questions & answers: itinerary check

narita-tokyo-osaka-kyoto-narita

Narita-Tokyo-Osaka-Kyoto-Narita

Hi there,

I'm traveling to Japan from August 16-24 (9 days, 8 nights) and will be flying in and out of Narita airport.

We want to visit Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto and need some transportation advice to plan our trip. We do plan to buy a 1 week JR pass but since it does not cover our trip time span, we need some advice/help to plan our traveling wisely to maximize the use and minimize our transportation costs.

8/16: Arrival at Narita Airport to Tokyo and we plan to stay in Shinjuku/Shibuya area.
8/16-8/19: Tokyo (4 days, 3 nights)
8/19-8/21- Tokyo to Osaka (2 nights)
8/21-8/24 - Osaka to Kyoto (3 nights)
8/24 - Kyoto to Narita Airport, (since this is our 9th day, our pass has expire and based on some researched, train costs from Kyoto to Narita will be quite expensive (JPY15,000)

Another option we are considering would be to stay 2 nights in Tokyo on 8/16-8/18, and then head back to Tokyo on 8/23 for 1 night but we want to avoid this option, as it will add additional travel time and time away from our vacation. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much.

Christine

christinan26
christinan26

Hi there,

Just a follow up option: would this be a better itinerary? so we will be able to use our JR pass for the long distance travel.

8/16: Arrival at Narita Airport to Kyoto
8/16-8/19: Kyoto (3 nights)
8/19-8/21- Kyoto to Osaka (2 nights)
8/21-8/24 - Osaka to Tokyo (3 nights)
8/24 - Tokyo to Narita Airport.

Also, I found the following link for Suica & N'EX card, http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/suica-nex/#category04, will this pass works for traveling outside of Tokyo and can you use it for general traveling between stations within Tokyo or is it only for traveling between Narita airport and Tokyo?

Thank you for your attention and advice. Your prompt response is appreciated. I am sorta crunch for time to book my hotels. Thanks again.

Sincerely,

Christine

christinan26
christinan26

Hi there,

I think I'd go for your first itinerary option and stay in Tokyo for the first few days to get over the flight and acclimatise to any time differences. You should aim to use a 7 day pass from the 18th to the 24th and use the Narita Express and Suica card for the first few days in Tokyo.

The N'EX (Narita Express) + Suica package will get you into Tokyo on the Narita Express (the N'EX bit), and also give you a prepaid card (Suica) with ¥1500 to spend on either non-bullet train JR travel across Japan or Tokyo Metro travel.

Hope this is clear, if you have any questions on this please ask!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Hi Mari!!

Thank you so much for the quick response and I totally agree with your suggestion. After hearing your suggestion, it gives me a peace of mind.

However, I do have a follow up question. As we will most likely need transportation service within Tokyo during 08/16-08/17. Can you tell me more about the NEX + Suica Package? How does it work? and I should only buy the one way package right?

Thanks again for your great advice. We are extremely excited to visit Japan.

Christine

christinan26
christinan26

Hi there :)

The NEX + Suica package is composed of 2 pieces:

  1. The Narita Express fare
  2. Suica card with ¥1,500 charge. The Suica is a prepaid card (like a smart card) that you can use at the metro gates to open the barriers and let you onto the metro system. You will be able to use it for up to ¥1500 of Metro or JR travel, and should you run out of funds on the card will be able to recharge at the metro station ticket machines.

You will only need the one way package that you can purchase at the ticket office at Narita when you land. The return to Narita will be covered by the JR Pass, and if you need any further travel over the Suica ¥1500 charge, I recommend you either consider simply recharging it, or purchasing a 1 day travel card for the metro depending on the amount of travel you think you'll do that day.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thank you very much Mari! Your information is very helpful. Now, I can start planning the rest of my trip.

christinan26
christinan26

Hi Mari,

I have another question. If we want to go to Kyoto first after we landed from Narita Airport. What is the easiest way to get there with our JR pass? and how long will it take? Our flight is schedule to arrive at 5pm.

Also, after we buy the NEX + Suica card, can we use it from Tokyo to Narita airport?

Thanks again.

Christine

christinan26
christinan26

Hi there,

For Kyoto from Narita after 6:30pm on the 18th you should use this itinerary. Please note that the 18:48 from Narita is the absolute latest train you should take in order to get to Kyoto the same day (23:02). If you do decide to go this route you should plan on at least 30mins to activate your pass at Narita, so factoring in things like delays to the flight and queue's at immigration you will need to be fairly careful on time once you land.

The NEX + Suica single ticket is only valid from Narita to Tokyo, so if you purchase this you wouldn't be able to use the NEX component for your return (nice idea though!).

You can look up precise train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia through our video blog.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Hi Mari!

As always, thank you very much for your quick response and detailed explanation. We will stick with our 1st option along with your added suggestions. Appreciate all the help.

Sincerely,

Christine

christinan26
christinan26

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