Tokyo - Train travel advice needed...

Old May 20th, 2010, 04:32 PM
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Tokyo - Train travel advice needed...

Hi All,

Please provide some advice on train tickets below. We're planning an 11-day trip to Japan, mostly Tokyo and surrounds with 2 days at Osaka thrown in. Flights (from Australia) are in/out of Narita.

I'm trying to optimise the train fares and tickets, and after extensive research and the excellent hyperdia.com website, here's what I've come up with:

On arrival: KEISEI Skyliner and subway to Asakusa (where we're staying). Cost about ¥1460.
Day 1-4: Buy PASMO smartcard (approx value ¥4000-4500 as we'll be travelling extensively by subway). In Tokyo.
Day 5: Activate our 7-day JR pass. Day 5 and 6 in Tokyo.
Day 7: Kawagoe (assume can use JR pass all the way).
Day 8: Kita Kamukura (assume can use JR pass all the way, except for Enoshima monorail).
Day 9: Subway to Tokyo station, Shinkansen (Hikari) to Osaka (ShinOsaka), subway to Namba (where we're staying)(assume can use JR pass all the way).
Day 10: Osaka subway (can we use JR pass? or need to buy Kansai Thru Pass?)
Day 11: Shinkansen (Hikari) from Osaka (ShinOsaka) - Tokyo station - Narita (using Narita Limited Express) (assume can use JR pass all the way)

Questions:

* With a combination of the PASMO smartcard and JR 7-day pass, can we achieve our travels (cheapest solution based on above)?
* Is the JR pass valid for Osaka subways (websites are unclear)?
* On arrival, travel from Narita to Asakusa seems complicated according to hyperdia.com routing (Keisei Skyliner to Aoto station, change to Keisei Oshiage local to Oshiage station, then change to Toei Asakusa subway line to Asakusa station!) - is there an easier way to get to Asakusa (via Ueno perhaps, only 1 change?)

Any tips and advice greatly appreciated.

Best regards

-albert
albertsebastian is offline  
Old May 20th, 2010, 05:15 PM
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Albert,

To get from Narita to your hotel, I would suggest you consider taking the Keisei skyliner to Ueno station, then a taxi to your hotel. The distance is not terribly far, and you will save yourself a lot of stairs, transfers, and buying subway tickets.
DonTopaz is offline  
Old May 20th, 2010, 05:54 PM
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Do like rizzuto says and taxi from Ueno station to your hotel.
Let me try and answer some of your questions.

Day 1 - You can get a PASMO and use throughout the Tokyo subways but might be better to get the SUICA instead and use all throughout Japan http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_002.html

Day 7 - Yes you can use your JR Pass to Kawagoe http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6505.html

Day 8 - Since you have your JR Pass you might as well use it http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_003.html

Day 9 - No you cannot use your JR Pass on the Osaka subway systems, in fact the JR Pass is not very convenient for travel within the Kansai region, especially within the cities. That said you can use the JR Pass to get to the JR Namba station(there are 3 different Namba stations) via a transfer at Shin-Osaka and a three minute train to Osaka station then another transfer to the JR loop line with yet another transfer at Inamiya with the final two minute ride to Namba, wheww.

Day 10 - See Day 9 explanation.

Day 11 - Yes, be sure to remember to make seat reservations.

Hope this helps!

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Old May 20th, 2010, 10:09 PM
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Thanks for your responses.

So, I'll change my arrival with the Keisei Skyliner direct to Ueno; also will get the SUICA for subway in Tokyo and Osaka.

As you confirmed, the JR Pass should take me to Kawagoe, Kita Kamukura and also to Osaka and back right to Tokyo and Narita on the last day.

Sounds like a plan!

Best regards
-albert
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Old May 21st, 2010, 11:26 PM
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From July 17, Keisei one way fares from Narita go up to ¥2400.
mishkah is offline  
Old May 25th, 2010, 08:27 AM
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See if you can switch to the N'Ex at Shinagawa instead of at Tokyo Station -- that may be easier and it will be less crowded bc Tokyo Station is the primary transfer point for rail travelers going to Narita.

At Shinagawa, you'll have travelers from Tokyo and points west -- the Tokkaido/Sanyo shinkansen. At Tokyo station, you'll have travelers from all shinkansen lines because it is the end station for the Tokkaido/Sanyo line, and the lines that go to the north and northeast of the country.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 12:11 PM
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SUICA will not work in Osaka subway systems.

Sorry if my answer made you think so. You can use the SUICA where accepted throughout Japan is what I should have written.

Aloha!
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Old May 26th, 2010, 02:46 PM
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If the SUICA pass won't work in Osaka, then we'll just pay per trip, as we're only there for a couple of days.

The Kansai Thru Pass (2-day pass for 3,800 yen) is an alternative. Will check it out.

Thanks

best regards
-albert
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