Short day trips Tokyo

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by route101, 24 May 2019.

  1. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Going to Tokyo in a few weeks and wondering if theres anything interesting railway wise ? Any short bullet train trips from Tokyo or scenic lines?
     
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  3. superjohn

    superjohn Member

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    There is an excellent railway museum not far from Tokyo. I got there via a short Shinkansen trip from Tokyo to Omiya (cheaper local trains are also an option) and then a short Metro ride to the station adjacent to the museum.

    More info here:
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6527.html

    Within Tokyo, Shinjuku station at rush hour is quite an experience. The driverless metro around „Pallette Town“ and over the Rainbow Bridge is also worth checking out.

    Not railway related but I would also recommend a boat trip around the harbour area and the view from the central government building by both day and night.
     
  4. class387

    class387 Established Member

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    Short Shinkansen trips are difficult unfortunately. Going north to Omiya or east to Shin Yokohama are the cheapest and shortest, taking around 20 minutes. However the train won't go above 60mph between these stations and the fare is still quite expensive. Only past here will the Shinkansen reach full speed, but that becomes very expensive very quickly.

    The Yurikamome line (the equivalent of the DLR) is definitely worth doing for views of Tokyo Bay, both during the day and especially at night.

    A trip to Nikko is apparently good, though I haven't tried it myself.
     
  5. MisterT

    MisterT Member

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    You could do the Hakone day trip, by Shinkansen to Odawara, then by local train to Hakone-Yumoto, from there by the only mountain train to Goza (https://www.hakone-tozan.co.jp/en/), by Cable car to Souzan, then with the famous ropeway over the vulcano to the Lake Ashi, by "pirate ship" to Moto-Hakone and from there by bus back to Hakone-Yumoto and by train back to Tokyo.
    The Hakone Freepass is valid on all transportation in the region, so beside that pass you would only have to pay the train to Odawara.
    Please be aware that the ropeway across the vulcano is closed at the moment due to increased activity. There are ropeway replacement busses running, but it might be cleared within a few weeks.

    Another possibility is to combine the Shinkansen with a visit to the World Heritage site of Nikko: take the Shinkansen to Utsunomiya, and from there the local train to Nikko.

    I did both trips during my visits to Tokyo and I can recommend them.
     
    Last edited: 25 May 2019
  6. WideRanger

    WideRanger Member

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    What kind of thing are you interested in? There is absolutely everything you can imagine. Shinkansen is iconic, but in my view, nowhere near the most fun thing to do. So what are your interests?
     
  7. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Nikko was on my radar maybe for a day or one night .Thanks for the advice
     
  8. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Yurikamome will keep that in mind , thanks
     
  9. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Thanks for the advice.
     
  10. upnorth71

    upnorth71 Member

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    In the Tokyo area, I highly recommend taking the Keikyu Line from Shinagawa south to Horinouchi or thereabouts. Make sure to take the Kaisoku Tokkyu (Rapid limited express)- 120km/h running on standard gauge double track through densely populated neighborhoods, some sections running in parallel to competitor JR East, other places with sharp curves and superelevation. Very rapid crew changes, as well as coupling and decoupling of EMU's (if you're lucky to witness). Just a first class interurban operation. Apparently SBB studied this railway to get insights on scheduling run-through operations. Also, most trainsets (on any railway in Japan) have views out the front window, so make sure to get a place up front there for a nice pseudo cab ride.
     
  11. I13

    I13 Member

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    The Shonan Monorail is a great suspended monorail west of Tokyo - great views, very fast, and hugely fun to travel on (make sure you're at the front). If you're in the area, check out the Enoden (a tram line with some street running and great coastal views) and Enoshima and Kamakura. It is a bit out of the way though, but on the way to Hakone in case you do that.

    Within Tokyo, another vote for the Yurikamome - the front view is often busy but the view from the back is still great as a substitute. Also the rail museum in Omiya.

    The Tokyo Sakura Tram (aka Toden Arakawa Line) has colourful streetcars that run through the northern suburbs of Tokyo. If you get that, check out Asukayama Park, which has some preserved trains and you also get great views of lots of trains passing Oji Station (including the Shinkansen).

    More broadly, the greater Tokyo area is pretty unique in terms of just how many different railway companies exist - if you like trains for the sake of trains, there's a huge variety on offer. There's also lots of through running between companies and the subway lines, so a typical subway line will typically be served by lots of types of trains often from several different companies.

    Getting a smart card (Suica/Pasmo - either works) makes travelling around very easy, but note that integrated pricing doesn't really exist, so lots of transfers between companies can get expensive.
     
  12. class387

    class387 Established Member

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    I second this. If you are flying into Haneda, this is a far better way to get into town than the monorail. The train runs very fast through dense neighbourhoods with sharp curves - a great ride. The stock is great too, with a huge variety of units. If you are very lucky there are a few Siemens units with the same 'singing' motors as a Taurus.
     
  13. Giugiaro

    Giugiaro Member

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    Still haven't been to Japan, but one line I'd like to do would be the Sotobo Line between Chiba and Awa-Kamogawa. Mix of Metro Tokyo, deep forest and coastal railway.
     
  14. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I'd recommend a trip to Kamkura, a lovely seaside town an hour south of Tokyo, interesting history too, home to an awesome statue of Buddha and it was once the political capital of Japan
     
  15. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    FLying into Narita im afraid. Will look inti its.
     
  16. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Will look into thanks
     
  17. Shinkansenfan

    Shinkansenfan Member

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    Prior posters have recommended the seaside railway to Kamakura and Shonan Monorail; I second those suggestions!

    I also recommend the views from the Tokyo Monorail to Haneda Airport, especially the trains which runs express to the airport. It is rare to see a monorail that operates a local all stop service, a limited stop service and an express service all on a single "track" service in each direction. Take the monorail out to the airport and the Keikyu Railway back from Haneda Airport for a varied experience.

    Also consider riding the Super View Odoriko to Izukyu-Shimoda. That service uses Class 251 trains with the front and rear cars featuring theater, stadium style seating with forward (and rear) track views. See: https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/routemaps/superviewodoriko.html#category01 for more information. Scenic views of the coast along portions of this route.

    If interested in a sort of living museum type operation, consider the Choshi Railway east of Narita Airport. This is a short railway line that runs to the coast that uses a variety of old rolling stock. It is also (in my opinion) a railway line at risk of closure due to declining ridership, aging infrastructure and financial pressures. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chōshi_Electric_Railway_Line#/media/File:Choshi_Dentetsu_1002.jpg and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chōshi_Electric_Railway_Line
     
    Last edited: 28 May 2019
  18. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Thanks for your info . Kamakura looks an interestig trip .
     
  19. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Made it there by train and too the big Buddha
     
  20. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Yep , took that line from Haneda to shinawaga ,never noticed the sharp curves
     
  21. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Did do that monorail through the harbour , interesting but was the spiral over the rainbow bridge .

    Yes was confused by the different lines . Where is stayed it was a JR line and Toei subway line , regular cheapest day ticket was not valid on the toei as i found out. JR local trains were very similar to the Subway , maybe a bit wider .

    Coming from the Narita airport , i took the sky access line , was confused if it went to my stop on the asakusa line as there were no mention on the stop screens . Kinda imagined it as a local subway that extends as a fast service to the airport .
     
  22. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Took train to kamkura , was an EMU with a centre car with 2 decks , made a beeline for that and sat down . Apparently these have reserved seating for green card ticket holders . Got told to leave and into crowded standing only normla cariiages , quite fast running for these EMUs and 15 cars long.
     
  23. HankyuDentetsu

    HankyuDentetsu Member

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    Agreed with all the suggestions so far. The local Enoshima Railway in and around Kamakura is well worth travelling on, but it's gotten super touristy so pretty much no chance of a seat.

    The multi modal journey to Hakone - which includes an extremely steep gradient mountain train is also a great journey. Hakone is pretty touristy too.

    Nikko is nice and you can combine the Shinkansen into your journey - easy to do if you've got a Japan Rail Pass, costly if not.

    Another journey that's a bit longer but pretty cool is from Shinjuku to Kofu or Matsumoto, on the brand new, high tech E353 Super Azusa. It follows the quad-tracked and elevated Chuo Line through some really cool, densely packed standalone districts of Tokyo (Nakano, Kichijoji, Mitaka etc), before heading out into some really beautiful countryside as it makes its way into the Japanese Alps. I guess travelling on this wouldn't involve a day trip; you'd be heading out there for a night or two.

    For Tokyo urban rail experiences, the Yurikamome Line to Odaiba has to be done.

    The Keikyu Line from Haneda is fantastic - double elevated tracks and tight turns as class387 says. Great journey.

    I recommend spending time around Shinjuku station - the world's busiest by a comfortable margin. There's a brand new terrace to the south of the station (behind the new bus station (Shinjuku Busta)) which looks over the entirety of the southern approach to the station - at rush hour you can measure new train movements in seconds. Great view of the NTT Docomo Tower and the surrounding Southern Terrace area too. Really cool at night.

    A trip on the Ueno-Tokyo, Yamanote or Keihin Tohuku lines between Tokyo Station, through Kanda, to Ueno is also pretty cool as you've got some seriously dense elevated rail infrastructure, road rail, and shinkansen all on top of each other.

    There's a nifty wee cafe built on the platform of a disused station between Kanda and Ochanomizu on the Chuo line - it's cool for watching the Chuo Line services go by while enjoying a beer. Below it are shops built underneath the railway line and a good craft beer bar (Hitachino), and the area around there is punctuated by several lines converging around Akihabara, most of them elevated so quite dramatic.

    Worth noting that last 5 or so km of the Shinkansen journeys into Tokyo, either on the Tokaido (from Osaka) or Tohoku/Hokuriku/Niigata lines is really cool, hyper urban, and worth recording :)

    As other posters have mentioned, just get about the city as much as you can using rail, and try to get yourself into the main urban cores; Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo, and to a lesser extent Shimbashi, Ikebukuro, and Shinagawa.
     
  24. themiller

    themiller Member

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    Don’t miss the science museum in Ueno park. There’s also a natural history museum there with a life size model of a blue whale outside. Just go there on the Yamanote Line.
    upload_2019-6-22_20-11-16.jpeg
    upload_2019-6-22_20-12-53.jpeg
     
  25. themiller

    themiller Member

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    Just remembered that there's a quaint little railway called Keifuku Electric Railroad where the passengers get on at the rear and off at the front. This is so that the driver can collect fares as the trains are single manned.
    upload_2019-6-22_20-25-51.png
     
  26. HankyuDentetsu

    HankyuDentetsu Member

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    ^^ That's in Kyoto, themiller, not Tokyo.

    I know this because I used to live on the Keifuku Electric Railroad line :).

    That said, route101, if you need any suggestions for scenic lines in and around the Kyoto area, let me know!
     
  27. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Thanks , Kyoto on my next trip to Japan hopefully
     
  28. themiller

    themiller Member

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    Thanks for that reminder, HankyuDentetsu. It also says that on the info in the picture. It’s a quaint little operation - worth seeing if in Kyoto!
     
  29. HankyuDentetsu

    HankyuDentetsu Member

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    Just let me know!

    Yeah it's really quaint isn't it - a fantastic and very accessible example of a Japanese "ワンマン", or "wanman" ("one-man") service, where the driver also checks and sells tickets at each stop. There are literally hundreds of examples of this type of line in more rural areas of Japan, where they can be seen crossing between river gorges or travelling alongside beautiful rice paddies. I miss getting to ride on it!
     
  30. Three-Nine

    Three-Nine Member

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  31. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    I'm planning on a two week stay in Japan next year, with a 14 day JR pass. So far I'm planning on these places to visit:

    Tokyo (several times)
    Sapporo
    Kyoto
    Osaka
    Hiroshima
    Nagasaki

    Any other suggestions?
     

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