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4,140 thoughts on “Forums”

  1. Hi
    I am in Kyoto and did not buy a Japan Rail pass in advance. I know that you can now buy them in Japan. Can you tell me where I can purchase a 21 day pass? I have US Passport and m a temporary visitor.

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    Could you advise me what kind of pass should i get for the below itinerary:-

    Day 1 – Itami Airport to Kyoto (by bus)
    Day 2 – Kyoto
    Day 3 – Kyoto to Nara
    Day 4 – Kyoto to Kinosakionsen
    Day 5 – Kinosaki to Osaka or Kinosaki to Kyoto then Osaka
    Day 6 – Osaka
    Day 7 – Osaka

    Thank you, appreciate your help!

  3. Dear Takeshi,

    My friend and I have our JP passes but are looking at heading up to Sapporo from Tokyo July 23rd til the 26th. We know that it would be very exhausting to spend a whole day getting up there and back if we could only take the fastest train during the day but is it possible to purchase an overnight pass to Sapporo and back to tokyo? If so what is the cheapest rate and how can we book it also having the JP pass?

    Please let us know soon, thanks!

    1. Hi Brian,

      Unfortunately there is no overnight trains between Hokkaido and Tokyo any more. You may stay overnight in ferry service which is not covered by JR pass. It’s start from 5000 yen for Tomakomai and Hachinohe.

      Sometimes low cost flight is available around 10,000 yen for Sapporo to Tokyo. It may be better choice.


      Takeshi /

  4. Hi there,

    I found your replies to questions posted on this site were quite helpful. However, I was confused by your sample itinerary from Tokyo to Kansai Airport, when you said that the ticket would expire when exit Osaka, and can stop over in Osaka.

    We are planning a similar trip as you suggested (13 days) – Tokyo (4 days: Disney, Sanrio Puroland, and Yokohama), Hakone (2 days), Kyoto ( 4 days, including 1 day trip to Nara), and Osaka (3 days, not sure if we will go to Kobe yet, leaving Kansai Airport). I think your suggestion of purchasing 1 way ticket is great, as I was thinking to purchase 2 JR passes (7-day and Kansai pass for 2 days). I would really appreciate your help in providing me with more detailed information regarding the transportation plan (including the city plan).

    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Delphine,

      First of all, JR pass 7 days does not work. Your trip is not enough to get the worth of 7 days pass.

      I recommend you to the following deals:

      Airport to Tokyo
      If arrive Haneda
      If arrive Narita

      Some deals include subway unlimited pass. It’s good for sightseeing in Tokyo but it does not cover Disney, Sanrio and Yokohama.

      You may have Suica instead regular fare.

      For Yokohama, see the link below:

      You can take Odakyu railway from Shinjuku to Hakone. Odakyu is more convenient to get Hakone. Use single fare for Shinjuku to Odawara and add Hakone Free Pass.

      And then use single fare ticket from Odawara to Kyoto. You don’t need to think about stopover because your ticket will be expired even if you purchase it to Osaka when you are in Kyoto.

      Please see the link below to find the deal in Osaka and Kyoto.

      You may use Kansai thru pass for trip to Nara, Kyoto to Osaka and may be trip to Kobe.

      If you don’t go to Kobe, you can use one of three days of Kansai thru pass for Osaka to KIX. Otherwise you may add other deal to KIX.


      Takeshi /

  5. Dear Takeshi San,

    I’ve been to Japan for the third time last year and I love Japan so much. This time, I’m trying to challenge myself further and plan my route from Osaka/Kyoto to Takayama-shirakawa and hopefully to the tateyama snow wall. (Is this route feasible and easy to navigate?) My question which JR pass should I use? for 7-8 days? The takayama-hokuriku pass sounds ideal but only covers 5 days and assuming I got all the way to tateyama, how do i get back to Kansai airport from there. Especially if it doesn’t cover the last two-three days of my trip back to kansai and the train back to the airport right? And this pass does not cover the tateyama route /journey right?

    Tentatively, I’m planning for spring to coincide with the sakura (final part of sakura season) and time it to reach tateyama when the snow wall route opens after April 15th (and to escape the golden week?). Places that I wish to revisit in surrounding kyoto would be the arashiyama bamboo forest and Nara.

    Any other better suggestions?

    Thank you in advance for your assistance 🙂

    1. Hi Elaine san,

      Before you choose the deal, you have to decide that you visit Alpine route and how you visit Alpine route. Are you going to see only snow wall at Murodo and going back to Toyama? Do you want to see whole part of alpine route? If you want to see whole part of alpine route, you will complete the trip of alpine route at Shinano-Omachi or Nagano. In this case, you need to think about the transportation to go back to Toyama. If you have round trip between Toyama and Murodo, you don’t need it. But you miss the rest part of alpine route, such as Kurobe dam.

      If your budget allows to complete alpine route, your choice is JR pass 7 days.

      If you want to save your cost and okay with skipping some part of alpine route, you can use Takayama Hokuriku area pass. But if you use this pass, you have to go through or stop by Kanazawa when you go to Takayama from Osaka. You cannot take Osaka-Nagoya-Takayama route which is faster than Kanazawa route. As long as you can complete the trip to Takayama in 5 days, it’s okay. You can use other local deals in Kyoto, Osaka and/or Nara.

      JR pass does not cover bus to Shirakawago. Both passes do not cover alpine route. Tateyama Kurobe option ticket is available if you go through the route. No deals available for round trip to Murodo.

      If you visit Alpine route on mid April, you should expect it will be SUPER SUPER busy.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi San,

        Thanks for the prompt reply! Yes, I am most probably doing the round trip to Murodo. And thus the Tateyama Kurobe option ticket will not be an option. Since the takayama hokuriku ticket is only valid for 5 days, perhaps I should buy an haruka-icoca (one way)…go visit around kyoto for 2 days, then start the takayama-hokuriku pass the day I get to kanazawa…visit shirakawa/takayama/ tateyama and back in osaka and kansai airport within the last 5 days? (the pass covers haruka to kansai airport right?).

        One more question though, you mentioned that Alpine route will be super busy in April. Then will I be able to get to cover the route in November because it is near winter. I think i’ve read somewhere that the route from Toyama could be close due to bad weather. Also, would shirakawa be as beautiful around April or in November?

        (P/S : I can’t travel between May – September)

        Thank you so much !


        1. Hi Elaine san,

          Your plan is okay. You can use Takayama Hokuriku area pass to get KIX by Haruka.

          In my opinion, November is not a right season to visit alpine route. It’s completely winter season up there. As you said, it may be closed due to severe weather. Even if you get there, cloudy and snowy weather may bother you to see the view.

          You also can find the calendar of waiting time on alpine route in the link below. It’s this year’s one but you can get an idea about which day will be busy.

          You can get Shirakawago on any season. But mid April is too early to see blossom in Shirakawago. If you visit there in early November, you may be able to see fall foliage. But it’s too early to see it in Kyoto. Late November is better to see it in Kyoto.


          Takeshi /

          1. Thanks for the info. At least now I know what is workable. I think i might have to brace the long queue in April then 😛 Will see how it goes.

            You have been very helpful. Doomo Arigatou gozaimasu!


  6. Dear Takeshi San,

    We will embark on a 7D6N trip to Japan in the first week on July this year and staying in Osaka. Our plan is to travel back and forth between Osaka and Kyoto. However, we do have plans to make a day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima but it might be difficult due the tight schedule.

    Would appreciate your kind advice for the best deals for JR / travel passes for our following planned itinerary and if it is possible to squeeze three places to visit in a 7D6N trip.

    Best Regards,
    from Malaysia

  7. Thank you Takeshi.

    I want to use the e-Romancecar online to reserve observation deck seats.

    May I confirm the price is the same for both observation deck and normal carriage seats ¥890?

    With this online purchased limited express ticket, I just need a Hakone Freepass and I can board the train without anymore charges right?
    Does the online purchased limited express ticket requires any excha.nge pass at the train service counter?

    May I confirm that a child at 3 years old travel for free on Romancecar?

    May I know which carriage has luggage space on Romancecar? Since we are leaving Hakone for airport, we have no choice but to lug along our 2 huge luggages.

    Thank you and regards,

    1. Hi Christina,

      It’s same fare for all seats. But it’s very hard to book a seat at observation deck. You should book right after ticket on sale, 10:00 am one month before travel date.

      3 year old is free but you have to share the seat. You cannot have any extra seats for your child. If you want to have a seat for child, you need to pay child fare at half amount of adult fare and book a seat for your child too.

      You don’t need to exchange a ticket. Please see the link below:

      Unfortunately there is no luggage space on any cars of Romancecar. You have to keep it on your seat.


      Takeshi /

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