Japan Rail: Shinkansen and Nozomi

Old Feb 14th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Japan Rail: Shinkansen and Nozomi

I was going to wait until I had more info before posting this, but when I see both KimJapan and mrwunrfl providing great advice to angelreader on trains, I hoped your fresh knowledge would help me solve a puzzle. Iíve begun research trains from Tokyo to Takayama to Kanazawa to Kyoto to Narita Airport, and when I input likely departure times from Tokyo (around 10 AM) and Kyoto (around 2 PM) in grace.hyperdia, it seems that every train listed is a Nozomi Ė which I understand has a premium fare and is not on a Japan Rail Pass. How can I find the Sinkansen trains on hyperdia? Am I missing something?
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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In grace.hyperdia.com when you have your results that show Nozomi, click on the clock on the top line of the routing. That should give you the whole day's list of trains. Then, click on the train you want to see...they are arranged by time, early to late, and will include Hikari and Kodama. You will find clicking on allof those icons in the results gives you good information...try all of them.
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 04:00 PM
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And just clarify the terminology, Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama are ALL shinkansens. Diffrence is, Nozomi is the quickest, makes least stops, Hikari next, and Kodama is the slowest.

I saw a JR timetable seach site sometime ago somwhere which could exclude Nozomi but maybe it was not hyperdia.
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 04:07 PM
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Ok, it is hyperdia's Japanese page which has that function.
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 10:01 PM
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Just below the Big Clock icon, that I think KimJapan is referring to, click on the Little Clock with Book icon. That will give you a table listing all of the trains for the day with times and enroute stops.

If you click on the train name on that list then you will see the entire schedule and routing for that train (including before your departure and after your arrival).

To get from Tokyo to Takayama you will take the shinkansen to Nagoya and transfer to a Limited Express (Wide View) Hida train on the Takayama line. You should avoid the local trains on the Takayama line as they take 2 hours longer (about twice as long) than the limited express train.

So first you will need to get the Hikari shinkansen schedule from Tokyo to Nagoya using the methods described above and then line up a limited express to Takayama. Note that the transfer time for the Nozomi to Hida LEX is 8 minutes so that would be a good minimum connection time to schedule. All the shinkansen tracks are near each other so the Nozomi would have less than 1 minute advantage in connection time. So the 8 minutes is good as a minimum connect time.

From Takayama to Kanazawa you could take the bus over to Shirakawago and another bus from there to Kanazawa.

hyperdia shows the train route to be north on the Takayama line to Toyama where you connect to a train to Kanazawa. Check the schedule for the Takayama - Toyama leg closely as the schedule varies due to some horribly long connection times from 3h 40m to almost 8 hours. Looks like 1PM would be a good time to leave Takayama since you can connect in Toyama to a limited express train.

Kanazawa to Kyoto is via a limited express train in a bit over 2 hours.

Kyoto to Narita Airport would be via the Hikari shinkansen to Tokyo or Shinagawa connecting to the Narite Express.

If the Takayama to Kanazawa route via Toyama has only 5+ hour travel time for your planned departure then you could check the schedule going back to Nagoya and from there to Kanazawa. Or Takayama to Gifu to Kanazawa.

You've got a great trip planned.
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 10:35 PM
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Hey Paolo, the others gave all the great practical advice you need. I did the same research and thought it most efficient to go:
Tokyo-Kanazawa (4 hrs direct)
Kanazawa-Ogimachi-Takayama (bus)
Takayama-Kyoto
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 10:37 PM
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moxie, please send me an e-mail at yahoo dot com when you have a chance
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Old Feb 18th, 2006, 11:05 AM
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Thanks so much to all of you. I've used Fodor's talk for many, many European trips (and try to pay my freight by responding to questions from my last trip), but I've never come across as good a group of congenial experts as on this site. You're taking a lot of the anxiety out of our first Asian trip.
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Old Feb 18th, 2006, 12:54 PM
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moxie gave good advice about going between Takayama and Kanazawa by bus. You will be able to stop for several hours (or overnight) at Ogimachi, Shirakawago. It won't take any more (probably less) travel time but you would have to pay for the bus fares which are not cheap (but it is worth it). I would buy both bus tickets before departing Takayama, if possible, or on arrival at Shirakawago.

Since going to Takayama will be your first trip on JR and because Nagoya station is pretty big, you probably ought to give at least 15 minutes or more for the connection.
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Old Feb 19th, 2006, 12:41 PM
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Thanks again. I found the whole timetable, and that helps a lot. I still am not sure about reservations charges. Are they included in the JR Pass - and are they required or needed?

We are also thinking of going directly from Kyoto to Narita for a 4:55 PM departure. Should we be very confident that we'll be there in plenty of time?
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Old Feb 19th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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You'll have no problems getting to Narita for a departure at that time - just get the shinkansen timing down and the transfer in Tokyo (at Tokyo Station or Shinagawa) to Nartia Express. Last March, I took a 7:30 am shink. from Kyoto to Shinagawa, then caught the Narita Express at 11 a.m. at Shinagawa and was at Narita at noon. I had time to claim my luggage at the Black Cat luggage counter, go through two security checkpoints (one for luggage and one for person) and get to the terminal in time for a 2:45 pm flight.
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Old Feb 19th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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Seat reservations and limited express surcharges are covered on on all limited express trains and non-Nozomi shinkansen trains. It does not cover the berth charges on sleeper trains.

Put another way: the 7-day, 14-day, and 21-day JR Pass covers the cost of travel and seat reservations on all JR trains except Nozomi shinkansen. It can also be used on JR ferries and buses and for discounts at JR hotels.

If you get the Hikari shinkansen that departs Kyoto at 10:00, take it to Tokyo station and connect to the Narita Express at 13:03 then you will arrive at Narita Airport station at 13:57.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 04:20 AM
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I just read this thread and it effects our planned trip in a month. We had been thinking of heading to Kanazawa form Nagoya, where we'll be, then going to Takayama, then to Matsumoto. But our travel agent suggested this would entail ridiculous travel time. It sounds like she's right. Any suggestions about changing our trip? We are planning to leave Nagoya on Saturday night, 4/1 and go to Tokyo on Friday 4/7. Thanks in advance, all you Japan experts!
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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debwhite, you would be traveling on 4 of those 7 days if you stop at each place. The four legs would be approximately: 3 hours, 4 hours, 4 hours, and 3 hours.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 05:15 AM
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Wow, thanks. I don't want to be in transit so long. I"m now wondering about leaving out Matsumoto altogether since it seems most people only do Takayama and Kanazawa. OR, possibly considering renting a car - am I crazy?
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:53 AM
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PaoloCast/Moxie, I am planning to take my wife in mid September (we are both in the early 60's) on a 4 nights 5 days trip: Singapore/Narita/TAKAYAMA(our Destination)/Narita.I trust that you have had a good trip on the similar route. We will get in Narita from Singapore via UA flight ETA 1300 on a Thursday, and depart Narita via UA on a Monday ETD 1600 back to Singapore. Can you please share with me your final itinerary - train/bus schedule and fare. Thanks in anticipation. Tony <[email protected]>
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 01:40 AM
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Narita Airport to Takayama would cost around 5.5 hours and 17,500 yen one way. Since the roundtrip would be 35,000 and you are doing it in less than seven days then a 7-day JR Pass would be more economical. At 28,300 yen it would cover the roundtrip travel, but figure the trip to be about 6 hours.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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Will day 1 of our JR pass start the day we exchange the voucher for the pass or the actual day of travel? We are arriving on May 21 and plan on exchanging the voucher to the pass at Narita airport.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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When you go the JR office to exchange the voucher for a pass, they will ask what day you want the pass to start, and they will stamp your pass to start on that day you indicate you want it to start. The start day is considered DAY ONE of your pass. Very important to realize that...it is good you asked.
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