1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

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

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Sandy, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    5,175
    Location:
    Brisbane
    OR take the Shink to Omiya(the stop before Ueno)..80min
    then JR Shonan...31min....Total cost 6410 yen.

    Cheaper and quicker. ;)

    http://www.hyperdia.com/en/cgi/en/s...h_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7
     
  2. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    Yeah i wondered why the price was cheaper ,....I posted that a page back.

    If you imagine Tokyo as a clock.(the yamanote line being the outline).. the shink comes down the 3pm to 4pm side.... whereas shinjuku is at the 9pm side....
    So changing and coming down the correct side would make sense
     
  3. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    5,175
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Sorry Donza, missed your follow up post on the last page, see it now. :thumbs:
     
  4. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    12,580
    Likes Received:
    197
    Location:
    Melbourne
    The NEX from Shinjuku is not as frequent as from Tokyo - but you just look at the timetable and be there at the right time.
    The trip out there is just over an hour.

    You need to reserve a seat (even if you are on a JR pass). Just ask the station staff where the reservation counter is.
     
  5. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    Personally the NEX is crap


    Skyliner all the way.
    best train i've been on in Japan... just in front of the "haruka"
     
  6. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,982
    Likes Received:
    11,272
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Ok, the other question has been answered, so i'll answer this one.

    If you take the JR Chuo line from Shinjuku (orange train), towards Tokyo station, get off at Ochanomizu station (two stops), and out of the western exit. Right outside the station is the musical instrument store area to the south. There are about 20-30 musical instument stores. Probably 80% of them sell guitars.

    The guitars are cheap.for example,you can buy good second hand Fender Strats for less then $400.
     
  7. rigers

    rigers Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ha! Thank-you for this!! I KNEW there'd be a musician here somewhere!
     
  8. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    71,483
    Likes Received:
    25,923
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    If you are on a JR pass and are going to catch a shink after the airport (IE to Nagano) it's stupid to pay for the Keisei as well as your JR pass. NEX is not crap in that instance.
     
  9. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    12,580
    Likes Received:
    197
    Location:
    Melbourne
    We're going Skyliner + subway deal this time as we are staying in Roppongi when we are in Tokyo (found a funky hotel right near all the art galleries).

    NEX is cheaper. The deciding factor for us was simply how close the station was to the accommodation. Last time we had a 4 days in two week JR east pass, and we could just use that. So if you have a JR pass, or arrive direct in Tokyo it is the go.
    If you have a subways station nearby, do Skyliner + subway pass.

    I have heard that the airport limosine bus is a good option (is it just me, or do other people think "limousine bus" is like saying "luxury slum"?)
     
  10. rigers

    rigers Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Sandy- This looks like a great place for muso's, and it looks like the ski shops aren't too far away from here- have I read the maps right? How long would it take to walk between the two shopping areas? Or do we have to jump on a train again?

    Thanks for your help- these forums are an awesome resource!

    Rigers
     
  11. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    71,483
    Likes Received:
    25,923
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    Please dont be a bogan Aussie and make a fool of yourself at the Narita JR ticket office. I had to apologise to the lady serving me this douchebag was such a tool.
     
  12. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    25,214
    Likes Received:
    7,899
    Location:
    Adelaide
    The bus is ok. Caught it a few times in the early days. If your accommodation is not near a train station but near the bus route it is worth considering. It is also easier with luggage. The main downside is that times will vary somewhat depending on traffic. So need to take that into account if catching it to the airport. Lately though I generally choose accommodation in Ueno so that I can use the train.
     
  13. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    71,483
    Likes Received:
    25,923
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    Plenty of good places in Ueno, and the best part is using the shink to get into the mountains is dead easy from here. Lots of nice places to eat too, just about to find one now.
     
  14. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5,904
    Likes Received:
    2,375
    The first time we went to the ski area (with Sandy) we walked from Ochanomizu station through all the musical shops. So it is just a short down hill walk.

    And then Akihabara is just another short walk on from the ski shops.
     
  15. ssar

    ssar One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,708
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Newcastle, NSW
    I'll be in Japan this Feb 5th-20th, 1 week Kyoto (day tours etc.) then 1 week Nozawa Onsen (snow skiing) – very much looking forward to it.

    ---

    We already have JR Exchange Orders (21-Day Ordinary Pass) and will exchange them for & activate our JR passes @ Tokyo Narita upon arrival, to then train it to Kyoto.

    In my case I'll be catching JR trains at least 5 times along major routes (Narita/Tokyo/Kyoto/Hiroshima/Kyoto/Nagano/Togarinozawa-Onsen/Tokyo) covering over 2100km by rail by the looks, and apparently it's a significant savings with the JR Pass compared to buying fares separately for each trip as required.

    In any case;
    Re: pre-booking JR trains seats:

    I understand seats can only be pre-booked on some services and you must have your activated JR pass with you to do so etc., and personally I don't forsee any need to pre-book any JR Train seats myself – I'm just researching the range of likely JR services I could catch on each day, will try to get to each station well before the optimal/preferred service the timetables offer, and am confident I'll not only do it fine (with a bit of luggage), but also quite enjoy it all as well.

    However I will ask about pre-booking train seats then and there 1 or a few days prior to the major trips where possible and see what the service desk people advise.

    I'll be in a group of 16 people all wishing to catch the 07:20 Shinkansen Hikari 491 from Kyoto to Hiroshima arriving 09:05 (380km, 0 transfers) on Tue 11Feb14 and will definitely ask @ Kyoto station prior, hopefully all people sitting more or less together.

    --> Do you think this will be OK to do the day before? Or earlier?
     
  16. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    71,031
    Likes Received:
    51,562
    Location:
    The barber's chair
    Okay so our car is all booked and ready to go, only trouble, no English GPS... Apparently Nissan didn't have any available at Nagano Station... Perhaps we booked too late.
    Is this likely to pose a problem?
    I've downloaded MapsWithMe, an offline mapping smartphone app, to help us navigate around but it doesn't do point to point directions.
     
  17. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    Nah its no problem. I've managed a few times with Japanese gps. Alot of stuff on them is in English as well. Then you have phone symbols etc. I'll run through it soon.
     
  18. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    71,031
    Likes Received:
    51,562
    Location:
    The barber's chair
    Thanks champ. I figure if we can manage to punch in the destination phone # like you said that should be enough to get us where we want to go?
     
  19. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    Yeah 90% of the time...it only wiggs out on things like lodge and some resturant numbers. For instance for Hakuba I use a izakaya close to FTs lodge as the end point.
     
  20. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    71,031
    Likes Received:
    51,562
    Location:
    The barber's chair
    Okay will keep that in mind. Snowlines and Villa Nozawa both have a google maps listing so imagine they should be okay?
     
  21. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    Yeah you'd think so for sure.
     
  22. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    25,214
    Likes Received:
    7,899
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Don't think you needed a 21 day pass for Feb 5-20. You could have got a single fare to the airport on the last day.

    On the last point normally there would not be a problem getting it day before for a few people or just getting an unreserved car, but firstly Feb11 is Foundation day in Japan so will likely be busier and 16 people will also be an issue - probably not likely to get seats together. At best in same carriage. So based on those 2 points I think it would be better to reserve a few days in advance or more if you are confident of the timing and numbers.
     
    Pelm1 likes this.
  23. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    Yeah foundation day...will be a huge hassle IMO
    I traveled on foundation day. I got to Nagano station and every seat had been booked for the next 10 or so shinks leaving.
    I just booked a non reserved and stood.
    Though I guess youre on a Hikari, so it may not be as busy as the Nozomi.
     
  24. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    71,031
    Likes Received:
    51,562
    Location:
    The barber's chair
    What's it likely to be like in Tokyo? We're in Tokyo on the 11th sightseeing etc, will everything be closed?
     
  25. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,982
    Likes Received:
    11,272
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    IMO, you are spending way, way too much with a 21 day JR pass. It costs around 57,000 yen. (about $600)
    e.g.
    Tokyo - Kyoto: 13,320 yen
    Kyoto - Hiroshima: 10,380 yen
    Hiroshima - Nagano: 17,250 yen. (etc)
    = around 41,000 yen for the major trips.

    You said that you will do 1 week in Kyoto, so why not make sure the travel happens in one week, and get a one week JR pass for 28,300 yen(about $300). then pay separately for Narita express & Nagano -> Tokyo.
     
  26. ssar

    ssar One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,708
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Newcastle, NSW
    Ahh, yes, now I recall some previous info:

    Apparently our trip organizer examined exact dates & transfers and tried to make it feasible to get a shorter period JR pass (7 or 14 days or something?) which looked clearly cheaper than buying individual tkts, but with the international flights in/out of Narita that we require to accommodate everything else in between incl. travel, it spanned too great a time.
    So I think I recall them saying whilst the 21day pass was around AUD$600, it still likely represented a saving if we use more JR trips than those already listed - I beleive personally I'll catch 2 more JR return trips out of Kyoto during our week there.

    It's mainly the pre-booking seats I'm concerned about, and thanks to those replying about that, it's very good to discover Tue 11Feb14 is Foundation Day in Japan so we'll do all we can to book suitable Shinkansen seats as early as possible.

    Cheers!
     
  27. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    Will be fine...just busy around the train stations...
     
  28. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,982
    Likes Received:
    11,272
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Exactly the opposite....
    All public holidays except for New Year, are a frenzy of retail and tourist activity
     
  29. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    12,580
    Likes Received:
    197
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Is anything >not< a frenzy in Japan?
    I've even heard of the tea ceremony described as a "frenzy in slow motion".
     
  30. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,982
    Likes Received:
    11,272
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    LOL

    Well, there is that......
     
  31. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    71,483
    Likes Received:
    25,923
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    Heads up on Nissan Nagano-eki higashiguchi, there is a young bloke there that speaks really good English and is really keen to help you out. I didnt have English GPS so I asked him how to punch in phone numbers and get it working on the Japanese GPS and he wrote it down for me as well as showing me. Really great service from those guys. Also, the Note is a really nice car to drive, I put >250km on it today and didnt use half a tank. I'll assess the 4WD capabilities when I go on to snow covered roads tomorrow, but up until now the car and service has been great
     
  32. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    71,031
    Likes Received:
    51,562
    Location:
    The barber's chair
    Did you catch his name Verm, that's very helpful.
     
  33. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    71,483
    Likes Received:
    25,923
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    No I didnt because it was written on his name tag in kanji. But he's a top bloke. Also, with the new classes of cars, if you put down P2 like I did you used to get a Cube, but now you will get a Note. That's good, the Note is slightly bigger. I asked him about the Cube because there was one next to our car and I thought we would get that one but he said no the classes have changed and P2 is now a Note, especially if you want 4WD.
     
  34. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    No way a Note is bigger than a CUBE...

    I looked up my hire from 2011 trip....P.2 was a Note
    P.3 was a cube. from 2012 trip
     
  35. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    71,483
    Likes Received:
    25,923
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    I could get skis into the Note only folding 1 seat down and not on an angle, and my skis are 179cms. I needed to angle them in a Cube. Maybe a board bag, although shorter, is harder to fit in. Smitty was saying they couldnt have someone in the passenger seat.
     
  36. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    Ive had both cars... Cube is bigger and wider wheelbase.. taller inside as well., but a wee bit shorter overall.. but the boot is shorter...
    I guess you could say the interior of the cube is taller ... wider and more spacious

    either or, they are both decent cars... but i'd take a CUBE in snow
     
  37. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    71,031
    Likes Received:
    51,562
    Location:
    The barber's chair
    Either way we'll be legit cost in ours... 3 dudes + luggage...
     
  38. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    You got a cube?
     
  39. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    71,031
    Likes Received:
    51,562
    Location:
    The barber's chair
  40. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    three board bags?...and 3 back packs?
     
  41. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,170
    Likes Received:
    1,595
    Location:
    Sydney
    The suspense is killing me. Will mc and the dudes fit or will one have to bus it to the mountains? Or could there be a little bit of bromance blossom as a result of the cosy conditions in thr Cube?
     
    ssar and Donza like this.
  42. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    make it FIT
     
  43. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    71,031
    Likes Received:
    51,562
    Location:
    The barber's chair
    Yep. Worse actually. 2 board bags, 1 ski bag + 3x backpacks/suitcases.
     
  44. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    They do have this cool little sub boot that helps..
    all this fit in a note/cube , including baby seat

    [​IMG]
     
  45. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    71,031
    Likes Received:
    51,562
    Location:
    The barber's chair
    Cool, we'll be fine then.
     
  46. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,654
    Likes Received:
    1,902
    Location:
    Port Macquarie, NSW
    Wouldn't mind getting some last minute tips re: driving in Japan (and particular snow, which I've never done). Been looking over all the super handy hints about speed limits, dui, service stations, tolls, etc and keen for any further pointers as I fly out this coming Wednesday to pick up my "rentaka" in Chitose.

    Eg. I've notice from previous visits that people leave their wind screen wipers up at resort when there is heavy snow - why? Read somewhere else that leaving the handbrake on overnight can cause it to freeze - true? Should I invest in a small brush/wiper to clear the snow every day?

    Thanks
     
  47. Mercyrx3

    Mercyrx3 Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Definitely get a brush, you see them all over Japan and just makes reaching the roof snow easier. I see people driving with snow on the roof all the time, but its fairly dangerous. Eventually, you will be braking and it will cover the windscreen and you won't be able to see.

    Re wipers, You see it on Oz aswell and probably more required here with marginal temps where water later freezes the wiper blades to the screen when it gets colder. Probably not a problem in japan, but once you defrost the windscreen they would come off anyway. I guess it doesn't hurt though.

    When you first drive, do a couple of hard brakes. you will be pleasantly surprised how well the snow tyres work and gain some confidence in their ability.(they really are amazing :D)
     
    Donza likes this.
  48. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    I've got a bunch. I'll write out later on laptop
     
  49. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    72,779
    Likes Received:
    16,611
    Location:
    wollongong
    Ok. Yeah definitely ask for a brush (or buy one sold everywhere ) from the hire car place. Its basically a stiff bristled long handled brush that allows you to reach out and over.
    Warm your car up. For 5-10 mins every morning. Just leave it running and defrost it.
    IMO don't put the wipers up. I reckon they are more exposed to the elements. I usually leave the front and rear windows as the last place to clean.
    Driving. Snow tyres rule. However different snow has different traction properties. You will find that out after following a grader vs driving in 20cm of fresh.
    Adjust to snow on a road like ice/pow on a ski run. Its a similar principal
    steer
    brake
    accelerate
    One at time only.
    Be aware of snow on the roof of the car. It will slip forward or back.
    Don't go crazy clearing it off, but don't leave it easy


    Drive slow if unsure. Don't worry. This is Japan. There will always been someone slower
    Speed limits are low and very variable.

    Park carefully. Take note of plows and areas. Its great when you park and a plow goes through building a massive lip to get over.
     
  50. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    71,483
    Likes Received:
    25,923
    Location:
    Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
    It doesnt matter how slow you are going, there is a Kei truck driver somewhere who is going slower.
     
    Donza likes this.