Though Shinkansen ticket charges are expensive compared to the normal type of JR tickets, it is worth enjoying the luxury and speed. If we travel alone and does not matter when to start and when to come back home, JR or other freelance transportation methods may be the preferred choices. Elder daughter was insisting on travel to some place by Shinkansen and we decided to go to Shizuoka. We had decided to cover maximum spots of attractions in Shizuoka in one day with children. The ticket was reserved on the Hikari Shinkansen at 8:03 in the morning.
There are three types of Shinkansens based on the speed and number of stations they stop. The fastest is the Nozomi. Nozomi stops at very few stations (big cities) and runs faster than other shinkansens. It was the fastest train until we hear more higher speeds from China. The second fastest in Japan, the Hikari stops at limited number of stations. Since Shinkansen get more travelers from Shinagawa and Shin-Yokohama stations, The Hikari Shinkansen stops at Shinagawa and Shin-Yokohama on its way to Shizuoka being the third stop. It covers almost 180 kilometers in 73 minutes.
The advantage of travelling in Shinkansen is its speed and thereby the time we could save. The third type of shinkansen is the slowest one, Kodama. The name of the Shinkansen resembles to the word Kodomo, which means child in Japanese language. Kodama stops at every station, but less number of stops compared to the normal JR trains.
The trains that runs from Tokyo to Osaka and Kyoto sides are JR Tokaido Shinkansen. Stations such as Odawara and Mishima comes in between the way to Shinzuoka. Kodama stops at Odawara and Mishima. To go to Hakone, we need to get down at Odawara and then change to JR lines. Mishima is the stop for Mount Fuji and Fuji safari.
The speed of Shinkansen is commendable. For a round-trip to Shizuoka from Tokyo, the total reserved ticket cost for two adults and one child above 6 years was 31,900 Yen. One side fare for an adult is 6380 Yen in a reserved car and it reduces to 5670 Yen if we choose a non-reserved car. Shinkansen offers free travel for children below 6 years. The staff at the reservation counter advised me that if we can keep the child above six years also within the two adult seats, they do not charge for the child. The ticket fare for the child above six years is half of the adult ticket. We opted for a half ticket for trouble free and convenient travel.
Hikari dropped us at Shizuoka station at 9:16AM and we had lot of time to plan the sights to be visited as we reached early. Though we had done a thorough homework on the places to be visited in Shizuoka, we decided to approach the tourist information center. The tourist information center near to the exit of Shinkansen ticket gate told us about the famous spots in Shizuoka and the means of transportation. After a full day outing at Shizuka we returned back to Tokyo by Hikari Shinkansen at 8:36PM.