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Getting from Narita to Nagoya

Japan With Kids - Forums: Traveling to/from and in Japan: Getting from Narita to Nagoya
By linda Tompkins on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 - 11:09 am:

My young son and I are traveling from the states to Nagoya next week and have been hearing about how "no one" speaks English in Japan. Since I do not speak Japanese I was wondering how hard it is going to be to make the train connections from Narita to Nagoya without being able to read the signs?
I was thinking of hiring an English speaking person to meet us at the airport and help us navigate the trip to Nagoya. Is that possible?
thanks for the help!

By Scott Hancock on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 - 12:22 pm:

You don't need to hire someone to meet you. Narita is oriented to accommodating travelers and the train station is right in the airport.

One great thing about Japan is that, even if the person you are talking to doesn't speak your language, they are almost always trying to help you.

Main thing would be to not schedule things too tightly. I imagine you are taking NEX (Narita Express) to Tokyo Station and then Shinkansen to Nagoya.

I will say that the transit from where the NEX arrives to the Shinkansen is far and complicated. Allowing an hour would not be too much. (I would give myself 20 minutes and I know the way.)

Let me know if this is your plan and I'll write some kind of description.

By Joe Larsen on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 - 12:30 pm:

Scott has given you a good answer but,
though it's probably too late and maybe you
have a good reason for going from Narita to
Nagoya by train, I have to ask....

Since Nagoya has an international airport
(brand-spanking new, actually), why don't
you just fly into there? Or, at least, transfer
to a domestic flight from Narita.


By Cornelia on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 - 1:34 pm:

I agree with Joe Larsen, only because there is very little luggage facility on the shinkansen (high speed train). In fact, it is so bad, that I would consider sending the luggage via one of the luggage companies at Narita, if I were forced to transfer to Nagoya from Narita by train. Of course, I have no idea how much luggage you are coming with. ;-)

By Bethan Hutton on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 - 1:44 pm:

By the way, you needn't worry about the signs either - all signs at airports, stations, around big cities etc have English as well as Japanese, and most ticket machines have a button labelled "English" that you can press to get instructions in English.

If you get the Narita Express (change at Tokyo Station on to the shinkansen/bullet train for Nagoya) the only slight difficulty it occurs to me that you may have is reading what your reserved carriage and seat numbers are - this information is printed on the ticket, but only in Japanese. (All seats on the Narita Express are reserved.) If the ticket clerk speaks any English, you could ask them to explain it to you, or just show your ticket to a station employee (or any friendly-looking Japanese person) on the platform, and they will point you in the direction of the right part of the train. Pretty much the same applies to shinkansen tickets, except that some trains do have a few carriages where you don't need seat reservations. If you are travelling with a child and luggage, I would definitely recommend reservations, however, specially if the train is going to be at all crowded.

Children don't technically need tickets until they are six years old, but if they don't have a ticket they are not entitled to a seat if the train is crowded, so if it is a long journey and the child is a bit big to spend the whole time on your lap, it can be worth buying a ticket even for under sixes.

By Scott Hancock on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 - 2:35 pm:

Completely agree with Joe & Cornelia's points. (I can't believe I forgot to warn you about the luggage limitation! Also, lugging it through Tokyo Station would be a nightmare.

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