From Tokyo to the Izu area, do you use “Odoriko” or “Shinkansen + Local” ?

2023-08-30

There are many fun sightseeing spots in Izu area, like Ito, Izu Kogen, Shimoda and so on. There are many reasonably priced hot spring inns, so it is good to stay overnight, and Ito and Izu Kogen are close enough to enjoy on a day trip from Tokyo. This time, when traveling by train from Tokyo to the Izu area, I would like to compare the representative means of transportation, the limited express “Odoriko" and the “Shinkansen + local train".

Compare time required

The limited express “Odoriko" and its deluxe version “Saphir Odoriko" take just over two hours from Tokyo Station to Izu Kogen Station (about 2 hours and 10 minutes). On the other hand, “Shinkansen + Local" takes about 45 minutes from Tokyo Station to Atami Station by Shinkansen “Kodama", and about 45 minutes more from Atami Station to Izu Kogen Station by local train.

Both “Kodama" and local trains operate about twice an hour, so there will be a lag due to connections at Atami Station. However, the required time is about 1 hour 40 minutes – 2 hours. In terms of required time, the “Shinkansen + local" seems to be the winner, but it seems that the “Odoriko" and “Saphir Odoriko" are not so slow.

Compare fares

Next, regarding the fare from Tokyo Station to Izu Kogen Station, “Odoriko" has a “new seated service" and all seats are reserved, and if you purchase a limited express ticket in advance (additional 260 yen if purchased on board). is 5,081 yen.

“Saphir Odoriko" does not have non-reserved seats, and the cheapest class seats are “Green Cars", so it is quite expensive at 8,131 yen. However, people who choose “Saphir Odoriko" are probably aiming to enjoy a luxurious train trip, so it may be more reasonable than the experience you can get there.

If you use the “Shinkansen + local train" and use the non-reserved seats on the “Kodama" and local trains, the fare is 4,740 yen, which is 341 yen cheaper than the “Odoriko". Regarding the fare, the result was that the “Shinkansen + local" was slightly cheaper than the “Odoriko".

If you hold a “JAPAN RAIL PASS," you don’t need to pay any additional fee to use “Odoriko" or “Shinkansen + local." And if your “JAPAN RAIL PASS" is for “Green Cars," you can also use Green Cars of “Saphir Odoriko" without paying adittional fee.

Compare with or without transfer

There is no need to transfer when you use “Odoriko" or “Saphir Odoriko". However, be careful when you use “Odoriko" from Tokyo Station without reserving a seat beforehand. This is because “Odoriko" has some cars bound for Shuzenji and the other cars bound for Izukyu Shimoda.

These cars are cut off at Atami and cars bound for Shuzenji do not go to Ito. If you are going to Ito or Izu Kogen on the Odoriko without reserving a seat in advance, be sure to check if the car you ride is bound for Izukyu Shimoda. If you ride a car bound for Shuzenji by mistake, you will need to change trains to Atami Station.

On the other hand, you should transfer trains at Atami Station when you use “Shinkansen + Local". Atami station is not so big station, but it takes time to transfer between Shinkansen and conventional JR line. If you have less than 5 minutes for conection time at Atami,  transfer trains here could be tough.

Also, if you are going from Tokyo Station to Atami Station by Shinkansen, you must check carefully whether the train you are going to get on stops at Atami Station. All “Kodama" trains stop at Atami Station, but “Hikari" trains rarely stop at Atami Station, and “Nozomi" trains do not stop at Atami Station at all.

Compare usability

What usability means here is mainly intended for use on the return trip from Izu area, and is from the perspective of whether you can get on a train without waiting long time when you transfer trains.

“Odoriko" goes to Tokyo mainly in the afternoon, and there are 4 services/day on weekdays, 6 services/day on weekends and holidays, and 2 services/day for “Saphir Odoriko."

On the other hand, in “Shinkansen + local", as mentioned above, both “Kodama" and local trains run about twice an hour. Compared to “Odoriko", the number of services is considerably higher, so it seems that “Shinkansen + Local" is easier to use.

Conclusion

As I have compared above, there is not much difference between “Odoriko" and “Shinkansen + Local" in terms of travel time and fares.

On the other hand, if you need to change trains at Atami Station for “Shinkansen + Local", there is a possibility that the arrival time will not go as planned due to time lost when changing trains. It seems better not to use it on the outbound route to avoid it.

Therefore, it seems to be recommended to use “Odoriko" on the outbound route.

Also, in terms of usability on the return trip, “Shinkansen + Local" is better, so we recommend the “Shinkansen + Local" for the return trip.

In other words, it is recommended to take “Odoriko" on the way out and “Shinkansen + local" on the way back. When you use “Odoriko" on the outbound, it is recommended to reserve a seat in advance to avoid the risk of getting on the cars bound for Shuzenji (in other words, there is not much merit in not having a seat reserved in advance). It is safe because you can prevent going in the other direction by mistake and secure your seat.

 
https://youtu.be/PJq9Z8HHmDY

Have a nice trip!