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4,052 thoughts on “Forums”

  1. Hi Takeshi- San,
    We are planning to have total 12 days trip to Japan. Would you suggest if we should buy 7 days JR pass or 14 days JR pass or other passes? and suggest which JR train we should take? and also provide input if too rush to move from one city to another, so we can cut some of the cities we plan to visit.

    May 29 arrive at Haneda airport around 8am
    May 29 straight ahead to Nagano, day trip to Kamikochi/Kiso Valley and spend the night at Nagano
    May 30 leave early from Nagano for Alpine Route (forward luggage to Toyama). From Toyama to Kanazawa and spend the night in Kanazawa
    May 31 Kanazawa – Shirakawago area and heading to Takayama, spend the night at Takayama
    Jun 1 Sightseeing in Takayama and heading to Nagoya and spend the night in Nagoya
    Jun 2 From Nagoya to Kyoto – spend 3 nights in Kyoto
    Jun 3-4 Sightseeing in Kyoto area – Nijo, Kinkakuji, Fushimi Indari, Higashiyama District, Arashiyama, Katsura, Ninnaji temple
    Jun 5 – 6 Either stay in Kyoto for 2 more days and do day trip to Osaka or stay in Osaka for 2 nights and day trip from Osaka to Nara, Mt Koya, Himeji Castle, Kobe
    Jun 7 Hakone – Mt Fuji
    Jun 8 Yokohama
    Jun 9 Tokyo – Nikko, Hitachi, Roppongi
    Jun 10 Depart from Haneda airport at 10am

    Thank you in advance for your helps.


    1. Hi Fany san,

      14 days pass will be okay but it does not give you a big discount. In my rough calculation, total cost is not much different from 14 days pass price. But it gives you convenience.

      On arrival day, when you get Nagano, it will be around noon. It takes 2.5 hours from Haneda to Nagano. You will spend 1 to 2 hours for custom, immigration, exchange JR pass and book your train ticket. You cannot get Kamikochi. Kiso valley is more accessible but it’s still very tight. It takes 3 hours to get there from Nagano. You can try to squeeze Kiso valley when you are in Nagoya. Kiso valley is actually is closer to Nagoya than Nagano. You may find some idea in the link below:

      I recommend you to stay in Nagano or just trip to Matsumoto.

      In Osaka, if you go to Mt. Koya, you will spend at least one full day. Kobe and Himeji can be combined. You have to give up Nara, Osaka, Kobe/Himeji and/or Mt. Koya.

      You can get Nikko as day trip. You can get Hitachi seaside park as day trip. But you cannot visit both in one day. You will spend one full day to visit either Hitachi or Nikko. You have only evening to see Tokyo.

      If you want to have some times in Tokyo, please think about dropping by Tokyo before you go to Nagano on day 1.


      Takeshi /

      1. Thank you Takeshi-San for the quick reply and suggestion.

        For Day 1 -3, do you think it’s better from Tokyo – Toyama -Kanazawa -Shirakawago – Takayama, then back to Toyama – Alpine Route – Shinano Omachi and go to Nagoya? Or my previous plan is better?

        We will drop 1 day in Kyoto and add 1 more day in Osaka so we can go to Nara.


        1. Hi Fany san,

          I think your revised plan is better. If you want to visit Kamikochi or Kiso valley, you can stay in Matsumoto on day 3. And you can visit one of those places on day 4 before you go to Nagoya.


          Takeshi /

  2. Dear Takeshi

    I would like to seek your advise for my visit to Arashimaya and Kinkakuji.

    I will take bus from my apt where I am staying near Kiyomizu-gojo to Shijo Omiya to take Randen to Arashimaya.

    I will also take the Sagano Scenic Railway during my visit to Arashimaya. I understand that the fare for this portion will not be covered by any transport passes.

    From Arashimaya I plan to take the Randen Keifuku line to Kitanohakubaicho to visit Kinkakuji and return to my apt from there.

    What would be the most economical pass to use for this itinerary? Should I get the one day bus and rail pass or just the bus pass?

    Also for travel in Osaka and Kyoto, is the ICOCA prepaid card the best choice for days that the transport cards are used?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Nyet,

      I think Kansai one pass is the best choice for trip to Arashiyama and Kinkakuji. I don’t think you need even bus pass because you will take only 2 rides. 3 rides is required to get the worth of all day bus pass. Kansai one pass is same type of the card as ICOCA. But you can get the discount at many attractions:

      In Osaka, I cannot say which deal is the best choice. It depends on your trip plan. Please refer the link below to find more info:


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi

    I am now finalising my travel to Japan and I just want to clarify some points with you with my 7 day JR pass. On arrival at Narita airport I can catch the LTD Exp Narita to Tokyo and then transfer to JR Yamanote line to Shin-Okubo. Will my JR pass cover this itinerary? Also the following day, I will be doing a self tour to Mt Fuji area. From Shin-okubo I can take the JR Yamanote line to Shinagawa then to Odawara Station? Once in Odawara, I can use a Hakone freepass or Fuji Hakone pass? It will just be a day trip to Mt Fuji. Thank you. Regards Rolicia

  4. Hello Takeshi ,
    I am planning a trip up in dec 10-18
    Will arrive in osaka (night). planning to head to kyoto the next day. will stay 3 nights at kyoto. we want to stop by amanohashidate before tottori.
    1 night in tottori before going to osaka.
    looking at the possibility to stop by himeji / kobe before reaching osaka.

    thank you in advance for taking the time to help me!

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    I will visit Tokyo in late April and early May.

    I plan to visit Disneyland, Ashikaga Flower Park and Showa Kinen Park. I will be using Suica card and single pass tickets for our trip here. May we know if there is a pass that is suitable for the 3 places mentioned above?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Charlene,

      I recommend you to use Tokyo Wide Pass.

      This pass covers Shinkansen reserved seat fully. When you go to Ashikaga flower park, you can take Shinkansen to Oyama and then take local train to Tomiya where is the nearest station to the park. You also can use this pass to get Disneyland and Showa Kinen Park. But if you arrive in Narita, you should use this pass to take Narita Express from Narita airport to Tokyo, Shinagawa or Shinjuku. This express train is covered by this pass too. You can get more saving.


      Takeshi /

  6. Takeshi
    We would like to make a reservation on the Hanayome Noren Train between Kanazawa and Wakura-Onsen. We have JR passes but I can’t find a link or a contact number for a seat reservation. Thanks

      1. Thanks for your prompt reply. We will try to reserve a seat when we activate our JR Pass. Surprisingly the office is closed when we arrive…

  7. Hi Takeshi,
    I have been reading up your material for my itinerary planning but it is too confusing for me.

    Sincerely hope to tap on your reservoir knowledge with Japan travelling for opinion on the sequence of places we like to visit.

    We, 2 adults and 2 kids ages 3-6 years old, are touring Tokyo from 13 to 20 June.

    Here is the list of places we like to visit.
    Arriving Haneda Airport on 13 June morning, 9:50am
    A) Disneyland and disneysea (13-14 June)
    B) Tokyo downtown spots (2 days) – Asakusa, odaiba, skytree, Shinjuku
    C) Yokohama (1 day) – cup noodle museum
    D) Hakone (2 days) – open air museum, meal at Tamura Ginkatsutei, Hakone Ropeway, cruise,, ancient cedar avenue, Amasake Chaya.
    E) Gotemba (1 day) – shopping
    Departing Haneda airport 21 June morning 00:05am

    After Disney, we are not sure which is a better sequence of places to visit because we are not familiar with the numerous deals and routes coverage of transportation. I am totally lost when trying to map my list to the vast deals and routes of transportation available.
    Plus I like to plan the last stop that is the easiest access to Haneda Airport on the last day, 20 June if possible.
    We have one weekend, 17-18 June. We also want to avoid visiting the place from our list that is most affected by weekend crowd.

    We have confirmed our accommodation for Disney near Maihama station. Have idea for Hakone to stays near Gora station. We hope to have one accommodation near station that will better access to cover B, C and Haneda airport, even to Hakone if Hakone is not right after Disney. In your opinion, near which station should we be looking at?

    Hope to hear from you.
    Thank you and regards

    1. Hi Christina,

      I think you can visit Hakone/Gotemba after staying in Disney. Because Haneda is just a step away from downtown Tokyo. You should stay in Tokyo after Hakene and access to Haneda. Most convenient place is Shinagawa. You can take Keihin Kyuko railway (a.k.a. Keikyu) to get Haneda directly.

      You can get Yokohama and Shijuku directly by JR train from Shinagawa. Please see the links below:

      You can use Hakone Free Pass to get Hakone and Gotemba.

      I think you can use Suica to go around Tokyo. Subway pass and other deals are available. But you will take JR trains mostly and take other trains in some trips. Suica does not give you any discount. But you can take any trains by this card. I think this is most convenient way to make trips in downtown Tokyo.


      Takeshi /

      1. Thank you Takeshi for your prompt reply. Like your suggestions.

        May I know is it possible to visit Hakone last stop, after Tokyo/Yokohama and access Haneda airport from Hakone instead. We are thinking will be great to leave Japan after rejuvenated with onsen bath.

        Please correct if my understanding is incorrect the following.
        We are getting the 3 days Hakone freepass for use 18-20 June. Hence we can use this pass to cover from Gora to Shinjuku – On Hakone tozan railways and odakyu ltd exp.?How do I travel to Haneda airport after Shinjuku?

        Is it any saving using this pass compare to a cheaper and better route but not cover with this pass.

        Appreciate you could share.
        Thank you.

        1. Hi Christina,

          You can stay in Hakone before leaving Japan. But it takes around 3 hours to get Haneda from Gora. If you leave from Haneda in the morning. it may be impossible or very tight.

          Hakone Free Pass covers base fare only. If you take Odakyu railway’s limited express train to Shinjuku, you need to pay limited express surcharge on top of Hakone Free Pass.

          You need to take JR train to Shinagawa from Shinjku and then take Keihin Kyuko railway to get Haneda.


          Takeshi /

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Thank you for that note on early flight. Our flight is 21 June midnight 00.05 and we plan to leave Gora for Haneda at 4pm on 20 June.

            Is 4pm timing ok? What is the latest timing we need to set off from Gora for Haneda?

            Please correct my understanding on access as follow.

            Using Hakone freepass on odakyu ltd exp to Shinjuku from Gora. (Top up 890 yen). Then take JR yamanote line train to Shinagawa (200 yen) from Shinjuku and then take Keihin Kyuko railway to get Haneda domestic (410¥) and walk to Haneda terminal 1.
            Total cost: 1500¥. (890+200+410). Duration: 220mins

            Gotten above info using

            It generate another result from Shinjuku, take JR yamanote to Hamamasucho and then take Tokyo monorail to terminal 1 (490¥).
            We would take this instead to eliminate any walking right?

            I found odakyu Hakone highway bus link but not sure if it is valid and I cannot find information on the duration and where is the pickup location at yumoto. Hope you can share with me if have.

            What is your opinion for taking bus direct from Hakone to Haneda airport?

            Thank you.

          2. Hi Christina,

            You can leave Gora around 17:00. It will be okay to catch midnight flight.

            You can take either Monorail from Hamamatsucho or Keihin Kyuko from Shinagawa. Actually the station in Haneda international terminla of Keihin Kyuko and Monorail are same location.

            You can take Highway bus from Hakone Yumoto too. (16:30-18:37)
            But this bus is not covered by Hakone Free Pass. You need to pay full fare, 1950 yen.


            Takeshi /

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