questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo, kyoto + disney at a relaxing pace

Tokyo, Kyoto + Disney at a relaxing pace

Hi,

This is our first trip to Japan and we are taking the trip very slowly as not to rush and get ourselves tired. Here is my itinerary.

Arrival into Narita on 27/12, planned to get a limo bus voucher to our hotel in Akasaka

27/12 - 1/01 : around Tokyo and Tokyo Disney

2/1 - 3/1 : Tokyo - Kyoto

4/1 : Back to Tokyo

5/1 : Tokyo - Narita

We planned to buy a 7-day JR Pass. As we have 8 days in Tokyo, we planned to use our last leg on the JR Pass from Tokyo-Narita.

How does this sound in terms of cost effectiveness. If the JR pass do not cover the areas we wish to go in Tokyo, is it expensive is buy the additional tickets or shall we get the metro pass at the airport?

Bernecker
Bernecker

Hi there!

I covered most of these here I think, but here are some more tips based on this info:

I think that in general your plans sounds great (I also have a tip about getting discounted travel/metro pass into Tokyo in the above link rather than the bus, but you can also purchase the metro pass separately.). You'll also be able to use the JR Pass for your travel to/from Maihama JR station for Tokyo Disney if you manage to fit this in your validity period.

Here are the prices for Tokyo Metro. It will generally work out at somewhere between ¥160-¥190 per trip.

One little tip is that as you'll be staying in Akasaka I think you'll be doing at least 2 Metro trips per day for your hotel as the nearest JR station at Yotsuya is a 20 mins walk and there is a metro stop directly in Akasaka. Because of this you may also want to think about purchasing multiple 2 day metro passes. The 2 day metro passes work out to ¥490/day if purchased at Narita. As you're guaranteed to spend at least ¥320 per day for getting to/from your hotel, I think this is a sensible option as you'll only need to do 1 more metro trip for them to become cost effective.

Bear in mind that the time around New Year in Japan is very busy, so be sure to make reservations for any long distance travel you think you'll do between Tokyo and Kyoto as soon as you arrive. It looks like things will be fairly flexible, so you should be fine to get seats I think.

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thanks so much for your valuable advice.

Firstly, we thought it would be more convenient for us to purchase the limo bus voucher to take us to our hotel directly (Akasaka Excel hotel Tokyu) as we anticipate there will be a big rush and high traffic in the metro during this time of the year. Moreover, with our luggage, it would be a hassle and we will be tired after a long and overnight flight. If we were to purchase the metro pass, can you please advise us as to how far is our Hotel from the metro station?

With the 2-day multiple pass, do we have to use it on 2 consecutive days? Are we able to use it on alternate days as we have some friends to take us around in their cars for some sightseeing outside Tokyo for a day.

I read somewhere that if we have local friends who speaks Japanese, they are able to reserve our seats to Kyoto on the JR line before we arrive. Is that correct? On the other hand, they also said that we have to reserve it at the counter personally. Please clarify. Does reserving seats have a specific seat allocation or is it just a reservation to get on the train. As we have noticed that there are 2 types of JR Pass i.e. the Green Pass and the normal Pass in which the former is more expensive which I think have seats assigned. Is that correct?

Many thanks.

Bernecker
Bernecker

Hi there!

The Akasaka Excel hotel Tokyu is opposite the Akasakamitsuke metro stop, so it would be pretty convenient I think. Of course, if you think you will be tired, the limo bus is a good option.

The 2 day metro passes do have to be used on consecutive days. There is also a 1 day pass which you may find more convenient (though this is more expensive comparatively).

If you do have a local friend who speaks Japanese then yes, they can make seat reservations for you, however they will have to pay the small seat reservation charge (free seat reservations are only available on presentation of the JR Pass). When you arrive at the station, you should be able to refund this reservation charge and re-reserve using your JR Pass, however there will be a small window in between reservation refund and re-reserving where your seat may be taken. On balance, if you think you'll be travelling on an extremely busy day (Eg, new years day), then it is well worth it, however outside of the 31-2nd period I think you'll be fine to make your reservations on arrival in Japan (unless you are on a tight time schedule).

Reserving seats reserves a specific seat on the train within reserved seating cars.

Both types of JR Pass, "Green" and "Standard", allow for free seat reservations. The Green class (or first class) is all reserved seating, however standard class has reserved seating cars and non-reserved seating cars. In the non-reserved seating cars you can simply turn up and get on the train, however reserved seating cars will all require a reservation (which can be done just before you board in most cases). Green class tends to be much less busy, however for most use the standard class bullet train is very comfortable.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thank you so much again. You have been most helpful. I am sure I have received enough information to make the appropriate choice of travel.

Bernecker
Bernecker

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