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More about train travel 2007/11/6 14:00
Kyoto City
I am visiting Kyoto from Nov 20 - Dec 19th. My plans are uncertain - waiting for a baby to be born. I am travelling from Canada and was considering JR Pass(7day) to go to Tokyo - but may stay 10 days. Wonder if someone can tell me the price for return ticket on slow train - I like to see what is outside the window!! Would also consider the bus one way - more to see. I could use the JR pass in Tokyo area while I am there or begin with a side trip to Osaka and then up to Tokyo. Also, are the subways in Tokyo JR?? I know that many of the trains are not JR - local ones and the JR does not allow Shinkensen. There is also Seishun 18 Kippu - I could use that for return trip. So - cost of return Kyoto - Tokyo, cost of one way Kyoto - Tokyo - both slow trains. Cost of bus K - T-K. Thanks for your help
by Murchie  

train 2007/11/6 18:03
first of all, while the Shinkansen is fast you still see what's outside very well. indeed I often take pictures from inside, setting the camera on Auto, and most photos aren't even blurry!(same thing with the French TGV)
secondly, while the slow train is 1/2 price it also takes 8 hrs or so with as many as 4 changes of trains!. I have used the 7 days pass for trips over 7 days ( up to 2 weeks actually) staying in Tokyo or Osaka or..etc. at the start or end of the trip or both. In fact going from Tokyo to Kyoto upon landing is possible but wouldn't be a good idea as, coming from Canada, we land in mid to late afternoon I think (I usually go by Kansai airport, not Tokyo) so you would arrive late and dead tired in Kyoto. You just have to be sure that the Tokyo-Kyoto trip is done on day one of the JR pass (the pass can start several days after you land) and the return is done on day 7. the JR pass can be used on all the JR trains around Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka etc. also on the loop line around either Tokyo or Osaka. A 7 days pass is worth as it covers the Tokyo-Kyoto return so using it during these 7 days to visit Osaka, Nara, Himeji, Kobe Arashiyama, Fushimi-Inari etc. etc. is a bonus.
the buses are like the slow trains: they take a full day or night where the Shinkansen only takes 3 hrs. Do you really want to loose 2 full days in a train or bus? one way of getting even more bang out of your JR pass is to use it either on the first day to go straight to Kyoto (see above) or on the last day by going from Kyoto to Narita aiport via Shinagawa station.
If you have an accountant mind and a lot of patience you can check schedules and fares of all the trains you are likely to take during the major 7 days of the trip and compare that to the price of a JR pass (buying single tickets for every trip is relatively easy but a chore if one isn't familiar with that chore and wit hhordes of people impatient to buy their tickets while you fiddle w/ the machine). Tokyo subways? some are JR, others not but if you do
2 days in Tokyo
7 days in Kyoto, Osaka etc.
1 day in Tokyo
or
3 days Tokyo
7 days in Kyoto, Osaka etc or some other combination
you will have to buy special passes for Tokyo anyway.
I hope that I havn't confused you too much??
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

JR Pass is Valid on Shinkansen. 2007/11/6 18:10
Hi Murchie

Yes, you can use your JR pass on the Shinkansen, just not the new Nozomi type - you still get the other two types!

And yes, you can use your pass on all JR subway lines in and around Tokyo. Just check the JR website for maps!
by Natalie rate this post as useful

huh? 2007/11/7 00:16
Natalie, I assume you are referring to the JR surface lines such as Sobu and Yamanote. The JR pass cannot be used on Tokyo subways.
by Tay rate this post as useful

JR Website Wrong? 2007/11/7 09:17
Hi Tay

Thanks for your clarification - I got my information of the Japan Rail website only yesterday - and it says all JR Lines - surely that means any JR Lines that go through subways? It only says it doesn't include Nozomi, Green Cars on Shinkansen.

I've only been to Tokyo once before, and didn't have a Rail Pass - but a pre-paid Y2000 ticket that I used locally.

Please let us all know any more information that is incorrect or not complete on this page?

http://www.japanrail.com/JR_japanrailpass.html
by Natalie rate this post as useful

... 2007/11/7 09:30
Strict train aficionados will tell you that a subway must run underground for it's majority and because JR's line run mostly above ground (although they do go underground at times) they don't technically count as subways.

What the layman traveller needs to know is that you can classify the trains in Tokyo to 2 types. JR (Japan Rail) and everything else (Tokyo Metro, Toei, Monorail, etc). This is because a rail pass is only good on the JR lines and won't work for everything else.

To complicate matters a little more, the 2000 yen pass you had last time was probably a Suica or Pasmo card which is an electronic card that you buy credit on that is electronic subtracted at the gates so that you don't have to spend time buying tickets. Those cards are good on virtually all the train systems in Tokyo.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

... 2007/11/7 09:32
please see this page for more train information:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2017.html
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

... 2007/11/7 09:34
This is a summary of ways of travel between Tokyo and Kyoto:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2363.html
by Uji rate this post as useful

. 2007/11/7 09:39
Its a bit complicated as mentioned. JR trains are not "subway" trains.

In that: "Subway" trains in Japan are not operated by "JR".

Theres a big distinction when you say Subway in Japan compared to just Commuter trains in the city like JR does.

surely that means any JR Lines that go through subways?
The JR pass would not be valid on JR trains that run into subways or other private rail. For example, in Tokyo the JR Saikyo Line runs into the Rinkai Line. The rinkai line is not JR (even though it might use some JR trains), the JR pass is not valid on the Rinkai Line.
by John rate this post as useful

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