We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What transportation to buy for Kyoto trip out of Tokyo

Arkansas, USA
Level Contributor
10 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
What transportation to buy for Kyoto trip out of Tokyo

I am flying into Tokyo, but I really just want to go to Kyoto immediately & not stay in Tokyo at all.

I had planned to buy a JR Pass to get from the airport to Kyoto & thought I could use the pass in Kyoto as well. Now I see that I can't. So is there something more affordable I can buy to get me from Tokyo to Kyoto (not the 7-8 hour bus ride) & then something I can buy for transportation in Kyoto?

I don't want to waste money by buying more passes than I will use or by having to buy many different passes when one or two will do.

What should I do?

Fukuoka, Japan
Level Contributor
880 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: What transportation to buy for Kyoto trip out of Tokyo

Are you flying out of Narita (Tokyo) or KIX (Osaka)?

Narita to Kyoto (Narita Express and Nozomi Shinkansen) is 16230 yen (by Hikari, 15930 yen). If you come back to Narita, then you need 32460 yen.

Meawhile, a 7-day JR pass is 28300 yen.

So, even if you cannot use the pass within Kyoto, it is worth to get it. However, you need to remember that you CANNOT ride the fastest shinkansen (Nozomi) with this pass. (Time difference between Nozomi and Hikari from Tokyo to Kyoto is only 20-30 min)

FYI, you cannot make a reservation until you arrive in Japan. If you plan to travel Japan during the busy season (from end of April to the 1st week of May, 2nd week of August and year end), it is safe not to buy the pass (as Hikari is not so frequent as Nozomi).

Arkansas, USA
Level Contributor
10 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What transportation to buy for Kyoto trip out of Tokyo

I am flying out of Narita. Unfortunately with the other travel arrangements from China & then from Japan to Tokyo it's apparently necessary to go through Narita (that's what the travel coordinator has told me anyway - I might could fly straight from Shanghai to Osaka, but I'd still have to go to Narita to leave, & the price difference is significant). How long a trip is it from Narita to Kyoto? I understood it was about 1.5 hrs?

I'll be arriving June 26th & leaving June 30th.

Arkansas, USA
Level Contributor
10 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: What transportation to buy for Kyoto trip out of Tokyo

Oops. I meant the flight from Shanghai to Japan and then Japan to the US.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
52,850 posts
147 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What transportation to buy for Kyoto trip out of Tokyo

Narita Airport to Kyoto is about 3:40 if you buy a ticket and ride the NEX + Nozomi train. The more economical method of using a 7-day JR Pass on NEX + Hikari train is around 4:00. Overall, as mentioned above, the JR Pass is the way to go.

You may wish to look into the Visit Japan airpasses. They cost about 12,000 Yen each way and allows you to fly from Narita to Osaka, where you can then catch a train to Kyoto. However, this option is not necessarily much faster since you will have to allow time to connect and then take the train from Kansai or Osaka Airport to Kyoto.

Arkansas, USA
Level Contributor
10 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: What transportation to buy for Kyoto trip out of Tokyo

I had no idea getting to Kyoto would take so long. This could force me to stay in Tokyo, which would be very disappointing.

Tokyo
Level Contributor
2,346 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: What transportation to buy for Kyoto trip out of Tokyo

You seem to have given up traveling to Kyoto, therefore my info might sound futile, but anyway I'd show you all the Narita Express - Shinkansen Hikari connections in case you should change your mind again. You might want to buy a JR pass if you travel in this way. For those connections, taking Nozomi doesn't make that big a difference as far as I've searched, 20 minutes faster at most.

You might consider changing trains at Shinagawa where you can change trains in 6 to 7 minutes, while you need to spend 15 minutes at Tokyo. All the Shinkansen trains will come to stop at Shinagawa from this Saturday.

Five Narita Express services don't stop at Shinagawa. If you coincident with them, you need to change at Tokyo.

New schedules of Narita Express from Narita Airport (NRT) to Shinagawa, and onto Kyoto on Shinkansen Hikari unless specified (valid from 15th March)

NRT-Shinagawa(Tokyo)-Kyoto

7:42-9:12 / 9:40-12:14

8:11-9:36 / 10:10-12:48

8:52-10:04 / 10:40-13:14

9:15-10:30 / 10:40-13:14

9:45-10:57 / 11:10-13:48

10:15-11:30 / 11:40-14:14

10:43-11:53 / 12:10-14:48

11:15-12:30 / 12:40-15:14

11:45-12:57 / 13:10-15:48

12:15-13:30 / 13:40-16:14

13:15-14:30 / 14:40-17:14

13:45-14:52 / 15:10-17:48

14:15-15:16 Tokyo 15:33-18:14

14:45-15:57 / 16:10-18:48

15:15-16:15 Tokyo 16:40-19:14

15:45-16:52 / 17:10-19:48

16:15-17:18 Tokyo 17:33-20:14

16:45-17:57 / 18:10-21:48

17:14-18:18 Tokyo 18:33-21:14

17:43-18:55 / 19:10-21:58

18:14-19:17 Tokyo 19:33-22:14

18:46-20:01 / 20:10-22:56 (last Hikari between Monday and Saturday)

Wish this might help you.

7. Re: What transportation to buy for Kyoto trip out of Tokyo

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 7:19 pm, September 21, 2009