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Itinerary for Senior First timers in Japan

Itinerary for Senior First timers in Japan

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Old Dec 24, 18, 1:37 am
  #61  
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So I booked 5 night stay for 3 persons at Uno Ueno (walking distance from Ueno Station, 1 full bed 1 twin bed) for 75,000 yen after VAT. Is Ueno station OK?
And 3 night stay at Kyomai Inn in Kyoto (walking distance from Kyoto Station, 1 big room with 3 futon beds) for 57,000 yen.
The thing I try to avoid is bunk beds.
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Old Dec 24, 18, 3:45 am
  #62  
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Originally Posted by fandi View Post
So I booked 5 night stay for 3 persons at Uno Ueno (walking distance from Ueno Station, 1 full bed 1 twin bed) for 75,000 yen after VAT. Is Ueno station OK?
And 3 night stay at Kyomai Inn in Kyoto (walking distance from Kyoto Station, 1 big room with 3 futon beds) for 57,000 yen.
The thing I try to avoid is bunk beds.
15,000 yen a night for three people is certainly a fair price.

Ueno Station is not just one station and the walk between the Keisei station and the JR part is over ten minutes. I will have to look up where your hotel is located.
EDIT - oh... the Uno is a hostel. And 15,000yen may be getting you a 9m2 room with both a semi double and a single bed squeezed in there. Not really such a fair price, but you should get your own ensuite bathroom.
The location is between the main Ueno station and Okachimachi station. I guess I f you don’t get on with one station you can use the other.

I hope the booking is refundable. I sincerely believe somewhere much nicer than this and similarly priced will become available in the next month or so. Your budget is quite similar to what mine has always been.


I’m not very familiar with Kyoto so won’t comment there.
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Last edited by LapLap; Dec 24, 18 at 3:57 am
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Old Dec 24, 18, 4:13 am
  #63  
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Originally Posted by fandi View Post
These are JR lines. Not sure how busy it is for private lines.
Ikebukuro rush hours:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtOZ_ldyroo
Shinjuku rush hours:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAJ4a4XvcvQ
Just as busy if not busier for the non JR lines.

But donít worry about getting off and on the trains too much. When you arrive at the ticket gates you should ask for assistance. Someone will then escort you and there will then be someone to greet you when you arrive.
Theyíll take care of getting your mum on and off the trains (so long as it isnít rush hour). Do please realise that these assistants are unlikely to speak any English. Perhaps keep a map on you to point out your route.

So rather than worry about getting off and on a train, think about how you might get to the station ticket barriers. Hereís a random taste of a walk through Ikebukuro to show what I mean. And this is not a particularly busy time:
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Old Dec 24, 18, 12:08 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
15,000 yen a night for three people is certainly a fair price.

Ueno Station is not just one station and the walk between the Keisei station and the JR part is over ten minutes. I will have to look up where your hotel is located.
EDIT - oh... the Uno is a hostel. And 15,000yen may be getting you a 9m2 room with both a semi double and a single bed squeezed in there. Not really such a fair price, but you should get your own ensuite bathroom.
The location is between the main Ueno station and Okachimachi station. I guess I f you donít get on with one station you can use the other.

I hope the booking is refundable. I sincerely believe somewhere much nicer than this and similarly priced will become available in the next month or so. Your budget is quite similar to what mine has always been.


Iím not very familiar with Kyoto so wonít comment there.
If you don't mind, may I ask if you were still using a wheelchair?
All my bookings are refundable as I still on the lookout for better deals in February. My next step is to figure out where to visit in Tokyo (I have entire 4 days in Tokyo after deducting traveling time) and how to move from point A to point B. I'll go back to the beginning of this thread to find the answers for these. I'll download Hyperdia to know how to use it (I'll get a Wifi hotspot and a Suica card at Narita airport). Time for reading the forum about shinkansen, limousine bus, JR passes as I still don't know how to go from Narita to hotel, from Tokyo to Kyoto and from Kyoto straight to Narita.
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Old Dec 24, 18, 1:16 pm
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Originally Posted by fandi View Post
If you don't mind, may I ask if you were still using a wheelchair?
Was I still using a wheelchair?

I’m not sure I understand the question.

I was unable to move for a full year and was reliant on my husband wheeling me around in a chair for a year (the chair in the photo I posted).
During this time we went to Tokyo (staying in Shinagawa, Roppongi and Shirokane Takanawa) and on the way to Tokyo spent a few days in Rome (we also went to Alicante and Valencia in Spain on a separate trip whilst I was confined to a chair).
After the year where I couldn’t walk I was able to get around slowly using a rollator and then I made a convalescence trip when I was still having some problems with stairs, alone, to Osaka, Nara and an island in the Okayama area. I posted details in this thread:
AF [email protected] LHR-CDG-NGO in AF & JAL J&Y. My budget trip
Not too long ago I went back to using some of the routes and detours I needed to follow in a wheelchair when my daughter was in a buggy.
When you’ve been in a wheelchair for an extended period, it certainly opens your eyes to problems and obstacles that you may have been unaware of before.
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Old Dec 24, 18, 3:08 pm
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
Was I still using a wheelchair?

I’m not sure I understand the question.

I was unable to move for a full year and was reliant on my husband wheeling me around in a chair for a year (the chair in the photo I posted).
During this time we went to Tokyo (staying in Shinagawa, Roppongi and Shirokane Takanawa) and on the way to Tokyo spent a few days in Rome (we also went to Alicante and Valencia in Spain on a separate trip whilst I was confined to a chair).
After the year where I couldn’t walk I was able to get around slowly using a rollator and then I made a convalescence trip when I was still having some problems with stairs, alone, to Osaka, Nara and an island in the Okayama area. I posted details in this thread:
AF [email protected] LHR-CDG-NGO in AF & JAL J&Y. My budget trip
Not too long ago I went back to using some of the routes and detours I needed to follow in a wheelchair when my daughter was in a buggy.
When you’ve been in a wheelchair for an extended period, it certainly opens your eyes to problems and obstacles that you may have been unaware of before.
So you don't need a wheelchair now I guess. I enjoy reading the blog of your 2008 trip. If I was in a wheelchair, I would never be brave like you to get out of the house, let alone visiting a foreign country. I admire you, LapLap.
In your blog, you mentioned you didn't get the JR Pass but since the hotels I booked are major stations and on JR map, I guess I could buy 3 JR passes and activate when I touch down Narita and use JR line to go to Ueno station. A 7 day JR pass is good for Apr 4 thru Apr 10. I'll buy tickets as we go for Apr 11 and Apr 12 (Apr 12 is the day we don't travel any where, just check out hotel in Kyoto and take the train straight to Narita airport). I downloaded Hyperdia app and enter point A to point B but don't really understand what the app says. For example, why Keisei Skyliner 42 and transfer to JR Yamanote line? Don't they have JR line goes straight from Narita Terminal 2 to Ueno station?

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Old Dec 24, 18, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by fandi View Post
I downloaded Hyperdia app and enter point A to point B but don't really understand what the app says. For example, why Keisei Skyliner 42 and transfer to JR Yamanote line? Don't they have JR line goes straight from Narita Terminal 2 to Ueno station?
There are many metro/rail corporations in Japan. Japan Rail does offer certain lines in Tokyo but there's also several non-JR options. Sometimes they share the same station entrance as JR and sometimes they're named something else. You're probably looking for the Keisei Ueno station if you want to take the Skyliner from Narita Airport to the Ueno area. Keisei is a different corporation than JR and is not covered by a JR pass. Hyperdia won't necessarily give you the alternate station name. Google maps sometimes does but without any regard to accessibility at the alternative station.

This Keisei elevator guide might also help if you're dealing with all the luggage, too.
Position of the Cars Closest to the Elevators When You Get Off the Train | Accessibility Facilities / Station Premises List | KEISEI Electric Railway

Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
Not too long ago I went back to using some of the routes and detours I needed to follow in a wheelchair when my daughter was in a buggy.
When youíve been in a wheelchair for an extended period, it certainly opens your eyes to problems and obstacles that you may have been unaware of before.
I think this is true for those using a buggy/pram/strollers or walking aids, too. Several of my friends had children in the last few years and I started paying a lot more attention to public transit accessibility and child friendly facilities when traveling in Japan, mostly because we'd like to have a group trip at some point.
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Old Dec 24, 18, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by freecia View Post
There are many metro/rail corporations in Japan. Japan Rail does offer certain lines in Tokyo but there's also several non-JR options. Sometimes they share the same station entrance as JR and sometimes they're named something else. You're probably looking for the Keisei Ueno station if you want to take the Skyliner from Narita Airport to the Ueno area. Keisei is a different corporation than JR and is not covered by a JR pass. Hyperdia won't necessarily give you the alternate station name. Google maps sometimes does but without any regard to accessibility at the alternative station.

This Keisei elevator guide might also help if you're dealing with all the luggage, too.
Position of the Cars Closest to the Elevators When You Get Off the Train Accessibility Facilities / Station Premises List KEISEI Electric Railway

.
So if I have a JR pass, how do I travel from Narita airport to Ueno station (Ueno station is on JR line map)?
These websites don't help much:
https://www.japan-rail-pass.com/japa...round-in-tokyo
https://www.narita-airport.jp/en/access/train
Also per Hyperdia, I have to transfer thru a bunch of rail lines to go from Kyoto station to Narita airport. Don't they have direct line?




Thanks.

Last edited by fandi; Dec 24, 18 at 4:17 pm
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Old Dec 24, 18, 4:11 pm
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You can search in Hyperdia for purely JR routes by unselecting the "Private Railway" options.

Here's a sample routing of Narita->Tokyo->Ueno routing from Hyperdia
HyperDia | SearchResult

I'd probably take the Keisei Skyliner to Keisei Ueno when arriving at Narita and if the JR pass is still valid + you want to save money, N'EX from Ueno to Narita on return to airport. I'm usually tired arriving in Japan and just want to get to the hotel (even if I have a "travel high"). Your parents might feel the same and proper rest is important to keep their health up for the rest of the trip. You can exchange the JR pass at Ueno station the next day instead of at Narita Airport. The ticket office line at Ueno is probably shorter than Narita or at least more non-tourists who have quicker requests. Some of the offices which handle a lot of Tourist Pass exchanges only allow you to make a single seat reservation, too, so I end up having to visit a midori-no-madoguchi ticket office anyhow to finish my seat reservations.

My partner, OTOH, usually exchanges a national pass at Narita if he travels to Japan without me as he is more patient than me and familiar with the office at Narita. The familiarity of it makes him comfortable and he is more flexible about making advance seat reservations (I go to the countryside with sparse routings, he usually goes on more frequent shinkansen routes). Same goes with an extensive set of directions/video in English - If I suggest a more efficient Japan travel optimization, I usually include a video or directions to help explain so he can make an informed choice. That's fine, too, just something to know about your travel styles.
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Last edited by freecia; Dec 24, 18 at 4:28 pm
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Old Dec 24, 18, 4:31 pm
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One issue I have not seen mentioned that might impact older travelers is medications. After a couple of decades of regularly visiting Japan, I no longer do so because age and ailments have me taking medications that are not allowed or are highly regulated in Japan. I'd suggest getting a list of your parents' important meds and then check on the Japan government website to see if any of them are listed. I inadvertently/accidentally "smuggled" in some of mine before I knew they were not permitted. Fortunately, I was not inspected when I entered back then so had no trouble. I understand the agents are being more thorough these days and someone like me might have an issue. I might not go to jail for bringing in pseudofed or enough of an opiate for a couple of weeks but they would probably take it away and that might well be just as bad..

Better to find out ahead of time than be surprised upon arrival.
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Old Dec 24, 18, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by freecia View Post
You can search in Hyperdia for purely JR routes by unselecting the "Private Railway" options.

Here's a sample routing of Narita->Tokyo->Ueno routing from Hyperdia
HyperDia SearchResult

I'd probably take the Keisei Skyliner to Keisei Ueno when arriving at Narita and if the JR pass is still valid + you want to save money, N'EX from Ueno to Narita on return to airport. I'm usually tired arriving in Japan and just want to get to the hotel (even if I have a "travel high"). Your parents might feel the same and proper rest is important to keep their health up for the rest of the trip. You can exchange the JR pass at Ueno station the next day instead of at Narita Airport. The ticket office line at Ueno is probably shorter than Narita or at least more non-tourists who have quicker requests. Some of the offices which handle a lot of Tourist Pass exchanges only allow you to make a single seat reservation, too, so I end up having to visit a midori-no-madoguchi ticket office anyhow to finish my seat reservations.

My partner, OTOH, usually exchanges a national pass at Narita if he travels to Japan without me as he is more patient than me and familiar with the office at Narita. The familiarity of it makes him comfortable and he is more flexible about making advance seat reservations (I go to the countryside with sparse routings, he usually goes on more frequent shinkansen routes). Same goes with an extensive set of directions/video in English - If I suggest a more efficient Japan travel optimization, I usually include a video or directions to help explain so he can make an informed choice. That's fine, too, just something to know about your travel styles.
Can JR pass be used on Narita Express and Shinkansen lines?
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Old Dec 24, 18, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
One issue I have not seen mentioned that might impact older travelers is medications. After a couple of decades of regularly visiting Japan, I no longer do so because age and ailments have me taking medications that are not allowed or are highly regulated in Japan. I'd suggest getting a list of your parents' important meds and then check on the Japan government website to see if any of them are listed. I inadvertently/accidentally "smuggled" in some of mine before I knew they were not permitted. Fortunately, I was not inspected when I entered back then so had no trouble. I understand the agents are being more thorough these days and someone like me might have an issue. I might not go to jail for bringing in pseudofed or enough of an opiate for a couple of weeks but they would probably take it away and that might well be just as bad..

Better to find out ahead of time than be surprised upon arrival.
How do I find out if my dad's heart and blood pressure medications prescribed by doctors are OK to bring to Japan? My mom only uses OTC pain relievers for knees so I think she's OK.
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Old Dec 24, 18, 4:44 pm
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The National JR pass can be used on Narita Express and some of the trains between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. It isn't valid on the fastest and most frequent shinkansen "Nozomi" between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. Most tourists are fine with that given the cost savings and the second fastest bullet train frequency is still roughly every hour.

JPRail.com is a great resource for digging into JR pass validity & even some of the "how to make this transfer" info
Narita Info https://jprail.com/travel-informatio...own-tokyo.html
How to get good value for a JR Pass (but with seniors with mobility challenges, bear in mind this is written by a younger person who loves trains) https://jprail.com/travel-informatio...s-maximum.html
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Old Dec 24, 18, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by fandi View Post
How do I find out if my dad's heart and blood pressure medications prescribed by doctors are OK to bring to Japan? My mom only uses OTC pain relievers for knees so I think she's OK.
Heart and b/p meds are probably ok. The real problems are with cold/allergy type OTC preparations that contain pseudoephedrine or pain meds that contain an opiate or similar.

More info:

https://jp.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen...ng-medication/
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Old Dec 25, 18, 5:13 pm
  #75  
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Originally Posted by fandi View Post
A 7 day JR pass is good for Apr 4 thru Apr 10. I'll buy tickets as we go for Apr 11 and Apr 12 (Apr 12 is the day we don't travel any where, just check out hotel in Kyoto and take the train straight to Narita airport). I downloaded Hyperdia app and enter point A to point B but don't really understand what the app says.
If you arrive April 4 (day 1 of your trip) at Narita, are going later on to Kyoto and then taking the train back and departing Narita on April 12 (day 9 of your trip), you want the 7 day JR Pass to cover days 3 - 9 of your trip, not days 1 - 7. A JR Pass is only of value if you are using long-distance trains and you use it for, say Tokyo to Kyoto and back again (plus some other trips) .... otherwise it's better to just buy separate tickets.

A 7 day JR Pass costs •29,110. Some sample fares -

Tokyo - Kyoto •13,800
Kyoto - Narita •16,780

Thus, if you use the JR Pass to go to Kyoto and then back to Narita, it will be cheaper than buying individual tickets. However, if the Pass expires on day 7 of your trip (April 10), you won't be able to use it to get back to Tokyo on day 12 and will have to buy a separate ticket from Kyoto to Narita (another •16,780) and the pass will be very poor value. You can use the Pass (on day 3 of your trip and later) to get around Tokyo but that is of limited value. For days 1 and 2 of your trip (April 4 and 5) just buy separate tickets to get from Narita into Tokyo etc.
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