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Discussion in 'Japan' started by dazmc, May 15, 2012.
I love that Skyliner ad - "One of Japan's fastest high-speed trains (if you exclude most of the ones that are faster)"...
It takes just over 40mins from Narita Airport to Ueno.
Or - take the Marunouchi (red) subway line. Depending where you are in Shinjuku it may be more convenient. My limited experience suggests it is (slightly) less crowded than the JR lines (although of course it is not included on the JR Pass).
Sweet looks good, I am assuming this would not be included in the JR East Flex pass? (The Keisei i'm talking about)
Yes, Keisei Skyliner not covered by JR pass. Costs around Y2,400.
Cool thanks for that, will have a look at some places to stay in Ueno, at least now the options are a bit clearer. Think we will definitely stay away from the local trains during peak hour on a weekday, makes sense.
The Chuo Rapid (Orange) from Shinjuku - Tokyo station is only 4 stops, while the Marunouchi subway is 9 stops, and the walk into Tokyo station(Marunouchi subway to Tokyo JR Shinkansen) is probably 500-600m.
Yes but where I stay in Shinjuku is a couple of hundred metres from the Marunouchi line but over a km from the Chuo Line. As I said, depends where you are coming from.
Distancewise, Chuo Line is actually 10 stops but a rapid train on that line does the distance in 4 stops.
Peak hour is an experience to be had in Tokyo. Get out of your comfort zone especially if your bags are forwarded.
It's important to note that the Chuo Rapid (Orange) and Chuo/Sobu (Yellow) take different routes, so the Chuo (Yellow) doesn't actually go through Tokyo Station, but through Akihabara, then out to Chiba. They diverge at Ochanomizu Station (two stops before Tokyo Station)
Yes, good idea. I did once catch the Yamanote line on a Monday morning in peak hour with skis - challenging to say the least! You need to wait for the tide of people to subside before going down the stairs - you have about 1min before the next train arrives. If it was a Sunday morning - no probs.
or cheaper (Y1200?) if you take the Cityliner which is a bit slower.
Sorry if any of this has been mentioned (can't be bothered reading the whole thread!) but I did so much research before our trip in Feb thought worth mentioning:
The slow train from Narita to Ueno was 1000 yen (took about 75 mins)
If just going to Hakuba think about the bus from Shinjuku - was 4600 yen, scenic and only adds an extra hour when you factor in the change onto the bus in Nagano. Therefore you could do Narita to Hakuba and back for 1000 * 2 + 4600 * 2 (plus change for yamamote line) makes about 12000. Much cheaper than the 23000 for pass + return bus from Nagano.
If going to other resorts the direct buses seemed much more expensive and as such the train pass becomes better value. We did slow train to Ueno - Shink to Nagano - bus to Nozawa - bus to Nagano - bus to Hakuba - bus to Shinjuku - Yamamote - slow train to Narita.
(If anyone could have done that route cheaper I welcome corrections!)
After 8 years to Niseko we too are Honshuing next year.As team leader I am thinking of Myoko for 7 days then Nosawa-onsen for a couple.
After reading these last 3 pages I am totally confused.
Is there a chopper service from Narira to Myoko?
Narita to Myoko options - IM Taxi, Train
Narita to Nozawa options - Chuo taxi, Train, shuttle bus
Myoko to Nozawa options (or vice versa) - train, taxi, Keinan bus
There are also ski buses out of Tokyo
This should hopefully give you all your answers - http://myoko-nojiri.com/access/
Arrigato M_G I will have close look.I have been to Japan eight times but I have not been on a shink.So that will definitely be part of the trip.Although I do like helicopters.
Question on reservations for the shink....I'm landing at Narita on the 28th December (6am). Does anyone know if trains will be booked out (narita-tokyo-nagano) as it'll be holiday season? Had a look at jr east website - sounds like if you reserve tickets - you need to pickup 24 hrs before train departure, which doesn't work if you fly in on the day you want to get on the train. Am i taking a punt on seats being available on the 28th?
It's not the holiday season in Japan on the 28th at 6am!!!!
The Mon 24th is Emperor's birthday holiday, 25th(Xmas day), 26th, 27th, 28th are all regular working days. Monday 31st is also a working day, but many will take an extra day for the New Year's holidays.
So you shouldn't have any problem on the morning of the 28th for tickets...
Or just get on the non-reserved. Line up a bit early, no sweat...
great - thanks for the feedback.
But also remember that the Narita Express is reserved seat only, while the Shinkansen is both reserved and non reserved on the Nagano route
So how do I reserve a seat on the Narita Express, is it something I can do at 6am in the morning on arrival or do I need to pre-reserve somehow?
Also, If I'm landing on the 6am QF flight, how do I pickup the JR East 4day pass. It appears the office hours for the JR East Service Centers is 8:15am+
Reserved Narita Express ticket can be brought at the ticket machine (in English). First NEX is not till ~7.30am though, so go and get a coffee before heading through the station gates...
Not sure about the 4 day pass.
Can buy the JR east 4 day flexi at Narita airport from 6:30am:
(about 3/4 the way down)
Thanks Sandy. Always helpful
does the jr east pass cover the NEX? I was assuming yes.
Yes, it does. But if you're just using it for up and back I'd buy regular fares.
Get the early Keisei into Ueno. The 'express' will take about 80 mins and only cost you Y1,000. Then transfer to JR Ueno Station and get the Nagano shink. The only hassle with that is that people have already got on at Tokyo so it's a bit more hassle grabbing seats in the non-reserved.
Check all your options on Hyperdia.
The regular ticket office is opposite the travel center at Narita T2. The only issue there is that there are usually just 2 counters and just 1 for JR passes so there may be a bit of a queue. Took me about half an hour to get it sorted this year. You can get ticket and seat reservartion for the NEX as well as onward Shinkansen at the same time.
Yes it does. If you are just heading to Nagano whether or not you get a 4 day JR pass will come down to whether or not you use the NEX.
You will come out ahead with a JR pass if you use NEX both ways, but not just for Tokyo-Nagano return. NEX works fine if you are transfering directly to a Shinkansen in Tokyo, but if you want to stay a day or so in Tokyo getting the Keisei (non JR) to Ueno is easier.
Thanks all. From all the advice on here ive decided to get a 4 day flexi JR pass, as opposed to the return Narita-Hakuba bus. I also arrive at 6.15 on Qantas. Worth the time saving for only a few more $.
Given I have the pass, what recommendations do people have for day trips (other ski resorts OR non-ski options) from Hakuba? Not sure it is even practical but interested to hear some views.
Matsumoto to see the castle there.....
Matsumoto (like Sandy said) and do a day trip out of Tokyo. Nikko is good.
The loop that we did was to pay $15 for an early morning bus direct to Nagano. The girls went shopping in a Tokyu and I had a bit of a look around.
We then grabbed from food from the Tokyu food court and ate on the train to Matsumoto. When you get off at Matsumoto there is a tourist office at the station, ask them for a map and take a stroll to Matsumoto castle (or take a taxi if you want, it's only $10).
To catch the train back to Hakuba (you may need to jump into a single carriage train if you are going back late at night).
I think we headed out at 8 in the morning, had a full day, caught the 7pm train back from Matsumoto, got into Hakuba at 8:30, dinner at Emu and then back to the bar for drinks.
Zenkoji Temple in Nagano City is also pretty much a must if you are going there. Most popular tourist attraction in Nagano I believe.
Altho I know not all of the monkey trip can be done on the JR pass.
Shinshu 2 day pass. Not any good from Hakuba though. Good for trips from Nozawa, Myoko and Shiga though.
Sandy, is it possible to pre-book the Hakuba to Shinjuku Asuza Express? Thought it may be hot property if there's only 1 per day.
We have a group of 9 staying in Shinjuku after a week in Hakuba so makes sense to avoid luggage, busses and metro's to take this option and end up a few hundred mtrs from the hotel.
Is worthy, phone pic
Yes, you can pre-book the Azusa Express. 2:38pm out of Hakuba.
The other good option is the bus from Shinjuku. You just get them to load your gear under the bus at Happo, and you don't see it again until you get to Shuinjuku bus terminal... and it's cheaper.
Do you need to pre-book the NEX and Asama Shink or can you just turn up and get on? We will be travelling on a Thursday morning if that makes any difference.
You need to get a ticket with a reserved seat for the NEX. If you are buying a JR East 4 day flexi pass you get them to issue you tickets when you buy the pass. If you are not sure which shink you are getting on you can do that at Tokyo. I have always got a reserved seat for the shink but I think you may be able to just hop on in the unreserved cars.
N'ex is reserved only, although I have jumped on with my JR Pass and stood all the way rather than wait to get a seat later. Not meant to do it but, hey, they can't kick you off till Tokyo. Asama you can get non-reserved no problem (as long as it's not a holiday).
You don't need to pre-book, just get tickets for both at the JR office at Narita when you arrive, whether or not you are getting a JR pass.
OK thanks. Looks like I need to pick up a NEX ticket and JREast pass at the airport in the evening when we arrive and and use it to get on the train the following day at Narita (not airport)? We are staying overnight in Narita.
I don't really want to book for the Asama in case we have problems finding our way around Tokyo station.
There is a free shuttle bus around Narita, not sure what hotel you are staying at though, easy to get back to the airport, Tokyo station is easy, give yourself 20 minutes and you will be fine.
It would be easier to book the shink at the same time that you book the Nex...
Japan public transport is easy, as long as you allow a bit of time...
Depends on when you arrive or leave in the morning. Get them either in the evening or the next morning. If you are staying in Narita just catch a shuttle back to the airport in the morning. Get NEX and Shinkansen tickets at the same time. See here : http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/customer_support/service_center.html
Finding your way around Tokyo station isn't that difficult. The signs are pretty clear, it is just big and sometimes quite busy. Just allow a good half hour for the connection so you don't feel the need to rush and you'll be sweet.
edit. ie. just what Pelm1 said
Dave6 you are over thinking this. It is actually really simple. Book an hotel in Narita that has a shuttle bus from the airport - look on Agoda. Catch the shuttle bus to the hotel in the evening. Catch the bus back to Narita Airport in the morning. Go to the same terminal so it all looks familar. You will probably need to get of the shuttle at departures level - just means go down a few floors till it looks familiar.
Get you JR East 4 day flexi pass and your tickets. I suggest you look on Hyperdia and tell them which ones you want as they gave DH a later train one time and he sat at Tokyo for an hour.
Change at Tokyo as it is easy. Go up and up folowing the green shinkansen signs. If you need to get a ticket at Tokyo go to the JR East counter. It is near the Shinkansen area. Show your pass at the gate with the window to get let into the shinkansen area. You will probably want platform 22 or 23. Hyperdia will tell you which platform. Go up, find your carriage number on the platform and wait in the queue till you are allowed to board the train.
Last season, 1st time to Myok, no idea what I was doing and had no problems. And if you have a problem people will do anything they can to help you.
Not trying to over-think things. Just didn't realise until today that you needed a ticket for the NEX as well as the JREast pass.
We are staying overnight at the Narita Mercure which is right near the train station. Original plan was to walk to Narita station in the morning and get the 7.43 NEX. Surely this is possible without going back to the airport?
This would get us to Tokyo at 8.57 and then hopefully on the 9.20 Asama shink.
You need a reserved seat "ticket" for the NEX only.
If the train stops there yes. I have not really noted where the NRX stops on the way to Tokyo. Hyperdia is your friend.