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Shinkansen Ticket Options 2020/1/14 02:18
Hi there

Please assist on the following travel itinerary

Jan 19 Narita Airport to Tokyo (Hotel IL Fiore Kasai)
Jan 20 Tokyo to Shirakawago
Jan 21 Shirakawago to Mt. Naeba
Jan 22 Mt. Naeba to Mt. Fuji
Jan 23 Mt. Fuji to Tokyo
Jan 24-27 Tokyo (Hotel IL Fiore Kasai)

Any suggestion on what pass will work best? We have 2 adults and 2 children age 13 & 11 respectively.

Thank you very much.

Philip Ho
by Phil Ho  

Re: Shinkansen Ticket Options 2020/1/14 14:54
No passes. As you trip is longer than seven days. And much of you trip is on non JR buses.

Just pay for one way tickets.
by Hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shinkansen Ticket Options 2020/1/14 15:42

Assuming for Mt. Naeba you mean the Mt Naeba/Kagura ski resort (https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7690.html) , I am going to politely disagree with @Hakata14.

You're looking at close to 13,000 yen to get from Tokyo to Kanazawa (before you catch the bus to Shirakawa Go) and then another 16,000 to get you from Kanazawa to Omiya and changing there for the shinkansen to Yuzawa or Gala Yuzawa. You then need to pay another ~7000 yen to get back from Gala Yuzawa to Shinjuku to either take a bus to Kawaguchiko (additional) or take the Chuo line to Otsuki (and then pay additional for the private line) At 36,000 just for those 3 days of travel, your JR Rail Pass would pay off. However, I have to ask, are you OK with spending 5-6 hours in transport 3 days in a row? Have you possibly considered Shiga Kogen for skiing, it would save you some time since it is about an hour from Nagano which is only 86 minutes from Kanazawa vs the over 3 hours between Gala Yuzawa or Echigo Yuzawa from Kanazawa.

Your hotel is not near a JR station, so I'm not sure if it matter for going to or from Narita Airport and it is unlikely you would use JR much in Tokyo since you're on a subway line. If you'd like to get more use out of the pass, then I would pick a hotel where using the NEX makes more sense so that can get folded into your costs, as it stands it seems bus is the recommended route to that hotel from the airport.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Shinkansen Ticket Options 2020/1/14 15:52
Despite most of your long distance travel fitting within seven days, the number of buses and non-JR services makes the 7-day JR pass too expensive. (Unless you deliberately choose a more expensive options to get to all those places.)
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Shinkansen Ticket Options 2020/1/15 07:02

I really really really respect @JapanCustomTours opinion, but I am just wondering if because I am sick if I am misreading something or what...

At least how I am reading their itinerary OP wants to travel on their first full day in Japan to Shirakawa Go. I'm looking here on Japan Guide and not seeing a direct bus. You can take the bus from Tokyo to Takayama (5.5 hours) but then you have an additional 1 hour to Shirakawa Go (assuming a short layover) and that is 6.5 hours which is much longer than taking the shinkansen to Toyama or Kanazawa and changing to a bus. Yes, you will pay about 1/2 the price via bus, but you are looking at an additional 2.5 hours of travel. OP then says the next day they want to go to Naeba from Shirakawa Go. I mean they could do the whole 6.5 hour bus trip back to Tokyo and then use a Tokyo Wide pass to travel to Gala Yuzawa, but that is easily going to be like 8+ hours. And at that point, once you add in the price of the trip to Gala Yuzawa you are approaching the price of a pass (~12,000 yen+ either 14,000 yen if you don't have a pass or 12,000+10,000 if you get a Tokyo Wide Pass). I just have to think either I am misreading something or misinterpreting because I just can't see any way where taking the shinkansen is not going to be a huge time saver on this already intense itinerary if your goal isn't to spend as much time sitting on shinkansens or buses. And I'm not seeing how private lines help with these long distance trains.

Now if OP was just staying in their hotel, going round trip to Narita and going to Mt. Fuji, yeah, definitely no rail pass of any type necessary, but throwing Shirakawa Go and Naeba into it does alter the metrics, but again, I have to wonder if I am missing something.

If it were me, I would cut Shirakawa Go. It's really boring and really far from everything else on your itinerary. I then might get a Tokyo Wide Pass (3 days) as it would cover a round trip to Mt. Fuji as well going to Gala Yuzawa as long as you didn't go over the 3 day length. It's ~7000 yen each way from Tokyo to Gala Yuzawa, so the pass would pay off on just the round trip let alone going to Mt. Fuji. The Tokyo Wide Pass also completely covers the trip to Mt. Fuji unlike the nationwide.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Shinkansen Ticket Options 2020/1/15 10:08
@rkold - wrote a long reply and then scrapped it.
They could get the 7-day pass and on the fastest (and also longest routes) save some money. To maximise the time then the shinkansen is faster (a bit), but more expensive. If they are only interested in the destination rather than the journey, then it costs more to travel quickly.
The real issue is they have planned travel segments to three quite separate places in a short period of time. Even a simple switching the order of the three locations would make a big difference in travel times and cost. But, it is their trip, their choices.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Shinkansen Ticket Options 2020/1/15 19:11
Dear Hakata14/rkold/JapanCustomTours

First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU for all valuable inputs! My sincere gratitude!
We kind off pulling the schedule in hurry based on places to visit. And decided to take the 7-day JR Pass.
Definitely will spend more time next round to do the planning and get the homework done earlier.
Lastly, must thank you you all again especially #rkold for the details, #JapanCustomTours right on the spot and #Hakata14 short & sweet.
Cheers! Nice to have you all and wish you all well!
by Phil Ho rate this post as useful

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