Kyoto to Tokyo airport - Train or Fly

Oct 2nd, 2015, 09:55 AM
  #1  
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Kyoto to Tokyo airport - Train or Fly

I am planning a trip to Japan with my family (2 adults, 2 children ages 6 and 8). We are planning on arriving in Tokyo and then making our way through the country via train over two weeks, ending up in Kyoto.

On our final day we are debating whether to fly from Kyoto to Tokyo in the morning to connect to an afternoon departure flight back to the U.S., or take the train from Kyoto to Tokyo in the morning to catch the departure flight back to the U.S.

A connecting flight from Kyoto adds about $200 to the return flight. I believe the train from Kyoto to Tokyo would be included in our Japan Rail Pass.

In addition to cost, though, a primary concern is ease of travel given the two children. I believe the train would take us to central Tokyo and we'd need to then catch another train to the Tokyo airport. However, the connection from the Kyoto flight is also a bit tight (1.5 hours). We definitely don't want to miss the connection!

Any advice? Thanks in advance!
knoxnick37919 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2015, 11:06 AM
  #2  
 
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You don't say which airport, but I'm assuming Narita. A train from Kyoto to Narita is about 4 hours. You can do it with one change of trains. See link below for options:

http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/searc...d&sum_target=7
russ_in_LA is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2015, 11:33 AM
  #3  
 
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I also think you are better off with the train. If there is bad weather, don't know when you are going, a flight may be cancelled or delayed.

You can also send most of your luggage to NRT via takuhaibin a couple of days in advance and just keep the items you need which would make the trip easier.....
Mara is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2015, 11:39 AM
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I think you should fly. All of your bags should be checked through (check on this) and 1-1/2 hours is plenty of time in Japan. You will go through emigration procedures at Kyoto which will save you time later. No need to hassle with the train, your family's luggage and getting to Narita...
Craig is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2015, 11:58 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the help!

Yes, Narita.

Sounds like either option is reasonable. I'll check schedules. If I can get a longer layover in Tokyo we might go with a flight.

Thanks!
knoxnick37919 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2015, 04:08 PM
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For one, there's no airport in Kyoto. The closest is ITM, the original Osaka International (Itami). And there are only a handful of flights each day ITM-NRT. Two on ANA and two on JAL. The morning flights make no sense, and afternoon flights arrive 3-something - so, those may or may not work for you. There are buses directly from Kyoto to ITM, departing every 20 minutes and take an hour.
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2015, 06:07 PM
  #7  
kja
 
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Another option might be to put ALL of your time in Tokyo at the end of your trip. You will probably be tired upon arrival, but you'll be tired whether you move on or not. Just a thought, which might not work given the specifics of your trip....
kja is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2015, 06:39 PM
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Can you fly home directly from KIX (Kansai, about an hour from Kyoto)? It has nonstops to several major gateways (e.g., SFO,LAX) and open jaws cost no more than round trips.
someotherguy is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2015, 01:15 AM
  #9  
 
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I'd also go with Kja's suggestion to have some time in Tokyo at the end of the trip. I don't know how many nights you've allocated in total to Tokyo, but splitting them into two blocks on arrival and departure will a) give you an excuse to stay in two different areas of Tokyo and b) give you time to rest on arrival and less scheduling stress before departure.
Kavey is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2015, 01:20 AM
  #10  
kja
 
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@ Kavey -- splitting time in Tokyo may be a very good idea, but it wasn't my suggestion. I suggested that the OP might consider leaving Tokyo ASAP upon arrival, if that works for them -- and it might not.
kja is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2015, 03:30 AM
  #11  
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We will be using the direct from ATL to TYO. There aren't any great direct options from KIX to SE USA.

I like the idea of splitting time in TYO or starting the trip in Kyoto and ending in TYO!
knoxnick37919 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2015, 06:22 AM
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No, I know you didn't suggest splitting, but to move the time in Tokyo to the end, but I took that further to suggest having time at the end AND the beginning.
Kavey is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2015, 06:24 AM
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Knoxnick, for our first trip we started with 2 nights in Tokyo (in Shinjuku) and had another 3 or 4 nights (I forget exactly now) in Asakusa at the end. I liked staying in two areas, as Tokyo is so enormous it really feels like several individual cities smooshed together, side by side!
Kavey is offline  
Oct 8th, 2015, 07:12 AM
  #14  
 
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I used www.itasoftware.com, Google's service for airlines, to check flight alternatives. On a multi-destination search, I found the prices to fly from Atlanta to KIX and then home from Tokyo to be exactly the same as a round-trip Atlanta-Tokyo ticket, and with more alternatives on the multi-city ticket. This was for next April. You must use the multi-destination function. You can route it in reverse but going home from KIX may demand a less comfortable departure time.
Southam is offline  
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