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JR Pass or individual tickets - please advise

JR Pass or individual tickets - please advise

Nov 21st, 2010, 09:47 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 133
JR Pass or individual tickets - please advise

We arrive at Narita on Jan 27 and departing Feb 4 from the same airport. On Jan 31 we plan to take train to Kyoto and return to Tokyo on Feb 3.
We (family of 4) have booked an apartment to stay at Wesley Center,

6-10-11 Minami Aoyama Minato-ku. See...

www.en.wesleycenterjp.com/ourlocation.html

Our itinerary is:

Jan 27 - Arrive Narita at 7.30 am

Explore Shibuya, Shinjuku

Jan 28 - Tokyo: Disney Sea

Jan 29 - Tokyo: Nishiki Market, Tokyo National Museum, Akasuka, and night at Ropongi

Jan 30 - Tokyo: Omotesando Hill, Harajuku

Jan 31: Kyoto by train

Feb 1: Kyoto

Feb 2: Kyoto.

Feb 3: Kyoto to Tokyo by train

Feb 4: Catch 11.30 am flight at Narita.

Would you recommend JR Pass? - Note we do not intend to do any 'side trips'. We plan to stay put in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Here's the calculation I came up with for JR Pass versus individual tickets:

Individual tickets:

Tokyo to Kyoto return with reserved seats on Hikari: 26,020Y

Nex/Suica return: 5,500Y

Total: 31,520Y.

If I go with JR Pass...28,850Y.

Because my itinerary covers 8 days I still need to get a one way nex/suica card: 3,500Y

Total: 33,350Y

Does it mean that I'd save about Y2000 with the individual tickets? Of course it means that I would not have the use of JR while in Tokyo, which some have said is of not much use there Kyoto. But then I'd have the suica card with Y1500 on it to use in Tokyo.

Are my calculations correct? Or have I missed something?

Your help greatly appreciated.
eschaton is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2010, 04:30 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,003
Your calculations seem more or less right: it's an even swap. My preference would be to skip the JR pass. Then, you can save 20-30 mins each way by taking the Nozomi, and you don't need to go through the paperwork before the trip and when you arrive.
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2010, 05:49 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,343
I would not use a JR Pass in your situation for the same reasons rizzuto mentions. A pass only limits your options and takes more time than its worth in your situation.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2010, 06:03 PM
  #4  
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Posts: 133
Thanks rizzuto and hawaiiantraveler for your helpful advice. One more question:
My plane departs at 11.30 am on Feb 4. That means I have to leave my accommodation at around 7 am (according to what I read, allow at least 4 hours).
What do you recommend to be the best mode of getting to the airport from where we stay? Our address:
http://www.en.wesleycenterjp.com/ourlocation.html
There are 4 of us with luggage.
If we catch the train, we'd still have to catch a cab to Shibuya station. That means 2 cabs right? And it means doing so like at 6.30 am in winter. Is that easy or hard to get cabs at that hour?
My rough calculation says:
the cost of one way train in the NEX suica package amounts to Y1500 each ie Y6000 for the four of us.
Plus the cost of 2 taxis from our address to the airport: roughly Y2000???
That it, that journey for the 4 of us would cost around Y8000.
Does that sound right?
The other option is private airport transfer. I got a price of Y19,000 for a station wagon to take us to the airport from our door. Do you consider that too costly an option?
Or am I imagining that it hard to catch taxis and train to airport?
So should I not risk this and pay the extra for the convenience?
Appreciate your advice, again.
eschaton is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 12:43 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,346
Taxi from Wesley Center to Shibuya station should be 710 yen minimum fare per cab provided you stand on the right side of Roppongi dori (across the road) to catch the taxis cruising towards Shibuya. There should be loads even at 6.30 am. Tell the driver to take you to the New South entrance (Shin Minami guchi) to catch N'Express, as it will be a looong walk and up and down stairs from other entrances. From New South entrance, you go up escalator to ticket gate, and then down escalator to #4 platform.
Your best bet is still to catch Narita Express from Shibuya. 0808 train (#13) will still get you to the airport by 0930, but Shibuya may be heaving by then on a Friday, so catch #13 at 0712 which gets you at Narita at 0836.
Alec is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 04:14 AM
  #6  
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Thanks, Alec.
This forum is the best.
I will do as your say - walk across to the other side of Roppongi dori and hail for cabs to Shibuya and then #13 train to Narita.
eschaton is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 04:38 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I should have written #9 Narita Express leaves at 0712, and #13 at 0808. You must book your seats in advance, as there are no unreserved seats. You can do that when you buy your NEX Suica combo return tickets.
Alec is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 05:35 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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There is another option if you are interested and have too many people with too much luggage to handle on the NEX. You can take the limo bus service from the Tokyu Excel Hotel in Shibuya to NRT.

http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/

At that time of the morning there will be no traffic and they handle your luggage for you so no problems there. Just taxi to the Excel(right next door to Shibuya Station)and catch bus there.


Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 06:07 AM
  #9  
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Thanks Alec and hawaiiantraveler.
I'm now far less anxious about that trip back.
eschaton is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 06:51 AM
  #10  
 
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Alec or HT: If I want to taxi from Shibuya to the Grand Hyatt (Roppongi) around 6pm, coming off the NEx or possibly Yamanote Line, which is the most convenient exit for me to use -- I'll be wheeling a suitcase.
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 08:31 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Here is the station map. Looks like the east exit would get you a taxi in the Roppongi direction, have fun!

http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e808.html

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 02:43 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Just outside the East exit is a taxi rank, and there should be plenty of cabs waiting to pick up passengers.
Alec is offline  
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