JR pass: Tokyo subways and night train

Feb 5th, 2006, 06:08 AM
  #1  
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JR pass: Tokyo subways and night train

I've done tons of searches and I think I have the right information but I would feel better if someone here could confirm:

With a JR pass:
One only pays for the extra 'private bed' fare for night trains.

only the JR loop line is covered in Tokyo. If you want to take the subways there's a combination pass: 1500/day which you need to buy.

Thanks for your help!
moxie is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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> only the JR loop line is covered in Tokyo.

moxie, that's not correct. There are many JR urban/subruban lines in Tokyo that are all covered by JR Pass such as :
Yamanote Line (this is the loop line)
Chuo line (runs across Yamanote loop)
Sobu (Goes Tokyo to Chiba), etc.

Subway companies are diffrent entities and they are not covered by JR Pass. I I'm not sure if 1500yen is worth. One single ticket cost from 160yen to 200yen. You can do your calculation and decide which is better for you, buying single tickets or the pass.
kappa is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Regarding night trains, I had no idea so did some easy search. JR Railpass page does not seem to metion it at all. So I did a google (on Japan google)search and first hit was and experience by a Japanese living in USA. He took a night train with 3 other persons, all of whom holders of JR Pass. They had to pay Supplement "Night accomodation" and Supplement "Express train". I don't know which route you are going to do with night train but to give you an example :

Night train "Hokuto" from Ueno (tokyo) to Sapporo (hokkaido) that takes 16 hours.
"train ticket" that is coverned by the pass : yen16000
Suppl.Night accomodation : yen6300
Suppl.Express : yen2900

Above is for the cheapest accomodation class. There are 3 other more expensive classes on this train.

kappa is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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OK, JR Pass site does mention it :

"If you have a Green- or Ordinary-type JAPAN RAIL PASS and want to use a berth on a limited express or ordinary express sleeping car, you must pay the LIMITED EXPRESS or ORDINARY EXPRESS CHARGE IN ADDTION to the berth charge. Moreover, if you travel on a sleeping car that passes through Morioka to Hachinohe, you must pay on board the basic fares for the two local sections traveled over: IGR Iwate Ginga Railway (Morioka ·Metoki) and Aoimori Railway (Metoki ·Hachinohe). "

kappa is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 11:28 AM
  #5  
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Thanks, I didn't understand...
The night train I want is the Fuji limited expres from Tokyo to Beppu

On Hyperdia it shows: Total amount of money: ¥23420 (fare ¥13970 charge ¥9450).
This combined with JR pass site makes me think I just have to pay the ¥9450 (or do I need to look at a different site for the express charges?

The subway is still a problem for me. I am getting a 7 day pass but wonder whether I should get a 14 day pass to cover the JR lines in Tokyo. I arrive on a sunday so I thought the limo bus from Narita would be nice to see Tokyo from the road so I won't use it for that transfer.
moxie is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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NO, it is not worth getting a 14-day pass instead of a 7-day pass if you are only going to use it in Tokyo. As kappa said, the fares are low. The Chuo line from Shinjuku to Tokyo only costs 190 yen. The 14-day pass costs 16800 yen more than the 7-day pass. That is 88 rides on that JR train and if you take a city subway (non-JR) you would have to pay that fare anyway.

I think that you are right about the 9450, it is the express surcharge. That surcharge is normally covered by the JR Pass, so paying that is kind of painful, imo. With the sleeper charge added on you wouldn't be saving yen trying to sleep on the train instead of paying for a hotel room. You would probably save yen and get a better night's sleep by staying in a hotel and using just your JR Pass to get you to Beppu.

I think that the part of the Sanyo shinkansen from Hiroshima to Kokura is about the best part of all shinkansen rides in Japan (I've been on all of the lines except for the new one south of Hakata). That is where the shinkansen travels the fastest, I think. Going south, just before Hiroshima, and after it IIRC the train goes in and out of several tunnels. It's kind of a rush. You're travelling in the tunnel and can't really tell how fast you are going but you know you are going fast. And it is smooth and quiet and dark. Then whoosh you are back in the sunshine and the beautiful green Japanese countryside. That sudden transition makes you realize just how fast you are rolling.

What airline are you flying to Japan? You might be able to fly from Tokyo Haneda to Oita (the Beppu airport) for around 10,000.

moxie, are you still planning to be in Takayama for the spring festival?
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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Yes, seeing Tokyo from the road, on a limo bus is worthwhile. I think you get a better perspective on how vast the metro area is on the bus vs the Narita Express and subways.
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Feb 5th, 2006, 12:39 PM
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I see, L'Ex Fuji departs Tokyo station at 18:03 arriving Beppu at 11:04 then next day after making 25 stops enroute. That's 17 hours and 1 minute for 1250.2 kilometers. If I did the math and the conversion correctly that is 44 miles per hour.
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Feb 5th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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Yes, I too like your idea of taking the Limousine Bus into Tokyo for the view.

I'm doubtful about 15000yen/per day combination pass so even more for 14-day JR pass. JR Pass is most interesting for taking expensive shinkasen, not for local JR trains. On my 3 week to Japan, I will have a 21-day Pass but I know I will take a lot of shinkasen as I will be moving around a lot, meeting my family, my friends and travelling alone.

I found on another page actually 9450yen is the total for 6300yen (berth Solo/B1 or berth double/B2) + 3150 (supplement express). Also if you take a deluxe single (A1), the "charge" will be 3150 + 13350.
kappa is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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ok, so the express supplement on that train is not so bad.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 08:38 PM
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Whew, thank you both for your research and help.

I'll stick with the 7 day pass and brave the subway machines to buy tickets (I'm hyperventilating already).

I'm not taking the night train for speed but only so we don't have to check out at ungodly hours in the morning and to arrive in Beppu early.

Yes Mrwunrfl we are still going to Takayama for the festival and I am taking your advice and paying for a room even though we'll sleep on the night train (ie Takayama to Nagoya to Beppu).

A friend has just come back from Tokyo talking about the unbelievable crowds there; which surprised me since it is crowded here in Paris too (not the same, I'm told) maybe emd has the right idea to avoid them...

moxie is offline  
Feb 6th, 2006, 05:24 AM
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emd
 
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The only reason I am avoiding Takayama is because of my daughter. I don't want her first trip to Japan and her festival experience to be one of intense crowds. Both of us hate big crowds but I can tolerate them if it is worth it. But I think it would overwhelm her and discount any fun it could be for her. It should be a really unique festival. I originally had reservations at Best Western in Takayama for the festival and came very close to going before changing my mind.

Your friend experienced crowds in Tokyo? I was there in March and had no crowds anywhere, but then we avodied the subway and trains early in the morning by getting a bit later start.

emd is offline  
Feb 6th, 2006, 08:26 AM
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Ok, so you are leaving Takayama in the late afternoon and want to arrive in Beppu in the morning. If you travel to any point on the Sanyo shinkansen line, from Shin Osaka south, then you could spend the night at an inexpensive hotel. You coul continue on to Beppu in the morning arriving before the sleeper train (11 AM, but you could get of the sleeper at Kokura to get a LEX to Beppu a bit earlier).

The first three Hikari shinkansen from Shin Osaka connect with LEX to Beppu arriving by 11AM. THey depart between 6 and 710 AM.

I think you could make it to Hiroshima that evening. Stay at the Granvia hotel which is right next to the shinkansen tracks. You can get an early train from there or you'd be able to sleep in an extra 90 minutes and hop on one of the early trains from Shin Osaka. You could probably get the Granvia or another hotel in Hiroshima or Himeji or Kobe for about the same price as the sleeper supplement and berth charges.

The above plan would require a change of shinkansens at Shin Osaka and at Kokura, and the stop for the night. The night train has the benefit of being a through train, so that is a (minor, imo) benefit.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 6th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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I like sleeper trains so I am looking forward to it even though speed-wise it's slow. It also allows us to stay in Takayama for the festivities on Saturday. We are travelling alot for the following 2 days so this will gradually ease us into it too.
moxie is offline  
Feb 6th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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If you enjoy a sleeper train, then that is the way to go, esp. considering that you won't have to do any train changes after Nagoya. There will be a couple of us in Takayama at the same time, we should have a GTG.
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Feb 6th, 2006, 09:05 PM
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That sounds interesting Mrwnfrl
moxie is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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Sleeper trains- are there any links to descriptions, reviews? I'm travelling from Tokyo to Sasebo, and I am thinking that to not waste day time on travelling on trains (the speed of the Shinkansen notwithstanding) I might get on a sleeper train and do it horizontal.
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Feb 11th, 2006, 07:04 AM
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One the following site, check the trains Fuji and Hayabusa. You may have to change either at Hakata or Nagasaki for train to Sasebo.

http://japan-guide.com/e/e2356.html#9
kappa is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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I don't know if you have JR pass but if you do, you will still have to pay sleeper/express supplement of about 10000 yen for an accomodation of cheapest caregory. Without JR Pass, it might cost almost 30000yen for a full price ticket.
kappa is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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moxie, there will be at least three of us there. i recall another fodorite mentioning that they would be there but I don't remember who.

Sydney2K, you might be better off flying:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2364.html
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