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First time going to Japan


trainsforever8

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trainsforever8

Hey guys! 

 

So this summer I'm finally realizing my dream of going to Japan and for sure, appart from the culture and the scenery, I definitely wanna satisfy my railfan thirst over there!

 

We're planning on doing 1 week in Tokyo and 1 week in Kansai, but I don't think I'll get the opportunity to take the 500 series Shinkansen since we wont have time to go to Kyushu. Does anyone know in approximately how long does trains will be in service before they retire?

 

I also hope I get the chance to ride the E231 series while they are still on the Yamanote line for nostalgic reasons, are they expected to be fully replaced by the E235 series in June?

 

And also, does anyone have any recommendations for fares and stuff for someone that's spending 1 week in Tokyo and 1 week in Kansai? 

 

Thank you! 

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Are you going to get a JR Pass?

 

There is the Panda Kuroshio in Kansai (is that still running?).

 

Nankai Rapit in Osaka.

 

Lots of interesting things train-wise in greater Kansai area (hopefully people will chime in as I want to know as well as we'll be there in July/Aug)

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trainsforever8
1 hour ago, katoftw said:

Plenry of oppotunity to ride a 500 though. Day trip to Himeji to see the castle.

Does have a specific time table or is the line on which it runs completely run by 500s?

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JR west website would have a timetable.

 

Hyperdia.com would have options for Kodama services.

 

edit/

The JR west timetable finder lists the train type for each service. Just had a look.

Edited by katoftw
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trainsforever8
18 minutes ago, katoftw said:

JR west website would have a timetable.

 

Hyperdia.com would have options for Kodama services.

 

edit/

The JR west timetable finder lists the train type for each service. Just had a look.

I'll look into it!

 

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4 hours ago, trainsforever8 said:

I also hope I get the chance to ride the E231 series while they are still on the Yamanote line for nostalgic reasons, are they expected to be fully replaced by the E235 series in June?

 

Spring 2020 is the expected replacement date.

 

https://raillab.jp/news/article/10881

 

There are now more E235 sets then E231 ones in operation, so by June you may need to wait a little before an E231 comes along but they'll still be around.

 

It only seems like yesterday the 205 series was being replaced; if you want to find some ex-Yamanote line ones you might still be in luck on the Musashino line.

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trainsforever8
10 minutes ago, railsquid said:

 

Spring 2020 is the expected replacement date.

 

https://raillab.jp/news/article/10881

 

There are now more E235 sets then E231 ones in operation, so by June you may need to wait a little before an E231 comes along but they'll still be around.

 

It only seems like yesterday the 205 series was being replaced; if you want to find some ex-Yamanote line ones you might still be in luck on the Musashino line.

Perfect, at least there will be some around!

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trainsforever8

I'm also planning to spend a whole day in Tokyo just to ride as many trains as possible from as many local companies as I can (Odakyu, Tokyu, Seibu, Tobu, some JR lines, Tokyo metro, etc..), is that realistic if I'm just making very short trips?

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I'd say it could be fun, but try to add in some interesting stations/visits along the route.  It'll keep the whole day from just blurring together.  Also try to roughly plan ahead, and dont forget to fully charge your camera beforehand.  

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Do also consider the possibility of round trips, e.g. Tokyo - Nagano - Matsumoto - Tokyo (returning via the Chuo Line, or better the other way round now I think about it, not much to see from the Nagano Shinkansen so better to do that later in the day when it might be dark) is a nice one.

 

You cold also maximize line coverage by using another line to get to a Shinkansen station outside of Tokyo, e.g. take the Odakyu line to or from Odawara. That would also add a bit of variety, as once you've done them a couple of times the first 30 minutes or so of the Shinkansen ride to/from Tokyo gets quite tedious, particularly going north.

Edited by railsquid
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trainsforever8
1 minute ago, railsquid said:

 

You cold also maximize line coverage by using another line to get to a Shinkansen station outside of Tokyo, e.g. take the Odakyu line to or from Odawara.

That's a good idea! Like for example, take a Romance Car to Odawara and get back to Tokyo by Shinkansen?

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Yup, something like that.

BTW if you want to travel on limited express trains on private, note they almost always require reservation so it might be better to plan those in the morning as the Shinkansen will give you more flexibility when coming back.

 

The good thing about day trips from Tokyo is that mostly you'll be going against the commuter flow, so reservations/getting a set usually not so much a problem.

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trainsforever8
On 2/4/2019 at 12:00 AM, railsquid said:

Yup, something like that.

BTW if you want to travel on limited express trains on private, note they almost always require reservation so it might be better to plan those in the morning as the Shinkansen will give you more flexibility when coming back.

 

The good thing about day trips from Tokyo is that mostly you'll be going against the commuter flow, so reservations/getting a set usually not so much a problem.

Would you happen to know which speed on average the Shinkansen would reach between Tokyo and Odawara? 

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