questions & answers: itinerary check

narita airport - nagano - narita airport by train

Narita Airport - Nagano - Narita Airport by train

I visit Japan from December 10 to December 19, 2012. At December 10 my plane arrives at 5pm and my plan is to get by train straight to Nagano. I plan to ski for 5 days, enjoy Tokyo afterwards and to get back at the 19th (plane leaves at 10:25 am).

Below is my tentative itinerary. I would like to know if it is possible to get to Nagano on the day of arrival (I have never benn in Japan before and therefore it could take some more time, I arrive at 5pm), 2nd question is how and where I can buy the tickets for my journey (sorry for that .

December 10 - arrive at Tokyo Narita Airport; get straight to Nagano if possible
December 11 - 15 skiing Nagano + Shiga Kogen
December 16 . get back to Tokyo
December 17 - Tokyo
December 18 - Tokyo
December 19 . flight back (Tokyo Narita)

Please kindly advise. Many many thanks!

rausmade
rausmade

Hi there,

Assuming you're all out of customs by 6:30pm Narita to Nagano should be totally possible. Here's a sample itinerary for you. I'll take you about 3hrs, getting you into Nagano at 9:30pm. The total cost for the travel will be just over ¥10,000.

You'll be able to purchase tickets for this journey on arrival at Narita at the JR ticket office (an at the Keisei skyliner office if you decide to use the route above).

Hope this helps

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thanks for your help. 2 more questions:

  1. Am I bounded to a certain train in Japan or am I free to choose which train I take after I bought the ticket (travveling times and traines I have to take are fixed?
  2. Can I buy a round trip in the beginning (Narita to Nagano 10th; Nagano - Tokyo 16th) or does it make more sense to buy Nagano - Tokyo on the day of deprture directly at Nagano station?
rausmade
rausmade

Hi there,

  1. When buying tickets for the bullet train, the ticket you purchase is only valid for the specific train chosen (even if it is in non-reserved). If you want to change this you may change it only once before it's specified time of use.

  2. You can buy round trip tickets, but you won't save anything by doing this as returns are no cheaper unless you do more than 500km. As you will loose the flexibility (I mention this in point 1), I recommend you purchase tickets on the day of travel, or purchase reserved seating in advance (and make the train :).

I know it may not be the most economical choice, but the total flexibility is one of the biggest benefits of the JR Pass - with it you can just hop on/ hop off without having to think about timetables.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Again; Thanks for your help. The JR pass seems to make no sense for me but I keep in mind that if I travel more days this is the best opportunity.

rausmade
rausmade

I have realized that I need to take a bus to the "real" ski areas (Shiga Kogen or Hakuba); does someone have a timetable when and where the busses leave in Nagano? I arrive very late, hopfully there is a bus I can catch...

rausmade
rausmade

Hi there! For Shigakogen you can look at this timetable, or give Nagaden bus a call following the instructions on the shiga-kogen access page here. For Hakuba, buses run every hour at 20mins past the hour from Nagano station.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Hi, Thanks again for your help. I expect to arrive with the Shinkansen in Nagano ~9:30 pm. The timtable you wrote seems to be the timtetable of the Nagaden bus (http://shigakogen.blogspot.de/2009/02/nagaden-shuttle-bus-nagano-shiga-kogen.html).It seems that there is nobus which departs that late from Nagano to Shiga Kogen on a Monday. Same problem for Hakuba, last bus seems to depart at 8:20pm.

Any other idea how to get to Shiga Kogen from Nagano that late (I'd prefer to go to Shiga Kogen first)? I guess a taxi is very expensive, if there is no other way to get to Shiga Kogen that late I think about to stay one night in Nagano next to the train station...

rausmade
rausmade

Hi there,

At that time, I think the only way you can get to Shiga Kogen or Hakuba will be by taxi. At 50km away this will be pretty expensive, so I recommend you consider staying overnight in Nagano, or going to Nagano the following morning.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

You are right, I think I have to stay in Nagano the first night. I will search for an accommodation next to the train station (bus station) and depart to Shiga Kogen the following moring!

rausmade
rausmade

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