My wife, my daughter and I, are traveling to multiple cities throughout Japan for about 6-7 days. We’re hitting the ground running from the moment we touch down and we have a limited window of time to do everything. We’ll be using the Suica Cards to get around where we can, but I’m worried about the costs for bullet train tickets between cities. I’ve looked into prices and think I may be overpaying, but I’m not sure. Time is somewhat of a factor, but if I can save on costs, I’m willing to lose a little bit of time here or there.
Here is our itinerary:
Tokyo - 3 days
- Take Train to Kyoto (one-way)
Kyoto - 2.5 days
- Take train to Nara and return to Kyoto
- Take Train from Kyoto to Osaka
Osaka - 1.5 days
- Depart to Airport
Is buying a single ticket on the bullet train through Tokaido-Shinkansen our cheapest and fastest option to get to Kyoto from Tokyo, or is there a cheaper bundle pass that we can purchase that also includes rides to Osaka and Nara as well? (Price is coming up to $411.50 USD for 2 adults and 1 child for reserve seating). Are there any discounts we can get or are there any other options for bullet trains that we can take outside of “Shinkansen” to get to Kyoto from Tokyo that may be less expensive, but just as fast?
Does the Suica Card work when traveling in Kyoto (going to Nara), or should we purchase round trip tickets at the station? If the Suica Card does not work, what would be the a cost effective way to get around Kyoto?
Is there a fast, less expensive option to get to Osaka from Kyoto, while hauling luggage? (tickets on Shinkansen for 2 adults and one child are almost $100 USD for reserved seating). Are there other bullet trains that we can take outside of “Shinkansen,” that are a little cheaper, that can get us to our destination around the same amount of time?