Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Intercity travel in Japan

Intercity travel in Japan

Post questions and answers about living or visiting Japan or the culture

Intercity travel in Japan

Postby ess_jay_arr » Thu 11.01.2007 10:43 am

Hi all, can someone give me a hand please? :)

I'm going to Japan very soon, I'm going to be staying in Tokyo and I want to meet a friend in Nagoya, and then another one in Nara (or Osaka... I think she lives in one and works in the other), so I'm wondering...

Coming from Nagoya, is it easier/faster/cheaper to get to Osaka or Nara?

Is the Shinkansen the best way to go? How much is it likely to cost (Tokyo>Nagoya, Nagoya>Osaka/Nara, Osaka/Nara>Tokyo)?

Would I have to book in advance? Can I board with a Passmo card?

How do you buy a Passmo card? I guessing they come from vending machines like everything else. :P

Apologies for my lack of independant research, but to be honest, I trust you guys (and gals ;)) more than I would some faceless internet site. :)
User avatar
ess_jay_arr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat 02.10.2007 6:58 pm

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby Kagemaru » Thu 11.01.2007 1:10 pm

ess_jay_arr wrote:
Coming from Nagoya, is it easier/faster/cheaper to get to Osaka or Nara?


Nagoya to Shin Osaka via Shinkansen.

Is the Shinkansen the best way to go?


In my opinion, yes.

How much is it likely to cost (Tokyo>Nagoya, Nagoya>Osaka/Nara, Osaka/Nara>Tokyo)?


Using this train claculator plus Japan Rail for the shinkansen, along with Kintetsu rail for your Nara and Osaka trips, add to that Osaka subway lines. You need not even carry a time table.

Would I have to book in advance?


See above on reserved/non reserved seating.

Can I board with a Passmo card?


Passmo is for Kantou, so no.

Apologies for my lack of independant research, but to be honest, I trust you guys (and gals ;)) more than I would some faceless internet site. :)


No, to be honest you are lazy and couldn't be bothered. I am happy to help, please don't insult me in the process. These "faceless sites" are home pages that would have taken you all of 5 minutes to find on your own.
User avatar
Kagemaru
 
Posts: 522
Joined: Sun 09.17.2006 8:56 am
Location: 奈良
Native language: Greek
Gender: Male

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby ess_jay_arr » Thu 11.01.2007 1:59 pm

Thankyou very much, Kagemaru. :) I didn't mean to insult you. :(

I tagged that bit on the end to try and avoid annoying people... I can never seem to get it right. :P


[edit] Wow, over 30,000 yen to make the round trip on Shinkansen. Anyone know of a cheaper alternative? I don't mind if it's slow and uncomfortable, but this trip is already costing me far too much. :P


[edit 2] Hang on, I don't understand this stuff about 'basic fares' and 'limited-express surcharges'. Can you take a train that doesn't incur the surcharge?
Last edited by ess_jay_arr on Thu 11.01.2007 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
ess_jay_arr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat 02.10.2007 6:58 pm

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 11.01.2007 2:53 pm

ess_jay_arr wrote:
Thankyou very much, Kagemaru. :) I didn't mean to insult you. :(

I tagged that bit on the end to try and avoid annoying people... I can never seem to get it right. :P


don't worry ess. sometimes even the innocent things set people off. no one can determine your emotional state when you posted and you can't know their emotional state when they read it. obviously kagemaru was a bit put off, but to be honest, there was nothing insulting about what you said. mayhaps kagemaru should "chill, relax" a bit and just let the wind blow..
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby ess_jay_arr » Thu 11.01.2007 4:06 pm

Heh, thanks. I think he had a point though, I should have looked for myself first.

In fact, I have had a look for myself and I found something that seems easier to swallow than the Shinkansen prices; the Seishun 18 Kippu! With this I'd get five (not necessarily consecutive) days of travel on most JR trains for 11,500 yen.

Only problem here is that it's only available seasonally, and I'm getting conflicting sources on when it can be used. (This is what I meant when I mentioned not trusting the internet!)

Some sources say it's valid from Dec 10th, some say Dec 20th. Is it fair to assume that the JR East website (English version) is accurate and up-to-date? Would anyone be so kind as to find the info for me on the Japanese version? My reading ability is simply not up to it. http://www.jreast.co.jp/
User avatar
ess_jay_arr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat 02.10.2007 6:58 pm

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 11.01.2007 5:34 pm

The train system in Japan is far from intuitive to someone without much experience, so I don't understand kagemaru's annoyance at your questions, which seem entirely reasonable to me.

The "limited express surcharge" is what you pay for a special train that does not stop at many stations. The train system can be hard to figure out because some trains are local, which stop at every stop, and then there are various grades of express (the terms for which are not standard), some of which have surcharges and some of which don't. I have a feeling that you may have a tough time figuring it all out if this is your first time navigating the train system. You definitely do not want to take local trains from Tokyo to Nara (or even Tokyo to Nagoya).
-Chris Kern
User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
 
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby ess_jay_arr » Thu 11.01.2007 5:59 pm

Thanks very much. :) The most experience I have with Japanese trains is going from Tokyo to Yokohama and back. I do remember there being three kinds of trains that stopped at different numbers of stations, but I think they all stopped at Yokohama, so I didn't pay much notice to which one I got on. :P

I was asking about the surcharge because the Shinkansen price calculator on the JR East site includes it, and doesn't have an option to take trains that don't include it. And I really don't want to pay that much money for a train ride.

What's wrong with taking local trains? Just that it'd take a long time? I read somewhere that Tokyo to Nagoya would be about six hours. This Seishun 18 Kippu acts like five day passes, so I figured I could get out and have a walk around at a couple of stops, and three two hour journeys wouldn't be too horrendous. Oh, apparently the ticket can be used on local and 'rapid (kaisoku)' trains. Is that any better?
User avatar
ess_jay_arr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat 02.10.2007 6:58 pm

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 11.01.2007 6:07 pm

Rapid is much better. I doubt anyone gave an estimated time for local trains because nobody would take local trains from Tokyo to Nagoya unless they didn't understand the train system.
-Chris Kern
User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
 
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby ess_jay_arr » Thu 11.01.2007 6:23 pm

Oh, jolly good. I'll do that then. :)
User avatar
ess_jay_arr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat 02.10.2007 6:58 pm

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby chikara » Thu 11.01.2007 7:06 pm

I planned all my intercity travel for my last trip to Japan using this Japanese Train Route Finder site. You miay find it helpful.
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
User avatar
chikara
 
Posts: 3576
Joined: Tue 07.11.2006 10:48 pm
Location: Australia (SA)
Native language: English (Australian)
Gender: Male

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby Igirisu_gaz » Thu 11.01.2007 7:21 pm

If your on holiday in Japan it seems a real shame to spend half of it on the crappy local trains with nothing to do. Just grab the 快速 (Kaisoku) if you can, if not, I'd personally just the take surcharge and get on a 特急 (Tokyuu) which will probably tack on a fixed surcharge, worth it if it's a long distance. Plus they're comfy and have the nice beer selling lady.
Last edited by Igirisu_gaz on Thu 11.01.2007 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
何でやねん?
Igirisu_gaz
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun 09.03.2006 8:26 pm

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 11.01.2007 7:57 pm

If you're going to Japan from abroad, you should invest in the Japan Rail Pass.
It's only 200-300 dollars for 7 days and is good on ANY JR train (including Shinkasen, excluding green cars)

It's honestly the best way to go.
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby chikara » Thu 11.01.2007 8:09 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
... is good on ANY JR train (including Shinkasen, excluding green cars) ...

The nozomi Shinkansen is also excluded but I agree that a JR Pass is definitely the way to go.
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
User avatar
chikara
 
Posts: 3576
Joined: Tue 07.11.2006 10:48 pm
Location: Australia (SA)
Native language: English (Australian)
Gender: Male

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 11.02.2007 8:52 am

Harisenbon wrote:
If you're going to Japan from abroad, you should invest in the Japan Rail Pass.
It's only 200-300 dollars for 7 days and is good on ANY JR train (including Shinkasen, excluding green cars)

It's honestly the best way to go.


comments that are very informative, like Harisenbon's are something one won't find if they just peruse the "standard" websites. it's always nice to have someone who lives there give their advice on what their experiences have shown them.
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

RE: Intercity travel in Japan

Postby ess_jay_arr » Fri 11.02.2007 10:22 am

Hey, thanks for the advice, guys. That JR Pass does sound like a good idea, except for two things.

I'm leaving in about nine days and I don't think that gives me time to get hold of an Exchange Order. It seems like they only sell them in London, and the postal service in this country has been pretty unreliable recently.

The other thing is that this trip is already devastating my finances, and the JR Pass is two or three times the cost of the Seishun 18.

I realise it's going to be slower taking rapid and local trains, but I'm actually gonna be in Japan for eight weeks, so I don't really mind if I lose a few days on the train. :P
User avatar
ess_jay_arr
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat 02.10.2007 6:58 pm

Next

Return to Culture and Info about living in Japan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests