Train Fares in Japan

Jun 17th, 2013, 07:04 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Incidentally, for those that are planning a trip to Nara and using Hyperdia, the station for the Kintetsu line at Nara is Kintensunara. If you just put in Nara, you will only get JR trains...

This is not the case on hyperdia.com By putting in Nara as a destination from Kyoto will get you the 5 fastest routes there being private(Kintetsu) or JR rail line. If you go to the search details and click off Nozomi, airport and airport shuttle, you will get details of all lines where your search is for. Only if you click off the private line check in the search details area will the JR lines only pop up.

Kathie, it would be about time to start searching for your itinerary using hyperdia.com website. Your first search would be for a train from Shinjuku JR to Kanazawa. Click in the time you want to start your travel and voila the first 5 options pop up. From Shinjuku to Kanazawa will always be at least two train transfers but are not hard at all and pretty straightforward....something like you get off the train at track 4 from train 1 and catch the onward train 2 at track six. All very close together and very easy to do with lots of English signage. After you figure out your details on hyperdia, come back here if you have any questions. Your itinerary cities would be
1. Shinjuku JR to Kanazawa
2. Kanazawa to Kyoto
3. Kyoto to Gora
4. Gora to Narita Terminal 2 (I think thats where UA is. Check your ticket for details)

I would send my bigger suite cases from Tokyo to Kyoto and travel through Kanazawa with a 22" expandable rollie that you can easily handle on the train. Your bags will fit in the overhead rack above your seats and any coats or jackets are hung on the retractable pegs along the window walls. Then would probably send the bigger suite cases from Kyoto directly to the luggage claim at Narita terminal 2 or whatever terminal your airline will leave from. The Hyatt in Hakone will supply you with a couple of yukata per day that can be, and is worn by. most guests all around the hotel from dining rooms to the spa and fireplace room at night. ALWAYS wear your yukata when going to the fireplace room especially at night and the free drinks/hors. Your clothes come out of there after a couple of hours smelling like wood so save your clothes and use theirs. I think there are maybe 3 or 4 of your sizes(they check at check in)of each for each person in the room everyday. If you run out, just ask for more. You cannot and should not wear yukata outside of the Hyatt Hakone.

I agree with kalihiwai about the SUICA card. They are good for 10 years after your last refill. I have had one for the past 4 or 5 years now. They only use to work in Northern Japan but recently as kalihi mentions, has gone nationwide. You can pay for food or whatever you are buying at 7-11's, Lawson's and most stores in all JR stations nationwide. If you see the SUICA logo next to the VISA and other logos at the cash register then you know this vendor will take your SUICA card for payment. Vending machines nationwide will take your SUICA with a simple swipe. And vending machines are a HUGE part of life in Japan as you are all about to find out.
Also nothing easier when taking the subways and trains as you swipe your SUICA card at the entrance and swipe when exiting the gates and it automatically deducts fare from your card without you having to figure out a thing. Same with buses that take SUICA, swipe at the back door when you enter then swipe at front door as you leave the bus.....easy peazzy.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 07:33 AM
  #22  
 
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Ho Peter, thanks for the info. I was unable to get hyperdia to give me the info from Shinjuku to Kanazawa over the weekend, but I'll try again, I must have been doing something wrong. Ah, I did get it to work this time!

I'll work on this and be back with more questions. Thank you for your help, Peter!
Kathie is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 07:56 AM
  #23  
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Good info on using the SUICA card...

Peter, you are correct. Entering Nara and Kyoto on Hyperdia does bring up the private line. However, the search result instructs you to walk between Nara and Kintetsu stations (or vise versa) to get to your destination. This happens whether or not JR is unchecked. I think this might be confusing to those that don't realize that the two stations are fairly close to one another.
Craig is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:15 AM
  #24  
 
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Hi Craig,

Do you know the Japan Rail Pass? Actually you can travel freely including JR Shinkansen train no more extra charge, throughout Japan, (!)Adult $282(US dollars) valid for 7 days. you can go anywhere in Japan, limitless use during the period. They also offer 14 days and 21 days, and child fares as well. Check it out.

http://www.jrpassonline.com/howtobuy.html
lucy_t is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:17 AM
  #25  
 
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Craig,

If using hyperdia.com and wanting only JR line trains, then un-check the "Private Railway" box in the "search details" section and private lines like Kintetsu are not shown. I always un-check the airport, airport shuttle bus and nozomi options when starting a search and when I have a JR rail pass, unless of course when checking trains to and from the airport.

JR trains, though prevalent and you might say dominant in all areas of Japan, are not the best mode of transport within the Kansai region of Japan. Here the private rail lines like Kintetsu, Hankyu and Hanshin fight for dominance over the JR behemoth and are actually the more convenient and comfortable way to travel by rail/subway/bus within this region of the country and if not just whizzing by on that JR shinkansen.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:20 AM
  #26  
 
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Of course you can ride on Narita-Tokyo as it is JR and local trains in Tokyo, and Tokyo-Kyoto bullet train (Shinkansen), Nara as well, and return, too. You do not need to purchase any suika or jr local ticket including shinkansen bullet train's special express charge neither. all inclusive, and limitless. this pass is only available for people who visit Japan for sightseeing/short visit, so people from overseas who want to explore Japan have maximum benefit. Actually someone who is Japanese but have a family overseas, holding permanent regidency overseas is also eligible for this passport. www.jrpassonline.com/hottobuy.html
Japan Rail Pass has been around for many years.
lucy_t is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:22 AM
  #27  
 
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Actually to go/back to/from Kyoto-Nara, Kintesu line is very convenient. Their fair is also reasonable, too.
lucy_t is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:30 AM
  #28  
 
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From JR Kyoto station to Fushimi Inari, you can take a bus, acutually it takes 20 min. depending how busy the road is. Actually it only takes 10 min from Kyoto station to Fushimi Inari by car, normally. You can also find a local Keihan train, get off Fushimi Inari station, too.
lucy_t is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:33 AM
  #29  
 
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Kathie, expecting a slew of questions after you research the Kyoto to Gora or if your adventurous Kamigora.....looks difficult but actually very scenic and ...easy peazzy
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:36 AM
  #30  
 
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There is one more thing. Normally it depends on the budget, too. normal seat (non-reserved, called 'Jiyuu (meaning Freedom)seki\(seat)' is the cheapest and you just pop into the specified cars and sit down, you don't pay reserved seat fee. Reserved seat (shiteiseki) is, you can reserve the seat, but the downside is, it is fine if the train is congested, and you want to get the guaranteed seat, but you have to book the train (you can do it just before you get to the train at the local train station though), you have to specify the time. Good point of 'freedom seat (non-reserved seat)' cars are, you can just step in whatever the available train is coming to the platform. You can't do this if you have a reserved train ticket.
Green cars- I don't think it is worth it. It is not that special, normally politicians and business executives are using this seat, but just extra wide, and not so much difference.
lucy_t is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:39 AM
  #31  
 
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Craig, Narita airport train towars tokyo- as they use their own Keiyo sen line, You have to get off the train to Tokyo station, as the line ends at Tokyo station.
If you want to go to shinjuku, you have to change the train at Tokyo station to the local JR- which is the orange line (Chu-ou sen,) to Shinjuku.

Airport train's line is on the track of Chiba-Tokyo line which is independent from Tokyo's internal local JR lines.
lucy_t is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:45 AM
  #32  
 
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One suggestion about the luggage thing- you can send off the luggage via courier from your hotel to the next hotel, their courier service is excellent (does not go wrong) and very punctual. You can send off the day before, and you can receive the next day morning (you have to specify, and make sure if it is available at the time.), you can just write down the next hotel name, address, phone number, and your name and check-in date. If you bother carrying around any big stuff, this way is very recommended.
lucy_t is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 09:50 AM
  #33  
 
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Yes JR recently announced their Easten JR issued suica should be able to use the western area, but there are some reports actually some lines around Osaka-Kyoto-Nara are not able to use suica at all. You have to be careful about it. Some people also got stuck as some local, rural lines' stations are not available in the different area (not Tokyo area). If you spend a lot of time in Tokyo, Suica is fine.
lucy_t is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 10:20 AM
  #34  
 
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Hi Peter, I've now looked at all of the segments... wow. I find all of the different rail lines very confusing. (though I understand better why you don't recommend the JR pass for our trip!) The only really easy one is Kanazawa to Kyoto - no transfers! All of the others require 2 or 3 transfers.

Any general guidelines for which routings to choose (other then trying to minimize transfers)? I do note that we will be on a bullet train for part of our journey to Kanazawa.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 12:35 PM
  #35  
 
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You should take what Lucy is saying with a grain of salt. Yes you can transfer at Tokyo station to the Chuo express which is a direct line to Shinjuku from Tokyo station but is not the way the NE'X travels. Don has it right, the train splits in Tokyo station. I have done the NE'X route to Yokohama and that is exactly what our train did(the split in Tokyo station)

Kathie, I will answer your questions when I have a little more time

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 12:41 PM
  #36  
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Peter, Lucy seems to be new to the forum and has not posted on any other threads. While she is enthusiastic and attempting to be helpful, I did notice the error regarding the NE'X line to Shinjuku...
Craig is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 01:19 PM
  #37  
 
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Peter, I'm going to make a separate post - which I should have done earlier - to ask my train questions.

Craig, thanks for letting me piggy-back on your thread.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 08:12 PM
  #38  
 
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Actually I've used Nex line before. I'm also familiar with Tokyo station.
However, I've noticed, Craig, since I used the NE'X train, the line seems to be extended to some stations, but not all NE'X trains go to Shinjuku. Basically, all NE'X trains go to Tokyo. Anyway in case your destination from narita is shinjuku, if you don't bother carrying your luggage around, and if you want to pop in the next available NE'X train from Narita, you can do it even they don't go to Shinjuku directly. You just purchase NE'X express ticket to Tokyo, and normal ticket should be Narita-Shinjuku. As I explained, you just switch the line at Tokyo station, by orange line (Chuo line) to Shinjuku. You don't have to wait to the next available train at Narita which goes to Shinjuku, as JR Tokyo seems to have withdrawn some extended NE'X trains beyond Tokyo station recently.
lucy_t is offline  
Jun 18th, 2013, 05:11 AM
  #39  
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I guess as long as we have reserved seats on the NE'X to Shinjuku, we would be okay?

I just finished reading that old Narita limo vs train thread, brought to the top last night. If there are lots of stairs, it will be quite difficult for us to take the train from NRT. We each usually bring a large and a small rollie plus a smaller carry-on when we travel...
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Jun 18th, 2013, 08:15 AM
  #40  
 
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http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/nex/

Above is a link to the website of JR East that runs the Narita Express. You can see the timetable as well as the layout of the stations there. Better to see for yourself than to rely on someone else's opinion imho at least.... ;-)
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