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Bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto

Bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto

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Old Jul 8, 10, 1:55 pm
  #106  
 
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Originally Posted by GJS - yow View Post
... The opportunity to make a run into Kyoto while in Nara gives a slight edge to the Rail Pass option. I'll go with that.
That JR Nara Line trip to/from Kyoto is kind of fun and scenic in an off-beat, backyard kind of way. If you have the time, I encourage you to consider another day trip Nara-Kyoto-Hikone-return. The castle is nice, if rather small and one of only a few "original construction" 17th century castles left. Now that Himeji Castle is shrouded in scaffolding, Hikone, on the shore of Lake Biwa, is my recommended castle.
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Old Jul 8, 10, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by GJS - yow View Post
It seems odd to me that the return trip (only two days out of seven, and only covering a fraction of the country) is as expensive as a seven day unlimited travel Rail Pass.
Indeed. What makes the pass attractive to many tourists is that it saves them money.
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Old Jul 10, 10, 1:33 am
  #108  
 
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Originally Posted by GJS - yow View Post
Thanks. You confirmed my thoughts - it's a wash. It seems odd to me that the return trip (only two days out of seven, and only covering a fraction of the country) is as expensive as a seven day unlimited travel Rail Pass.
It's to encourage tourism; Japanese residents (even non-permanent ones) can't buy the JR Pass.
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Old Jul 10, 10, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by NickW View Post
It's to encourage tourism; Japanese residents (even non-permanent ones) can't buy the JR Pass.
Isn't a non-permanent Japanese resident a bit of an oxymoron?
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Old Jul 10, 10, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by acregal View Post
Isn't a non-permanent Japanese resident a bit of an oxymoron?
One can reside in Japan without applying for permanent resident status. No oxymoron. OTOH, you might find evidence to show that a non-permanent Japanese resident is a bit of a moron.
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Old Jul 10, 10, 11:40 am
  #111  
 
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Question

Example of a permanent Japanese resident--Someone who has married a Japanese national and has decided to settle there and raise a family and eventually applies for the official immigration status known as Permanent Residency.

Examples of a non-permanent Japanese resident--

A university student in Japan for a study program that lasts a semester or a year
A corporate transfer who is in Japan for two or three years

Neither of the above is eligible for the JR Pass because they are not in the country on a 90-day tourist visa.

As I recall, Japanese-born people who are citizens and/or permanent residents of a foreign country CAN get a Japan Rail if they come for a visit and don't intend to move back to the Old Country.

When I tell Japanese people about the JR Pass, they are always envious. They can only get limited deals, limited passes that are good for a certain region for a limited amount of time. For example, as a student, I was able to buy a 7-day pass that gave me roundtrip Shinkansen travel from Tokyo to Fukuoka and unlimited travel in Kyushu. No stopovers allowed, though.
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Old Jul 12, 10, 3:59 am
  #112  
 
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Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
As I recall, Japanese-born people who are citizens and/or permanent residents of a foreign country CAN get a Japan Rail if they come for a visit and don't intend to move back to the Old Country.
IIRC, Japanese citizens who wish to qualify for a JR Pass, need to show that they are eligible to live in a foreign country. No proof of intent required.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 10:21 am
  #113  
 
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
Agree with RRT above. If you opt for them, I'd suggest activating your passes 7 days before your departure from Japan. That would mean you would pay out of pocket for the trip into Tokyo from NRT upon arrival and any travel around town during the first couple of days. After activation, your passes would be good for Yamanote line travel around Tokyo, any JR line travel in and around Tokyo, your round trip Tokyo-Kyoto-Tokyo on the Hikari RailStar shinkansen, JR travel around the Kansai region while in Kyoto (for example, to/from Himeji or Nara) and the Narita Express back to NRT for departure.

Even if you don't save very much, the JR Pass also adds a lot of convenience. That is worth something in the calculation.

JR
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Old Aug 17, 12, 10:22 am
  #114  
 
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If we live in Canada, would they mail the JR Pass or Exchange Order to our home address in Canada before we depart for Japan? Also, with the rail pass, can we simply walk on the train during the validity of the pass or do we still need to go to the ticket counter and obtain a valid ticket for a specific train?
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Old Aug 17, 12, 10:50 am
  #115  
 
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YYCCowboy,
Each travel agent have their own shipping arrangement. In your other thread, you mentioned you would be in SIN before going to NRT. If I were you, I would just buy the exchange order at one of the authorized agents in SIN. You should be able to stop by the office and walk out with the exchange orders in less than 30 minutes. It goes without saying to call ahead and see if the office can issue exchange orders on the spot.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 3:18 pm
  #116  
 
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Originally Posted by YYCCowboy View Post
If we live in Canada, would they mail the JR Pass or Exchange Order to our home address in Canada before we depart for Japan? Also, with the rail pass, can we simply walk on the train during the validity of the pass or do we still need to go to the ticket counter and obtain a valid ticket for a specific train?
It depends if you go for reserved or non-reserved. For reserved you have to "buy" the ticket like everyone else at a counter. Only difference is that instead of paying you show them the pass. For non-reserved I believe you can just walk on with the pass.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 9:35 pm
  #117  
 
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Originally Posted by aceofangel View Post
It depends if you go for reserved or non-reserved. For reserved you have to "buy" the ticket like everyone else at a counter. Only difference is that instead of paying you show them the pass. For non-reserved I believe you can just walk on with the pass.
That is correct. If you take one of the JR airport trains (N'Ex or Haruka) using your pass, you have to get a reserved seat, but if it's within the period of validity of your pass, you just show the pass instead of paying money.

The reservations are sometimes just a formality. On my most recent trip, I made a "reservation" for a fairly empty Narita Express that left ten minutes after I bought my ticket.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 8:20 pm
  #118  
 
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Originally Posted by YYCCowboy View Post
If we live in Canada, would they mail the JR Pass or Exchange Order to our home address in Canada before we depart for Japan?
Others have already answered with the correct practical advice, but I wanted to add some clarification because I think it will help in this case. First of all, the pass itself is never mailed. Instead, you can only purchase the Exchange Order overseas, and then you exchange that for the actual pass once you arrive in Japan. Second, you ask about whether "they" would mail the EO to your address in Canada. There really is no "they" in this case. Unlike regular train tickets in Japan, you cannot purchase the JR Pass Exchange Order directly from JR. Instead, you have to purchase it through an authorized seller in the country of purchase (which is usually where you live, although you could purchase it in person in a country nearby to Japan if you happen to be there on your way to Japan), which is usually just a travel agent. You are subject to whatever purchase rules your chosen authorized seller has in place. And policies vary.

Also, as to the particular form of the EO, this also varies. Some agencies manually write or type them on forms that were printed especially for this purpose, and endorse the form with a stamp/impression of some sort. In other cases, they just print out on regular ARC airline paper ticket stock, with a JL ticket number and a dummy city pair that indicates what type and duration of pass it is.

Also, some sellers are particular in wanting to see the passport of each passenger and photocopy them, while others just as for the passengers name and take your word for it.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 3:40 pm
  #119  
 
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Thank you for your advice.
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Old Oct 1, 12, 11:06 am
  #120  
 
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What is the one-way Green Car surcharge between Tokyo and Kyoto?

I've searched JR Central's website high and low without success. In several places it indicates that a Green Car surchage is required (of course!) or may be applicable, but I can't figure out what the heck the surcharge is.
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