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Is there a guide for using Hyperdia? Where can one get help?

SFS
SFS
about 1 year ago
28 responses

Hi:

I have been told that Hyperdia is the best website for planning train travel in Japan. I tried to use it and I am running into issues that I could use help with.

Is there a user guide anywhere to explain the intricacies of using this website? Is there any support email for it (I could not locate it). Before I can figure out where I want to use a JR Pass, I have to better understand routes, schedules, etc.

Maybe someone can explain the following, in the context of an example, a train trip from Kanazawa to Karuizawa:

  • how can one get the “right” schedule to ensure a min of 30 min for a transfer?
  • how can one get the Kanazawa-Karuizawa schedule to show both arrival and departure tracks?
  • how would one know how easy or time-consuming a transfer will be and how much time one needs to have to catch the next train (assuming a tourist who doesn't speak/read Japanese and is in a train station for the first time)?
  • how does one know which station to pick? Like in the case of Kanazawa there are 3 and I don’t know what’s the difference between them. Are they in different locations? How and where can one learn about which station to pick when multiple show up for one city?

Using Hyperdia, I picked the From & To and then SEARCH (one cannot change today’s date on the initial screen). Some routes came up. Also the screen that allows to deselect trains that one doesn’t want to use came up. I unchecked the options I don’t want and changed the date to Aug 31. The following came up:

KANAZAWA-HAKKEI(KEIKYU) - KARUIZAWA 12:35 pm Aug/2018/31 Departure
Route is not found.

What is that I am doing incorrectly? I am struggling with this program and wondering if there is a better way to do it.

Thanks in advance for any pointers, suggestions, help.

Is there a way to be ask for a notification when an answer is posted?

avatar
Daniel-san
16172 posts
about 1 year ago
Expert

Hi there,

There's no extensive guide to Hyperdia, we do have a basic guide here. Many of the questions you have are station, city or train specific. This information is simply not available in one place.

-how can one get the “right” schedule to ensure a min of 30 min for a transfer? There is no way to set min. transfer times. What you can do is break down the route is smaller parts and check the train schedule for each part. For instance if you do Kanazawa - Karuizawa, you would break it down from Kanazawa - Nagano and then Nagano - Karuizawa. Both of these you search separately.

-how can one get the Kanazawa-Karuizawa schedule to show both arrival and departure tracks? This information is not included in Hyperdia most of the time. You can ask the JR Staff when booking your tickets what platforms trains leave from.

-how would one know how easy or time-consuming a transfer will be and how much time one needs to have to catch the next train (assuming a tourist who doesn't speak/read Japanese and is in a train station for the first time)? It depends on the station but every route is thought out. If a transfer says 5 min, then you can assume 5min is enough to make the transfer. Usually it is just going one set up stairs down and up the next for the platform.

KANAZAWA-HAKKEI(KEIKYU) - is a Keikyu (private line) and thus not part of the JR Network. I think you may have the private railway option off.

how does one know which station to pick? Like in the case of Kanazawa there are 3 and I don’t know what’s the difference between them. Are they in different locations? How and where can one learn about which station to pick when multiple show up for one city? Again this is station specific, generally just do a search and see what shows up. If it looks strange, then it is likely not the right station :) You can also use Google maps to see the station name and location.

You'll get a notification by e-mail when replies are added to your post.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

SFS
SFS
28 posts
about 1 year ago

Thanks a lot Daniel for your very helpful reply. At least I know that it is not just me not knowing how to use the application. I did read the info I could find (including your useful guide). I would have never imagined that figuring out the fantastic transportation network of Japan takes this much legwork.... If you could recommend a local travel agent (who speaks English) who could figure out the best transportation options I would have for my 30 day trip, please let me know. I will have my itinerary finalized within a few weeks. Thanks again.

SFS
SFS
28 posts
about 1 year ago

I asked about the notification because I am not receiving them. I checked my spam folder. Is there anything else I should check? Thanks

avatar
Daniel-san
16172 posts
about 1 year ago
Expert

Hi again :)

Yes, it is seriously daunting at first sight. The Japan transport network does become a lot easier once you've simply used it a couple of times.

I don't really know a travel agent that could help here, when will you be travelling? We are actually experimenting with a paid traveller planner service. I can sent you a mail with details :) At the same time feel free to post your travel plans below and I'll be happy to review it.

For notifications, it should just be a normal e-mail, something with subject like: "JRPass.com: answer to Is there a guide for using Hyperdia? Where can one get help?" I'll have a look into it, our forum is still quite a basic QA style format. We're upgrading the forums but that will be an other 1-2 months.

Kind regards,
Daniel

SFS
SFS
28 posts
about 1 year ago

Thanks, Daniel.

Our travel dates are March20- April 20, 2019. I would love to test your planning service. When you are ready, please send me the details.

Your offer is very much appreciate it. As soon as I finalize my itinerary, I will post it.

SFS
SFS
28 posts
about 1 year ago

Hi Daniel,

Taking advantage of your kind offer, I am getting back to you with my itinerary for 30 days. I am hoping that you can help me with the following:
- confirmation (or correction) of my assumption that a 21 day JR Pass would be the optimal pass (no need for a 21 d+ 7 d one). - confirmation that starting usage of the Pass on the 27th (w. the trip from Tokyo to Kyoto) would be the optimal start date. This means that I would not have coverage for arrival from Narita, in Tokyo and for the return from Karuizawa to Tokyo and then from Tokyo to Narita. - I also would like to know which day trips would not be covered by the JR Pass (or would require many transfers and a lot of time if trying to use the Pass) - if possible, I would like to know if I should be using stations that are different than the "main" ones in the respective cities (based on the location of the hotel). My next task will be to figure out the actual trains using Hyperdia. Thanks a lot in advance,
Sue

Itinerary:
1. 03/21 - arrival to Tokyo (Narita); 6 N, 5D in Tokyo= 03/21-03/27
Hotel: The B Tokyo Shimbashi (1-17-13 Nishi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku)

Day trip: maybe Nikko

  1. 03/27 - train from Tokyo to Kyoto; 11 N, 10D in Kyoto= 03/27-04/07
    Hotel: Citadines Kyoto Karasuma-Gojo (432 Gojo-dori Karasuma- Higashiiru Shimogyo-ku)
    Day trips: Nara, Osaka, maybe Omihachiman

  1. 04/07 - train from Kyoto to Okayama; 5N, 4D in Okayama= 04/07-04/12
    Hotel: Okayama Koraku Hotel (5-1 Heiwacho, Kita)
    Day trips: Kurashiki, Kojima& Takamatsu, Naoshima, Himeji & Kobe

  1. 04/12 - train from Okayama to Kanazawa; 4N, 3D in Kanazawa=04/12-04/16
    Hotel: Mystays Premier ( 2 Chome-13-5 Hirooka)
    Day trips: Gokayama & Takayama

  1. 04/13 - train from Kanazawa to Karuizawa; 3N, 2D in Karuizawa=04/16-04/19
    Hotel: Kyukaruizawa Kikyo (491 5, Karuizawa)
    Day trips: Usui Pass Observation Platform

  1. 04/19 - train from Karuizawa to Narita; 1 N
avatar
Daniel-san
16172 posts
about 1 year ago
Expert

Hi Sue,

It makes sense to use the 21 day JR Pass, your many day trips really add up in travel cost and the JR Pass covers about all of them.

The only parts I could see not included are: the ferry to Naoshima and bus to Gokayama from Kanazawa. All other travel between the places you plan to visit is included. We have a recent blog post on visiting Shirakawa-go and Gokayama here.

I also looked at the stations you plan to visit but they are all the same as the station name, e.g. Tokyo = Tokyo station. That said you still may need local transport to get your accommodation, for instance in Kyoto. You'd have to take the subway or local bus to Karasuma-Gojo but you'd still go to Kyoto station first.

Good to know is that the ferry port for Naoshima is called Uno, you can go to Uno station and get to the ferries from there on foot in about 5min. There are also ferries going from Takamatsu.

That's all I have for now, looks like a well planned trip :) Let me know if you have any questions :)

Kind regards,
Daniel

SFS
SFS
28 posts
about 1 year ago

Thanks a lot, Daniel.

Is the best use of the 21 d Pass with a start date of March 27 (the trip from Tokyo to Kyoto)?

Sue
BTW, I got a notification this time.

avatar
Daniel-san
16172 posts
about 1 year ago
Expert

Hi Sue

Yes, I'd start it on the 27th as well. You could then use it on the last day to from Kanazawa - Karuizawa, as well - quite a pricey trip without the JR Pass.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

PS: Had our engineering team look into the mails, in some cases mails were not send but all fixed now.

SFS
SFS
28 posts
about 1 year ago

Thanks, Daniel.

When you have the planned service ready for testing, please let me know.

avatar
Daniel-san
16172 posts
about 1 year ago
Expert

Hi Sue,

It's still a lot of discussion going on here - will let you know once I have something I can share :)

In the meantime, you can of course reach me here.

Kind regards,
Daniel


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