Japan Trains & Luggage

Old Aug 17th, 2019, 06:11 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,349
Japan Trains & Luggage

We will be going from the Tokyo Ginza Station to the Tobu train station midweek, mid-morning to go to NIkko. Will we have difficulty with our luggage at the Ginza Station/train. We each have 1 carry on size (20'-21" suitcases). Should we ship our luggage from our hotel in Tokyo to the one in NIkko? Thanks!
yestravel is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 07:53 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,528
I traveled solo on Japanese trains with a 22 inch two wheeler and a day pack and don't remember any problems. I was not at Ginza, but Japanese train stations are well organized.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 08:22 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,349
Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
I traveled solo on Japanese trains with a 22 inch two wheeler and a day pack and don't remember any problems. I was not at Ginza, but Japanese train stations are well organized.
Thanks! Does this include the subway/metro or just the train portion?
yestravel is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 08:28 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,528
My last trip I was not in Tokyo and did not use a metro. My previous trip, with a similarly sized backpack, I did use the metro.

I have never used the luggage forwarding system, but there are posters who have and who recommend it.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 08:33 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,124
Because my trips are longer and I spend an extended amount of time in one place I usually do send my 21 inch suitcase by takuhaibin (I have an 18" I take with me), but if your luggage is not too heavy and you are ready for the possibility of stairs then there should be no problem. You can probably find the station maps online and look for escalators or elevators. Luggage is not delivered until the next day.
Mara is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 08:55 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,528
Luggage is not delivered until the next day.
Right, that's why I don't use it. I don't want to try to cram everything I would need overnight in my day bag (which is fit under the seat in front with room to spare size).
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 09:03 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,188
We recently traveled all over Japan and were surprised to see so little luggage brought on trains. We quickly became big fans of luggage forwarding and we also use 21-22 bags. It was usually around $25 to ship each bag. You will be able to find room for your bags I think. You have to get on and off the trains so quickly that forwarding made the whole process easier.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 10:28 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,349
Thanks everyone! I hadn't thought about the trains where we have transfers. Compared to European trains is it much faster? --the get off or get on for that matter.
yestravel is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 10:49 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,528
You need to be ready to get off (there will be an announcement). It is very well organized, the platforms are marked to show you where to stand to get on.

Local trains at small stations are more relaxed, but are you taking any of them?
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 11:18 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,349
Local trains at small stations are more relaxed, but are you taking any of them?
[/QUOTE]
I dont think so.

In terms of buying tickets - do we need to have destinations and info in Japanese or can we print off the website info and use that?
yestravel is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 02:01 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,528
As best I remember I just used English. Always helps to write down what you want in a simple format.

The big stations will have machines, also with English.

Besides the japan-guide website, you might want to read this: https://www.seat61.com/Japan.htm
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 02:39 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,592
As long as you know where you are going, you will not have trouble buying tickets. People may say, "Oh, I don't speak English, but they usually can communicate, especially if you write down things (14:30 hr train to Kyoto 2 seats).

I travel with an approx 22 inch wheelie and a small school style backpack. Most trains have luggage shelves at one or both ends of each car, (and the long distance trains often have strap locks with set-it-yourself combinations) and racks overhead. Just pay attention or set your phone alarm for a few minutes before your expected arrival and go stand by the door.

As long as you can take your suitcase up the occasional staircase, you do not NEED to send your luggage ahead. It's a really nice service on those occasions when I've overpacked, have a bag without wheels, or need to be doing a lot of walking with my suitcase, but I prefer to have my stuff with me!
lcuy is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 03:47 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,349
"Besides the japan-guide website, you might want to read this: https://www.seat61.com/Japan.htm"
Thanks for the info. I'm a big fan of the maninSeat 61. He provides great info. I was interested in hearing the experiences people have had, thus my question on Fodors..

lcuy -- thanks for your info!
yestravel is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2019, 06:41 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,704
In the morning of the day before you leave Tokyo send one bag to Nikko so that it arrives on the day you arrive. On the day you leave for Nikko send the other bag from Tokyo to Kanazawa. Send the first bag from Nikko to Kanazawa on the day you leave Nikko.

Last edited by mrwunrfl; Aug 17th, 2019 at 07:12 PM.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2019, 04:30 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,349
Originally Posted by mrwunrfl View Post
In the morning of the day before you leave Tokyo send one bag to Nikko so that it arrives on the day you arrive. On the day you leave for Nikko send the other bag from Tokyo to Kanazawa. Send the first bag from Nikko to Kanazawa on the day you leave Nikko.
Well, that certainly is a strategic way of packing. I'd have to think about that.
yestravel is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2019, 09:02 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,053
I have to admit that I absolutely fell in love with the Japanese luggage forwarding system. We paid about $14 per suitcase. I find it so liberating to travel without luggage! But you wouldn't have a problem taking your suitcase on the train. I would note that you need to be ready to jump off the train when it arrives at your station. The stops are quite brief.
Kathie is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2019, 01:34 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,188
Luggage forwarding,just do it! You dont need to think too much about strategy. We were warned to be ready both to get on and off trains in two minutes. The trains are on time.
We found there was always an English speaker among the Japan Rail agents, usually one of the younger agents.I had printed out info in English for the trains I wanted. If was all very efficient as is everything in Japan. We went to a train station near our hotel.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Aug 18th, 2019 at 01:38 PM.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2019, 01:38 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,349
Luggage forwarding sounds like a grand idea.
yestravel is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2019, 06:25 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,188
We were warned two minutes to get off a train, two minutes to get on a train. We saw someone get stuck in a door trying to board.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2019, 06:29 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,349
Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
We were warned two minutes to get off a train, two minutes to get on a train. We saw someone get stuck in a door trying to board.
oh my! Guess Id better drink lots of coffee.
yestravel is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO