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  1. Hi Takeshi,
    My family and I will be visiting Japan for the first time. The following is the itinerary that is mostly based on yours. I would just like to confirm a few things please.
    I will be arriving first with my husband and toddler, and the rest of my family comes later.

    24th Sept – Arrive Narita at 5.30pm, is Narita express (stop at Shinjuku) the easiest and quickest way to Okubo Station?

    25th- Ginza and Shinjuku
    26th- Ghibli museum and Shinjuku

    Use 3 day metro pass (buy at airport first for 1500yen) for next 3 days
    27th- Asakusa and Tokyo skytree
    28th- Tokyo tower (Akabanebashi) and Gundam front Tokyo at Odaiba (can’t use the metro pass to Odaiba so just planned on using Suica card until return to Shiodome and continue the rest of the journey back to Okubo station using the metro pass
    29th- Akihabara
    30th – Family arrives from Haneda airport, so I will ask them to get the Keikyu railway ticket with 1 day metro pass (1200yen). They can then change trains to reach Shinjuku. We will all be staying near Nishi-Shinjuku station.
    1st Oct- Edo-tokyo museum (ryogoku station), then Shinjuku and/or Shibuya
    2nd- Day trip to Yokohama, is the Minatomirai ticket the best option? I am planning to drop off at Motomachi-Chukagai, Shin-Yokohama and Minatomirai Stations for sightseeing.
    3rd- Tsukiji market, Meiji shrine (Meiji-Jingu-Mae Station).
    4th-Depart for Hakone using Hakone freepass (2 days) and the Odakyu line
    5th-From Hakone-Yumoto take the Hakone Tozan railway for Odawara and then the Shinkansen to Kyoto station.

    I read that the travel cards are interchangeable, can I please confirm that the Suica card can be used in Kyoto, Nara and Osaka too?

    6th- Kyoto daily tour
    7th-Kyoto daily tour
    8th- Day trip to Nara
    9th- Train to Osaka then Namba. We will be staying near the Hanazonocho station.
    10th- Osaka castle then Dotonburi
    11th-Family departs Osaka using, can I please check which is easier and more convenient taking into consideration luggages and morning rush? According to hyperdia,to reach Kansai airport around 8.30am the rapi:t and Nankai airport express takes roughly the same time and are direct from Namba without changing trains.
    12th-Kaiyakan Aquarium
    13th- free and easy
    14th- We depart Osaka on the same flight time as my family.

    Based on our above itinerary, are there any particular passes that you would recommend for us?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Ashlyn,

      You have picked the right deals and your plan is very organized. What a superb job!
      I don’t have many things to add but I add a few deals and answer your inquiry.

      >is Narita express (stop at Shinjuku) the easiest and quickest way to Okubo Station?
      Yes. This is the easiest and the fastest.

      >is the Minatomirai ticket the best option? I am planning to drop off at Motomachi-Chukagai, Shin-Yokohama and Minatomirai Stations for sightseeing.
      Yes.

      >I read that the travel cards are interchangeable, can I please confirm that the Suica card can be used in Kyoto, Nara and Osaka too?
      Yes. You can use Suica in Kansai area too.

      >can I please check which is easier and more convenient taking into consideration luggages and morning rush?
      I think your accommodation in Osaka is near Nankai railway’s Haginochaya station too. If you can access to this station, you can catch Nankai Railway train there. But airport express does not stop at Haginochaya. You can take a local train to Tengachaya. Tengachaya is one station away from Oginochaya. You can catch express at Tengachaya.
      Of course you can catch subway to get Namba and then take Nankai railway express at Namba. But subway Yotsubashi line Namba station is not very closed to Nankai railway Namba station. It’s in walking distance. But you have to walk with luggage in morning crowd. If you change the train at Tengachaya, it’s same Nankai railway station. You just need to change the train. It’s way easier and faster route. Please check your accommodation to make sure that Haginochaya is in walking distance or not. As far as google map, it’s only 200m away between Haginochaya and Hanazonocho.
      https://goo.gl/maps/ZT5bdhV39AA2

      The following deals are recommended for your trip:

      1. Kyoto sightseeing card or all day bus pass for sightseeing in Kyoto
      http://www.insidekyoto.com/special-kyoto-bus-train-subway-passes
      Suica can be used but it does not give you any discount and unlimited travel. Try to reduce using Suica as much as you can.

      2. Kansai thru pass
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html
      I’m not sure this deal is suitable or not. If you have sightseeing in Kyoto or Osaka on day 9th, you can use 2 days pass for day 8th and 9th. It covers all non JR trains and subway in both Kyoto and Osaka. This is very convenient and you can visit most of places in Kyoto, Osaka and Nara.

      3. Osaka Kaiyu ticket
      http://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/subway/trip-to-osaka-kaiyukan-aquarium-by-osaka-kaiyu-ticket-2.html
      For visiting Kaiyukan, this is the best deal.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hello,
    I am thinking of buying the Hokuriku Area Pass, however, the pass does not allow the reservation of seats. May I know how I can reserve seats while holding on to the pass?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Genevieve N,

      You cannot reserve a seat by this pass. If you want to reserve your seat, don’t purchase this. Your choice is regular ticket.
      Most of train has reserved and non reserved seat. If you use this pass, you have to find a seat in non reserved car. But it’s first come first serve basis. If you travel in peak season, such as New Years holidays, you may have to stand up in the train.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. HI Takeshi-san,

    Appreciate your assistance. We are going from Haneda-Takayama-Shirakawago-Takayama-Haneda. Please advise the most appropriate JR pass and route.

    Thanks!
    Marla Go

  4. Hi! My wife and I bought nex tickets from Narita to Shinjuku. Unfortunately on entry to JR station at terminal 1 she tapped her suica but still used her nex ticket. Will she be charged with the suica if on exit at Shinjuku station she used the nex ticket?

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    I’m planning to do an itinerary up for my upcoming Japan trip in November and I hope I can get some ideas from you.

    My return flight tickets are to and from Osaka.

    Here’s something I have in mind:
    Osaka > Kyoto > Takayama > Tateyama Alpine Route > Osaka

    I read your article on day trip to the alpine route, wondering if it’s possible to do it if I’m from Takayama? I’m also worried about luggages because I don’t think it’s a wise choice to enjoy Alpine route with all the heavy items 🙂

    Thanks a lot in advance.

    Cheers,
    Eve

    1. Hi Eve,

      You can do it from Takayama. But express train does not run between Takayama and Toyama frequently. If you take a local train, it’s slower and you need to change the train some station between Takayama and Toyama. Please check the timetable before you go. You can find it at Hyperdia.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/hyperdia-perfect-guide-train-timetable-and-route-search-engine.html

      And also, Alpine route in November is completely winter condition. Especially after mid November, the weather is very severe. The route is sometimes closed due to winter condition. If you expect fall scenery on Alpine route, November is too late. Please keep it in mind.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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  • Please do not ask me to make your itinerary. Because I am not your personal travel agent. I am very happy to check your itinerary. But please try to make the plan by yourself. In this website, there are lots of resources to make your plan.
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