questions & answers: itinerary check

sleeper help and tokyo disneyland vs disneysea

Sleeper help and Tokyo Disneyland vs DisneySea

Hi there,
I plan to go JP in May 2013. Below is my itinerary with some question. Appreciate you guys to give me some advice as I intend to buy JR pass. Thanks.

1) Fly in to Kansai airport -> Kyoto, plan to stay either 2/3 nights
Question: What is the line that I can take from Kansai to Kyoto? Is this included in the JR pass and how long is the journey?

2) Kyoto -> Tokyo, plan to stay either 2/3 nights
Question: What is the line to take from Kyoto to Tokyo? Is this included in the JR pass? How long is the journey?

3) Tokyo -> Sapporo, plan to stay either 4/5 nights
Question: What is the line to take from Tokyo to Sapporo? Is this included in the JR pass? How long is the journey?

4) Day trip to Otaru and then back to Sapporo
5) Day trip to Asahikawa and back to Sapporo
6) Sapporo back to Tokyo (Haneda airport) -> fly back.

More question
1) Anyone can recommend good cheap hotel/guesthouse that is near to JR station in Kyoto, Tokyo, Sapporo?
2) What is the difference between Disneyland and Disneysea?
3) Can I have the JR West group map and also the JR that connects to Hokkaido?

Thanks much!!

pycheah
pycheah

Hi there!

While you are planning your trip 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.

Here are some thoughts for you on your trip:

Question: What is the line that I can take from Kansai to Kyoto? Is this included in the JR pass and how long is the journey?

You can take the JR Haruka direct to Kyoto or the JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service Here is a sample itnerary from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto. This line is fully covered by the JR Pas and will take around 75mins on the Haruka.

Question: What is the line to take from Kyoto to Tokyo? Is this included in the JR pass? How long is the journey?

You can take the Hikari Shinkansen bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo. It takes 164 minutes and is fully covered by the JR Pass. Here is a sample itinerary.

Question: What is the line to take from Tokyo to Sapporo? Is this included in the JR pass? How long is the journey?

From Tokyo to Sapporo you'll need to take a variety of trains in addition to the Tohoku shinkansen. Here is a sample itinerary which will take about 9 hours.

Day trip to Otaru and then back to Sapporo

Sample itinerary

Day trip to Asahikawa and back to Sapporo

Sample itinerary

Sapporo back to Tokyo (Haneda airport) -> fly back.

Sample itinerary

Anyone can recommend good cheap hotel/guesthouse that is near to JR station in Kyoto, Tokyo, Sapporo

Not sure about Tokyo and Sapporo, but Kyoto has a good/cheap hotel at the back of the station called Hotel Vista that you may find useful. Maybe others can help here!

What is the difference between Disneyland and Disneysea?

DisneySea is the more modern, marine focused Disney Themepark in Tokyo. You can find out more on both Disneyland and DisneySea online.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Thanks Mari.

Another question, if I would like to take the train from Tokyo to Sapporo and spend a night in the train, how much do I need to top up? Understand that the JR pass does not include the bed right?

pycheah
pycheah

Hi there!

It very much depends on the type of sleeper train and berth you decide. Actually, the Akebono sleeper does even have free "berths" (carpeted areas) for you to rest in if you are on a very tight budget.

There are 4 sleeper trains that you should investigate:

  • Cassiopea &Hokutosei (not 100% free)
  • Akebono & Hamanasu (possible to be free for JRP holders using goron-to-shito and nobi-nobi seats).

Cassiopea and Hokutosei will take you directly to Hokkaido from Tokyo, but will require you to pay for a couchette or room. In these train cases the JR Pass will cover most of the base train fare (except for travel on a stretch of non-JR track near Aomori).

Akebono has goron-to-shito couchettes that are free for Japan Rail Pass holders to use, but will only take you as far as Aomori, where you will have to change train to go into Hokkaido. Hamanasu is a sleeper service that runs from Aomori to Sapporo that has carpeted areas (nobi-nobi seat) free for use for Japan Rail Pass holders.

A common trip I have heard Japan Rail Pass users do is to use the Hayabusa/Hayate shinkansen up to Aomori in the morning and then hop on the Hamanasu in the evening for the trip up into Sapporo.

Please remember that it is very important to reserve your place on the Sleeper trains, so try to reserve your place as soon as you arrive in Japan and exchange your Rail Pass.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Hi Mari,

Cassiopea and Hokutosei will take you directly to Hokkaido from Tokyo, but will require you to pay for a couchette or room. In these train cases the JR Pass will cover most of the base train fare (except for travel on a stretch of non-JR track near Aomori).

Question;
1) How much is the couchette or room? And this couchette/room can fit how many persons? Do i need to share with the rest if i'm travelling with my husband?
2) What is base train fare?
3) If there are some stretch of the route that JR pass does not cover, how much do i need to pay and what are the routes?
4) how long is the journey if I take either of Cassiopea and Hokutosei
5) When you say it's not 100% free, this is because I have to pay for couchette or room? but the train ride is free. Am I right?

Akebono has goron-to-shito couchettes that are free for Japan Rail Pass holders to use, but will only take you as far as Aomori, where you will have to change train to go into Hokkaido. Hamanasu is a sleeper service that runs from Aomori to Sapporo that has carpeted areas (nobi-nobi seat) free for use for Japan Rail Pass holders

Question:
1) So if I take this train, do I need to pay extra for the couchettes / nobi-nobi seats? Or do i need to reserve? Have any extra charges if i need to reserve?

A common trip I have heard Japan Rail Pass users do is to use the Hayabusa/Hayate shinkansen up to Aomori in the morning and then hop on the Hamanasu in the evening for the trip up into Sapporo.

Question:
1) Is the Hayabusa/Hayate shinkansen to Aomori included in the JR pass? How long is the journey from Tokyo to Aomori?
2) How long is the journey for Hamanasu from Aomori to Sapporo?

More question:
1) If I would like to go to Sapporo from Kyoto, what are the trains that I can take that is included in the JR Pass? And how long will the journey be?
2) For all these trains, are they direct to the destination or do they have multiple stops along the way?
3) What is the train that I can take from Osaka to Kyoto? And how long?

Thanks much!

pycheah
pycheah

Hi there!

Here are some answers for you - I'll leave the route costs and so on as an exercise in using Hyperdia ;)

1) How much is the couchette or room? And this couchette/room can fit how many persons? Do i need to share with the rest if i'm travelling with my husband?

This depends on the type of room you choose and the train you take. The private rooms are private, so you will not have to share. Here is more information on the Hokutosei rooms and prices and on the Cassiopeia rooms and prices.

2) What is base train fare?

In Japan, fares are often itemised by use of the line, the type of train (express or normal), and the seat type. JRPass holders will not have to pay for the use of the line (basic fare), but will have to pay the other fares for Cassiopeia/Hokutosei.

3) If there are some stretch of the route that JR pass does not cover, how much do i need to pay and what are the routes?

For these sleepers it's a stretch of railway between Morioka and Aomori that is not valid JR track and will be an extra charge of between ¥3000-¥5000 each way.

4) how long is the journey if I take either of Cassiopea and Hokutosei

From station to station the journey is approximately 16.5 hours.

5) When you say it's not 100% free, this is because I have to pay for couchette or room? but the train ride is free. Am I right?

Technically yes, however you will have to pay for the express fare and also a room, as there is no standard seating on these trains.

1) So if I take this train (Akebono), do I need to pay extra for the couchettes / nobi-nobi seats? Or do i need to reserve? Have any extra charges if i need to reserve?

You certainly need to reserve, and can only do so once you are in Japan and can present your JR Pass (unless you have friends in Japan who can make the reservation for you). The actual reservation will be free (as is normal for all JR Pass holders, and if you are a JR Pass holder, the Goron to Shito seats/beds are free. Couchettes (shared compartments) and private compartments will cost extra.

1) Is the Hayabusa/Hayate shinkansen to Aomori included in the JR pass? How long is the journey from Tokyo to Aomori?

Yes, this shinkansen is 100% covered by the JR Pass. The journey time will be between 190 mins (Hayabusa) and 217 (slowest Hayate)

2) How long is the journey for Hamanasu from Aomori to Sapporo?

This journey is approx 8 hours.

1) If I would like to go to Sapporo from Kyoto, what are the trains that I can take that is included in the JR Pass? And how long will the journey be?

Here's a sample itinerary. Basic rules apply (you can use any JR bullet train except for Nozomi and Mizuho shinkansen bullets).

2) For all these trains, are they direct to the destination or do they have multiple stops along the way?

Totally depends on the route. Please check specific routes with Hyperdia.

3) What is the train that I can take from Osaka to Kyoto? And how long?

There are lots of trains from Osaka to Kyoto taking around 45mins. Please check specific routes with Hyperdia.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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