questions & answers: general japan travel

5 days including shinkansen for kids

5 Days including Shinkansen for kids

Hi,

My Kids are obsessed with Shinkansen trains and my husband and I decided to finally bring them to Japan for a personal experience this June.

My son specifically wants to ride the E4. If we are in Tokyo, where should our destination be if we choose to ride E4? And if we only plan to ride 1 return for our entire trip should we need to buy the JRPass or just a single ticket will do?

Thanks.

ABCD@P
ABCD@P

Hi there,

I really like these kinds of questions, being a bit of a rail fan myself.

The E4 Shinkansen is in service between Tokyo - Niigata on the Joetsu Shinkansen line. . It's also a good time to try the E4 Shinkansen, as they there are already plans to retire them. While the train ride is great, most stops on the way do not offer a lot in terms of tourism. You could make a visit at Gala Yuzawa, which is a winter sports resort but it is also a nice visit it you just want to enjoy some snow.

An other option would be to visit Takasaki, not for visiting this city but because the Hokuriku Shinkansen also stops here. Meaning you could ride the E5 Shinkansen back into Tokyo.

As for the JR Pass, it depends on how much travel you do in total. It is better to buy normal tickets for one ride on the Shinkansen but at the same time you can ride any Shinkansen with the JR Pass, so in theory you could try them all.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank you Daniel for the helpful tip.

Since we are going this June, can we still see snow in Gala Yuzawa? If none then I guess going to Hokuriku will be our next bet. We plan to spend 1 day going there via E4 look around and come back to Tokyo via E5. Is that a good plan? What can we see there that we should consider?

Since this is our 1st time in Japan, will I need to purchase one return shinkansen ticket online or can I purchase on site? And how sure am I that we will get to ride the E4 train? And when going around Tokyo like Disneyland, do we need a JR pass to get around or is there a metro rail that we can buy tickets as and when?

Any input will help me to plan well for this trip with our kids. Thanks a bunch.

ABCD@P
ABCD@P

Hi again,

Gala Yuzawa is open until the start of May, so you can certainly visit in April. Takasaki is on the way back to Tokyo, so you can always transfer there to a E5 Shinkansen, in case you would like that experience too.

The best way is to simply buy a ticket at the station in Japan, you can tell the staff what you would like to do (for instance try a specific train type, as what kind of seat you like (upper/lower on E4) and select a time slot. This way you will be sure of getting the correct ticket. There are also departure boards around the station that display the train time (eg. Toki for E2 Shinkansen and Max Toki for E4 Shinkansen).

There are different transport systems in Tokyo, there are the local JR lines (which you could see as Overground) and there is the Metro, there are buses, Monorails, private lines and more. You can buy a JR ticket for the whole of Tokyo or a day pass for the metro. These generally offer good value if you plan on exploring a lot (more than 4 rides a day). The JR Pass also covers all JR lines in Tokyo. Disneyland can be reached by JR line from Tokyo, the station name is Maihama.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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