Kyoto to Tokyo airports at end of trip-- how are you getting there?


How are people getting from Kyoto (Osaka) to Tokyo airports at the end of the Essence of Japan trip? We have a 5:15 PM flight out of Narita. Just looking at options! Thank you.

Rachel (traveling with my Mom on the May 20 2024 tour)


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    We did this trip last year and spent a few extra days in Tokyo at the end of the tour. We took the Shinkansen (high speed) train from Kyoto to Tokyo. The trains leaves Kyoto every 15 minutes. From Tokyo station, I took the Narita Express (train) to NRT which took a bit under an hour.

    You can buy tickets at the stations. Be advised that when we did the trip, some of the ticket kiosks did not accept American credit cards, so we had to get cash from a nearby ATM.

    Or you can fly from Osaka to Tokyo which will probably take about the same amount of time with the usual airport secuirty, waiting, etc. Tauck will provide transport to the airport.

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    We had a tour that ended in Osaka and we flew front there to Tokyo.

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    Unless you just want the experience of riding the Shinkansen, I'd take a flight to Tokyo if you're leaving on the same day. You'll arrive at the airport that you're going to depart from. The train choice will be a bit more complex, involving a train change.

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    Rachel, are you saying you haven’t booked your flights yet! Wow. It’s a very busy tourist time in May in Japan.

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    I did this tour last year and flew from Osaka Kansai to Haneda Tokyo and from Haneda directly to SFO. Originally I booked the direct flight from Osaka Kansai to SFO but it was cancelled the last minute. This was the flight that United had incidents a few weeks ago. One way business fare was $7000. A few people from my group went Osaka Kansai to Haneda or Narita to Seattle via Delta.

    My flight left Haneda at midnight and Tauck put a lot of people on a domestic ANA flight from Kansai to Haneda with the domestic leg leaving Osaka around 2-3 in the afternoon.

    There is no way I would take the train! It is not easy to navigate Tokyo station.

    Remember once the domestic flight arrives at Haneda, you have to go on a shuttle bus to a different international terminal with the check in counter, ANA lounge and waiting area all in a big maze.

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    We just returned. Kyoto to Osaka by Four Seasons cab, Tauck paid. Flew Osaka to Narita, then non-stop to Boston. Not a long layover in Narita, 2 hours or so. Easy flights.

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    Thanks! What time was your Narita to BOS flight?

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    We did a taxi (Tauck paid) to Kyoto station, the Shinkansen to Tokyo (we got ticket in advance online with large size baggage space behind the seat in First Class), then taxi to Haneda for our return flight from Tokyo. The whole thing went very smoothly - those Japanese trains are efficient and on time and by the end of your tour with Tauck, you will be very accustomed to the drill.

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    Thank you! What is the website you used to buy the ticket?

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    No need to buy in advance. I bought tickets right at the station. The train runs roughly every 15 minutes from Kyoto to Tokyo.

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    edited April 14

    Tokaido Sanyo Kyushu Shinkansen Internet Reservation Service
    Its the actual rail line site - one of the others we checked charged a huge fee. It was funny, we tried to buy the ticket and it said you couldn't make reservations til after 5:30 am - so we had to wait til it was after 5:30 am in Japan to do it. LOL! Also, we were glad we bought them ahead, the train 10 min before ours had a long line and was full.

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    One more thing...
    We stayed in Tokyo for several days after the tour ended, before flying home, so we had our luggage shipped to our Tokyo hotel from the Kyoto Four Seasons. It was very easy and cheap (20 USD, I believe). They needed the bags by the prior afternoon. They have a very efficient system to do this, arranged through the concierge. If you are going straight to the airport, I don't know if they offer this service to ship there, but you might want to look into it. It made the train trip much easier by not having to deal with large suitcases.

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