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

Donza

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I've used a JR pass in the past to travel,without getting a ticket for the shink. I just wandered onto the platform via the side gates and then stood in the non reserved area on the platform.
The only qualification to this. This doesn't apply to the Nozomi or Mizuho trains. As the JR pass doesn't cover those shinks. Even though they have non reserved carriages.
These below are all "reserved" shinkansen. In order to ride you must go to a ticket office.
  • The Hayate and Hayabusa services on the Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto.
  • The Komachi services on the Akita Shinkansen between Tokyo and Akita.
  • The Kagayaki services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Kanazawa.
 

Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
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I haven't been able to get a JR Pass for years(because I'm a resident), but you could find out if it's possible to get onto the Shinkansen platform and get a non-reserved seat with just your JR Pass.

Absolutely no problem at all getting on the platform with JR pass. They normally just check if the pass has been stamped that day and is still valid. They never check for reserved seat ticket. Often they just wave you through without having to open it at all (though that is more at the standard gate not the Shinkansen gate).

The issue is that most of the trains up north (Komachi/Hayabusa) are reserved seat only, so no unreserved cars. Yamabiko has unreserved cars. So you can easily grab a spare seat and most of the time there will be sufficient seats available.

The issue is when the conductor comes around and asks to see your reserved seat ticket. It is possible/likely that you could just play the dumb Geigin and they'll let you go especially as seat reservation is free with then JR pass. Though I've never tested this.

I did once many years ago get hit with having to pay the express surcharge on the Kansai to Kyoto express train when I had just bought a standard ticket.
 
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LMB

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So I chased up on buying the JR East-South Hokkaido pass today.

3 places listed in WA. 1 the phone rang out multiple times, another was disconnected, the 3rd initially said yes they can sell them, then called me back to tell me they couldn't and I need to buy them on the website through Sydney.

Each online purchased ticket attracts a $6-9 per ticket postage, which kinda wipes out the saving of buying before you go.

I could order them pick up in Sydney in a couple of weeks when I'm there, except they need to be exchanged for rail passes within 3 months of purchase and I'm about a week outside that.

Buying in Sapporo on the 7th or 8th of Feb it is then! Will book hayabusa seats at the same time.
 

LMB

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How much is the pass? 27,000?
Yes if bought within Japan. Y26,000 if bought outside.
Yeah it's only Y1000 difference but when buying 6 that's Y6000 so I thought I'd do the right thing and buy in Oz. Only with inconvenience, postage and the exchange rate it's not saving me anything!

Oh that's the other kicker!!
The price online with JTB is Aussie Dollars.
IMG_6318.PNG



And at yesterday's rates...

IMG_6317.PNG


Which is more than buying in Japan.

Nope. Buying in Feb in Sapporo.
Pays to crunch the numbers.
 

Vermillion

Pool Room
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How many km do people put on their cars when they hire them in Japan? I'm a big believer in hire car, have car so use it and drive everywhere. Last time I was in Japan we drove on average 170-180km a day, obviously some days more than that. That's a lot, especially seeing it was all on snowy roads or expressways in snowy areas, but you take full advantage of being able to move yourself wherever and whenever you want doing this. I'd be interested to see how much others drive when in Japan.
 
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PMG

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Yeah it's only Y1000 difference but when buying 6 that's Y6000 so I thought I'd do the right thing and buy in Oz. Only with inconvenience, postage and the exchange rate it's not saving me anything!

Oh that's the other kicker!!
The price online with JTB is Aussie Dollars.
IMG_6318.PNG



And at yesterday's rates...

IMG_6317.PNG


Which is more than buying in Japan.

Nope. Buying in Feb in Sapporo.
Pays to crunch the numbers.
JTB seem to be a bit expensive for passes generally. Their JR East pass is $22 more than where I get ours in Sydney. Makes a difference when you have to buy a few of them.
 

Crispy013

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JTB seem to be a bit expensive for passes generally. Their JR East pass is $22 more than where I get ours in Sydney. Makes a difference when you have to buy a few of them.
Yep I did a recent price comparison (just about to buy 3 x 14 day JR passes) between the suppliers. Found JTB to be the most expensive, plus they charged for postage/delivery.

Looks like I'll go with Experience Japan - $512 per pass, free shipping = exchange rate ~90.6 :)
 

LMB

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Yep I did a recent price comparison (just about to buy 3 x 14 day JR passes) between the suppliers. Found JTB to be the most expensive, plus they charged for postage/delivery.

Looks like I'll go with Experience Japan - $512 per pass, free shipping = exchange rate ~90.6 :)
What the...?!
That rate is great.

From all the calling around I did it looked like JTB was the only option for a Sandgroper. I'll have to have a look at this 'Experience Japan'.... :thumbs:
 

MadPow

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How many km do people put on their cars when they hire them in Japan? I'm a big believer in hire car, have car so use it and drive everywhere. Last time I was in Japan we drove on average 170-180km a day, obviously some days more than that. That's a lot, especially seeing it was all on snowy roads or expressways in snowy areas, but you take full advantage of being able to move yourself wherever and whenever you want doing this. I'd be interested to see how much others drive when in Japan.
We will be getting a hire car for the first time this year and pretty excited about it. We are hanging in the Yuzawa/Nagano/Niigata areas for 15 days (4 of us). Hope it goes well.
Any tips!
 

LMB

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We will be getting a hire car for the first time this year and pretty excited about it. We are hanging in the Yuzawa/Nagano/Niigata areas for 15 days (4 of us). Hope it goes well.
Any tips!
Get a 4wd.

We had to take a 2wd after booking late on the ski.com.au Girls Trip (with a couple of token blokes), 98% fine. But the 2% of having to back further and further down the street to get an adequate 'run up' to propel you through the slip zone...yeah...funny ... but truly would've been better without it.

Get a 4wd.
 
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Crispy013

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We will be getting a hire car for the first time this year and pretty excited about it. We are hanging in the Yuzawa/Nagano/Niigata areas for 15 days (4 of us). Hope it goes well.
Any tips!
Allow some time in the morning to clear snow off your car each day, plus unfreeze your windscreen :thumbs:. Don't want you missing first lifts.

Also, take it easy in the snow. Don't go breaking around corners and keep space between yourself and cars around you.
 

PMG

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How many km do people put on their cars when they hire them in Japan? I'm a big believer in hire car, have car so use it and drive everywhere. Last time I was in Japan we drove on average 170-180km a day, obviously some days more than that. That's a lot, especially seeing it was all on snowy roads or expressways in snowy areas, but you take full advantage of being able to move yourself wherever and whenever you want doing this. I'd be interested to see how much others drive when in Japan.
Upcoming trip probably do around 800-1000 kms travelling around Gifu/Nagano Prefectures and the same again up in Tohoku over 22 days all up.
 

MadPow

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Thanks
At this stage have a Toyota Wish 7 seater, want a bit of size/seating flexibility as have 2 adults and 2 kids with all our gear. Pretty sure it is only 2wd though via Budget Car Rental in Kanazawa. I dont think they do 4wd option. It is free cancellation, so Ill keep hunting for other options. Checked Toyota rentals but it will be $500+ more
 

Crispy013

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What the...?!
That rate is great.

From all the calling around I did it looked like JTB was the only option for a Sandgroper. I'll have to have a look at this 'Experience Japan'.... :thumbs:

Okay, so might not have been the best of deals....

Just going through my statement and whilst the advertised price for the 14 day pass from Japan Experience was $512, ended up getting slugged almost $50 in international transactions fees.

I guess this is because it's being bought from their office in Paris...

So I looked up their T&C's:

"All prices shown on our website, www.japan-rail-pass.com, are to be seen as guide prices, and as such do not constitute an offer to sell. The formal contract formation and our acceptance of your order only occurs once we have both received your payment and dispatched the goods. Until we have formally accepted your order, received your payment and dispatched the order, placement of an order will constitute an offer to purchase.

All prices listed on the website Japan-rail-pass.com are indexed according to the value of the Yen and may vary depending on its fluctuation."

Bugger! Fell for that one....just be wary if you go down this path @LMB . Sometime's you are not comparing apples with apples and maybe JTB was the best valued Australian based supplier.

Maybe too if I used my 28 degrees card instead of my normal NAB visa it might have avoided these fees.
 
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PMG

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Okay, so might not have been the best of deals....

Just going through my statement and whilst the advertised price for the 14 day pass from Japan Experience was $512, ended up getting slugged almost $50 in international transactions fees.

I guess this is because it's being bought from their office in Paris...

So I looked up their T&C's:

"All prices shown on our website, www.japan-rail-pass.com, are to be seen as guide prices, and as such do not constitute an offer to sell. The formal contract formation and our acceptance of your order only occurs once we have both received your payment and dispatched the goods. Until we have formally accepted your order, received your payment and dispatched the order, placement of an order will constitute an offer to purchase.

All prices listed on the website Japan-rail-pass.com are indexed according to the value of the Yen and may vary depending on its fluctuation."

Bugger! Fell for that one....just be wary if you go down this path @LMB . Sometime's you are not comparing apples with apples and maybe JTB was the best valued Australian based supplier.

Maybe too if I used my 28 degrees card instead of my normal NAB visa it might have avoided these fees.
You probably would have.
You could also try HIS Travel in Sydney but I'm not sure if they sell the pass LMB wants. Haven't got time to check myself sorry.
 

LMB

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Okay, so might not have been the best of deals....

Just going through my statement and whilst the advertised price for the 14 day pass from Japan Experience was $512, ended up getting slugged almost $50 in international transactions fees.

I guess this is because it's being bought from their office in Paris...

So I looked up their T&C's:

"All prices shown on our website, www.japan-rail-pass.com, are to be seen as guide prices, and as such do not constitute an offer to sell. The formal contract formation and our acceptance of your order only occurs once we have both received your payment and dispatched the goods. Until we have formally accepted your order, received your payment and dispatched the order, placement of an order will constitute an offer to purchase.

All prices listed on the website Japan-rail-pass.com are indexed according to the value of the Yen and may vary depending on its fluctuation."

Bugger! Fell for that one....just be wary if you go down this path @LMB . Sometime's you are not comparing apples with apples and maybe JTB was the best valued Australian based supplier.

Maybe too if I used my 28 degrees card instead of my normal NAB visa it might have avoided these fees.
Funny you should mention getting slugged.

I had my final payment for the car rental - because it's a big one I told PB I was putting it on his Pltnm Amex..get the points blahhdeee blah. But it was set up to go through Paypal for the last transaction and without thinking I just clicked the button - paid with NAB card. And ended up with a few hundred dollars exchange fee!!! Fwwwaaarrrkkkk!!

You probably would have.
You could also try HIS Travel in Sydney but I'm not sure if they sell the pass LMB wants. Haven't got time to check myself sorry.
Thanks PMG, I'm in Sydney Tuesday.
But I think the reality is it'll be easier and cheaper all round for me to buy in Sapporo when I go in for the Snow Festival.
 
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hatto

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Just had notification that you will soon be able to use an app to book shink tickets for tokaido and sanyo lines.

https://smart-ex.jp/beginner/

Rec'd notification from Nozawaonsen FB Page, with a spiel from Nozawa Holidays.
 
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hatto

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Looks like you front up your credit card and then swipe a new type of machine at stations.
 

LMB

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Also looks like it is loaded to your pasmo or Suica card.

It'd be good if the app could be linked to the card for credit card top ups eventually.
 

Crispy013

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Just doing some research/booking car rentals for when we are in Kyushu....using the standard go to at Tocoo, and finding that it doesn't necessarily stack up now now that I'm looking at all the fine-print:

Eg. Hire for 6 hrs in Kagoshima from Budget with JS (Honda Fit)

Tocoo
Y6,200....Y2787 (Save 55%!)

Looks good right! But...go to next screen to book....add 8% tax...plus add the Tocoo additional support which is mandatory (Y1,080 per day)...plus now there's also a Telephone translator support charge (Y486 per day).

So it looks more like this...

Y2787 + Y223 + Y1080 + Y486 = Y4,576

Now, I looked at booking directly from Budget:

Budget
Y5,616....Y3,931 (Save 30%) CHINA AIRLINES x Budget Joint Campaign!

Don't need to pay until pick-up too.

I guess the moral is and what I learnt was to be a bit careful with the fine-print on Tocoo. Don't forget to add the tax and the compulsory support charges (which are daily - Y1,566) if you are trying to compare apples with apples.
 
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mannyk

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Quota condition

js.jpg

Vehicle type
JS JS class
Pick-up
Nagano Station


02/16/2018 08:00

Return
Nagano Station


02/17/2018 17:00

Estimated charge (Tax included)

Hours of rental
33hours
Basic charge
¥14,580
Online reservation
25% off
Campaign
25% discount on online reservation
25% off
options

  • ¥0
Disclaimer compensation fee
¥2,808
One-Way fee
None
Total
¥13,743

Budget quote out of Nagano city.
 

PMG

One of Us
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Just doing some research/booking car rentals for when we are in Kyushu....using the standard go to at Tocoo, and finding that it doesn't necessarily stack up now now that I'm looking at all the fine-print:

Eg. Hire for 6 hrs in Kagoshima from Budget with JS (Honda Fit)

Tocoo
Y6,200....Y2787 (Save 55%!)

Looks good right! But...go to next screen to book....add 8% tax...plus add the Tocoo additional support which is mandatory (Y1,080 per day)...plus now there's also a Telephone translator support charge (Y486 per day).

So it looks more like this...

Y2787 + Y223 + Y1080 + Y486 = Y4,576

Now, I looked at booking directly from Budget:

Budget
Y5,616....Y3,931 (Save 30%) CHINA AIRLINES x Budget Joint Campaign!

Don't need to pay until pick-up too.

I guess the moral is and what I learnt was to be a bit careful with the fine-print on Tocoo. Don't forget to add the tax and the compulsory support charges (which are daily - Y1,566) if you are trying to compare apples with apples.
Yeah, I'm sure ToCoo's fee was only 800 per day earlier this year. It adds up if you have a vehicle for 3 weeks that's for sure. Plus the telephone translator support that you can't opt out of now. And while they have picked up Toyota (no discount whatsoever) they have dropped Times in a number of places and they had excellent winter specials in previous years. I've really just started looking but it's looking a bit underwhelming for 2018.
 

Donza

Dogs body...
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Couple of questions about hire car insurance:

For car hire in Japan, is it necessary to take out the CDW insurance?
Does travel insurance cover the excess if CDW insurance is not taken out?

Looks like the excess is 50000 - 100000 yen depending on vehicle or property damage (with Nissan, others may be different).

https://nissan-rentacar.com/english/guide/compensation.html
Can you opt out of CDW?
I've taken it (cause the whole process seems so bloody complicated), however yeah in other countries i've just used my travel insurance excess cover.
 
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Tonester

Lift Line Nazi
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Can you opt out of CDW?
I've taken it (cause the whole process seems so bloody complicated), however yeah in other countries i've just used my travel insurance excess cover.
Yes, people tend to forget that a good travel insurance policy covers for accident excess.
I'm pretty sure, IIRC, that you can make those changes at the counter when you front up. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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Born2ski

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Couple of questions about hire car insurance:

For car hire in Japan, is it necessary to take out the CDW insurance?
Does travel insurance cover the excess if CDW insurance is not taken out?

Looks like the excess is 50000 - 100000 yen depending on vehicle or property damage (with Nissan, others may be different).

https://nissan-rentacar.com/english/guide/compensation.html
Yes most travel insurance will cover that excess but check your policy details. There was one policy I read that stated it would only cover the excess if you had taken out all available options from the rental car agency first.
 
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Born2ski

Part of the Furniture
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Looks good right! But...go to next screen to book....add 8% tax...plus add the Tocoo additional support which is mandatory (Y1,080 per day)...plus now there's also a Telephone translator support charge (Y486 per day).

Yes Tocoo are a little dodgy when it comes to all these extra add ons. Strange you were forced to pay for the telephone translator service though. I made a booking with them just over a week ago for a vehicle out of Hokkaido and I was able to opt-out of the telephone service fee.
 

PMG

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Yes Tocoo are a little dodgy when it comes to all these extra add ons. Strange you were forced to pay for the telephone translator service though. I made a booking with them just over a week ago for a vehicle out of Hokkaido and I was able to opt-out of the telephone service fee.
Just did a dummy run on all the rental brands through ToCoo out of Nagoya because that's where we start our trip this time and there's lot of choice. Out of the 6 companies (Nissan, Times, Budget, Nippon, Toyota and Orix) only Nissan and Times have the mandatory Telephone Translator Support fee. Just bad luck we were looking at a Nissan.
 

Donza

Dogs body...
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Just did a dummy run on all the rental brands through ToCoo out of Nagoya because that's where we start our trip this time and there's lot of choice. Out of the 6 companies (Nissan, Times, Budget, Nippon, Toyota and Orix) only Nissan and Times have the mandatory Telephone Translator Support fee. Just bad luck we were looking at a Nissan.
You getting the central expressway pass?
 

Donza

Dogs body...
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Hadn't thought about it. Is it good value? We'll be around Gifu Prefecture for about 9 days.
I think that's 90,000 .ie 10,000 a day. I burnt through some yen on the expressways around that area.
 

Donza

Dogs body...
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Yeah I can see that on their map. I'll have to do some calculations to see if it's worth it for us. May be a goer.
Even 20km on a toll road in gifu daily will top 1000yen Per day
 

Dave6

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Yes most travel insurance will cover that excess but check your policy details. There was one policy I read that stated it would only cover the excess if you had taken out all available options from the rental car agency first.
Thanks. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
 

Vermillion

Pool Room
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It cost me about 4200Y in tolls from Nasushiobara to Zao, so I would definitely be going for that pass if it was available. The lower Gifu areas might be expensive for tolls, but the Tokai-Hokuriku expressway wasnt that expensive.
 
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