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Help with transportation option for following itinerary please!

almost 3 years ago
2 responses


My husband and I will be traveling to Japan later this week for a 9-day tour, and are hoping that someone can assist us with figuring which transportation pass to get makes most sense (economical and convenience factors).

Our hotel in Tokyo is by Kinshicho station.

Day 1:
- NRT to Kinshicho station - Kinshicho station to Shinjuku station (tour around Kabukicho, Golden Gai, Omoide Yokocho - return to hotel (Kinshicho)

Day 2:
- Tsukiji market - Shinjuku - Tokyo Metropolitan Govt' Building - Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
- Chidorigafuchi / Imperial Palace - possibly Ueno Park if we have time - Ameyoko Okocho Market - Akihabara - return to hotel (Kinshicho)

Day 3:
- Meguro River / Nakameguro - Yoyogi Park / Meiji Shrine - Harajuku / Takeshita Dori - Shibuya - return to hotel (Kinshicho)

Day 4:
- Kanagawa prefecture for Fujiko Museum - Asakusa - Sumida Park - Minato - return to hotel (Kinshicho)

Day 5:
- Possible return to Shinjuku - Ginza - return to hotel (Kinshicho)

Day 6:
- Tokyo to Hakone (most likely taking the Romancecar from Shinjuku)

Day 7:
- Hakone to Kyoto by Shinkansen

Day 8/9:
- tour around Kyoto (still need to do research on itinerary!!! I last minute too). But I hear bus is a better option around Kyoto? Our hotel is 5 min. walk from the Gion bus stop, near the Yasaka-jinja Shrine.

Day 9:
- Kyoto to KIX airport in Osaka

So we think we have ruled out the 7-day JR pass, since we only have one big trip (between Hakone to Kyoto) if we use the Romancecar to Hakone. What about for all those daily itineraries within Tokyo and Kyoto? Which transportation pass should we go for? Should we get the single ticket, one-day Tokunai JR pass, one-day Tokyo Metro / Toei subway pass, one-day Tokyo metro open ticket, Tokyo Free Kippu (although we're not generally good with bus routes), Toei one-day economy pass, OR the Pasmo / Suica card? And is there a difference between the Pasmo and Suica card, and what transportation modes are available??

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help us out! We are just desperate to figure this out...all those options are way above our heads. Just a reference, we are proficient with subway systems in general (i.e., Hong Kong, New York, Paris) even though it may take us some time initially to figure it out, but we know Tokyo's is very extensive and can be confusing too. In contrast, we are not as good with bus routes, but if there's an easy reference / app to help guide us, it's do-able.

12232 posts
almost 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there,

Let's start in Tokyo, Kinshicho is both accessible on the JR and Metro. So you could either go for a day pass for the metro or the Tokunai ticket (JR day pass). Your travel on the first 3 days is all on the Yamanote line, so you could go for the JR ticket there. Asakusa is not, so on day 4 you could go for a metro pass. An alternative is to use a Suica card and just pay as you go. This can cost more if you travel around a lot but you are not limited to a single transport system and checking in and out is very easy. (Pasmo and Suica do exactly the same these days).

For ideas in Kyoto, have a loot at our 7 day 14 day. They are full itineraries but have detailed information on Kyoto. In Kyoto a 500yen bus ticket is generally the best way to go around, although there are also different railways.

For a couple of good apps, including the Tokyo Metro, have a look at this article.

Hope this helps,

1318 posts
almost 3 years ago

You are correct in that the 7 day JR Pass would not pay off. As for transport to Tokyo from the airport, you might look at cheaper buses:

For getting around Tokyo cheaply, since you'll be there for several days, look into a 3 day subway pass:

For Hakone, see this info:

For Kyoto, buses may be better but it depends on where you are going. There is a lot of tourist traffic and buses are slow. If it is close by a subway station, that is the better way to travel. But some of Kyoto's best places are not near a station. The big 3 places to see in Kyoto are Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera, and the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kinkakuji does not take long - 45 minutes is generous. Kiyomizudera can take about 75-90 minutes leisurely. Fushimi Inari can take a couple hours to nearly a full day if you want to romp over all the trails:

If you can, take half a day and see Nara - the Todaiji Great Budhha is an icon of Japan and you will kick yourself if you miss it:

Outside the temple you can feed a lot of hungry and definitely not shy deer. At night after the temples of Kyoto close down around 5PM, you can zip over to Osaka for the evening. At night the city comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg, and Abeno Harukas Bldg are wonderful.

For other Kyoto info, see:

2 posts
almost 3 years ago

Thank you so much, Daniel-san and Toraneko! We will definitely look into your suggestions and follow up if we have any more questions. Thank you again :)

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