Travel advice needed

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Nov 8th, 2018, 07:49 AM
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Travel advice needed

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patriciatbrogan
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5 minutes agoHello,
I am back to finalise my little holiday from 16 December to 6 January incl and would appreciate a bit of advice re public transport: as discussed previously on this forum part of the focus of this holiday is travelling around the Kumano Kodo 21 December to 26 December incl ( not much trekking, focusing rather on the gorgeous coastline) so
  1. from Kyoto to Tanabe where we sleep for two nights (but we want to stop over to see temples etc at Kimiidera station, and also to stop for a couple of hours in Yuasa and Hirogawa on our way to Tanabe) - then taking in Shirahama as a day trip the second day we are in Tanabe;
  2. then Kushimoto (one night);
  3. Kii Katsuura - two nights (with stopovers in Nachi and Taiji);
  4. and Shingu just to catch a bus up to Hongu where we will leave our luggage (we are sleeping that night in Yunomine) as we want to then catch a bus to Hoshhimongo to walk back to Hongu (our bit of trekking!).
So, my question is - should we take the Kuroshia Express for this bit of travel from Kyoto to Shingu and, more to the point (i) is it one ticket that one buys at the beginning of one's travels in Kyoto (or Osaka?!) to take one all the way to Shingu; (ii) can one get on and off the train at will to see the above stopovers without any extra cost?

Our other train travel is from Yokohama to Kyoto on the 18th December and then we leave Kyoto on the 2nd January for Tokyo so I don't think it would be to our benefit to do a JR Rail Pass - any comments?

Now, most importantly - I know it will be difficult travelling over the New Year so what do we do to ensure we definitely have seats on the fast train from Kyoto to Tokyo, hopefully without it costing a huge extra amount, we usually just get on the train early in the morning before we set off? Should we book the travel ahead when we arrive in Kyoto or, even earlier, when we arrive in Japan - and will we have to incur an extra cost to secure a seat (I know there's that seat cost allocation in the total cost but which does not secure an actual seat)? I would appreciate any advice. BUT the day before, the 1st January we leave Hikone Lake Biwa to reach our hotel in Kyoto - will we also have problems with that travel and how do we make sure we can get a bus/ train to Kyoto where we spend the night before onward travel to Tokyo. Furthermore on the 30th December we travel from Nara to Nagatana on Lake Biwa - will all this travel congestion go that far back? And do I have to book ahead for that?

I hope this query isn't too convoluted and would really appreciate all help,
Thanks in advance
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