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travelling to Utsunomiya

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Marysville...
posts: 30
travelling to Utsunomiya

I will be arriving at Narita airport around 3-4pm on a Thursday. What is the easiest way to get to Utsunomiya? I plan on packing light - maybe just a backpack. I don't speak any Japanese...I will take pencil and paper, and a copy of the name and address of my hotel.

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
posts: 18,008
reviews: 26
1. Re: travelling to Utsunomiya

Take the Keisei train (either Skyliner or the cheaper express) to Ueno, then take the JR (a different rail company) Tohoku line to Utsunomiya. Use www.hyperdia.com (english) for schedules and fares

Aoyama Dori and San...
posts: 9,179
reviews: 25
2. Re: travelling to Utsunomiya

Definitely take the Keisei Skyliner to Keisei Ueno Station and then follow the signs to JR Ueno Station (few minutes walking) and board the Shinkansen from there.

If you have time at Narita Airport before your Skyliner leaves, go to the JR office downstairs (it's just across the concourse from the Keisei ticket office) and get your Shinkansen ticket there. You can show them your Skyliner ticket and tell them you want to connect through JR Ueno for Utsunomiya. Otherwise, you can get your Shinkansen ticket at Ueno Station. Follow the signs to the "Shinkansen Platforms" at Ueno Station.

All signs should be easily readable and understandable between the airport, Ueno Station and even in Utusunomiya.

Marysville...
posts: 30
3. Re: travelling to Utsunomiya

thank you for your great advice! I was able to get to Utsunomiya just fine, my only concern was falling asleep on the train and missing my stop, which I thankfully did not do.

Aoyama Dori and San...
posts: 9,179
reviews: 25
4. Re: travelling to Utsunomiya

Perhaps if you have the time and energy, it might be nice to write up a trip report with respect to this, especially, since many T/A users are focused on the Tokaido Shinkansen out of Tokyo Station. Any fresh recollections of Ueno Station (or Tokyo Station if you took that route) and getting from the main concourse to the Shinkansen platforms, buying your tickets, etc.

Hopefully, your trip is going well (or went well).

<<<thank you for your great advice! I was able to get to Utsunomiya just fine, my only concern was falling asleep on the train and missing my stop, which I thankfully did not do.>>>

Marysville...
posts: 30
5. Re: travelling to Utsunomiya

After going through customs, I headed to the information booth and asked where I could find an atm and where to fine the skyliner ticket office. The atms were pretty easy to use - just getting used to thinking in larger denominations was hard (40,000 yen sounds like a lot of money!). The ticket office for the skyliner was down the escalator - I didn't attempt the automatic machine - but even though the girl at the ticket counter didn't speak English, it was perfectly easy to communicate that I wanted the Skyliner to Ueno station. She entered the amount on a little calculator and showed it to me. The ticket shows what car, row, and seat - but not platform - I just asked "platform" and she told me. I didn't attempt to buy my JR ticket at the airport - I didn't know how long it would take me to find the JR Ueno station, and didn't want to be stressed out that I would miss the train.

The skyliner made two or three brief stops on the way to Ueno, but there was always a bilingual announcement made and an electronic reader board also keeps you informed.

At Ueno I just followed the signs to the JR station. Once you step outside you can actually see the station - it's only about a block away, and across the street. I again used the ticket office. The girl did not speak English, but she had a prompt sheet that I could point to what I wanted (smoking/nonsmoking, reserved seat, etc..) I told her Utsunomiya, she again entered the amount into a little calculator and showed me. The platform was a ways from the ticket office, but the signs were easy to follow.

Even though not that many Japanese people that I had encountered so far were willing to try out their English on me, all you have to do is show someone your ticket and they will point you in the right direction. Very polite, and very helpful.

The JR train also had bilingual announcements - although they were a little hard to hear - they also had the electronic reader boards that would keep you informed.

At Utsunomiya the lady in the information booth didn't speak English, so she had a hard time when I asked her where the taxis were - but when I just said taxi, she pointed right to the way to go (I could have followed the signs - but I was getting a little punchy from lack of sleep).

My husband was waiting for me in the lobby of our hotel (he had arrived a day earlier - travelling with work colleagues that often come here). He was impressed that I had made it as soon as it would have been possible - no delays for missed trains.

I will be travelling back a couple of days before my husband - but I am not a bit nervous about being able to get to the airport.

Aoyama Dori and San...
posts: 9,179
reviews: 25
6. Re: travelling to Utsunomiya

Thank you for the excellent report. The key point that I would like to stress is that if someone is well prepared and briefed properly, the trains (including NEX, too) are not very difficult to negotiate and certainly very foreigner-friendly in the Tokyo area. Personally, I recommend the trains to all of my co-workers and friends because of the punctuality, convenience and rigid schedule. Additionally, if you're going to be in Japan, you will most likely need to get acquainted with the rail systems sometime and what better time to get acquainted than on the most foreigner-friendly lines (NEX and Skyliner)?

Some heed my advice, some do not and use the bus. After using the rail system and finding that Ueno or Tokyo Station is easy to find, none of them ever use the bus to get back to the airport or use it on subsequent trips (Yokohama excluded).

Have a safe trip home and enjoy Japan.

<<<My husband was waiting for me in the lobby of our hotel (he had arrived a day earlier - travelling with work colleagues that often come here). He was impressed that I had made it as soon as it would have been possible - no delays for missed trains.

I will be travelling back a couple of days before my husband - but I am not a bit nervous about being able to get to the airport.>>>

7. Re: travelling to Utsunomiya

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