So basically, we're kind of at our wits end of trying to figure this out by ourselves! I'm guessing the best option is JR, but we don't qualify for the Japan Rail Pass, so we're trying to find the cheapest route from Tokyo (anywhere is fine) to Hikone. We're open to (and prefer) leaving on Saturday, August 30, and arriving in Hikone at some point on Sunday, August 31. That would obviously entail some sort of overnight thing (we don't want to go for the Seishun 18 Kippu, so my understanding is that Moonlight Nagara is out of the picture), and if an overnight bus with a toilet is going to run us around $90, why not just take normal trains? Hyperdia quotes us around that much for daytime trains. We're willing to travel most of the day on Sunday if that will be cheaper.
Is there an option we're missing?