questions & answers: general japan travel

narita / tokyo / hakone / kyoto / tokyo / narita

Narita / Tokyo / Hakone / Kyoto / Tokyo / Narita

Hi

I am going to but a JR pass as I think I need it for all the journeys we are planning!

However, I have some questions!

  1. We are going for a total of 8 days so I am planning on getting the Narita Limousine bus to the hotel and starting the JR pass the day after. We are staying at the Shibuya Excel Hotel and I think it stops there which is great. Do I need to book this limousine bus in advance or just turn up? Do they have a website so I can check where it stops?

  2. I think I need to activate my JR pass at the airport. I will activate it for the day after we arrive.

  3. Our first train journey is to Hakone from Tokyo. I think we stop at Odarwara and then take a local bus to as near as the hotel as we can get! We are staying at Hotel Yamano on Lake Ashi, I believe the train journey to Odawara is covered by the JR pass. Do I need to reserve seats? It would be good to see Mount Fuji from the train. How do I find out which bus to get?

3a. Is it easy to get to Tokyo train station from the Shibuya Excel hotel? I think there may be a station under the hotel. Can I get the train from here?

  1. When we travel to Kyoto from Hakone we need to get the bus to Odawara and then take the train to Kyoto. Again, do I need to book seats? It is a week day.

4a. We are staying at the Monterey hotel in downtown Kyoto. Is it an easy transfer from Kyoto train station?

  1. We leave Kyoto on a Sat morning and our flight from Narita is 5.30pm. For the train journey should I book seats all the way? How many changes do I need to make on the train? Is it one train to Tokyo and then another to Narita? where do we change trains? What time should we leave Kyoto so that we are in plenty of time for the flight but not there too early?

  2. Are any of the train seats set up around a table or are they all facing forward? There are 4 of us including 2 children so a table would be good!!

I am sorry there are so many questions but it is complicated!
Many, many thanks for your help
x

jofowle
jofowle

Hi there,

1.) There are many kinds of transport services and hotel buses. It is best to contact the company you are traveling directly for buying/reserving tickets. If you don't have a website, ask the hotel your are staying at or simply buy a train ticket for the Narita Express to Shibuya.

2.) You can activate the JR Pass at Narita Airport and many other major stations, including Tokyo and Shibuya.

3.) Odawara is indeed the station for Hakone. You can reserve seats on the day of travel, there are always plenty available. It really depends on where around Fuji you want to travel. Have a look at this page for possibilities.

3a.) You can use the JR Yamanote line directly from Shibuya to Tokyo station. For travel to Kyoto, just take the Shinkansen from Odawara. I don't think that you have to reserve bus tickets.

4a.) The hotel is easy to reach by bus or Kyoto subway. To return to Narita Airport, take the Shinkansen from Kyoto - Tokyo and from there to Narita Express to Narita Airport. I recommend reserving 5h for this journey. Seats can be reserved at Kyoto station before departure. I would leave Kyoto between 10-11 am.

2.) All seats on the Shinkansen can be rotated. Usually they all face towards to travel direction, you can however return two seats around so you can face each other.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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