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

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

  1. fukuro-no-mori

    fukuro-no-mori Hard Yards

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    On the general subject of buses, if you know someone living in Japan who can pick you up, there are various cheap services from Tokyo or Kansai to Matsumoto and Nagano City. The problem is the onward travel to the ski resorts, the "final mile" if you like.

    Conversely, for folks living in ski resorts with cars, it is now cheap to dump your car near Matsumoto IC or Nagano City IC for a cheap bus trip to Tokyo. You don't even have to go into Nagano City or Matsumoto city center. For less than three or four people, the bus will be cheaper than driving to Tokyo, where your car will also need expensive parking.
     
  2. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Question. I'm planning on getting a Tohoku area JR East Pass. My current plan is to head up and play in Tohoku, then spend the last part of the trip in the Yuzawa area.
    BUT, I might do a last-ish minute change and instead of Yuzawa I might head to Shiga Kogen. The Tohoku area pass will only get me so far as Sakudaira station.
    I'm assuming I can book all the way through and pay the difference in fare from Sakudaira to Nagano station? Possible? I would be starting my journey in Koriyama, so I'd like to book from there all the way through and pay the fare difference.
    Anyone done anything similar?
     
  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not done that myself, but I would assume you would be able to buy the ticket for the Sakudaira leg in Koriyama.

    Does remind me though of another time years ago in Eastern Europe. I had a rail pass valid for Czech rep, Slovakia & Poland, but then in Poznan was travelling to Berlin. Took me ages trying to explain to Polish staff in German that I needed a ticket from the border to Berlin, not from Poznan to the border.
     
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  4. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    Have done similar using the jr east nagano niigata. We used it to go from kanazawa back into the jr pass service area near joetsu-myoko. At ticket office showed them the journey on hyperdia and provided the pass. They issued the ticket and we paid the difference to bridge the gap.
     
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  5. Bennyboy88

    Bennyboy88 Hard Yards

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    Query re the JR East pass, heading over during the week to Shiga Kogen. Aiming to pick up the pass at Narita airport as I have the e-voucher through klook. Can I use the e-voucher received on the klook app to show at office, or do I need to physically print out the voucher to show at the JR office? I have read two different things regarding this. Thanks in advance.... oh and let it snow please!
     
  6. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't know the actual answer, but being Japan I would err on the side of caution and print it out. Try the app first.
    Then let us know how you went.
     
  7. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Bring hard copy.
     
  8. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    Pretty sure I handed over a print out, then they went to a computer and transfered/looked up then issued the passes. Take a hard copy.
     
  9. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Klook voucher was OK for me...
     
  10. Bennyboy88

    Bennyboy88 Hard Yards

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    Thankyou all for replies. I was asking as don't have a printer at home and and not at work :) When you say you used Klook voucher I am assuming you are saying you just showed your mobile to the office. See how I go. Cheers all.
     
  11. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah that's correct. It had a QR code they scanned.
    Used klook a bit
     
  12. Bennyboy88

    Bennyboy88 Hard Yards

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    Ok cool, sweet
     
  13. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Just had a completely comical experience with JR after leaving my pass on the seat pocket on the Shinkansen. Rather than being able to go back on the train that was still on the platform and get the pass, I was made to wait around for an hour while they waited for the missing pass to be verified as found on the train. Rather than re-issuing the pass, I was made to buy my local train ticket to Appi-kogen, and I'll have to buy the return leg too. I'm able to pick my pass up in Tokyo station when I pass through there on Sunday. At which point I'm going to request a refund for the two local train tickets... That should be interesting.

    The obvious lesson is don't leave your pass anywhere, but bloody hell it's a pain in the arse to fix if it happens.
     
  14. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    So, here I am on the Yamabiko 54 heading to Koriyama. I'm absorbed in stuff on my laptop and don't even notice that we are stopped at a station. Then all of a sudden a shinkansen comes past at, what I assume is, close to full speed and creates a frightful noise and pressure wave. The whole of my shink sways in the aftershock. Bloody hell I need a beer.
    Oh wait, I have one on the tray table!!
     
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  15. MrT

    MrT Hard Yards

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  16. Sandy

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

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  17. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Question.
    The route below is my current plan our trip home. Can anybody see any problems?
    Normally I allow a day for a transfer and don’t get too stressed. If I get a bit lost, all good but I have to be at Narita NLT than 4pm.
    Anybody have a better plan than below for Appi to Narita?
    @Tanuki @blowfin

     
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  18. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Have you got a JR pass? Looks like there is a faster "Komachi" Shinkansen that leaves Morioka abit later, then you could grab the NEX direct from Tokyo Station and avoid paying for the skyliner, and avoid extra transfers.

    Not sure if the Komachi runs on the day you need though?

     

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  19. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Morioka transfer is easily doable. I've only used Ueno as an interchange once and it wasn't hard to navigate. However, if I'm reading this correctly those interchange times at Ueno are narrow.
     
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  20. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Doubt we would make that Ueno interchange but next one should do.
    no JR pass. Will investigate the komachi option.
     
  21. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yeah 8 minutes will be tight.
     
  22. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    8 mins is tight, but there will be another skyliner 40mins later which will work
     
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  23. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    8 mins is tight. Hyperdia usually selects the shortest achievable connection times. There will be plenty more options. If you want to expand them, what I do in situations like this is to break the trip into the individual legs to see them. Then you pick a option with a connection you are comfortable with. I also record the individual legs in a spreadsheet for easy reference later.
    For example I did this for my recent trip from Nagano back to Kansai airport.
     
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  24. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    In your case another option if you wanted to avoid the really early start would be to overnight in a business hotel in Morioka by the station (which will also be cheaper than Appi), then start the next day at a more reasonable hour.
     
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  25. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Route Inn is okay (as you know Heinz). Also avoid the NEX if you can. It's way too expensive for one way trips compared to the Sky-Liner. And Tokyo station is still a pain in the arse with its multiple stairs going up to some platforms.
     
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  26. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    A definite option Heinz. I’m holding off on that plan until I have a chat with pension at Appi. It will come down to how we can get from pension to station that early. Taxi or host.
     
  27. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Another good tip. I travel reasonably lightly with my bag at 22kgs. Not so my daughter.
     
  28. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The transfer from Shinkansen to NEX is 4 levels but it is all escalators, so shouldn't need the stairs.
     
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  29. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, Route Inn is good. Location opposite the station east exit is perfect. It is pretty much a standard business hotel but does have a public bath which most don't. Then you have a couple of good Izakaya's almost next door which would be a good option for your last night.
     
    #2629 Heinz, Mar 10, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  30. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We must have used the wrong entry last week. Caught the shink from Takasaki to Tokyo and then followed the NEX signs all the way to the platforms. Unfortunately there were only two escalators for both entries to the platform and they were both going down. There was no time to look for a lift either.
     
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  31. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I got the Nex from what seems to be the "wrong side" of Shibuya this year. What a trial that was. 3-4 floors of stairs and a long walk along the platform.
     
  32. chairmanmeow

    chairmanmeow Early Days

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    Yep I met a similar situation when I was at Tokyo Station last month; was following the arrow on the floor toward the NEX and led me to stairs and up-escalators leaving the platform. But I found that walking along the platform in either direction, there are down-escalators.
     
  33. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Point in case . NEX transfers at Tokyo station can be a PITA
     
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  34. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have done the N'ex transfer in a hurry but still prefer the switch in Ueno/Keisei-Ueno
     
  35. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have done the NEX transfer a few times, both directions without any real issues. Did find the 4 escalators ok. It is a fairly long passage between them, but that wasn't an issue. I also found it pretty well signposted. The only tricky bit I found was negotiating the crowds going in all directions once you got to the entrance of the main part of the station with my gear.
     
  36. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looking at your plan again, the 8 mins isn't the connection time, it is the expected time to walk from Ueno JR to Keisei Ueno station which is probably about right. But it also allows 14 mins from arrival before you leave Ueno station. Then there is another 12 mins after arrival at Keisei for the train. So from arrival to departure it is actually 34 mins. I guess you still have to buy a ticket but that should be fine. If not though by splitting up the segments as I suggested shows that the next Skyliner is only 20 mins later, so not a problem at all.

     
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  37. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks everybody for suggestions. Looking forward to the adventure.
    I’m familiar with Ueno so will be taking that route. I’ll familiarise myself with Morioka tomorrow. Cheers
     
  38. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Having only ever caught the Narita Express before, how to I buy a ticket on the cheaper sky liner when traveling from Nagano? can I get a through ticket that covers the shink and the sky liner or do I have t hunt down the second ticket in ueno?
     
  39. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's a Keisei line, not JR, so you can only buy the ticket once you get to the Keisei Ueno station. It's not a problem though. There is a regular service counter as well as vending machines. Will only take a few minutes.

    edit. This explains it pretty well.
    https://www.uenostation.com/keisei-ueno-station-orientation-facilities/
     
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  40. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Morioka station is pretty straightforward. https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e1565.html
     
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  41. sn0wbunny29

    sn0wbunny29 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I got our tickets in advance on the internet. Still had to exchange the voucher but saved a bit.
    The Kei sei kiosk is right by the Keisei Ueno station entrance so easy to find. I'm a total stress head and found it easy. There are even YouTube videos showing you how to transfer between the stations!
     
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  42. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks I already found the YouTube video (figured there would be one) and I have my cheaper ticket bought online last night so yes, all I need to do is exchange the voucher at Keisei Ueno and I'm good to go
     
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  43. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    :thumbs: Without a JR pass Komachi/NEX was the more expensive option too. Maybe as much as an extra 8000 yen from memory.
     
  44. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    You can get some decent deals for skyliner via Klook.com.
    Eg 32 aud vs 37 aud (if you buy in yen from the ticket office)
     
  45. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I paid $33 aud last night which I am happy with, that was via the Keisei Skyliner website
     
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  46. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Arrived in Morioka and whatever reason the bus to Appi isn’t running. Training to Appi Kogen Station instead with a an hour added on to trip. All good.
    In other news, many lines up here suspended/delayed. Mention of earthquake over the PA
     
  47. fennekeg

    fennekeg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    JR has a new rail pass website, where you can buy a rail pass online and then make reservations online as well. https://www.japanrailpass-reservation.net

    However, it looks like there is a substantial price difference between buying the pass on that website, and buying it at a local agent (I'm comparing it with the rates of JTB Netherlands, don't know about Australian agents). I think it's the same price difference as between buying the pass in Japan at the station and at a local agent.
    You can only make reservations on that website after buying a pass, so you'd have to buy the pass there in order to make reservations online.

    But.
    JR East has removed the 'Japan Rail Pass reservations' button from their online reservation site, but you can still make online reservations there for use in combination with regional passes. And no-one is checking which pass you actually have, so if you want to make reservations for use in combination with the national pass, just select one that covers where you want to go (the different buttons for different passes are only there so you don't accidentally book something outside the reach of your regional pass).
    I'm not sure if you can also pick the button for 'no rail pass'. With that one you can make reservations throughout Japan (but only pick them up in the JR East area!). It will state a reservation charge, and I'm not sure if you have to pay that straight away or only when picking up the reservation. In case of the latter, you don't have to pay the reservation charge if you show your rail pass when picking up (I tried that with the Japanese website and it works, didn't have to pay anything when I showed my rail pass). They do ask you to enter your credit card details, but I think that's just for them to be able to collect cancellation fines, and as a sort of ID (you can only pick up the reservations with that same credit card).
    Oh and the website's reservation system shuts down at night o_O
    JR East online reservations: https://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/English/wb/common/Menu/Menu.aspx

    So there now is a convenient but expensive way, and a cheaper but more complicated way to make online reservations in combination with a (national) Japan Rail Pass.
     
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  48. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Well that's all very straightforward.
     
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  49. fennekeg

    fennekeg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'd expect nothing less from a Japanese IT system :p
     
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  50. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, TBH surprised they don't ask for the reservations by fax! :rolleyes:
     
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