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Bullet Train

California
Level Contributor
116 posts
Bullet Train

We will be traveling on a cruise ship and will be in Osaka April 15th. We arrive in Osaka at 7 pm and leave the next day at 4 pm. Many of us would like to take the Bullet Train to Kyoto. I find it interesting that the cruise ship does not list this as an excurion through them but does offer a few 8+ hour tour to Kyoto on a bus. I would like to know how long it would take from Osaka to Kyoto, how often this train leaves Osaka. the cost for first class ticket and how accessable are tickets? .

Is it easy to get a tour guide when we arrive in Kyoto?

Domo arigato...don't laugh! I'm sure I could use some help in the spelling.

Thanks,

Anne from California

Sydney
Level Contributor
335 posts
3 reviews
22 helpful votes
1. Re: Bullet Train

I found this site today for my travels, just type in your to and from destinations and it works everything out:

http://www.japanrail.com/JR_hyperdia.html

Italy
Level Contributor
39,848 posts
266 reviews
235 helpful votes
2. Re: Bullet Train

Check out the www.hyperdia.com website it gives you all the train times & prices. It's only about a half hour ride so in my opinion you definitely don't need to book 1st class.

California
Level Contributor
116 posts
3. Re: Bullet Train

Thank you both for your response. Unfortunately the hyperdia.com came in in Japanese and wanted me download a language pack. I was afraid to do that so didn't get that one and the second www.japanrail.com/jr_hyperdia.html page wouldn't come up at all. I am so disappointed. I thought I had found the answer!

Toronto
Level Contributor
26,790 posts
30 reviews
56 helpful votes
4. Re: Bullet Train

click on the "English" picture just below the 2 tex boxes on the top left.

Italy
Level Contributor
39,848 posts
266 reviews
235 helpful votes
5. Re: Bullet Train

The direct English link to Hyperdia is:

www.hyperdia.com/cgi-english/hyperWeb.cgi

Let us know if you have any more problems.

Tokyo and California
Level Contributor
30,479 posts
168 reviews
100 helpful votes
6. Re: Bullet Train

The cruse ship doesn't offer going to Kyoto by bullet train as an optional tour because it's not very practical. The ride is only 14 minutes and cost more than $25 one way (reserved seat, $12 for non reserved.)

I think taking a bus tour to Kyoto is a good idea but if you really want to ride on shinkansen, here is what you do.

Take the subway Chuo line at Osakako, transfer to Midosuji Line at Honmachi (a bit of a walk, follow the signs,) and get off at Shinosaka.

The bullet train goes from Shiosaka to Kyoto, not Osaka Station. A train will come every ~10 minutes. No need to but the tickets in advance.

California
Level Contributor
116 posts
7. Re: Bullet Train

Unko,

Thank you so much for your message. It sounds to me that it would be a road race to leave the ship and TRY to find the right place to catch the bullet train. The group is not old but not young either so I'm afraid that they would object to running all over to catch the train. Do you know where the ships dock and if there is only one place? Is it feasble to take a taxi to the train station? Most do want to see Kyoto. The ship is offering very expensive outings on a bus 1 1/2 hours to Kyoto and 1 1/2 hours back...An 8 hour trip mostly on a bus. $198.00 Do you have any ideas for us? We have done a lot of cruising and love it but usually don't sign up for their tours as we always find another mode of transportation from the ship to where we want to go for much less money. Do you know if taxis or tour buses arrive when the ship docks for the purpose of hoping to pick up people for tours?

Tokyo and California
Level Contributor
30,479 posts
168 reviews
100 helpful votes
8. Re: Bullet Train

Cruisineurope,

Hi there. First of all, could you tell me what is included in the $198 trip to Kyoto? For example, does it include the entrance fees to the temples and shrines in Kyoto and/or lunch? I know the optional tours that are offered by the cruise ships are not cheap , but sometimes they are the most convenient ways to see the tourist spots without too much hassle.

California
Level Contributor
116 posts
9. Re: Bullet Train

I agree with you. Sometimes it is easier to just bite the bullet and go with them. I will condense this. You travel approximately two hours through Osaka and the surrounding countryside to Kyoto. Go to the splendid Kinkaku-ji, or Temple of the Golden Pavilons. Reboard and head for central Kyoto to Nijo Castle with guide. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then to Heian Jingu Shine. Then come back to ship. Summary of highlights is Temple of the Golden Pavilions and Nijo Castle. 8 hrs. There is one other tour for $159. Summary is Yatsuhashi-an and Shishu-yakata, Kinkakuji Temple and Hakusasonso Villa. Lunch and a tea ceremony. That is just a brief of what they do. 8 hours $159.

Do you know if all of the ships dock at Tempozan Harbour? If so, I read that there is a 15 min. taxi ride to the train station??? If we did this, arriving in Kyoto is it easy to pick up a tour?? Maybe we would just take a train and not worry about the bullet train.

Thanks so much for your help. My husband and I are host and hostess of 20 people and they are all awaiting news of what we learn.

Nara, Japan
Level Contributor
9,565 posts
10. Re: Bullet Train

Here's my two cents worth:

<Do you know if all of the ships dock at Tempozan Harbour? If so, I read that there is a 15 min. taxi ride to the train station??? If we did this, arriving in Kyoto is it easy to pick up a tour?? Maybe we would just take a train and not worry about the bullet train.>

Visit:

…osaka.jp/en/area_osaka/index_bay.html#

In here, if you click on “MAP,” then you'll get a good map of the Osaka Bay area. About 2inches below a large red question mark is located Tempozan Harbor Village. Before I forget, let me say Tempozan has a lot of visitors coming to enjoy Kaiyukan Aquarium.

Freight vessels often stay in the offing waiting for their turn to dock at other piers, but all the cruise ships making a port call to Osaka come straight into Tempozan Harbor. I may possibly be wrong, but your cruise ship will be docked somewhere on the left (west) side of the island you locate in the above map. The nearest possible railroad station is “Osakako” on Subway Chuo Line, but given the fact that all the company of yours are first-timers to Osaka, you may like to cab it to either 1)JR Bentencho or 2)JR Nishikujo.

Going to #1 saves some hundred yens on the cab fare, I suppose, but that takes a train transfer along the way. If you like to make it directly to JR Kyoto from Tempozan, and are more than willing to pay a bit extra on that cab fare, your best bet will be to cab it to #2 so you can ride Haruka Limited Express going to JR Kyoto. At #2, Haruka starts in about every 30minutes of the hour from 0900 through 2100, and costs Y1920(designated seat) / Y1410(undesignated seat). Compared to a bullet train, it's slow, running only at 130km per hour at its fastest... That said, you wouldn't be thrilled at it for the short shinkansen leg between Shin-Osaka and Kyoto. If you “bite the bullet” on Shinkansen by choosing to catch Haruka, you'll be in Kyoto in about 30-something minutes.

Opinion may differ, but my take on the cost for the Kyoto tour you mentioned first is way too high. With that amount, one would prefer to stay in a decent hotel and do more places of interest alone. It's not well-nigh impossible doing Kyoto without a guide; rather it's quite doable on your own. All you have to do is visit Kyoto Tourist Information Center (a JNTO office) located on the 9th floor of the station complex on the Isetan Department side. With a detailed transportation map in hand, you can go almost anywhere you like. Considering the time to be spent in here, you may like to hop on the subways to the nearest place you'd like to hit and then cab it. Maybe you can save half as many bucks as you'd pay to the tour operator.

Enjoy your trip.