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Which train should I take?

Which train should I take?

Old Feb 21, 18, 5:24 am
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Which train should I take?

Ok, Iím confused with all the information online. I think asking here probably best. We need train tickets for the following journeys...

NGO airport to Kyoto station
Kyoto to Nara (day trip)
Kyoto to Osaka(day trip)
Kyoto to Tokyo
Tokyo to NRT airport

Whats our best options?? We will be travelling with our son, he will be 3, so I donít mind paying more if we can get to places quicker. Thanks.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 5:32 am
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How many days will this travel span? This could be covered with a JR Rail Pass. Japan Rail (JR) Pass questions (consolidated)

Many recommend using HyperDia as a travel aid to find rail booking options. HyperDia | Timetable and Route Search in Japan.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 5:45 am
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The whole trip will be less than 7days.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 6:00 am
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I'll let someone familiar with the economics chime in, but from a logistical standpoint, a 7-Day JR Rail Pass will cover local rail (like Kyoto to Nara), Shinkansen* (city to city) and Narita Express (to NRT).

*Cannot use Pass for Nozomi super-express trains
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Old Feb 21, 18, 6:07 am
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NGO airport to Kyoto station - Meitetsu Line to Nagoya station and change to Shinkansen Nozumi - ~1h20m ~Y6,800, every 10-20 mins
Kyoto to Nara (day trip) - Nara line direct - ~45mins ~Y700 each way, every 30 mins
Kyoto to Osaka(day trip) - many options, but Special Rapid Kyoto Station to Osaka Station - ~30mins, Y560 each way, every 20 mins
Kyoto to Tokyo - Shinkansen Nozumi - 2h15, ~Y13,000, every 10 mins
Tokyo to NRT airport - depends on where in Tokyo you are starting, but Keisei Skyliner Nippori - NRT - 36 mins, ~Y2,500, every ~20mins

None of these need booking in advance. These trips (including roundtrip where required) come to about US$230, so up to you to decide if a pass is worth it, factoring in the restrictions which would mean taking slower Shinkansen with the pass.

Last edited by ajeleonard; Feb 21, 18 at 6:15 am
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Old Feb 21, 18, 7:43 am
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Thank you for the info. I probably just buy the tickets when we get there then.

If we donít do the Kyoto to Tokyo by train, would flying from ITM to HND a cheaper option?
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Old Feb 21, 18, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by rontse View Post
Thank you for the info. I probably just buy the tickets when we get there then.

If we donít do the Kyoto to Tokyo by train, would flying from ITM to HND a cheaper option?
Not by much.

Kyoto - Tokyo by train is 13,710 yen.

Itami (Osaka) - Haneda (Tokyo) can be 10,000 yen if you buy Visit Japan fare by ANA or JAL. But have to add 1,310 yen for bus from Kyoto to Itami Airport.

Kyoto does not have an airport, have to fly out from Osaka and will not save in time by flying either.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 8:08 am
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Originally Posted by rontse View Post
Thank you for the info. I probably just buy the tickets when we get there then.

If we donít do the Kyoto to Tokyo by train, would flying from ITM to HND a cheaper option?
I don't know. The train system in Japan is so good that I've been tempted to fly domestically only once, and that was due to a special package deal for traveling to Kyushu forty years ago when I was studying in Japan.
Here are the advantages of taking the Shinkansen between Kyoto and Tokyo:
You can get up and move around, and there is plenty of leg room, even for a tall Westerner like me.
You can see the countryside and get a glimpse of some of the smaller cities, including a good long look at Mt. Fuji from the north side of the train, as long as you're traveling in the winter.
There are no airport hassles--the Shinkansen goes from Kyoto Station to Tokyo Station, without worries about how to get to and from either airport, no security lines. Two hours, fifteen minutes, central city to central city is hard to beat!
Buy the ekiben (train station box lunch) of your choice, and eat it at leisure, supplemented by beverages from the station vending machines/kiosks.
Why take yet another plane ride when you will be facing two long plane rides at either end of your journey?

By the way, you have two options for Kyoto to Nara, as long as you're not buying a JR Pass: the JR option, which lands you in one part of town, and the Kintetsu (private line) option, which lands you in another. Both leave from Kyoto Station. The main attractions in Nara are pretty close together in a park-like setting, but the Kintetsu option brings you slightly closer to them, and is usually slightly cheaper.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 1:42 pm
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Flying (10800 yen on ANA / JAL) is cheaper than a single Shinkansen ticket. But due to the logistics of having to get to/from the airport, I would do it only if immediately connecting to/from an international flight.
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Old Feb 23, 18, 8:21 am
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*IF* you would take the JR Train in Tokyo and dont mind taking the Narita Express (it's slower than Skyliner by 20 mins or so, but they pick you up along the Yamanote Line so you dont have to trek to 1 specific stop), I would get the JR pass so you dont have to worry about buying tickets all the bloody time. that said, you're around 4-5K yen better off at this point if you dont get the JR Pass.
I disregarded the JR Pass in Osaka because it's not so convinient, but maybe you'd like to go to osaka castle or the USJ - both of which is good using JR Lines, but still, would not exactly make up for the 4-5K yen.
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Old Feb 24, 18, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by kaka View Post
*IF* you would take the JR Train in Tokyo and dont mind taking the Narita Express (it's slower than Skyliner by 20 mins or so, but they pick you up along the Yamanote Line so you dont have to trek to 1 specific stop), I would get the JR pass so you dont have to worry about buying tickets all the bloody time. that said, you're around 4-5K yen better off at this point if you dont get the JR Pass.
I disregarded the JR Pass in Osaka because it's not so convinient, but maybe you'd like to go to osaka castle or the USJ - both of which is good using JR Lines, but still, would not exactly make up for the 4-5K yen.
The JR Pass isn't all that convenient within Tokyo or Kyoto, either, but it does save you the hassle of buying tickets. For Kyoto, get a bus pass, sold in increments of 24 hours, since buses are the way to go if you are trying to hit the major sights.
Here's what you can use the JR Pass for:
Nagoya to Kyoto--any Hikari Shinkansen will take you there.
Within Kyoto, Kyoto Station to Nijo Castle, Arashiyama, Nara, and Osaka. Note that the Shinkansen route takes you to Shin-Osaka, which is kind of out of the way but is connected to the subway. If you take the Kansai Main Line, it is much slower, but you end up at Namba, which is more in the middle of things. Either way, before you go to Osaka, read up on it and figure out exactly what you want to see, since it is a large, sprawling city. The Kanjo Line, the JR-run commuter line, gives a good overview of the city, and sometimes it is elevated and runs so close to buildings that you can almost spy on the people inside.
Kyoto to Tokyo, definitely. You can't ride the Nozomi with a JR Pass, but there's only about half an hour difference in travel time between the Nozomi and the Hikari on this route. (The Hikari stops at more places.)
With a JR Pass, it is worth it to take the Narita Express to the airport, as long as your pass is valid on the last day. It's about an hour, but it's a comfortable, non-stop ride from Tokyo Station. If you don't have a JR Pass, take either the much cheaper Keisei Skyliner from Keisei Ueno Station (just a short walk from JR Ueno) or the Limousine Bus from the Tokyo City Air Terminal or from some hotels. The four- and five-star hotels tend to be served by the Limousine Bus. For the rest, you're better off with either the Keisei Skyliner or a taxi to the City Air Terminal.
(There are multiple ways to get almost anywhere in Tokyo and Osaka, which is convenient, but it can be confusing to a first-timer.)
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Old Feb 27, 18, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
The JR Pass isn't all that convenient within Tokyo or Kyoto, either, but it does save you the hassle of buying tickets. For Kyoto, get a bus pass, sold in increments of 24 hours, since buses are the way to go if you are trying to hit the major sights.
Here's what you can use the JR Pass for:
Nagoya to Kyoto--any Hikari Shinkansen will take you there.
Within Kyoto, Kyoto Station to Nijo Castle, Arashiyama, Nara, and Osaka. Note that the Shinkansen route takes you to Shin-Osaka, which is kind of out of the way but is connected to the subway. If you take the Kansai Main Line, it is much slower, but you end up at Namba, which is more in the middle of things. Either way, before you go to Osaka, read up on it and figure out exactly what you want to see, since it is a large, sprawling city. The Kanjo Line, the JR-run commuter line, gives a good overview of the city, and sometimes it is elevated and runs so close to buildings that you can almost spy on the people inside.
Kyoto to Tokyo, definitely. You can't ride the Nozomi with a JR Pass, but there's only about half an hour difference in travel time between the Nozomi and the Hikari on this route. (The Hikari stops at more places.)
With a JR Pass, it is worth it to take the Narita Express to the airport, as long as your pass is valid on the last day. It's about an hour, but it's a comfortable, non-stop ride from Tokyo Station. If you don't have a JR Pass, take either the much cheaper Keisei Skyliner from Keisei Ueno Station (just a short walk from JR Ueno) or the Limousine Bus from the Tokyo City Air Terminal or from some hotels. The four- and five-star hotels tend to be served by the Limousine Bus. For the rest, you're better off with either the Keisei Skyliner or a taxi to the City Air Terminal.
(There are multiple ways to get almost anywhere in Tokyo and Osaka, which is convenient, but it can be confusing to a first-timer.)
but the sum of the big trips plus the intercity trips inclusive of NEX would still take him ard 5000 yen less without using the pass (x3 iirc). so its a real case of ymmv as i've said upthread...
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Old Jan 21, 19, 6:05 am
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When we travel from Nagoya airport to Kyoto, do I need to get ticket for my child? Heís three.

Also, I am thinking to get the Kansai Thru Pass, it seems cover all the places we want to visit, but it takes longer to get the places. Is it worth paying more but get to places quicker?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 21, 19, 7:20 am
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Originally Posted by rontse View Post
When we travel from Nagoya airport to Kyoto, do I need to get ticket for my child? He’s three.

Also, I am thinking to get the Kansai Thru Pass, it seems cover all the places we want to visit, but it takes longer to get the places. Is it worth paying more but get to places quicker?

Thanks.
Train fare rules regarding child are:

Child 5 years old or younger ride free if accompanied by a person 12 years old or older, if a child does not occupy a seat by themselves. If 5 years old or younger will occupy the seat by themselves then the child need to pay the fare.

One person can accompany up to two 5 years old or younger for free. For example, one 30 years old accompanying three kids 5 years or younger. Third kid has to pay the fare.

If 5 years old or younger ride a train my themselves then fare need to be paid.

As for your question about Kansai Thru Pass, not exactly sure about getting to the places faster. Kansai Thru Pass will give you unlimited ride on non-JR trains. Are you indicating that you will get to places faster on JR trains?

It is all dependent from where to where you are planning to visit. JR Kyoto station is located at south portion of the city. Kawaramachi and Sanjyo of Kyoto which is served by Hankyu Line and Keihan Line (you can use Kansai Thru Pass) is more of central location of Kyoto. Hankyu Line and Raden Line (can use Kansai Thru Line) take you to Arashiyama, where JR cannot.

From Kyoto to Nara, JR and Kintetsu Line (can use Kansai Thru Pass on Kintetsu) both are pretty much same time of journey, If you looking at faster, then fasted between Kyoto and Nara is Express train of Kintetsu Line where reserved seating where you have to pay surcharge.

If you are thinking Shinkansen is faster, again, JR Kyoto station is at south part of the city and Shinkansen will take you to Shin-Osaka which you will likely require few extra transfer to get to place you want. Not sure how much saving you will get in time wise.

If you can provide specific to/from location then we can compare the actual journey time.

Last edited by AlwaysAisle; Jan 21, 19 at 8:05 am
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Old Jan 21, 19, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by AlwaysAisle View Post
Hankyu Line and Raden Line (can use Kansai Thru Line) take you to Arashiyama, where JR cannot.
Not correct - you can take the JR train to Saga Arashiyama.
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