. Other trains, like local/commuter trains, don't have green cars.

A green car JR Pass is not necessary. For your itinerary, a JR Pass is not necessary. You can find schedules and fares yourself on hyperdia.com.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Thanks so much, kimjapan!
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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KimJapan,
Would it make more sense for
the four of us to take a taxi from Narita into Tokyo? About how much would that be? Thanks again.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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Narita is and hour and a half from Tokyo. The limo busses are 3000 yen and drop you off at your hotel.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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It takes the limo bus two hours to get from Narita to the hotels in the last drop off zones in the western part of Tokyo (eg. Ebisu area, the Westin).

A taxi from Narita to Tokyo would be outrageously expensive, much much more than the price of 4 tickets on the limo bus. I don't think a taxi would get you there much faster; the bus stops quickly at each stop (and there aren't that many stops). If your hotel is not one of the ones that the limo bus stops at, then you'd need to walk (if possible) or take a taxi from the closest hotel that it does stop at to your hotel.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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Four tix on the limo bus is about 12,000 yen. Here is taxi fare info:
http://www.narita-airport.jp/en/acce...tail_taxi.html
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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It isn't as much more as I thought it woudl be, but I doubt you can fit 4 passengers, a cab driver, and all your luggage into a cab, unless they have bigger cabs than the ones I've seen.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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All of the cabs I've seen are sedans. Anyone know is there are there any cabs that are vans at the airport?
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Old Nov 18th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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There are wagon taxis (MPV, people carrier), but there is no guarantee one is available when you want. Taxi fare to within 23 wards of Tokyo is set at 22,000 yen, plus any toll charges. In normal taxis (usually Toyota Crowns), the trunk space is largely taken up by LPG tank, limiting luggage space.
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Thanks again for all the help. Sounds like the limo is the preferred means (although the train seems faster). Is the problem carrying your luggage through the train station?
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Depending on where you want to go in Tokyo, the train may be faster, but you will have to carry your bags through the stations, and maybe even change trains. Then you've still got to get to your hotel, which isn't likely to be in the station. The limo buses from the airport are door to door to most well known large hotels, which is very convenient and easy. The time they list that it takes is pretty much spot on, as they use the latest in navigation systems that allows them to choose the fastest route and avoid any traffic jams.
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