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Need Transit Advice

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Need Transit Advice

Hi All,

My wife and I along with two boys (10 and 13) will be visiting Japan this December. This is our first time moving around by ourselves in Japan. We have already book the hotels at the various locations we'll be visiting. Here's is our high level itinerary:

- 12/21/2017: Arrive Tokyo (stay @ Shinjuku)

- 12/24/2017: To Hakone (stay @ local losen)

- 12/25/2017: To Kyoto (stay @ Higashinotoin-dori)

- 12/29/2017: To Osaka (stay @ Dotonbori)

- 01/01/2018: Back oo Tokyo (stay @ Shinjuku)

- 01/04/2018: Depart for Los Angeles

Given the above, we are trying to figure out the best way to travel between the locations. Knowing it will be around the peak holiday season, I want to make sure we get it planned out. We will try to reserve as much as we can online. So, I need some comment/advise on:

1. From/to Narita airport to Shinjuku, should we take the NEX or Limo Bus? Any other suggestions?

2. For NEX, I think you can buy two round trip. Does it make sense to do that?

3. In Tokyo, should we buy SEICA pass for getting around?

4. Plan to take RomanceCar from Shinjuku to Hakone (Yamato Station). I read that you need to buy the RomanceCar ticket and than buy a "standard" ticket. Not sure I understand.. can someone explain? Anyway to reserve all online?

5. From Hakone -> Kyoto -> Osaka -> Shinkuku, we plan to take Shinkansen. Any better suggestions?

6. In Kyto, does it make sense to buy train or bus pass? If so, which one?

7. Sites for make reservations?

Sorry to ask so many questions. We are very excited about the trip. Yet, having to arrange all these transportations make it very daunting.

Thanks in advance.

Gene

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1. Re: Need Transit Advice

In fact, you do not need to change hotel between Kyoto and Osaka as they are only 40 minutes away by frequent JR and other private railway companies.

>>1. From/to Narita airport to Shinjuku, should we take the NEX or Limo Bus? Any other suggestions?

Depending on your hotel. Bus may be better for some of the hotels. You need to give us the hotel name to see.

>>2. For NEX, I think you can buy two round trip. Does it make sense to do that?

The validity of round trip ticket is for 14 days only, i.e the last day you have to use the return is 03 Jan, not 04 Jan.

>>3. In Tokyo, should we buy SEICA pass for getting around?

That is Suica, and that is NOT a pass (a pass provides unlimited number of rides by definition), but a stored-value card like the TAP card in LA. Save your time to search for correct fare and buying the ticket at the vending machine, just like using TAP in LA.

>>4. Plan to take RomanceCar from Shinjuku to Hakone (Yamato Station). I read that you need to buy the RomanceCar ticket and than buy a "standard" ticket. Not sure I understand.. can someone explain? Anyway to reserve all online?

RomanceCar is the express train and you need to pay the express fare as well as the basic fare. You can reserve here odakyu.jp/english/…input.html , but the earliest time you can reserve the train is one month in advance.

>>5. From Hakone -> Kyoto -> Osaka -> Shinkuku, we plan to take Shinkansen. Any better suggestions?

Make your way back to Odawara Station and take the Hikari Train to Kyoto.

No reason to take the Shinkansen between Kyoto and Osaka as mentioned in the beginning.

From Osaka to Shinjuku, first make your way to Shin-Osaka, take the Nozomi train to Shinagawa and change to Yamanote Line to Shinjuku

Use www.hyperdia.com to search for train transit and fare

>>6. In Kyto, does it make sense to buy train or bus pass? If so, which one?

1 day Bus pass make sense for JPY 500 per day. But you need to plan well to avoid crossing the city too much due to the traffic jam.

>>7. Sites for make reservations?

No. You have to book all the Shinkansen mentioned in Japan. The train you can reserve in advance is the RomanceCar mentioned above.

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2. Re: Need Transit Advice

Hi HiroSKMT,

Thanks for the quick response.

1. We will be staying at Hotel Century Souther Tower (Shinkuku)

3. So it is better just buy the ticket at the station correct?

7. So other than the RomanceCar, we can't make advance reservation in any of trains mentioned?

Thanks

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Hotel Century Shizuoka
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3. Re: Need Transit Advice

>>1. We will be staying at Hotel Century Souther Tower (Shinkuku)

Then Narita Express is a better way as it is very close to Koshu-Kaido Exit of Shinjuku Station

>>3. So it is better just buy the ticket at the station correct?

What I meant is that buying a Suica card is better as you can save the time by getting rid the hassle of buying ticket at the ticket machine.

>>7. So other than the RomanceCar, we can't make advance reservation in any of trains mentioned?

You can reserve the train in advance, but you have to do it in Japan. The Narita Express going back to Narita Airport can also be reserved in advance online, but I think there is no reason doing so.

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4. Re: Need Transit Advice

Can I use SUICA throughout Japan or do I need to use a different one each Kyoto or Osaka? Also, I assume it can be used on different company operated subways/trains correct?

Thanks

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5. Re: Need Transit Advice

>>Can I use SUICA throughout Japan or do I need to use a different one each Kyoto or Osaka? Also, I assume it can be used on different company operated subways/trains correct?

Yes and Yes

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