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The Best palce to buy Japan Rail Pass in New York

The Best palce to buy Japan Rail Pass in New York

Old Jun 8th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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The Best palce to buy Japan Rail Pass in New York

What is the best agency to buy a rail pass in NY? Do agencies that sell rail pass charge any additional fee?

We are palnnig to use railpass
Tokyo to Nikko and back
Tokyo to Hakone
Hakone to Kyoto
Kyoto to Nara and back
Kyoto to Narrita

We will be in Tokyo for a 2 days before we can validate 7days pass. Would we have enough time to reserve seats? We are traveling in the beginning of August. What routes should we definitely try to reserve seats?

Thanks very much in advance for all your advices
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en005.html

Above is a list of agencies from the Japan Rail Pass website - several in NYC. Haven't done any price comparison myself but they all have phones listed....

Hope that helps!
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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There is only one price for a 7-day JR Pass and that is 28,300 yen. The difference in what you pay in US$ will depend on how they convert that price. One agent did it at 100 yen per dollar, which I realized after the fact was wrong (as the exchange rate was around 110 at the time). On another occaision the conversion was done with a better value. If they want to charge an additional fee then go somewhere else.

The difference can be significant. At 100JPY/USD it would be $283. At today's fx rate it would be $234. The current exchange rate of 121 per dollar is nice. You shouldn't expect that rate when buying the pass but not too far from it.

Where you have Hakone in your JR Pass use you really should say Odawara. You can take JR to/from Odawara but to get to Hakone Yumoto and into the Fuji Hakone National Park will require traveling on non-JR conveyances, at additional charge. The JR Pass will work for your other destinations, tho at Nikko you may/may not have additional travel expenses (nominal). You can get some use of the pass on JR local trains in Tokyo.

Definitely reserve Kyoto to Narita. You would travel from Kyoto to Shinagawa (preferred) or Tokyo to connect to the Narita Express to the airport. You will need reserved seats on that train.

Also reserve seats for Odawara to Kyoto. There are a couple of Hikari trains that stop at Odawara on the way to Kyoto. You want to get one of those, otherwise you will have to make a connection and probably one of the trains will be a slow Kodama shinkansen.

The trains to/from Nara are JR locals and there are no reserved seats (and this is not a problem).

Part of the trip to Nikko will be on the shinkansen and you can get reserved seats. That connects with a JR local train to Nikko.
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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A fee for sending the JR Pass to you is ok.

I think that you understand that 7 days means that if the first day it is valid is on Monday then the last day is Sunday.

When I mentioned definitely getting reserved seats for the Narita Express I was thinking a day or two in advance.
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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So mrwunrfl, do you think one can call a couple of the agencies in advance and ask them what exchange rate they will use? I am thinking of getting a pass for my next trip. Thanks!
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 03:26 PM
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Sure, it makes sense to call around. But one call could do it, since you know the price and the best exchange rate.

emd got paper copies of the JR Japan-wide train schedule from a JR office in NY, IIRC. I remember her mentioning getting the JR Pass vouchers via mail.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 05:15 AM
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Hi guys. I have to chime in and say that you are lucky to be in NYC. AS mrwunrfl said, you can go to the JR office and get the paper train schedule so you can study it and see what trains you want to reserve. The people there are nice, and I still have the business card of the manager of that office. I called him before my second trip to Japan and he mailed me the paper train schedule before that trip. I think it really helps to have the train scheudle in hand while traveling, so you know when the next train is coming. And if you go to the JR office in NYC, they will answer ALL your questions.

I bought my JR passes for both trips from JTB (Japan Travel Bureau). I called their NYC office and they faxed me the form to fill out, I faxed it back w/credit card info, and I got my passes by Fed Ex. Call them also, as you can perhaps just go in and buy them at the NYC office.

Here is a list of all of the other distributors of the JR pass, w/links to their sites so you can see if they have NYC offices:

http://www.japanrail.com/JR_tourismlinks.html


Also, the Japan National Tourism Org. (JNTO)office is in the same bldg. as the JR office in NYC. So you can go to the JR office and then stop at the JNTO and pick up maps, brochures, etc. JNTO has never responded to my requests to mail me maps etc. when I have called them. They say they will mail the stuff, but then I never get it. So a visit to JNTO was very beneficial to me. Their maps and brochures available in their office are very good.

JR NYC:
One Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1410
New York, NY 10020, U.S.A.
tel: (1)-212-332-8686
fax: (1)-212-332-8690

SEE: http://www.japanrail.com/

(That site is maintained by the NYC office.) FYI, I see that they now have a request form for getting train timetables by mail! And they also have a page on hints re how to read the timetables! And they have the timetables online now! This is a big change.

http://www.japanrail.com/JR_timetableandfare.html

JNTO NYC office:

U.S.A.: New York
Address One Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1250 New York, NY 10020
Tel +1 (212) 757-5640
Fax +1 (212) 307-6754
e-mail [email protected]
URL http://www.japantravelinfo.com/
Business Hours Open Mondays thorough Fridays at 9AM to 5PM.
Closed on major holidays and Dec 29th - Jan 3rd.



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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 05:16 AM
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Mara, are you planning another Japan trip?
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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emd - I am always planning another Japanese trip! Whether it will happen or not is another story....;-) I'm thinking of November....and you?
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