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  1. We know that we are ambitious JR training from Kyoto to Sapporo. Is that even possible? We depart 1/5/17 from Kyoto. Is this peak travel and therefore unlikely to get confirmed booking. How long does it take to travel and the best possible outcome by JR pass. Thank you Takeshi for your assistance.

      1. Thank you Takeshi San, your information is very helpful.

        Do you think we need to book Sapporo tickets in advance (as soon as we touchdown in Japan) as it is the peak season? Or will we be able to find seats on the day? We arr 22/4/17

        Thanks
        -June

  2. Hi, Takeshi san
    I’m Christin from Indonesia. I will be going for 14 days from 8 May to 22 May 2017 with the following itinerary:
    Day 1 : Osaka – Wakayama – Kii Katsura
    Day 2 : Nachi Falls – Shirahama
    Day 3 : Kumano River – Wakayama – Osaka
    Day 4 : USJ – Shin Sekai
    Day 5 : Kuromon Ichiba market – Nipponbashi – Shinsaibashi Suji – Dotonbori
    Day 6 : Osaka – Kyoto – Nishiki Market – Golden Pavilion – Fushimi Inari – Arashimaya – kimono forest
    Day 7 : Kiyomizudera – Higashimaya – Gion
    Day 8 : Kyoto – Shirakawa Go – Takayama
    Day 9 : Takayama – Alpine Route – Matsumoto
    Day 10 : Kamikochi – Matsumoto Castle – Kawaguchiko
    Day 11 : Chureito Pagoda – Fuji Shibazakura festival – gotemba outlet – Tokyo
    Day 12 : Disney Sea
    Day 13 : Asakusa – Ameyako Market – Imperial Palace – Akihabara – Tokyo tower – Ginza
    Day 14 : Harajuku – Shinjuku – Shibuya
    Day 15 : Tokyo – Jakarta
    Im still not sure which rail pass to purchase i.e JR Pass or Hokuriku Arch pass or Takayama Hokuriku area tourist pass, JR East pass, JR West pass or or just go for per trip round trip fare.
    Please do advise if my itinerary is too rush etc.
    Regards,

    Christine

    1. Hi Christine san,

      Your choices are the following:

      Kansai wide area pass for day 1 to 5
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/the-newest-jr-west-rail-pass-for-kansai-and-okayama-kurashiki-kinosakai-and-shingu-area-kansai-wide-area-pass.html

      Takayama Hokuriku area pass for day 6 to 9
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/takayama-hokuriku-area-pass-perfect-deal-to-get-takayama-kanazawa-toyama-shirakawago-from-nagoya-or-osaka.html

      Tateyama Kurobe option ticket for day 9 from Toyama to Shinano-Omachi
      http://www.jrtateyama.com/e/

      After Shinano-Omachi, single ticket is your choice. There is no deals to cover this part of your trip.

      In my thought, day 8, 9, 10 and 11 are very busy.

      On day 8, you have to see both Shirakawago and Takayama. Because you have to leave early morning on day 9. In the current timetable, you have to take local train from Takayama to Toyama.

      Takayama 7:40 – 9:04 Inotani 9:09 – 10:05 Toyama

      If you want to arrive in Toyama, you have to leave from Takayama at 5:31 am. It’s too early but there is no other choices between 5:31 and 7:40.

      On day 9, if you arrive in Toyama at 10:05, you still can make alpine route. But it may not be plenty of the time to see there.

      On day 10, it takes about 2 hours from Matsumoto to Kamikochi by bus and train. 2017 timetable is not available yet. But you can see 2016 timetable.
      http://www.kamikochi.or.jp/access/bus-timetable_1/

      If you walk in Kamikochi, it’s very easy to spend a few hours. It takes 3 hours from Matsumoto to Kawaguchiko by the fastest train connections. You may spend 3.5 hours.

      On day 11, it depends on how long you want to stay in each places. If you want a big shopping time in Gotemba, you need to be rushed. But this day is easier than other three days.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPrail.com

  3. Dear Takeshi-san,

    I am planning to visit Kyoto, Osaka, Lake Biwa and Kaga Onsen.
    My itinerary is:
    Day 1 – Kansai Airport to Kyoto. Kyoto to Lake Biwa (ogotoonsen) overnight in lake biwa.
    Day 2 – Lake Biwa to Kyoto. Overnight in Kyoto.
    Day 3 – Kyoto
    Day 4 – Kyoto to Kaga Onsen.
    Day 5 – Kaga onsen to Shin- Osaka.

    do you suggest I buy the Takayama Hokuriku pass or which other pass would be better?

    Thank you.

    Ann

  4. Hi Takeshi
    We will be travelling to Japan on 3 – 12 May 2017 and would appreciate your advice on the best routes and deals to get around:-
    Day 1: Kansai Intl Airport to Kyoto.
    Day 2 – 4: Kyoto
    Day 5: Kyoto to Nara and back to Kyoto
    Day 6: Kyoto to Osaka to Mt Koya (overnight at Mt Koya)
    Day 7: Mt Koya to Osaka and Arima Onsen (overnight at Arima)
    Day 8: Arima Onsen to Himeji to Osaka
    Day 9: Osaka
    Day10: Osaka to Kansai Intl Airport.
    Thank you.

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    I will be visiting Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Hakone, and Tokyo. Total 9days.

    Day 1-3 @ Osaka, Nara, Kyoto. Stay at Osaka.
    Day 4 @ Hokane (stay 1 night)
    Day 5-9 @ Tokyo (including Disneyland, Odaiba), staying at Minato area.

    Plan to use Kansai thru Pass(day 1-3), Hakone Freepass(day4), Suica (day 5-9).
    From Osaka to Hakone and Hakone to Tokyo will buy 1-way JR ticket.

    Let me know if you have better suggestion. Thanks.

  6. I tried sending yesterday- not sure if it went through – apologies if you have already received enquiry.
    We will be in Japan for 19 days in March. We arrive at Narita airport and spend 8 days in Tokyo – near Hatchobori station. We will be travelling to Makuhari Messe for 3 of those days. We will then travel to Myoko near Nagano and stay here for 5 days. We then hope to go to Kyoto via Tokyo. In Kyoto we will be near Karasuma Oike or Shiyakushushomae bus station. We will stay here for 6 days, travelling to Hiroshima, Nara and the bamboo forests. We will then travel to Kansai Airport in Osaka.
    Our current thought is to purchase a 7 day JR national pass which we activate when leaving Myoko and use for our last week in Japan. Then just pay as we go for the rest of the trip, eg to/from airport, to Myoko, around Tokyo…
    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Suzy

    1. Hi Suzy,

      You can use JR pass 7 days but you should start using it when you leave for Myoko from Tokyo. In my understanding, you will go to Kyoto via Tokyo from Myoko in one day. JR Pass is still valid when you get Kyoto and I think you will have one or two days left in your JR pass. Then you have a trip to Hiroshima on next day from Kyoto.

      In your trip, Tokyo-Myoko, Myoko-Tokyo-Kyoto, Kyoto-Hiroshima return are big trips. As long as JR pass covers these trips, you will get the biggest saving.

      You can use Tokyo subway ticket or Narita access + subway ticket combo deal.
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/airport_bus/index.html#anc02
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/travel/index.html

      You can pay single fare to Nara and use deals in Kyoto.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      You can use Haruka discount ticket to get KIX from Kyoto.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/icoca-and-haruka-ticket-very-flexible-and-good-deal-for-tourist-who-stay-in-kansai.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi Takeshi,
    I will be visiting osaka, kyoto, nara, kanazawa and shirakawago from 26th Jun to 1st July for six days. Will be staying at USJ for the entire trip. Is it possible to buy 1day kansai pass and 5days takayama_hokuriku pass for the stated purpose.

    Wayne

    1. Hi Wayne,

      You need several deals.

      You must have Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass to get Kanazawa and Shirakawago.

      You can get Kyoto by this pass but you can get Kyoto station only by this pass. But after arriving in Kyoto, this pass does not cover anything. You need to have Kyoto city deal. Please see the link below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      This pass does not cover Nara. But you can use Takayama Hokuriku area pass for the part of the trip to Nara. Just take the train to Nara and when you exit Nara staiton, show your pass and pay extra. Extra fare will be around 500 yen. Even if you pay extra, it’s still cheaper than Kansai area pass one day.

      If you leave Japan on 1st Jul, you need to add single fare or other deal to get airport.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hello Takeshi-san!

    I am planning a jam packed trip in may and wondering if a rail pass is worth getting

    Day 1- Arrive at Narita airport and train to Tokyo city
    Day 2- Disneysea
    Day 3- AM train to Hiroshima
    Day 4- AM train to Kyoto
    Day 4 PM or day 5PM train to Tokyo
    Day 6- Return to Narita

    Great website

    Thank you

  9. Hi takeshi, may i know does hokuriku arch pass cover these area (karuizawa, kyoto,osaka)? What is the difference between normal jr pass and hokuriku arch pass? Thanks for the help takeshi =)

    1. Hi Lee,

      Hokuriku Arch Pass covers Karuizawa, Kyoto and Osaka.
      JR pass covers all part of Japan, and also you can get Osaka and Kyoto from Tokyo directly by Shinkansen.
      Hokuriku Arch Pass covers only Tokyo to Osaka via Karuziawa, Nagano and Kanazawa. You have to go through Kanazawa when you move between Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Hi Takeshi-san,
    will be travelling to Japan on 3 -14 Apr. Would like to check if getting a JR 7-day pass is worthwhile based on my itinerary:
    3-5 Apr: Osaka (landing at Itami Airport, staying in Shin-Osaka)
    6 Apr: Naoshima Island (staying 1 night)
    7 – 8 Apr: Kyoto
    9 Apr: Hiroshima and Miyajima (staying 1 night)
    9 Apr: Kyoto
    10 – 13 Apr: Tokyo (likely exploring some areas, staying in a central area like Shinagawa or Shinjuku)
    14 Apr: Depart from Haneda airport in the morning

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Dawn san,

      You can use 7 days pass for 6th Apr to 12th Apr. You can add local deals in Osaka and Tokyo before/after JR pass.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-best-deal-and-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/travel/index.html

      Only single fare for bus and train are available for Itami to Osaka and Tokyo to Haneda.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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