transportaion in Japan

Old May 29th, 2010, 11:26 AM
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transportaion in Japan

I am planning a 2 week trip to Japan with my husband and my 16 year old son, who is very interested in Japanese culture, language (he's been studying), and food. By searching this site and others, I've found many places we might go, such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Takayama, Miyajima Island, Koyosan, Ise, Hakone. In order to plan the trip and decide which of these places to visit, I need to know how long it will take to travel between them. (In general, we all prefer to stay in places longer and travel less.) I am guessing we will need a JR pass. I read that the best website to view English JR timetables is hyperdia.com. I know the JR pass doesn't include shinkasen. But when I look up the time it would take to go, for instance, between Tokyo and Osaka without shinkasen, it looks like it would take about 7-8 hours with lots of changes. Here is my search. The site allows you to filter out shinkasen.

http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/searc...d&sum_target=7

So my question is: Is this correct? Without shinkasen, does it really take all day to go between these two cities? Also, is there a better way to figure out train travel in Japan?

Thanks very much. I would really appreciate some help.

Susan
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Old May 29th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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You can use a JR pass on Shinkansen, but not on the very fastest Nozomi trains.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 12:37 PM
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As stated, JR Pass will allow you to use Shinkansen other than Nozomi. It's people who cannot buy JR Pass, such as Japanese nationals and other local residents, whose only hope of a flexible cut-price travel on JR is to buy, at certain times of the year, Seishun 18 tickets which indeed aren't valid on Shinkansen and other limited express trains.
Just finalise your itinerary and your time scale, and then decide whether to go for a 7-day or 14-day JR Pass, which must be bought before arriving in Japan.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 12:50 PM
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I am replying to myself, as I just discovered that the JR pass includes Hikari and Kodoma, but not Nozomi shinkasen. And the Hyperdia site nicely lets you filter out just the Nozomi. So it will only take 3 hours between Tokyo and Osaka. Still - any other advice for a trip with a teenage boy, transportation, anything - is welcome.

Thanks.

Susan
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Old May 29th, 2010, 04:45 PM
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read this
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...report-305.cfm
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Old May 30th, 2010, 03:07 PM
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Hi Susan,

Also have a look at the advice I received on my question relating to travel both in Tokyo and Osaka recently:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...ice-needed.cfm

Good luck!

Best regards
-albert
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