questions & answers: itinerary check

looking for a speed run from koyasan to tokyo... tips?

Looking for a speed run from Koyasan to Tokyo... Tips?

Hello!

My wife and I will be visiting Koyasan for an overnight stay with the monks at Ekoin. The next morning I believe we join them for prayers, a fire ceremony, and breakfast before we check-out. After check-out is the long trek back to civilization and Tokyo, for our very last evening before flying home.

Is there any particular series of train departures that we should shoot for? I know some trains have more stops - or more transfers - than others, but if I time it right there are some routes that are slightly faster. I will of course be using a JR Rail pass.

Any advice on the timing?

Ekoin checkin on Tuesday Oct 18, 2016
Ekoin checkout on Wednesday Oct 19 (right after breakfast)
Arrive in Tokyo Oct 19 for last afternoon/night
Leave Japan on Thursday Oct 20

And I believe breakfast is at 7:30am, though I’m not sure how long that lasts. Checkout is 10am latest, but I hope to be well on my way by then.

Thanks!

LParsons
LParsons

Hi there,

I went over several routes for your itinerary and found that this one is the best.

The JR Pass is valid from SHINIMAMIYA and will cover your itinerary from there to Tokyo. There are earlier departures but those have confusing transfers. In this route, the departure time is at 09:48 from Gokurakubashi but you will have to travel there first using the bus from your accommodation and Koya-san ropeway. With this in mind, I think this route is the most realistic.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel, that does look like the fastest of the routes shown. That leaves us with a bit more afternoon to spend in Tokyo. Low on transfers too, always a plus.

I have a few follow up questions if you don't mind;

Do you have any idea how often the cable cars run? That's something else I'll have to plan around.

I was thinking of buying the Koyasan World Heritage Ticket, which lets us ride some trains for 'free'. Do you think the pass it worth it given that I'd have to pay extra to ride limited express trains?

Do you recommend (and is it even possible) to buy these tickets in advance, or should I be doing all this at the ticket counters on the fly? Especially at Shinimamiya, where it looks like I only have 7 minutes to find the JR Yamatoji train.

Thanks!

LParsons
LParsons

Hello again,

The Koya Heritage ticket is a nice value ticket and on sale on major Nankai stations, like Shin-imamiya. However I am not sure where else you could find it, such as in Tokyo. However I am not sure about the value of the Heritage ticket with the JR Pass, as you can use the JR Pass from Hashimoto station, while the ticket is aimed at passengers coming from Shin-Imamiya.

Where will you stay before Koya-san, you can buy the ticket at some travel agencies as well. For instance at Kyoto station.

The cable car has frequent services, I remember every 10-15minuntes. However its not very big and its recommend to move quickly (and sit in front of the train) so you can secure a spot once you arrive at Gokurakubashi station.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel

It looks like I can take the 9:48 Nankai Koya Line Exp. that you recommended from GOKURAKUBASHI all the way to NAMBA. Is that true?

I get nervous about changing trains at SHINIMAMIYA / TENNOJI / SHIN-OSAKA , especially with the tight schedule. I can pretty much guarantee I'll get lost.

If I get off the train at Namba instead, then Shin-Osaka is only 8km away by car. I can always go outside and jump in a cab. Shin-Osaka looks like it's 10 minutes away.

Can I reserve my Nankai seats when I am in Kyoto? I will want to reserve my Hikari seats too. Maybe at Kyoto station?

Thank you

LParsons
LParsons

Hi again,

Yes, the 9:48 option I linked before should work fine. I recommend going to SHINIMAMIYA and change there to the JR line. Its an easy transfer, as long as you follow the signs with JR lines. A cap is always a back-up but I do not things this will be required.

The Nankai does not have reserved seating. You can reserve the Hikari at any JR station including Kyoto. Kyoto station has a special desk for foreigners and JRP users.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Thank you.

I'll have my JR Pass, so when I arrive at Shin-Imamiya to get on the JR Yamatoji Rapid Service for KAMO, how does that work? Do I have to go buy a ticket? Or do I just show my JR Pass at the ticket gate and get on the train?

Also, on Hyperdia, it says I have to change tracks at Tennoji. Is that an easy transfer?

LParsons
LParsons

Hi again,

Just show the JR Pass and board the train. No other tickets are required.

The transfer at Tennoji should not be hard, Hyperdia even gives the track numbers.

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

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