How to get around in Japan
Japan Rail: Please don’t take this as 100% accurate as I got lost a few times, but that’s all part of the adventure! Google Maps will be your friend too!
Arrive Narita Airport Tokyo:
When you arrive at Narita Airport follow the signs to the Train Station (well sign posted). Look for JR Rail Pass ticket holders desk (or follow a westerner ha ha)
This is where you exchange your rail pass (it will be a green card they give you, don’t lose this as you will need it for the entire trip and will need to show it every time you are on a JR Rail Line)
WHILE YOU ARE AT THE JR DESK, it’s best to book your seat reservations for the rest of your trip, so you need them to book you on the following: (trains run often so you pick the times)
– Tokyo Station to Kyoto Station
– Kyoto Station to Hiroshima Station
– Hiroshima Station to Shin Osaka
– Shin Osaka to Kansai Airport (on your final day – this takes about an hour so make sure
you arrive at Osaka at least 2 hours before your flight)
Now board the Narita Express Train TO Shinjuku Station (this departs often – just ask at the JR desk what platform you need to go to. Arrive Shinjuku, it’s best to get a Taxi to the Hotel, it’s not too far but you would never find it on your first day (just show the taxi driver the address on your Hotel Voucher)
Getting around Tokyo (on local metro trains):
When you arrive at Shinjuku station before getting in a Taxi to your hotel, try to ask someone about a Tokyo Metro pass (I think that’s what it was called), these are day passes and gets you unlimited travel on all the metro trains, from memory there was a 3 or 4-day pass for about $15AUD? Once you have this pass it’s easy and NO getting tickets for each train (and you will get many trains in Tokyo, trust me)
From your Tokyo Hotel to Kyoto:
Your Bullet Train leaves from Tokyo Station, so you need to get from Higashi Station to Tokyo Station (give yourself heaps of time just in case but this should take about 30mins) Take the Fukutoshin Line from Higashi Shinjuku to Shinjuku-Sanchome, then change to the Marunouchi Line, which will take you straight to Tokyo.
Once at Tokyo station you now need to find the JR Shinkansen line and on your ticket, it should be the Hikari train Most staff at the JR desks speak pretty good English as they are dealing with Tourists all the time, so this being your first big train sector, ask them to show you what to do and where to go….security staff on the platforms are good too, just show them your ticket if you think you are at the wrong platform (you will be an expert at this in a few day’s time!)
From Kyoto Station to your Kyoto Hotel:
In Kyoto use the machines to get tickets for local trains, I couldn’t find a day pass here. Each ticket for where you want to go is cheap and this gets rid of all the coins you will collect along the way!
You NOW need to get on a local train from Kyoto Station to Goji (Karasuma line it is 1 stop from Kyoto Station so not far)
At Goji station take exit 1 and the hotel is a 1-minute walk from there Directions to Hotel: https://www.citadines.com/en/japan/kyoto/citadines-karasuma-gojokyoto/
From your Kyoto Hotel to Hiroshima Hotel:
You should have the hang of it now (ha ha ha!), so now go from your Hotel (Goji Station) to Kyoto Station Find the JR Shinkansen line and on your ticket it should be the Hikari train to Hiroshima On arrival at Hiroshima there is a great Information booth, go there and ask the staff about the awesome Bus & Tram System the city has. The Buses (that do loops to the main tourist
attractions) just show your JR pass so free travel and the Trams, again get rid of those coins ha ha! Both are excellent!
While you’re there ask these staff to point the hotel out to you, it’s just outside, really close!
A trip to Miramjima Island: (a must)
By train and ferry. To reach the ferry port from Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (show your JR pass, no ticket required)
Arrive Miyajimaguchi Station and walk to Ferry (everyone else will be doing the same thing so follow the crowd)
Return the same way, so ferry, then Miyajimaguchi Station to Hiroshima Station
From Hiroshima Hotel to Shin Osaka Station:
Find the JR Shinkansen line and on your ticket it should be the Hikari train to Shin Osaka
On arrival at Shin Osaka you need to then get a local train from Osaka to Shinsaibashi station
Directions to Hotel: http://grand-hotel.co.jp/shinsaibashi/access/
Getting around Osaka (on local metro trains):
Day passes can be purchased to get around (like you did in Tokyo)
From Osaka Hotel to Kansai Airport:
Leave hotel and go Shinsaibashi station to Shin Osaka Station
Osaka Station to Kansai Airport (this you show your JR Pass and your ticket as you would
have done your seat reservation for this train too)
You survived, have a great flight home!!!