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18

Here you go: 全国鉄軌道路線図 ¥1,296 from Amazon.co.jp. Here's a blog review with some pictures of the map folded out. And yes, that's entirely in Japanese, I very much doubt such a thing exists in English. To get some idea of the effort that would entail, here's a closeup of another incomplete & partial map covering just the Tokyo metro area.


12

It is not rude as such, but unusual for strangers to talk on the shinkansen except to ask something specific like if it's okay to recline the seat (asked to the person sitting behind you.) Usually it's very quiet in there except for groups travelling together. I live and work in Tokyo and take the shinkansen to and from Osaka about once a month. I am a ...


10

Yes. japanrailpass.net: Most JR trains have Ordinary Cars (coach class) while many long-distance trains also offer Green Cars (superior class). With a Green-type JAPAN RAIL PASS you can use either class. Note that there's only a Green Japan Rail Pass, not a "first class" one. This means you can use Green Cars (roughly, business class), but you ...


10

It's difficult to speculate about seat availabilities, and not very useful since it usually does not change anything to whether or not you can get a seat. That said, I have found that a good method to estimate how busy travel will be on a particular day is to look at flight availabilities: if it's a very busy day, flights will be booked out long in advance ...


10

Short answer - the full JR pass for this trip, assuming a 14 day pass at 45100 yen, will cost pretty much the same as individual tickets and more specialised passes combined, excluding the pass' ease of use. I'd strongly recommend it, with maybe a couple of 1000 yen extra for subways and private railways you might come across. Long answer - Narita Airport ...


9

You've got three options: The JR West free wifi service at the stations seems like your best shot, as far as I can tell you can surf the Internet freely once you've got it set up. You can also sort out Internet access on the train itself, but it's a bit of a pain. First, you need to sign up for a Wi2 300 account, ¥380/month, which gets you access to the ...


9

I haven't found Japanese as chatty as Europeans or Americans, but there are some friendly people who would want to chat with a foreigner. You won't know until you try. Old ladies and people with families tend to be the most chattiest -- young women and businessmen tend to be the least. There's a stereotype (that I've found to be true) that folks from Osaka ...


8

To answer your Question(s) briefly... ...will they already be sold out? That is a hard question to answer definitively, however, almost certainly not for all services as 当日券 [same-day tickets] are sold. During peak periods, 立席特急券 [Reserved Standing Tickets] are available for Hokuriku/Tohoku/Akita Shinkansen services however the Tokaido Shinkansen (...


7

As macraf notes in his answer, all Shinkansen services north of Morioka (Hayabusa and Hayate) have only reserved seats. Between Morioka and Tokyo, you can take a slower Yamabiko train, which will have unreserved seating. If you want to exit the ticket gates at the intermediate station This is the JR definition of a "stopover" (途中下車). Basically, base fare ...


7

If you buy separate tickets for the journey: With reserved seats it's quite obvious: you have to buy two tickets for two legs of the journey. With Shinkansen express tickets it will be more expensive than buying a single ticket from Tokyo to Hakodate. Example with Tohoku Shinkansen: Tokyo - Shin Aomori: 17,150 yen Tokyo - Sendai - Shin Aomori: 11,000 + 11,...


6

You cannot do this online. You can do it for free at any JR station's "Green Window." You'll find that in high-tech Japan, with tap-IC cards at every train turnstile, the JR Pass is entirely analogue. It's a total anachronism - you have to use it at physically manned turnstiles, not with any of the automatic ones.


6

From Tokyo, you've got two choices: Direct highway bus from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko, about 1:45. JR Chuo line express train from Tokyo station or Shinjuku to Ōtsuki, transfer to Fuji Kyuko line to Kawaguchiko (Japan Rail Pass [JRP] not valid), total travel time around 2:30 including transfer times. To Osaka, life gets more complicated: There is one (1) ...


6

Railway tracé by number of tracks: http://www.itoworld.com/map/14?lon=140.62370&lat=38.79141&zoom=5 Railway tracé by clearance, gauge, number of rails: http://www.itoworld.com/map/15?lon=140.62370&lat=38.79141&zoom=5


5

I travelled from Tokyo to Kyoto during Golden Week last month (also incredibly busy). On the way back I booked 3 days in advance and was able to get reserved seats in one of the peak slots (the 6pm from Kyoto). There are trains every 10-20 minutes or maybe even more often. You will almost certainly be able to get a seat if you go to Tokyo station a few days ...


5

Like fkraiem said, an estimation of seat availability is rather difficult, if not downright impossible. But there are some tips, that might let you sleep easier: Shinkansen & Seats Chances might be seat reservations are sold out, however I find it very unlikely that all tickets for a specific date are gone. Since you don't have to actually reserve a ...


5

The Hamanasu runs every day. As indicated at the bottom of the page on Hyperdia, it is presently current only up to September 30. If you do a search on or before September 30, the Hamanasu appears. Also, in order to go to Aomori from Tokyo, you need the Hayabusa. EDIT: Hyperdia has been updated yesterday (September 29), and now the Hamanasu does appear with ...


5

According to the PDF: express trains Hakucho no. 71, Hakucho 77, Hakucho 78, and Hakucho 78 run only on specified days (weekends and long weekends), while other Hakucho trains, like no. 22 or 90, operating at different hours run daily) night sleeper Cassiopeia runs only on days specified on the last page night express Hamanasu (column "3") runs between ...


5

First off, don't worry. Japanese train stations have extensive signposting in English and trains run like clockwork. If it's not too late, I'd suggest changing your flights to Nagoya (Chubu/NGO) instead if at all possible. There's a direct bus from Chubu to Toyota (1:18, ¥1750), so this would shave a good three hours off your travel time and save your/...


5

Short answer: You can't. (Sensibly, anyway.) JR is not a single company, but whole bunch of them, and their integration is less than stellar. The Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Kyoto is operated by JR Central (Tokai). While they do offer an online booking service, it's -- rather incredibly -- a paid, members-only service that requires registration ...


5

I'll buy a Japan Rail Pass, but I didn't understand if I can use it on nearby subway stations such as Ningyocho, Kodenmacho and others. Is it possible? No. These are part of the Tokyo Metro, which is not operated by JR, and thus the JR pass is not valid there. The nearest JR station is Shin-Nihombashi on the Sōbu line, but it's a commuter line that goes ...


4

Depending on how much traveling you do, you may find subway day-passes useful. There are two subway companies (Tokyo Metro with 9 lines and Toei with 4 lines) so be aware that that you can buy a day-pass for just one company, but that might be quite a handicap if the stop you want to go to is on other company's line. I'd recommend checking out the day-pass ...


4

TL;DR: Apparently, with your current route, you cannot benefit much from the JR East pass. The official site has a pretty handy map which shows exactly what part is covered and what kind of trains you can choose from. Unlimited travel on local, limited express and express trains including Shinkansens on the following rail company lines: JR East ...


4

If you only need to inform the person of what Shinkansen you are on (the train's number), it will be written on the platform before you leave so you can send it then and not worry about it on the train. The person awaiting your arrival can look up the arrival time if they have the train number.


4

I found out that I can set the date when I exchange. More info here: http://www.japan-rail-pass.com/common-questions/can-i-choose-the-days-of-use


4

In principle, infants (children under 6) occupying a reserved seat need to pay the full child fare, period. (It is not unusual in Japan for children to travel alone, although under 6 is probably rare.) In practice, if there are available seats, it is likely that nobody will care, including the train conductor (from personal experience).


3

My recommendation is: Don't worry too much about it. The Tokaido Shinkansen has more than 200 trains running every day on each direction, with one train every 3 to 4 minutes in peak times. You are not going to get stranded and not be able to go to your destination. Even in the Bon festival season. In particular, all Tokaido Shinkansen services have non-...


3

I have sent an email to the tourist office, and they replied: The direct road is not accessible by car until April the 24th. A not-so-big detour via Ueda is the best (see screenshot below). By public transport, the best is to take the bus from Kusatsu to Karuizawa, then the normal train from Karuizawa to Nagano and Yudanaka. 草津から地獄谷野猿公苑に向かう、...


2

TL;DR: No, there isn't. JR is a group of independent companies that do a pretty good job of running trains together, but don't really collaborate on ticketing and reservations, so there is no centralized all-JR reservation system. The closest to this is JR East's Ekinet, which allows booking tickets more or less anywhere in the country, but it's Japanese-...


2

There is a bus that runs between the two from Shirone Kazan (白根火山) which is right next to Kusatsu to Yudanaka (湯田中) for 1500 yen and only takes 80 minutes (barring traffic jams). From Yudanaka you can walk to Jigokudani in about 30 minutes or so. However this website hasn't been updated since November and it sounds like the schedule may have changed then ...


2

Indeed the JR East Pass is now issued as an e-ticket, but the countrywide JR Pass is not. What you can do if you want to minimise the risk of losing your exchange order is to send it to the post office of the airport where you will land in Japan. Japanese post offices accept incoming mail and will keep it for you to pick up later (this is for example how b-...



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