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Old Oct 6, 06, 7:53 am   #1
 
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Bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto

I know that the bullet train goes from Tokyo to Kyoto. I would like to know if you can catch the bullet train inside the Narita airport or if you have to go to a different train station to catch the bullet train.

my daughter is living in Kyoto for a year and i will be flying into Tokyo Narita in February to visit her and would like to ride the train from Tokyo to Kyoto.

Thanks.

Cathy Berg
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Old Oct 6, 06, 7:56 am   #2
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You'll need to take the Narita Express to Tokyo station and change to the bullet train. Try to travel fairly light and allow extra time, and remember the trains in Japan are expensive. I almost missed a flight out of Narita coming from Kyoto because I underestimated how long the trip would take. It would be far easier to fly into Osaka as there is a direct train from Kansai Airport to Kyoto that takes about 80 minutes.
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Old Oct 6, 06, 7:57 am   #3
 
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The bullet train does not go to Narita airport. The easiest way to get to it is to get on either the JR Narita Express to Tokyo or Shinagawa. From there you can take a bullet train to Kyoto.
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Old Oct 6, 06, 8:03 am   #4
 
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trip from Tokyo to Kyoto

Thanks for your information. I will be flying from DFW to Tokyo Narita on American Airlines non stop. It appears to get a flight out of Tokyo to Osaka there is either a long layover in the Tokyo Airport or i have to change airports in Tokyo. So assuming the trip on the bullet train is 2.5 hours i could almost be all the way to Kyoto (my end destination) by the time i hang around the airport waiting for a flight that will only get me as far as Osaka. That was my rationale on taking the train. I know it is about $150 one way - maybe more- i had a hard time finding the exact train fare on the Japanese Railway web site. Is there a train station inside the Narita airport that would take me to the train station to catch the bullet train?

Thanks.

Cathy Berg
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Old Oct 6, 06, 8:15 am   #5
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The trip will take over 4 hours - I think the Narita Express from Narita Airport to Tokyo station is over 1 hr, and then the transfer will take about 30 minutes, then a 2.5 hr bullet train. You can buy one ticket for the whole journey, and the ticket booth in Narita Airport generally has people who speak good English!

If you are flying from DFW (assuming this is after AA's KIX service ends), I see the logic on going to NRT and taking the train, it's definitely easier than flying a domestic leg to Osaka.
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Old Oct 6, 06, 8:39 am   #6
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Please make sure you have familiarised yourself with the benefits of buying a JR rail pass before you travel to Japan.

It is a ticket only available to non-Japan residents and cannot be bought in Japan.

From memory it comes out at around 30,000 yen for 7 days unlimited travel on JR trains. It doesn’t cover the premium Nozomi bullet trains, instead you can use the slightly slower Hikari trains (adding an extra 20-30 minutes for the Kyoto-Tokyo trip). If your daughter is working when you go and visit her, this pass will allow you to make easy day trips to places like Himeji castle, Okayama/Kurashiki and Hiroshima (and the trip from Tokyo-NRT) for no additional expense to the Kyoto-Tokyo return rail fare.

Its discussed at length in this forum, a simple search should yield plenty of info.
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Old Oct 6, 06, 8:53 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LapLap
Please make sure you have familiarised yourself with the benefits of buying a JR rail pass before you travel to Japan.

It is a ticket only available to non-Japan residents and cannot be bought in Japan.

From memory it comes out at around 30,000 yen for 7 days unlimited travel on JR trains. It doesn’t cover the premium Nozomi bullet trains, instead you can use the slightly slower Hikari trains (adding an extra 20-30 minutes for the Kyoto-Tokyo trip). If your daughter is working when you go and visit her, this pass will allow you to make easy day trips to places like Himeji castle, Okayama/Kurashiki and Hiroshima (and the trip from Tokyo-NRT) for no additional expense to the Kyoto-Tokyo return rail fare.

Its discussed at length in this forum, a simple search should yield plenty of info.
It's a good suggestion - but the JR Pass really only makes financial sense if you will be doing rail travel beyond Tokyo-Kyoto-Tokyo. So, if you get one, be sure to be able to maximize usage within the 7 day period. I think it is seven days running from time of initial use, so you won't be able to save it for the next visit.
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Old Oct 6, 06, 8:57 am   #8
 
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I just did this trip last Sat

I went from Shinagawa to Kyoto on the Noizumi (sp?) trains.
It cost me about 27,000K yen RT total. That was for a non-reserved ticket. I also found it hard to figure out how much the ticket was and I ended up buying the ticket from the ticket window in Shinagawa (as opposed to the automatic ticket machine). The automatic ticket machine asked me for a 4 digit PIN # (even when I tried to use my credit card). It wouldn't accept the PIN # for my debit card thus you should make sure you either have the cash or just go to the ticket window to buy the ticket. The non-reserved seats are slightly cheaper than the reserved seats - on the Noizumi there were three cars for the non-reserved seats (cars 1 - 3, with car 3 being the smoking car and 1-2 non-smoking). I had to buy 4 tickets total - it's a bit complicated which is another reason to go to the train ticket office in Narita as opposed to the ticket machine. The people at the ticket windows speak some English and the Shinkansen trains have really clear announcements in English. The electronic display boards also switch between Japanese and English which helped me out when I tried to find my train.

One warning though, while the Narita Express trains have luggage racks at the ends of the cars, there were no such racks on the Shinkansen train from Shinagawa to Kyoto.

I also took the Narita Express from Narita to Shinagawa, except that I got off at Shinagawa and stayed at a hotel for 5 nights before making my weekend trip to Kyoto. Since you don't have that requirement you can do as the other posters suggest and just change trains at Tokyo Station.

Also, when I caught the Shinkansen, the destination displayed was 'Shin-Osaka' although every once in a while the board would change and display 'stopping in Nagoya and Kyoto'. I'm not sure what destination the non-Noizumi trains would display, but be prepared for the boards not to display 'Kyoto' as the final destination.
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Old Oct 6, 06, 9:08 am   #9
 
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If you are staying in Kyoto for 7 days or less, then the 7 day JR rail pass prob make sense (since the pass is 28300Yen for 7days w/ unlimited rides and a roundtrip btw Tokyo and Kyoto will cost you about the same). But if you are staying longer, then you may want to see if you will be travelling on JR or not.

I have used the JR pass last time w/ my family when we went to Kyoto and Osaka and found it useful and easy to use. You mainly just need to find out the train schedule and can book seat reservation in advance in the JR office in train station. So, we didn't need to figure out the fare each time.

I include the JR homepage and fare info fyi; good & safe travel!

JR homepage - http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/

JR bulet train fare table - http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/charge/index.asp
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Old Oct 6, 06, 9:15 am   #10
 
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train trip from Tokyo to Kyoto

thank you all for your replies. You have answered alot of the questions i would be asking. I am a pretty adventurous traveler but going to Japan is a whole different ballgame with such a different culture and language. I am just trying to make the transfer from Tokyo to Kyoto as easy as possible.

Fortunately, i have a few months to decide which is going to be the best transportation for me to take.

i was really bummed when i found out American Airlines was cancelling their non-stop service at the end of this month to Osaka. That would have made the trip a little easier.

Cathy Berg
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Old Oct 6, 06, 10:04 am   #11
 
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Was this question posted in another forum before being moved here?

Someone recommmended going to Shinagawa Station, Shinagawa Station is a nice station except that not all Tokaido Shinkansens stop at Shinagawa Station. More departures go out of Tokyo Station.

Like LapLap said, we've discussed the rail pass a lot.
Just remember the keypoints that its only valid on JR trains, not subways, monorails or anything else that isn't operated by "JR" Japan Railways.
The voucher can only be purchased outside of Japan, and its not valid on the more frequent Nozomi Shinkansen.
If you do take a Shinkansen to Kyoto use a Hikari Shinkansen.

The 7 day JR Pass is a very good value depending on how much you use it within the time frame of your trip.

If you don't get a JR Pass and decide to pay regular fare, the price difference isn't too bad (If you are only going Tokyo-Kyoto-Tokyo), plus you have the benefit of using more frequently departing Nozomi Shinkansen Trains trains.

The train station at Narita Airport, is "Narta Airport Station" Terminal 1 or 2 depending on your airline. "Narita Station" is a different train station outside the airport. So if you're buying your ticket or looking at a list of fares make sure you look up Narita Airport Station Terminal X vs. Narita Station.

Last edited by railroadtycoon; Oct 6, 06 at 10:09 am.
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Old Oct 10, 06, 12:11 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catmandu
I know that the bullet train goes from Tokyo to Kyoto. I would like to know if you can catch the bullet train inside the Narita airport or if you have to go to a different train station to catch the bullet train.

my daughter is living in Kyoto for a year and i will be flying into Tokyo Narita in February to visit her and would like to ride the train from Tokyo to Kyoto.

Thanks.

Cathy Berg
Are you planning on staying in tokyo or going straight from narita to kyoto? If the latter than why not just fly from narita to osaka and catch the limobus or train from itami or kansai airport? Ridding in on the NEX and having to naviagate tokyo station isnt fun when you've just goten off a long plane ride and it's your first time in japan.
Cheers
howie
Ps. If your flying in on united/ana/air canada you can buy a japan airpass for JPY 11500 yen per segement + tax which is pretty close to how much the train costs between tokyo and osaka. Jal also offers a similar deal.
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Old Oct 11, 06, 3:00 pm   #13
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One thing you might consider is checking whether Mr. Doi - the English speaking guide I mentioned in another thread here - who lives in Kyoto - could pick you up at the airport. He'll be more expensive than the train - but how much more expensive I don't know. You can write him email and ask. Only reason I mention this is because I think you'll be dead on your feet after arriving from DFW (we were dead on our feet after our trip from Newark).

Other than being dead on your feet - if you buy your whole ticket in Narita - you might leave a little more time than the Japanese do for the transfer at Tokyo station. We did the transfer (we were traveling from Kyoto to Narita) - and found that the time usually allowed for the transfer was a bit unrealistic if you're carrying luggage and aren't familiar with the station). Also - on the train from Tokyo to Kyoto - you can store your luggage at the back of the car. Robyn
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Old Oct 11, 06, 3:41 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
One thing you might consider is checking whether Mr. Doi - the English speaking guide I mentioned in another thread here - who lives in Kyoto - could pick you up at the airport.
You mean if the OP flew into KIX or Itami?

It seems like a lot of time, effort and money, to have someone who lives in Kyoto to head all the way out to NRT to pick up a passenger and then go all the way back to Kyoto.
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Old Oct 11, 06, 3:44 pm   #15
 
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bullet

leave some time to navigate tokyo station. the narita express comes in on the marunouchi side and the Shinkansen goes from the other side and this is not obvious. be ready to wander around for hours if you've not done this before. it drove me mad. its like there are two tokyo stations.

also, the bullet train is not very bullet! it doesnt really go that fast on that line, at least. distance from tokyo to kyoto = 370 km. so thats average 148km/h. the regular train from london to newcastle here in the uk would average 143 km/h (380 km in 2.65h) and no one calls that a bullet.
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