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Tokyo (HND & NRT) Stopover Tips

Quickstatus

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Also note that Tokyo Metro Rail is not run by Japan Rail. They are 2 different companies with 2 different ticketing. Suica helps in this case.
 
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All advice is helpful. This is our third trip in 3 years to Japan, just haven’t flown into Haneda. We travel light for 2 weeks so can manage a small case each into town, especially so early in the morning. But everything is worth considering thanks.
 

Quickstatus

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Easiest is the monorail.

Haneda monorail to Hamamatsucho, change, JR train into Tokyo.

No issues or surprises with airport itself except that it’s a lot quicker to get into than NRT. Typically the monorail/train will take all of 30min.

With QF25 arriving at 5am. Don’t be surprised you will be in Tokyo station by about 0630-0700 depending on how quick you can get your luggage and train tickets
 
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Easiest is the monorail.

Haneda monorail to Hamamatsucho, change, JR train into Tokyo.

No issues or surprises with airport itself except that it’s a lot quicker to get into than NRT. Typically the monorail/train will take all of 30min.

With QF25 arriving at 5am. Don’t be surprised you will be in Tokyo station by about 0630-0700 depending on how quick you can get your luggage and train tickets
That’s really helpful advice thanks. Time then to drop bags, look for breakfast and walk off the effects of flying....until they let us in to the hotel. We are pretty good at finding places for people watching! Maybe not a bar..... but a coffee shop. July was extremely hot and humid so I’m anticipating similar weather late August.
 

offshore171

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Tell me about the suica card please?
It’s a smart card that works for all public transport in Tokyo and most other large cities.

Buy it from the JR ticket machines at Haneda (near the monorail entrance).

Stick Y2000 (roughly 20 bucks) in the machine and you’ll get a card with 1500 starter credit. Plenty of YouTube videos showing how and the machines have an English option.

Incidentally the fare Haneda to Tokyo station is ¥637 via monorail and JR.

You can top up whenever you need at JR machines, or convenience stores.

It’s also usable at snack vending machines and for purchases at convenience stores. I always use it for small purchases instead of cash, with a benefit being you don’t end up with tons of small change.

SUICA card is valid for 10 years since last use, so hang onto it.
 
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It’s a smart card that works for all public transport in Tokyo and most other large cities.

Buy it from the JR ticket machines at Haneda (near the monorail entrance).

Stick Y2000 (roughly 20 bucks) in the machine and you’ll get a card with 1500 starter credit. Plenty of YouTube videos showing how and the machines have an English option.

Incidentally the fare Haneda to Tokyo station is ¥637 via monorail and JR.

You can top up whenever you need at JR machines, or convenience stores.

It’s also usable at snack vending machines and for purchases at convenience stores. I always use it for small purchases instead of cash, with a benefit being you don’t end up with tons of small change.

SUICA card is valid for 10 years since last use, so hang onto it.
Brilliant thanks. Like an Oyster card. Will certainly buy one right away on arrival.

What a wealth of helpful advice from all. Thank you. Love Japan!
 

Max Samuels

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Brilliant thanks. Like an Oyster card. Will certainly buy one right away on arrival.

What a wealth of helpful advice from all. Thank you. Love Japan!
You can also use cash.... unlike our terrible stations in Melbourne that might have 1 vending machine per 1000 people, the Japanese have 100s...... and they accept large bills too (10,000 yen). While it is true that in Melbourne, for example, you cannot travel without a prepaid card (Myki), Tokyo is different - it is certainly no disadvantage not to have one. I just spent a week there and rode the train every day and didn't bother to get one....
 

Himeno

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There are two smart card (IC payment card) in the Tokyo area. One, the Suica, is issued by JR East and a handful of other affiliated companies (like Tokyo Monorail), the other, Pasmo, is issued by the other Tokyo area rail/subway networks. Both cards are interchangeable. You can use them for purchases at many convenience stores, most vending machines, and most baggage lockers at train stations.

You can also add commuter passes to Suica cards. Don't do this. Last trip, my friend somehow added a pass and ended up with a months worth of travel on any JR line to any JR station between Shinjuku and Akiba. She was there for 4 days and paid for a 30 day pass.

Public transport in Japan is distance based fares. The ticket gates at a station will let you through if there is enough on the card to go one station. If you don't have enough for the station you get off at, the exit gates won't let you through and you will either need to top up the card at the nearby fare top up machine, or pay the difference at the manned booth near the gate line.

While you can use cash for transport fares, and get a new magnetic ticket each time you travel, it is better off getting a Suica/Pasmo/other IC and save cash for stores that don't take card.

At Haneda, if you head forward from the arrivals gate (after leaving the customs area), there are the train lines (Monorail and Keikyu) the right side and the bus ticket counters to the left. A number of the Keikyu line trains also run through the Toei Asakusa Subway Line after stopping at Shinagawa.

There are a number of bus services from Haneda that go all over Tokyo, some direct to large hotels.

The hotel is very unlikely to let you in to a room before the published check in time, even if the room is available. The hotel will store your bags for you prior to check in, or if not, there are lockers at almost every train station. On busy days, such as weekends and public holidays when the station lockers are likely to fill quickly, the large major JR stations will also open manned baggage storage.
 
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With the normal tickets - those little rectangular cardboard tickets, I find it fascinating when you have to put in several at the same - this arises when in the Shinkansen where you may get several tickets for the journey and it is intelligent enough to eat up the expired one and give you back the valid ones
 

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The hotel is very unlikely to let you in to a room before the published check in time, even if the room is available. The hotel will store your bags for you prior to check in, or if not, there are lockers at almost every train station. On busy days, such as weekends and public holidays when the station lockers are likely to fill quickly, the large major JR stations will also open manned baggage storage.
I find it easier to just let the luggage delivery services (Ta-Q-bin) such a Yamato (black cat icon) handle it - they are very efficient. That way just head into wherever you want to go and only go to hotel when it’s time to checkin

They are also very good in emergency delivery. MissQS left her passport at the hotel. We had checked out and about to board the Shinkansen. So we just rang the hotel and they actually had the passport. They organised Yamato to deliver it to our next hotel on the other side of Honshu island. Cost ¥1000 - about AUD$14
 
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There are two smart card (IC payment card) in the Tokyo area. One, the Suica, is issued by JR East and a handful of other affiliated companies (like Tokyo Monorail), the other, Pasmo, is issued by the other Tokyo area rail/subway networks. Both cards are interchangeable. You can use them for purchases at many convenience stores, most vending machines, and most baggage lockers at train stations.

You can also add commuter passes to Suica cards. Don't do this. Last trip, my friend somehow added a pass and ended up with a months worth of travel on any JR line to any JR station between Shinjuku and Akiba. She was there for 4 days and paid for a 30 day pass.

Public transport in Japan is distance based fares. The ticket gates at a station will let you through if there is enough on the card to go one station. If you don't have enough for the station you get off at, the exit gates won't let you through and you will either need to top up the card at the nearby fare top up machine, or pay the difference at the manned booth near the gate line.

While you can use cash for transport fares, and get a new magnetic ticket each time you travel, it is better off getting a Suica/Pasmo/other IC and save cash for stores that don't take card.

At Haneda, if you head forward from the arrivals gate (after leaving the customs area), there are the train lines (Monorail and Keikyu) the right side and the bus ticket counters to the left. A number of the Keikyu line trains also run through the Toei Asakusa Subway Line after stopping at Shinagawa.

There are a number of bus services from Haneda that go all over Tokyo, some direct to large hotels.

The hotel is very unlikely to let you in to a room before the published check in time, even if the room is available. The hotel will store your bags for you prior to check in, or if not, there are lockers at almost every train station. On busy days, such as weekends and public holidays when the station lockers are likely to fill quickly, the large major JR stations will also open manned baggage storage.
Many thanks for such a detailed reply. I read that the buses don’t start early enough for our arrival, hence the questions about monorail and train. Sounds easy enough and we won’t be the only ones heading into Tokyo!

No, we don’t expect the room early. People watching and walking will fill the time well enough. We are well used to long haul flights. Thanks!
 

Himeno

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With the normal tickets - those little rectangular cardboard tickets, I find it fascinating when you have to put in several at the same - this arises when in the Shinkansen where you may get several tickets for the journey and it is intelligent enough to eat up the expired one and give you back the valid ones
Shinkansen, and other long distance or premium trains, have 2 fares. A distance based trip fare (like any other train) and a reserved seat fare. You can get a fare that covers Ikebukuro-Numazu with the Shinkansen between Shinagawa and Mishima. The seat fare is only applicable to the Shinkansen leg, while the fare ticket covers 3 trains.

Many thanks for such a detailed reply. I read that the buses don’t start early enough for our arrival, hence the questions about monorail and train. Sounds easy enough and we won’t be the only ones heading into Tokyo!
The buses to Haneda International are the only transport available over night when the trains shut down, though the overnight buses have much lower service then during the day. The operating times vary by route.
The main Tokyo area airport bus company is Airport Limousine Bus-Airport Transport Service Co., Ltd
 

Quickstatus

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Which is why you must put in the entire bundle of tickets in one go into the ticket machine with no particular order. Putting it in one at a time does not work because all the tickets are necessary to validate the entry.
 
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I find it easier to just let the luggage delivery services (Ta-Q-bin) such a Yamato (black cat icon) handle it - they are very efficient. That way just head into wherever you want to go and only go to hotel when it’s time to checkin

They are also very good in emergency delivery. MissQS left her passport at the hotel. We had checked out and about to board the Shinkansen. So we just rang the hotel and they actually had to passport. They organised Yamato to deliver it to our next hotel on the other side of Honshu island. Cost ¥1000 - about AUD$14
Ok, good point re luggage. Hadn’t thought of it that way.

Wish we had something like that in France last month....partner left his man bag at a cafe on a roadside stop on a long day of driving......luckily the owner answered his phone and kept it safe.... 300km round trip to retrieve it.....bonus was, we got to see the amazing dunes we had completely missed! Always a silver lining.....
 

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The only tricky bit is Tokyo station as it is massive. Sometimes depending on your accomodation it is better to get on/off say at a nearby station.

Yamato black cat is an excellent luggage delivery service. Fees are very agreeable:
178058
 

Himeno

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I find it easier to just let the luggage delivery services (Ta-Q-bin) such a Yamato (black cat icon) handle it - they are very efficient. That way just head into wherever you want to go and only go to hotel when it’s time to checkin

They are also very good in emergency delivery. MissQS left her passport at the hotel. We had checked out and about to board the Shinkansen. So we just rang the hotel and they actually had the passport. They organised Yamato to deliver it to our next hotel on the other side of Honshu island. Cost ¥1000 - about AUD$14
Yep, I've used the baggage forwarding twice now.
In Feb, I didn't need one of my checked items for the first part of the trip (2 nights near Nagoya, then 2 nights in Numazu), so I had it stored and shipped to where I was staying in Tokyo. They stored it for 4 days, then shipped it to the hotel in Tokyo. It arrived at the hotel a few hours before I did.
In June, I made a day trip down to Numazu and didn't need my bag. Because of the combination of trains I'd need to use, it was too hard to work out storage (I otherwise would have put it in a station locker and collected when I returned to Tokyo that evening). Dropped the bag off at the baggage forwarding desk at HND at 6am, walked into the hotel in Ikebukuro at 8:50pm that evening and my bag was there waiting.
 

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Maybe amalgamate this thread with existing?????
 
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The only tricky bit is Tokyo station as it is massive. Sometimes depending on your accomodation it is better to get on/off say at a nearby station.

Yamato black cat is an excellent luggage delivery service. Fees are very agreeable:
View attachment 178058
Thanks .... and if we aren’t going straight to hotel with our bags, then yes, definitely we can avoid Tokyo station. We can head straight to a good breakfast cafe.... Bill Grangers in Ginza was good last trip.... open to suggestions!
 

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