questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo to kyoto ... the long way?

Tokyo to Kyoto ... the long way?

Ok, I'm going to Japan in October and during the trip I'll be traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto. Now I was going to use the simple method of just catching the Shinkansen but the day I'll be traveling appears to coincide with the Japanese Grand Prix. This means that it is likely that the section of the journey from Tokyo to Nagoya could be very busy.

Hence I've been looking at alternative routes. I'm not in a hurry so I've been looking at taking a longer route and seeing some more of the country in the process. The route I am considering at the moment is as follows, (from Hyperdia):

Tokyo -> (Shinkansen Max Toki 315) -> Echigo-Yuzawa -> (LTD EXP Hakutaka 6) -> Kanazawa -> (LTD EXP Thunderbird 26) -> Kyoto

(This journey takes quite a while but goes through areas of Japan I haven't been to (yet) and hence could be interesting).

My question is regarding using the JR Pass for this, in particular for the portion of the journey between Echigo-Yuzawa and Kanazawa. Reading around I've been seeing conflicting information on whether this is over JR lines or not and hence whether it would be covered by the pass or not. How can I find out whether the JR Pass would cover some/all of the journey and if only some of it how much extra I am likely to need to pay (preferably before I go to Japan so that I can see if it's reasonable or if I need to work out another plan) ?

thempstead
thempstead

Hi there,

A small part of this journey is operated on non-JR lines (between Muikamachi and Naoetsu (map)). Because of this you'll need to pay an extra ¥2690 for a reserved seat, or ¥2080 for a non reserved to cover the cost of this piece of track on the route.

If the idea of this doesn't sit well, you can also travel upto Nagaoka on the Shinkansen and then take the (slower) LTD EXP Hokuetsu from there down to Naoetsu where you can change train onto the fast Hakutaka or continue on the Hokuetsu.

Here are the two itineraries for comparison:

  1. Hakutaka (+¥2690 to ¥2080)
  2. Hokuetsu (free with JRP)

The time difference is only around 40mins between the routes, so if you're concerned about cost and are already in for the long route, I'd say going via Naoetsu shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

That's great, many thanks.

With the extra payment; is that something we have to sort out in advance or can it be paid on the train during the journey to the conductor (assuming non-reserved seating) ?

Thanks

thempstead
thempstead

I would advise visiting the ticket office before you board the train in Tokyo - they should be able to issue all the extra charges you need. Alternatively if you are in a rush you should also be able to pay that on the train.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

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