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

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

  1. fennekeg

    fennekeg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Oh one other advantage of the new website: you can book specific seats! IIRC the other site doesn't do that.
     
  2. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    After reading through endless pages here, I'll still ask a few questions.
    Planning on heading to Modarao in Jan 21. Family of 6 so looking to hire an 8 seater van.
    Whats the advice on a good pick up location in Tokyo? Is it easy to get out of Tokyo from Haneda or pick up somewhere in NW Tokyo for an easier exit?
    Any good car companies? I see ToCoo! mentioned and they have good options for us although can't look more then 6 months in advance.
    Lastly get GPS or use phone? Reliability etc
    Lastly are toll passes included? Do I pay per toll? or can you buy an unlimited toll pass?
    Thanks in advance to anyone that answers!!
     
  3. Sandy

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

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    If you hire out of Haneda, you don't need to go through Tokyo. You go via Yokohama (where I live), Bayshore route, Route 16, Tomei Expressway, Ken-O Expressway, Chuo Expressway.
    https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/...985881d06d!2m2!1d138.2785987!2d36.8582143!3e0

    Or you can continue on the Tomei, and go past Mt Fuji.
    https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/...985881d06d!2m2!1d138.2785987!2d36.8582143!3e0

    Use phone for navigation, but make sure you have a SIM or download maps first.

    You have to pay tolls yourself. From Haneda, tolls will be around 7000 yen one way.
     
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  4. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    As Sandy said, tolls can really add up. Have you looked into getting the shinkansen to Nagano and picking up your hire car from there? You will be much more likely to secure snow tyres in Nagano than in Tokyo too, and can avoid driving in Tokyo traffic.

    All the cars I've hired in Japan have a GPS built into the dash, you just need the hire company to switch it to English, or show you how to input the telephone number of your destinations.

    It's way too early to book cars at the moment, wait until November and you will start to see 'Winter Specials' start to come out - hold fire!
     
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  5. Slowpony

    Slowpony Addicted

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  6. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Far far far cheaper to Hire from Tokyo and pay tolls /petrol/chain surcharge than to catch shinkansen.
    *for any group larger than 3 people.

    You can buy discounted toll passes now for Exp that you'll use .
    Or alternatively the rental car shop will supply a ETC card.

    I use a combination of google maps and navi on the car for navigation.
     
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  7. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great prices - winning
    are they 4wd?
     
  8. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Cheers @Froff Life
    Only train thing is is that theres is 6 of us so train fare is pretty hefty. Travel life advice is, don't have 4 kids its expensive LOL or leave them at home!!
     
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  9. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Thanks @Donzah
    Where do you get the discounted tolls passes from? do they cover all areas?
     
  10. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you're coming from Haneda they will cover the majority (just the last bit isn't covered) of your journey (as per Sandy's route)
    You apply via your rental car shop. Most large ones will carry the NEXCO central expressway discount pass.
    *just to note. They aren't selling them at present due to covid. So finding pricing structure per day is a bit hard).
     
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  11. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are various passes you could choose from:
    Japan Expressway Pass
    It will enable you to use expressways in Japan as much as you like for a fixed price (only few expressway sections are excluded: Hokkaido, metropolitan Tokyo, metropolitan Osaka/Kobe and bridges between Honshu and Shikoku).
    Prices:
    7-day Pass: 20,000 yen
    14-day Pass: 34,000 yen
    Central Nippon Expressway Pass (CEP)- see below
    Price range: from 5,000 yen to 16,000 yen (its roughly 10,00 yen per day)
    [​IMG]

    Here
    https://hayatabi.c-nexco.co.jp/cep/en/service.html
    Larger map
    https://hayatabi.c-nexco.co.jp/cep/en/pdf/Routemap.pdf
     
    #2661 Donzah, Jun 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
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  12. Slowpony

    Slowpony Addicted

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    not the one we hired, did have winter tyres on.
     
  13. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    4WD or AWD is definitely preferable if you can find it
     
  14. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re car hire, our guests cumulative experience is that we have yet to have anyone hire locally and get a 4wd, even when they had booked a 4wd months in advance. The guys that arrived at 4am in a complete blizzard hired at Narita and got a 4wd with winter tyres. Also had another group get a 4wd from Osaka. Over the years we have had lots of scandinavians in 2wds. They cope but have been known to have the passengers push the car and then jump in once it is moving.

    We have at least 2 sets of chains that do not fit our cars that have been left by guests.
     
    #2664 skichanger, Jun 17, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  15. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting...
    4 out of the 5 cars we have hired in Japan have been AWD. 3 of those were in Hokkaido though
     
  16. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah more chance of a 4wd on Honshu from a large rental car shop in a major city.
    *in my experience.
     
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  17. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just on this.
    I ordered a 4wd wing road a few years back from Roppongi.
    It had Hokkaido plates..
     
  18. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    After stumbling out of a bar in Roppongi they thought it better you had 4 legs then 2!!???
     
  19. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have a story. Remind me tomorrow
     
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  20. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    So do I haha. You will be reminded!!
     
  21. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    A thing that has puzzled me and I have just remembered.. Why goes the Shinkansen ticket office at Tokyo station require our Suico card to purchase tickets, . Lucky I got my wife's attention to grab hers as I was in a long queue.When I was returning from Yuzuwa they didnt need my card
    Its happened before on another year.?
     
  22. Asama

    Asama Addicted

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    I would guess something to do with changing trains? If you were transferring from another JR line without exiting the ticket barriers your Suica cards would still be buzzed in and therefore need manually processing. You don't need them per se to get Shinkansen tickets.
     
  23. kylep

    kylep Cage rattler Ski Pass: Gold

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    Doesn’t the Shinkansen ticket include local travel? So perhaps refunding
     
  24. Sandy

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

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    If you use Suica, it needs to be debited from your original destination. It's probable that it will cancel the difference.
    e.g. Yokohama to Tokyo station. Charged for Yokohama to Kamata (220yen), but probably not charged Kamata to Tokyo Station (220yen).
    If from Shibuya to Tokyo Station (200yen) will probably not be debited, since it's in the Tokyo Shinkansen zone. (200yen not deducted)
     
  25. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    This year we arrived from Narita on the NEX. One other time it happened but only at Tokyo..The guy at the counter assumed Id have them, . Psychic
     
  26. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    lol now Im really confused.... I wasnt using the card to purchase the tickets, he took my debit card and the suica card?
     
  27. Asama

    Asama Addicted

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    Hmmm, as far as I know you need a separate ticket for NEX, so in theory nothing to do with Suica card.
    Possibly they're asking to see the cards preemptively just to make sure they don't need to be settled/cancelled. They don't know where you've come from or how you got there. If you miss it it's a pain to sort out the next time you need to use it, especially if in a mad rush with luggage in rush hour... much easier to preempt. That's my theory.
     
  28. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for your thoughts...One of the mysteries of traveling in Japan, Ive found a few..:thumbs:
     
  29. Sandy

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

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    If you've entered local JR somewhere on Suica, you need to resolve it if you have a Shinkansen ticket. If you haven't entered JR local with the Shinkansen ticket, it won't let you into the Shinkansen unless it's on the Suica or a local JR ticket.
    i.e.
    - Shinkansen ticket within Tokyo area
    or
    - Local JR ticket + Shinkansen ticket (need to put both through the Shinkansen gate)
    or
    - Suica + Shinkansen ticket (need to resolve the Suica & you'll be given a Local JR ticket, then you can go through the Shinkansen gate)
     
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  30. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I had the impression at the time that I couldnt get a ticket unless I showed a Suica card..What If you dont have a Suica card?
    No biggy, the information might be useful to someone else.
    Sorry what do you mean by Resolve?
     
  31. Sandy

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

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    If you entered a JR local train on Suica, you present it at the , and they can clear the Suica at the Shinkansen gate office(resolve), and give you a ticket to put through at the Shinkansen gate with the Shinkansen ticket.
    There was a way you used to be able to swipe the Suica and put the Shinkansen ticket through at the Shinkansen gate, but I could never get it right.
     
  32. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    JR East Shinkansen is offering 50% off travel between August and end of March 21, Must pre book month Prior though JR web site..
    So Time out Tokyo is reporting.. Big saving If we can get there..
     
  33. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Heres something to enjoy for you train lovers..
    Returning to Myoko Kogan after a day trip to the Beach at Joetsu, was a great day. A great walk to the beach from the train station, Watched a snow shower approach us over the sea and we ran for cover, quite a novelty to be snowed on at the beach for Gold Coast locals.. Love Japan

     
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  34. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some rent-a-car companies have monthly plans, 50,000 Yen per month, I think it's the cheapest / easiest way.
     
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  35. Goski

    Goski One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That's approximately $25 per day which would be a good rate for two or three months. It would cost around $2,000 for tax and insurance and some servicing to run a car in Japan (from what I've read) which would pay for 3 months car rental at that rate then it can be handed back on the way to the airport to go home.
     
  36. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some are cheaper like this. It says it's 36,000 Yen, 38,000 Yen and 58,000 Yen per month (it depends on the size of the car). But not all monthly plans are available to foreign tourists, I guess. So, you should confirm it in advance. There are a lot of rent-a-car companies around Narita Airport and Haneda Airport, and some have long plans for foreigners without long stay visa, if I remember correctly.
    [​IMG]
     
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  37. Goski

    Goski One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    An F size car for 4 adults would be very good if we could get that rate. Then if it is only my wife and I for another month or two when the kids and/or friends go home we could swap it for a smaller one. An F car size for two people maybe allow sleeping in the back for a night in snow bags to be able to arrive in the evening at a ski area, ski the next day, or two, then return to our base house/apartment. Being able to go to an onsen in the evening to wash, soak in a bath and be warm would make occasional car sleeping doable. Something I'd also consider for a solo trip if I do a solo trip again.
     
  38. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is from another company. There are even cheaper companies. That said, they have only Japanese websites, and I'm not sure which of them let non Japanese speaking foreigners rent their cars for long terms. Major rent-a-car companies such as Toyota rent-a-car have English websites but their monthly rates are expensive (their monthly rates are double or even more than cheaper companies). Anyway, I own a car here in Japan and I never need to hire a car here for long terms and I actually don't know the reality. So, you should ask other people about it, not me.


    Another company, monthly = 30,000 Yen.
    [​IMG]

    Another company. From top to bottom = 24 hours, weekly and monthly.
    [​IMG]

    There are many companies that have very cheap monthly rates, but I don't know if they are available to foreigners with travel visa who don't speak Japanese.
     
  39. TeePee

    TeePee First Runs

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    Ramenman, amazing info as always! Would you be so kind to post a link to the car rental company? I'll put it in google translate to try and make some more sense of it. Maybe even send an enquiry message and see what happens. Thanks
     
  40. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Major rent-a-car companies such as Toyota rent-a-car have newer & cleaner cars. However, the cars are not yours anyway, so you don't need to pay twice or triple for newer and cleaner cars. If you rent a car for a month, the price difference can be very big.
     
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  41. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, I have been renting cars in Japan for the last 8 years however only short periods because of the cost. I month or more at those prices would be great, i just haven't been able to find any yet.
     
  42. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just picked some near Narita Airport.


    Monthly rate from 24,800 Yen:
    https://guts-rentacar.com/shop/chiba/narita/
    [​IMG]


    Monthly rate from 56,000 Yen :
    https://www.chintai-jidousha.jp/dai...mrwr4xmuMmDww7MpUIVn3sSXST_Ne3gBoC59cQAvD_BwE
    [​IMG]


    This sized car's monthly rate is 53,820 Yen (if you book 2 months in advance)
    https://apt.its-smile.co.jp/
    [​IMG]



    And this one. You see F-class car = 58,000 Yen. The same sized car can cost 253,000 Yen if you hire at Toyota rent-a-car, so more than 4 times.
    https://www.2525r.com/long_rental.php
    [​IMG]


    This is the price if you rent the same sized car at Toyota rent-a-car.
    [​IMG]


    Well, I'm a bit tired. This is not my job. If you want more, you should pay me:p (kidding)
     
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  43. Asama

    Asama Addicted

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  44. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tell her if she wants me to feature her lodge in Japanese websites, Chinese / Taiwanese websites, etc too:p.


    Not all but some. For example, this company that offer super cheap monthly rate let you hire their cars with an international driving license.
    https://renta.its-smile.co.jp/faq3-2
     
  45. TeePee

    TeePee First Runs

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    Great info thanks. ABove and beyond the call of duty. Again. Payment? I'll shout you coffee and crumpets when we next meet up at the Shiga Kogen crumpet cafe :)
     
  46. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The two rent-a-car companies below say "International driving license is okay" and the others say "No". Try to contact them (You can rent cars from both companies near Narita Airport)

    This company's monthly rate is only 1/3 or 1/4 compared to Toyota rent-a-car. It depends on the size of the car and the price is only 50,000 to 80,000 Yen per month
    https://www.chintai-jidousha.jp/
    [​IMG]


    This company's monthly rate is also quite cheap (and the website says "international driving license is okay")
    https://renta.its-smile.co.jp/


    There must be some more, but you know, I live here and I own a car here, so I basically don't need to hire a car in Japan, so I'm not very motivated to find more. The websites say "International driving license is okay", but you should confirm them by yourself just in case if you are really interested in.
     
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  47. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    This company also say "You can hire our cars by use of your international driving licenses". They have the business in Narita.
    https://www.excia-world.com/

    This sized car is only 68,000 Yen per month, which is very cheap. Smaller ones are even cheaper. Just visit the website and see "Outlet Rent A Car". They are old cheap cars that the company have (the cheapest one is only 39,000 Yen per month)
    [​IMG]
     
  48. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    A some hat different question:

    Can a Japanese national - being a non resident own a car in Japan?
     
  49. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Your wife?. You can, but you need 車庫証明 = It's where you keep the car. If the Japanese person doesn't have a property in Japan, he / she might need his / her family or friend's support. I mean, you need 車庫証明. If your family or friend let you use their address as your 車庫証明 (It's the legal address where you keep the car), you can own a car without owning a property where you park the car.
     
  50. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks, yes, havingin you own place (for parking) around Tokyo is not that easy - in Shimane it is easier.:D