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Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

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Melbourne, Australia
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Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

Hi we are family of 4 adults planning to go from our hotel in Shinjuku to Kyoto by shinkansen. Should we get the nozomi from Shinagawa and how best to get there from Shinjuku station?

We will have luggage and are wondering whether, if we time our bullet train for about 11:30 am, we can get to Shinagawa more easily after the rush hour.

Is the Green car worth the premium for first time ride on the bullet train? Plus will green car allow us to take luggage on more easily? Do we buy tickets for bullet train at Shinagawa station, and better to pre book?

Planning to travel 9th July.

Thanks!

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

Shinjuku to Shinagawa-Yamanote line. Leaving 1130 is fine.

Green car? Probably not worth it--rather than spend money on green car, suggest you spend money on luggage forwarding service..that way you have no big luggage to drag around.

I would just buy at Shinagawa.

Tokyo, Japan
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2. Re: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

Yamanote line (Shinjuku - Shinagawa) http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2370.html

Tokaido Shinkansen (Shinagawa - Kyoto) www.japan-guide.com/e/e2018_tokaido.html

You can buy ticket from Shinjuku to Kyoto at JR Shinjuku station ticket office since whole route is JR/

.
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3. Re: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

There's not that much difference between Green & Ordinary car. Green = Slightly better & roomier seats, a better footrest, less people, a quieter car, (remember no phone calls in the seating areas), the food trolley stops here first, free oshibori handwipe, whoohoo. If you have cash to splurge then go Green but if not, don't feel like you're missing out on too much.

Use a luggage forwarding service from your hotel if you can get organised in advance - the hotel desk should help you with this - it's the norm in Japan.

There's not much space for luggage in either Shinkansen car - if you are lucky, as soon as you board put the suitcases behind the last seats unless someone else has already got their bags there - if you are stong & can lift it over your head, you can put suitcases in the overhead luggage racks - google 'shinkansen interior' & look at the pictures of the inside. Contrary to what someone else said here on T/A a while ago, you can get big suitcases up there - just not supersized ones (sizes that would equate to excess luggage & few people would be moving around with those.) Just be fast & don't annoy other passengers when retrieving your luggage - the train won't stop for long so get you bags when you hear the chimes & be waiting at the exit as the train pulls in.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

Thanks all for the advice. Will probably just opt to send luggage ahead unless we are really light. How long does the train stop at Shinagawa and do we actually have to rush to get on board? Also how long does it stop at Kyoto for us to get off? Are the boarding platforms clearly indicated or should we get there a lot earlier just to make sure we are at the correct platform to board the correct train (!!) ? Thanks again

New Zealand
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5. Re: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

The train does not stop for long at any of the stations, but that doesn't matter because the platforms are very clearly marked with destination signs in both English and Japanese. Once on the platform look for the car number you are in, and stand at that point on the platform. When the train stops the door will be right in front of you.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

Have been doing more research and it does look like it will be just as easy going from Shinjuku to Tokyo as it will be to go to Shinagawa, so may be Tokyo will be a better option as the train starts from there? My hotel apparently is just above Nishi-Shinjuku, but I understand I will need to take the metro to get to Shinagawa or Tokyo stations and not the train. Is there any significant difference between taking a train from Shinjuku vs a metro from Nishi-Shinjuku to get to either of the shinkansen stations?

Tokyo, Japan
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7. Re: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

You are 4 adults. So it's cheaper to ride a taxi from your hotel to JR Shinjuku station and buy JR ticket to Kyoto.

It's usually advised at this forum to transfer at Shinagawa station since it is smaller than Tokyo station. The only advantage to transfer at Tokyo is higher probability to find a vacant seat when you don't make seat reservation.

Groton...
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8. Re: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

We took the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto and back, and regular seats were fine and very comfortable and roomy. We each had one large piece of luggage and one carryon, and it really wasn't that bad to bring our luggage with us. Our hotel was near Tokyo Station, and even though we left around 9 am on a Monday, we didn't really have to deal with a lot of rush hour congestion because we got directly on the Shinkansen without having to take a subway first. I think we got to the ticket counter around 8 am and reserved seats on a train that left around 9 am which left us time to get bento boxes and get to our platform. It was helpful to write down the time of the train we wanted to board and destination for the ticket agent, but you could purchase tickets without having it written down. On our return trip I just quickly typed in my phone the time of the train and destination that we wanted and showed it to the ticket agent.

When traveling with luggage, it's helpful to get in line for your car maybe 15 minutes or more before your train departs so there is room for you to put your luggage behind the last row. As Elly M mentioned, the overhead racks can hold larger luggage but maybe not something really heavy.

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

Thanks a lot everyone for your replies, much appreciated.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

Regular seats are fine but I admit, we prefer the green seats. Very nice!

We also used the luggage forward service from Kyoto to Hiroshima and then Hiroshima to Tokyo - well worth it.