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Fly or take train Kyoto-HND?

Fly or take train Kyoto-HND?

Old Sep 11, 23, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Buster CT1K
To take the Keikyu line Haneda to-and-from Shinagawa: is that just a tap of the Suica on the entry/exit gates?



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Old Sep 13, 23, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by paul21
If youre worried about it then I would fly. The cost difference is probably not that much especially compared to your total trip cost, and it will take away a lot of stress. I would take a cab to the airport once youre done in Kyoto then youll be in a very familiar system: luggage counters, airport transfer shuttles, etc. People can and do ride the train with luggage, but its just not as seamless as flying especially with large luggage.

Some comments on each
  • Having to get creative with a 50lb bag because the large luggage racks are full or dont exist on the car you boarded. I have NEVER seen full luggage racks plus you can put bags between some seats if you spin them.
  • Finding where the right train platform is, which may be beneath you or above or require going outside then down some steps and back inside. This is not difficult if you can read English
  • Trying to navigate a sea of people with a roller bag and find the elevators so youre not blocking walkers. Really not a big deal and many escalators that can be used
  • In fact finding a place to stop walking without blocking people, just to reference notes, can be difficult
  • Wondering if local, limited express, rapid limited express, and airport rapid limited express stop at terminal 3 or not for the same line. ALL KK Haneda bound trains stop at T3,
  • Buying the right fare ALL ticket machines are in English
  • Finding a backup cab if things go wrong (which exit door are they waiting?). At Shinagawa, both exits, signs in English
  • Telling the cab driver where to go with limited Japanese skills. Google translate, however I bet "Haneda Airport - International " would work.
Japan is really not a scary place and there is normally always someone who will help

Personally I would only attempt this alone, with a small bag, and plenty of time to spare.
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Old Sep 14, 23, 4:31 pm
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Japan has a great train system especially for those who are used to riding trains. It is, however, intimidating for me as a car-driving American.

My first time to Japan I exited Shinagawa station with just a backpack on a long layover to look around, then I returned. First I got lost because I went upstairs when KK is downstairs. After looking around and realizing I hadnt been there before, I had to play Frogger to get to the service window to ask about Haneda because of how many people were walking nonstop from the JR lines, arriving every minute or two.

Once I had my ticket and was on Platform 1 I let about 6 trains go by before I figured out which one went to Haneda. The same KK line on the same platform has local and rapid trains that do not stop at the airport. There was no one to ask on the platform so I just picked one and got on. I had never been on a platform before where the place I wanted to go was not simply the next train on the indicated line.

Now Im just an idiot who speaks English, but I managed to get confused twice at Shinagawa. Had I been lugging around a 23kg bag on a tight connection, I would have had very high stress levels.
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Old Sep 15, 23, 7:27 pm
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All relevant signs are in Japanese and English, All you need to do is stay calm, read the signs and if there is a problem , ask staff or other people, Japanese are always happy to help, if the can,

The service windows are ALL accessible;e from both sides of the ticket gate, no jumping required. There are stair, elevators and escalators to all platforms at Shinagawa so luggage need not be a problem. Yes it can be very busy so the key is make sure you have plenty of time, and read the English signs. ALL trains that go to Haneda are clearly shown, some are a few minutes faster than others but I always just take to first one as the difference is small. If it does not show Haneda dont take it. If by chance you do by mistake, just change at Kamata, all trains stop there.

The more research you do before will help, also google maps shows train times and platform numbers.
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Old Sep 16, 23, 4:19 pm
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I did the same trip a few months back.
I took the airport bus from central Kyoto to ITM. JAL Explorer pass domestic ticket was far cheaper than Shinkansen, at least when I was there.
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Old Sep 16, 23, 9:23 pm
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If going from Kyoto to Tokyo to be in Tokyo, flying is a bit of a drag, going to Itami, waiting for luggage at Haneda, going in to town from Haneda.

But once the purpose is to connect to a flight from Haneda, the Shinkansen becomes a bit of a drag. Relatively OK as it is dragging the luggage through Kyoto station, then through Shinagawa station both JR side and Keikyu side, will require some lifting, dragging and hard work. As opposed to having it loaded on a bus for you, on a trolley straight to check-in and not seeing it again until arriving in the US.

Domestic flying in Japan is a pretty easy and relaxed. No hustle and bustle, a wide body 400 seat plane can be boarded in 15 to 20 minutes. That in itself is worth the experience.

The one point that is important to think about, a lot of visitors have prepaid Shinkansen through their rail pass, which is a different case then.
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