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Need help with transportation plans in Japan

Need help with transportation plans in Japan

Old Jun 6th, 2017, 05:08 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Need help with transportation plans in Japan

Hello everyone,
I have finally set our Japan itinerary this July. We will be in Japan from 9-20. My husband & I are traveling.Here's our plan.
July 9-13 Tokyo
July 13-14 Hakone
July14-18 Kyoto
18-20 tokyo depart for US
Is it reasonable to purchase the Japan Rail pass considering our itinerary? I understand that there are many transportation choices and I'm honestly overwhelmed. Any input, will be greatly appreciated. I have always turned to Fodors every time we travel.
Thanks,
CM
cccmoral is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2017, 06:24 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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You need to price your train trips at hyperdia.com - don't miss the seat reservation fee which will be included in the total at the top of each listing. Put in your actual dates, there are cheaper fares in the "low" season. Then you can compare to the cost of a pass.

Have you read the info on this site?

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e627.html
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2017, 06:36 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 361
Hi,
You still come up a bit short to make a 7 day pass pay off for your plans above. If you take a day trip from Kyoto to Himeji or Hiroshima (and both are very worthwhile), you'd more than get your money's worth. You should not miss Nara either while down there.

In addition if you like, since 8 days in Tokyo is serious overkill, you could use your pass in the remaining days of validity to take some good day trips - and there are many. July in Japan will be extremely hot and muggy, so a trip to some mountainous cool area would be great - there are many: Karuizawa, Kusatsu, Takao, Okutama, Nikko, and more.
If you start your pass on July 13, your last day of use would be July 19.
If you want to see more, there is the Tokyo Wide Pass too.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_06.html

And for Hakone, there is the Hakone Free Pass:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5210.html
Adastra2200 is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2017, 07:05 PM
  #4  
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Thank you thursdaysd and adastra! We will surely research more. We are actually planning on some daytrips as well but haven't really commited to which places.
cccmoral is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2017, 06:27 AM
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I priced a similar kind of itinerary when I went to Japan, and it was well worth it to get the pass when I figured in my day-trips. If you extend your trip to Kyoto by one night, returning to an airport-area hotel in Tokyo later in the afternoon before you leave on the 20th. Or you could do your last nights in Osaka and start your return flight from there.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2017, 06:55 PM
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Depending on where you are coming from and going to, a multi-city ticket might work: Fly into Tokyo and home from Kyoto. Or, in my preference, into Kyoto and home from Tokyo. Kyoto is served by the Osaka airport. As long as you use a multi-destination search function on-line, you could save considerable time. The price might be the same if you allow for what you will save by not retracing your steps to Tokyo.
Southam is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2017, 05:21 PM
  #7  
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Is the shinkansen included in the JR pass?
cccmoral is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2017, 06:10 AM
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Yes, it's included, but not the fastest option, Nozomi. I took one of the slightly slower trains, and it was plenty fast and comfortable.
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Old Jun 9th, 2017, 07:21 AM
  #9  
 
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I took a Nozomi on my last trip,and it didn't find it noticeably different from the other shinkansens.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2017, 10:59 AM
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Which airport(s) are you using? Arrival and departure times? Where are you staying in Tokyo?

It looks like 8 days for Tokyo but it is really 4 full days with 4 travel days.

You've got about ¥25,000 in travel just for Odawara- Kyoto- Tokyo, so it won't take much to get you to at least break even with a 7-day JR Pass (12th-18th or 14th-20th).

What is your plan for July 18-20?
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2017, 03:41 PM
  #11  
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mrwunrfl, we will be arriving & departing at Narita airport, mid afternoon. We have no solid plans yet on our side trips our base will be Tokyo and Kyoto. I'm getting mixed reviews on the JR pass. I guess , we are considering it because of the convenience .
We are staying at the Shinjuku area
Thanks!
cccmoral is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2017, 04:15 PM
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It's not a question of "mixed reviews" about the JR Pass, it's a question of determining mathematically if it is beneficial to you. Make a list of all your segments, and go on Hyperdia.
CaliforniaLady is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2017, 06:25 PM
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@CaliforniaLady. I'm only saying mixed reviews having read the posts here and my outside research. I have been to the hyperdia website, too. I'm seeking input as far as how efficiently we could use our time, the fastest route. I find this site helpful based on people's personal experiences. THanks.
cccmoral is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2017, 07:14 PM
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Sorry, but I agree with CL. You need to run the numbers yourself. I have not found the full JR Pass to be cost effective, but I travel slowly. I have found one of the JR West passes saved me money. Each trip is different.

Once you cost each leg of your trip, you can see whether moving a train ride might make the pass work when otherwise it would not.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2017, 08:04 PM
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Saying "mixed reviews" was not accurate. You got an "it depends" reply, more or less, from us because you have not committed to any travel other than the two segments to/from Kyoto. Which is fine.

You are committed to ¥25,000 on JR.

You can get from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto on Odakyu Railways for ¥1,300 to ¥2,000. The cost on JR would be quite a bit higher without adding any value. Let's say Shinjuku to Odawara would be worth ¥1,500.

Narita Express or a limo bus to the airport would cost about ¥3,000, though you could make that trip for half that cost.

An inexpensive day trip would be Nara from Kyoto at a round-trip cost of ¥1,400.

Start the pass on the 12th and use it that day, use for Hakone, Kyoto, Nara, back to Shinjuku. So that is about ¥28,000 < JR Pass but the convenience is worth the ¥1,100 or so difference, imo. The 12th could be a day trip.

So, starting on the 14th, you could use the pass to cover the ¥1,500 + ¥25,000 + ¥1,400 + ¥3,000 > 7-day pass. You could also use it on the 19th for a day trip.

Starting the pass on the 13th would be like starting the 12th but you would day trip on the 19th.

The way I see it, you can:
1) commit to NO additional day trips an not get a 7-day pass. Take the Odakyu train, a private railway for Nara, and the Keisei Skyliner to NRT.
2) get a 7-day pass
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2017, 08:45 AM
  #16  
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Thanks for your input. We will get the 7 day JR pass & start using it on the 13TH.
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Old Jun 13th, 2017, 09:53 AM
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Ok, then you should consider the Tokyo Wide Area Pass that Adastra2200 suggested, see link above.

>>What is your plan for July 18-20?

I asked that question to see if you were planning a day trip on the 19th. If that is your thinking then instead of the day trip I suggest just traveling to that destination on the 18th and spending the night there. You could spend a second night there (am thinking of Nikko).

Or, on the 19th, you could use your JR pass to get back to Tokyo. You could even use it to get to Narita Airport on the 19th to spend the night in Narita or at an airport hotel. You could have a few hours to visit Narita town before heading to the airport for your flight on the 20th.

I would use takkyubin to send luggage from Kyoto to Narita Airport so that I could travel lightly for those last couple of nights. Might have to send it on the 17th.
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