With kids (and all the barang barang we usually have to carry about), we opted to drive instead of taking their trains. Driving within Tokyo is very expensive mainly because tolls and parking costs are astronomical. We've paid like $50 just to park 2 hours there.... and most of the lots in the city charge minimally like 300 yen for like 10 mins parking. Horror.
But it's a holiday, and we weighed the price for comfort + convenience and went for it. Outside of Tokyo ... it's not as bad for driving. Osaka was more reasonable. And driving from Tokyo to Mount Fuji was great! Scenic, comfortable... can make any pit stops you want... plus time it properly and there's no jam
For our move from Tokyo to Osaka, we took the bullet train. Japan’s Shinkansen is just as fascinating as the destination 🚄 By the way, from Tokyo to Osaka, opt to sit on the right side of the train. It gives you a view of Mount Fuji on your way there.
Before we left Tokyo, we went our large suitcases ahead of us to our Airbnb in Osaka using their yamato black cat courier service. This way, we wouldn't have to lug our large suitcases on the Shinkansen.
So, Adamson dropped us off at Tokyo Station. Then he had to go return the rental car. He even added in a good buffer... because Tokyo traffic. Alas, his Uber driver took a wrong turn on the way back to the station from the car rental place... and he missed our bullet train.. by 2 minutes... in Japan it doesn't matter, even late by one nano second also you will miss the train.
So we didn't get to experience our first bullet train ride together with daddy. Which sucked. But good thing was- he managed to get on the next train which was only like 9 minutes behind us.
Here's the thing... we pre booked and paid for our Shinkansen tickets (because kiasu) even though I knew there was a risk that if you get lost at the station or whatever reason and you miss your train.. too bad!!! But if you don't prebook, and just turn up at the station and buy your tickets on the spot, then you don't have the stress of "making it on time" for the train. And people did tell me that it's easy to get tickets because there's a train to osaka like every 10 mins or so. But we decided to book, because we wanted seats in the Green Car (this is the first class cabin, so more spacious).
In retrospect, next time I would not book it ahead of time. Just turn up and buy tickets for the next train. Even Green Car, no problem.
Anyway, for that ride, we went ahead. We didn't want to have to re-buy tickets for the WHOLE group. It's quite expensive like 200 plus per adult. (Kids were cheaper tickets because we booked directedly from the Shinkansen's Smart Ex app.. if we had booked via Klook, there's no kids prices for the Green Car so would have had to buy all adult tickets). Also, to note.. if your kids is under 6yrs old, no need tickets, its free if you ride in the other cabins! But we had to buy for MJ because Green Car not free for kids under 6.
Green Car is worth the splurge for a comfortable ride, more spacious, lots of legroom and bigger seats.