Japan trains, buses, internal flights, car hire, discounts

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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So this trip (by car) is 2 hours 41mins no traffic. For the people who live in Japan, how long should I budget for this drive if I was to leave Nasushiobara at 8am on a weekday?
https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/...2c4712f9!2m2!1d140.3859353!2d35.7636035?hl=en

@Vermillion If you plug this into maps on your Android phone (Right NOW), you can see the traffic. It show traffic jams around the expressways surrounding Tokyo, including from Tokyo out towards Narita Airport. I'd take the drive from Nasushiobara via Kasama & Tsuchiura and allow 3 hours. It says 2 hr 48min on my phone right now.
 
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Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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Thanks Sandy. It wouldnt be good to miss my flight home, so just working out how much extra time I should be allowing on top of the traffic-free travel time.
No worries. Right now there's no red or orange on the map, except for getting off the Tohoku Expressway onto route 172
 

buckcompton

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Jul 10, 2013
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Question (which has been somewhat answered previously)

We want to ensure we get shinkansen tickets for Dec 30th to Nagano. Some people suggested that this is not needed but seems to be a bit of risk still not prebooking.

I have a mate arriving in Tokyo a day ahead of us so he can pick up tickets for the whole group if needed. What are peoples thoughts on this? Also which ticket is best to purchase? Can we refund/change the time on the ticket if our flight is delayed (say we purchase a 10am shinkansen but cant get there till 12pm). Ideas?
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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Question (which has been somewhat answered previously)

We want to ensure we get shinkansen tickets for Dec 30th to Nagano. Some people suggested that this is not needed but seems to be a bit of risk still not prebooking.

I have a mate arriving in Tokyo a day ahead of us so he can pick up tickets for the whole group if needed. What are peoples thoughts on this? Also which ticket is best to purchase? Can we refund/change the time on the ticket if our flight is delayed (say we purchase a 10am shinkansen but cant get there till 12pm). Ideas?
On the 30th, there's lot of people traveling(depending on the time), so that might be a good idea to get tickets the day before, seeing that you CAN. If you miss the train, you can either change the ticket to a reserved seat on a later one, or just jump on any later with non reserved seating.
 
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buckcompton

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Jul 10, 2013
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On the 30th, there's lot of people traveling, so that might be a good idea to get tickets the day before, seeing that you CAN. If you miss the train, you can either change the ticket to a reserved seat on a later one, or just jump on any later with non reserved seating.

We were going to purchase them now and get ordinary seats (doesnt matter if we sit together). Also if we're running late on the day theres no issue in getting a train after.
 

Ramenman

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Lifts are for free in many ski resorts for 19 year old people. Lifts are half price in many ski resorts for 20 year old people. I think 99% people here are older than 20, including me, though:p
 

hatto

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Not sure about you concern. There are around 40 shinks departing tokyo station going to nagano or one about every 20 mins between 6am and 10pm
Dont stress.
ive had no problem on 30th, 31st, 1st or 2nd
 

sbm

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huckanddyno.wordpress.com
Ugh the hassle of getting an international drivers licence. Multiple lunch trips from work because of the 9-5 and limited weekend opening of the PO and NRMA.

How good would society be if we could stagger weekends. Choice of a sat-sun or mon-tue weekend, and everything's open.
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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It's a money-grabbing scam. $35 a year, every year, when you already have a license and nothing changes year to year apart from having to go down to the RACV and getting it re-done, wasting your time.
Yeah, fair enough.... Ok, it's NEEDED in some countries, but they should probably have a 5 year, $60 International driver's permit.
 
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Crispy013

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It's a money-grabbing scam. $35 a year, every year, when you already have a license and nothing changes year to year apart from having to go down to the RACV and getting it re-done, wasting your time.
Yeah this ^. I find sorting out my international driving permit each year the most frustrating thing about organising my trip.
 
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Born2ski

Part of the Furniture
Aug 29, 2006
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The international driving permit is just a translation of your real licence. Why can't each state just provide a translation on their website which you print out and take with you on holidays. No need at all for a whole new permit.
 
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seefarr

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Dec 10, 2010
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We have rented a car for our February trip and went through Tocoo. They were doing great early-bird discounts including 4x4 and snow tires. We were quoted 93K yen on the Times Car Rental website for the same dates / car and got it for 50k yen. Be aware that they charge (but don't show in the initial quote!) what is in essence an administration fee of 800 yen a day but it's still a pretty good deal.

http://www2.tocoo.jp/en

They also rent ETC cards (Japanese Toll cards) for ~ 300 yen per day. Pickup from your hotel front desk with a self addressed envelope to send it back.

http://www.tocoo.jp/etc/index?lang=en

Sorry, missed the questions! We are hiring an 8 seat 4x4 minivan (Toyota Serena or similar) out of Morioka for 5 days.
 
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buckcompton

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We were going to purchase them now and get ordinary seats (doesnt matter if we sit together). Also if we're running late on the day theres no issue in getting a train after.

So we purchased reserved tickets for appx 2pm on the 31st which was the earliest train we could book.

Is it possible to change our tickets on the day and catch an earlier train if there are free spots?
 

Dave.Ski

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Hi there, long time reader - first time poster. I'm planning on renting a car for the first time and wonder if I should go with the deals offered on Tocoo or wait until closer to my arrival date (early Feb). Any advice? Cheers
 

Donza

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Hi there, long time reader - first time poster. I'm planning on renting a car for the first time and wonder if I should go with the deals offered on Tocoo or wait until closer to my arrival date (early Feb). Any advice? Cheers
I'm not sure the winter deals are out yet?
However get them to send you a customised quote for say Nissan... 4wd and snowtyres.
Most on here will know if its a good price.
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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What's the Working Holiday scheme & what Visa is required?
WHV, 30 or under, iwth Aussie Passort. Can only do it once. Initial is 6 months, can sometimes be extended twice. Need sufficient money.
Need to specify a rough itinerary, which SHOWS you not staying in the same place for long than 2 months, IIRC. (So if you put Niseko, 15th Dec - 20th March, you will get rejected!!)

http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/w_holiday/
 

Crispy013

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I'm not sure the winter deals are out yet?
However get them to send you a customised quote for say Nissan... 4wd and snowtyres.
Most on here will know if its a good price.
Can anyone confirm this? I'm still hanging out for a good winter deals until I book through Toocoo. I haven't seen any change in price over the last 1-2 months.
 

Dave.Ski

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I'm looking at roughly 15,000 yen for 4 days ex Morioka for a Mazda 3 with 4WD and snow tyres. This is through Times Car Rental.
 

PMG

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I'm looking at roughly 15,000 yen for 4 days ex Morioka for a Mazda 3 with 4WD and snow tyres. This is through Times Car Rental.
Got the same deal through Tocoo. Over 60% off. Checked with Times that their sedans in Morioka had split/fold rear seats which they confirmed. Hope they're right.
Where you going Dave?
 
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Donza

Dogs body...
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Got the same deal through Tocoo. Over 60% off. Checked with Times that their sedans in Morioka had split/fold rear seats which they confirmed. Hope they're right.
Where you going Dave?
Only Morioka?
Might be booking me a car I think.
 

PMG

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Only Morioka?
Might be booking me a car I think.
They had very good winter specials for Times out of Morioka. Don't know about elsewhere. Nissan didnt seem to have any Wingroads through Tocoo up there otherwise would have gone for a wagon.
 
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Donza

Dogs body...
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They had very good winter specials for Times out of Morioka. Don't know about elsewhere. Nissan didnt seem to have any Wingroads through Tocoo up there otherwise would have gone for a wagon.
ahh Ok.
Yeah I looked for Nagano.
Not much love.
 

Vermillion

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They had very good winter specials for Times out of Morioka. Don't know about elsewhere. Nissan didnt seem to have any Wingroads through Tocoo up there otherwise would have gone for a wagon.

I dont know if it's a good or bad thing a Wingroad is going to be too small for us this year. Bring on the el grand!
 

Dave.Ski

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I'm staying at Appi at Pension Mutti but would like the flexibility to try somewhere else nearby. The split fold info is great thanks PMG, I'm using Takyubin but still need to get skis to the hill each day!
 
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Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
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I'm staying at Appi at Pension Mutti but would like the flexibility to try somewhere else nearby. The split fold info is great thanks PMG, I'm using Takyubin but still need to get skis to the hill each day!

You'll get well fed at Pension Mutti.
Hachimantai is not too far away.
 
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