questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo - aomori - kutchan

Tokyo - Aomori - Kutchan

Hi guys,

I am in the process of planning a ski trip to Japan in February and was wondering whether purchasing a Japan Rail pass would be the most econmic way to travel from Tokyo to Aomori and then on to Kutchan?

If so could you please provide some guidance around travel times, sleeper trains, etc?

Thanks a lot,

Sam

scscole
scscole

Hi Sam,

Hokkaido is pretty far away from Tokyo, a one way trip Tokyo - Kutchan by train takes 575 Minutes (almost 10 hours non stop) so many people decide to fly from Tokyo to Hokkaido. It is however hard to say what is more economic as airplane ticket prices change a lot.

If you do decide to take the train than the JR Pass will offer some really nice savings over normal train ticket prices. For instance the normal price of a one ticket Tokyo - Kutchan is ¥ 21,740, the 7 day JR Pass is ¥ 28,300 so it's very easy to make savings with it. I've looked up the route for you, so you can get an idea of what is involved. With the JR Pass you can take the Shinkansen from Tokyo - Aomori for there take a limited express train to Oshamambe and finally a local train to Kutchan.

There's a night train going Ueno - Aomori called the Akebono express which is covered by the JR Pass but the train is rather popular and can sell out quickly, so I think it's better to take the Shinkansen to Aomori. You can find more information about the Akebono train here.

Have a great time enjoying the snow!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Thanks for your response Daniel,

We were planning on spending a few days in and around Aomori so the train may not be too bad an option.

Just to clarify you are able to ride the SHINKANSEN from Tokyo on the JR pass? I was under the impression that some of the SHINKANSEN line were not available for JR pass holders.

Also how long is the train ride from Aomori to Kutchan?

Thanks again,

Sam

scscole
scscole

Hi Sam,

Aomori itself is a little small and may be boring if you don't have friends or relatives in the area. If you do stay a couple of days up there, consider a visit to Hirosaki or Hachinohe. Both have some really interesting spots.

ALL shinkansen lines are covered by the JR Pass, only some train types such as the Nozomi trains are excluded. These run south of Tokyo, so you won't have to worry about them at all.

The trip from Aomori - Kutchan is still about 303 Minutes (or 6 hours) so be sure to bring a good book :)
-Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Daniel,

We wanted to go to Aomori to visit a ski resort called Hakkoda - we have heard it is amazing there.

Does the Japan Rail pass include all local trains around Tokyo as well? Does it also cover the train from Narita airport?

Thanks,

Sam

scscole
scscole

Hi Sam,

Yes the JR Pass covers all local JR lines in Tokyo and also covered travel between Narita Airport and Tokyo.

Here's a map of all lines and station covered in and around Tokyo.

Enjoy!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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