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Please help my Train obsessed son have a great 24 hours in Tokyo!

Please help my Train obsessed son have a great 24 hours in Tokyo!

Old Oct 31, 16, 5:53 pm
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Please help my Train obsessed son have a great 24 hours in Tokyo!

Taking my 6 year old son on a quick 24 hour trip to Tokyo later this week as a pre-birthday trip. He is obsessed with trains and specifically the Tomy Plarail trains of which he has about 50!

Our aim this trip is to travel on 3 specific trains, the NEX from Narita, the W7 or E7 Hokuriku Shinkansen and the Keisei Skyliner back to Narita. We are staying at the Hilton Tokyo Bay as that's where I have a quick meeting during our visit.

I need your sage advice on whether the following is easily done;

1. We are arriving in Narita at 720pm and aim to catch the 844pm NEX to Tokyo Station (arriving Track 1 at 943pm) then catch the JR Keiyo Line Rapid to Maihama (departing Track 3 at 1004pm).

- is it realistic to clear customs/immigration and reach the train station with 50 mins. Bags will be priority tagged but will be in Y. Would there be enough time to stop by the JR East Office at the airport to pick up tickets for all the following as well?
- Is the platform change easily accomplishable during the time period - 20 mins with a tired 6 year old and 2 suitcases?

2. The next morning I want to take him to the Railway Museum in Saitama. Planning on catching the JR Keiyo Line Local from Maihama to Tokyo (arriving at 854am on Track 4) and then take the Shinkansen Kagayaki 507 to Omiya (departs at 920am from Track 22).

- Is the platform change realistic timing wise with a 26min gap. Guess it maybe rush hour during this time.
- The Kagayaki 507 seems like the train he wants to ride on. I would imagine train swaps are uncommon. He would be crushed if he didn't ride this model.
- Worth it for Green Class for a 30min ride?
- On the way back from Omiya to Tokyo are there any double-decker trains we could take - whether Shinkansen or not? Anticipate we will be done at the museum by around 2pm.

3. On the way back to Narita we plan to take the Keisei Skyliner from Keisei-Ueno. First Maihama to Hatchobori on the JR Keiyo Line Rapid arriving at 415pm then transferring to the Tokyo Metro Hibaya Line to Ueno departing Hatchobori at 424pm and arriving at Ueno at 434pm. I understand it's then a 10 min walk to the Skyliner Platform which should be fine as we plan to catch the 5pm Skyliner 49 to Narita.

- Based on the above, are the transfers at Hatchobori and Ueno realistic/easy within the timing?
- Is there a simpler way to get to Ueno that I may be overlooking?

Also, based on the above itinerary - do you think it would be worth getting a 3 day JR Tokyo Pass? I understand it may cover the Shinkansens and the trains to/from Maihama but wouldn't cover the NEX. My initial calculation says that I'd be better off buying the tickets individually but I may be wrong.

Thank you for your help and any other advice you can offer to make this a special trip for my son.
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Old Oct 31, 16, 6:37 pm
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Originally Posted by slickalick View Post
- Is the platform change easily accomplishable during the time period - 20 mins with a tired 6 year old and 2 suitcases?
Not really. It is a very long walk. With an exhausted child, it will be like a forced march.

If I were you, I'd take the Keisei Skyliner into Tokyo and spend your first night near Ueno Station. It gets you to a comfortable room in the shortest time and puts you in the best location for your trip to the railway museum.

Next day you will be able to catch any number of trains from Ueno to Omiya - including some of the double-decker types. Green car is not worth it IMHO. Your child will have plenty of space in the ordinary car.

if you leave your luggage at your Ueno hotel, you can pick it up on your return to Ueno. From there, I would take the HIbiya line to Hatchobori and change to the Keiyo line there. The change at Hatchobori also involves quite a long walk - but not as far as you the walk at Tokyo station.
(As an alternative to leaving your luggage at Ueno, you could have it delivered from the airport to Maihama).

After your time in Maihama, you could take the Narita Express back from Tokyo to NRT.

Regarding passes - JR Tokyo Wide pass would cover Shinkansen (about 5,000 yen to Omiya and back) and N'EX (about 3,000 yen), I believe. It would not be valid on Skyliner and subways. At a cost of 10,000 yen it probably won't pay for itself, but it gives you freedom to jump on most trains that might interest you and it might make a nice souvenir.
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/tokyowidepass/index.html



Hope this helps.

Last edited by jib71; Oct 31, 16 at 6:55 pm
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Old Oct 31, 16, 7:53 pm
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hmmm. I probably qualify more of a Japanese train geek than an AV geek. A few of my takes
1) 24 hrs is not enough
2) Being in Maihama, you might try the Subway museum which is closer than Saitama. Maihama is tough.
3) You can probably catch the NEX with 40 minutes in Narita. But transferring to Keiyo is a TREK. It is like going from one end of a big airport to the other end. Its really far. If you were not hell bent on the NEX, I would take some combination of local trains to Maihama.
4) Train swaps in Shinkansen are not common. You can probably catch any hokuriku shinkansen for W/E 7s. Anything that goes to Hakodate will be H/E 6s.
5) Worth it for green car? In your case, I would probably say yes, only for the kid. For the W/E 7, there is also a Grand Class. The regular train green cars may be more fun, as they're double deckers. From Maihama, if you're not dead set on Shinkansen, taking some combination of musashino line/tobu/keihin tohoku might be faster/more interesting. Omiya to Ueno local trains have double deckers for Green Cars. Go for it. $7 USD equivalent. Only E4s are double deckers on Shinkansen, and I believe they're all going to Niigata and back. If you go to Saitama train museum, they show exactly which trains are which types and they have a timetable for when they pass Omiya.
6) As close as you are to Disney, its going to be hard to pass that up
7) The Hatchobori I think is doable. I wouldn't sweat the details on that as 4:15 to Hatchobori to 5 PM ueno should be easy. May be easier if you go to Tokyo and take Yamanote or any other option.
8) Probably not for this trip, but the Tobu train museum can be fun too.
9) This youtube channel might be interesting for your child https://www.youtube.com/user/suzukawaayako

Last edited by closetasfan; Nov 2, 16 at 4:52 pm Reason: added bullet 9
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Old Nov 1, 16, 12:09 am
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One thing to add to the above. The Keisei "platform" at Ueno is not in the huge JR Ueno Station. It is actually in the Keisei-Ueno Station, which is a separate facility kitty-corner across the street from Ueno Station, near the entrance to Ueno Park. There is an underground passage between the two or you can exit JR Ueno and walk over on the sidewalk.

Oh, and I agree with both above. You may be trying to cram too much into 24 hours.
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Old Nov 1, 16, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
One thing to add to the above. The Keisei "platform" at Ueno is not in the huge JR Ueno Station. It is actually in the Keisei-Ueno Station, which is a separate facility kitty-corner across the street from Ueno Station, near the entrance to Ueno Park. There is an underground passage between the two or you can exit JR Ueno and walk over on the sidewalk.

Oh, and I agree with both above. You may be trying to cram too much into 24 hours.
Definitely. If you're from Australia, jet lag is minimal (or so Australian friends tell me), but it's still a long flight. Arriving at night and then having essentially twelve hours of daylight, you're packing in two or three days' worth of adventures.

The real beauty of the Shinkansen is in the long stretches between cities when it can pick up impressive speed. Going to Yokohama or Oyama isn't terribly impressive.

Too bad you're out in Maihama. Does your business meeting have to take place there? How does it fit in with the schedule that you have proposed? What are you going to do with your child during that meeting? How will you explain to a six-year-old that you don't have time to go to Disneyland?

Anyway, for a train-intensive trip, I suggest getting on the Yamanote Line (AFTER rush hour) and doing a circuit of central Tokyo. Get off at the major stations (Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Ueno) and watch the different kinds of trains go in and out.

The array of tracks at the bridge outside of Shinjuku's New South Entrance (the one for Tokyu Hands) is impressive. At Shibuya, you can see the trains from a subway line entering the station at second floor level. At Shimbashi, you can transfer to the fully automated Yuri Kamome Line, cross the spiral bridge to Odaiba, and see the sometimes downright weird-looking buildings of that artificial island.

There's a spot near Tokyo Station where you can settle in for some coffee or hot chocolate and watch the Shinkansen come and go (every five minutes or so) from a short distance, but I can't remember where it is.
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Old Nov 1, 16, 10:32 am
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and another impressive thing is to be at a station when the nozoomi's go bombing through without stopping in the middle tracks at a nice clip.

i recall that Tokyo station had the largest variety of different shinkansen's that i had seen before on the platforms. which you don't have to pay to be able to go onto the platforms.
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Old Nov 1, 16, 9:49 pm
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If you're able to ditch the meeting at Hilton Tokyo Bay, then stay instead in a hotel room that overlooks the trains. Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi and Century Southern Towers (Shinjuku) both overlook huge train stations and you can spend a long time watching trains pull in and out. Plus you won't have to do that crazy train transfer between NEx/shinkansen and Keiyo line and then stay out of the way in Maihama.
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Old Nov 1, 16, 10:06 pm
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If you really have to stay at Hilton Tokyo Bay, you'll save a lot of time and walking if you forget about the NEX and take a more direct route. The two best ways to do it are probably:

(1) Narita Sky Access Line from NRT to Higashi-Matsudo (40 min); change there for Musashino Line to Maihama (25 min).

(2) Limousine bus to Kaihin-Makuhari (40 min); change there for Keiyo Line to Maihama (20 min). The bus operates more frequently than the Sky Access Line so this is likely to be faster, depending upon exactly when you get out of immigration and customs. Of course, the kid will probably be more interested in the train.
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Old Nov 2, 16, 6:18 pm
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As a self-proclaimed train geek I understand your plan, you want to ride on a specific train, and not seeking most convenient way between Narita Airport and Maihama. I think you hit key trains, Narita Express, Keisei SkyLiner, and Shinkansen.

As other have mentioned transfer at Tokyo station between Narita Express and Keio Line, and Ueno station between JR and Keisei line can be time consuming due to distance of transfer at those stations. Both are large station and if you make one wrong turn then you can easily waste 5-10 minutes.

As for double decker Shinkansen, look for Shinkansen train with “Max” such as Max Tanigawa and Max Toki on Joetsu Shinkansen are run by double decker Shinkansen trains. Obviously, upper deck seats are more popular than lower deck seats. I sat on lower deck seats and at a station eye level is people’s foot on a platform. When train is running, the view form double deck is next track and wall on Shinkansen track prevent any further view. Some people say watching track going by that fast is not pleasant, some say it make them nauseous.
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Old Nov 4, 16, 11:23 am
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Doesn't look like you have the time, but I've always wanted to try one of these, both day-trip distance from Tokyo:
http://www.japaneserailwaysociety.co...eno/shonan.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiba_Urban_Monorail
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Old Nov 4, 16, 12:18 pm
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and not to make your mission even more complicated...this was an article i also saw recently and the area is very nice too...

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201.../#.WBzPFNIwipo
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Old Nov 4, 16, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by mkjr View Post
and not to make your mission even more complicated...this was an article i also saw recently and the area is very nice too...

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201.../#.WBzPFNIwipo
Yes... definitely worth it. Used it loads of times.
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Old Nov 5, 16, 8:16 am
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In all of Tokyo, the Toden Arakawa Line is the last remaining streetcar.

Argh, thank you Japan Times, but the Arakawa line is not the only streetcar running in Tokyo. It's a fun ride (especially if you can get a seat), but the Setagaya line is also still running.

Also I second the recommendation for the Enoshima line.
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Old Nov 8, 16, 11:20 pm
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Wink Obscure information.

Indeed.
I now recommend staying in Yokohama, especially if you fly into HND, because there & then, you can get good deals on train tickets from non-J.R. lines, including one which gives you a round-trip on Keikyu from Yokohama to anywhere on the four Toei subway lines, unlimited rides on all Toei subways, buses, and the Toden Arakawa trolley. (The ¥1,000 subway ticket you can get at any subway station in Tokyo does not include the Toden Arakawa line!)
Here are photographs I took of {first} the Toden Arakawa line, the Tokyu Setagaya line, and just for inclusion , the Keikyu Blue Sky Train decked out for OneWorld.
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Old Nov 9, 16, 4:06 am
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Originally Posted by mkjr View Post
and another impressive thing is to be at a station when the nozoomi's go bombing through without stopping in the middle tracks at a nice clip.
This. Odawara, Shin-Fuji, Atami, Mishima, Atami (especially, as I believe there is no local siding) are all good for this.
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