Some of you are wondering if you should use JR pass or not for one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka via Hakone and Kyoto. Actually JR pass does not meet this trip. The price of 7 days JR pass is 29100 yen. One way base fare from Tokyo to Kyoto or Shin-Osaka plus Shinkansen surcharge is around 14000 yen. As long as you have one way trip from Tokyo to Kyoto or Osaka, JR pass is way more expensive than single fare. Even if you use JR pass when you stay in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, it is not realistic to spend another 15000 yen. Base fare in these cities is 200 to 500 yen.
In this post, I show you sample itinerary and some deals in these cities.
*When you follow this sample itinerary, please check the updated timetable. You can find more information about timetable at the link below:
Guide to plan your trip. How to find Japan Railway’s timetables
Day 1 Narita or Haneda airport to downtown Tokyo
Suggested deals for Narita passengers
There are many deals available. Please refer the following link about Narita deals:
The list of deals for access to downtown Tokyo from Narita airport.
Suggested deals for Haneda passengers
Please refer the following links:
Keihin Kyuko Haneda and Tokyo downtown deals
Monorail and Yamanote line discount ticket (Weekend, holidays and selected dates only)
If you arrive in Haneda after 22:00, you have to be hurry. Please find more information about late arrival in Haneda at the following link:
How to take Tokyo Monorail or Keihin Kyuko for late arrival and early departure at Haneda
Day 2 Tokyo
Enjoy sightseeing in Tokyo.
Suggested deals: Metro pass or Tokyo Tokunai Pass
Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass), good choice for sightseeing in Tokyo.
Fast, economical and convenient for sightseeing in Tokyo. Learn about Tokyo Subways.
You have to compare single fare and deals. In Tokyo, single fare is very reasonable. Single fare may be cheaper if you visit one or two places.
Day 3 Tokyo to Hakone
Odakyu railway’s limited express Hakone 9
Leave your baggage at hotel or locker at the station. Enjoy sightseeing Hakone all day.
Odakyu Railway is most convenient to get Hakone and cheaper than JR trains. You can purchase base fare ticket and Hakone Free Pass Odawara departure at Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center at Shinjuku station.
Base fare ticket (Shinjuku – Odawara) 880 yen
Hakone Free Pass (Odawara departure 2 days) 4000 yen
Hakone Free Pass gives you unlimited ride for local transportation in Hakone.
Shijuku departure Hakone Free Pass (5140 yen) is not required for this itinerary. Because it includes round trip to/from Shijuku. But you do not come back to Shinjuku and leave Hakone then go to Kyoto next day. Of course single fare for Shinjuku-Odawara is cheaper than the difference between Shinjuku departure Hakone Free Pass and Odawara departure Hakone Free Pass.
Hakone Free Pass does not include Limited Express charge. If you want to take Odakyu’s Limited Express train, “Romancecar”, add another 890 yen. If you pay only base fare, you have to take regular commute train and you have to transfer the trains at Odawara. If you take Romancecar, you will enjoy much better seat and direct transfer to Hakone-Yumoto.
Once you get Hakone, use Hakone Free Pass as much as you can. You can get most of places in Hakone by this pass.
I recommend you to stay in Hakone for at least one night. But if you want to visit Hakone as “luggage free” day trip from Tokyo, Hakone Free Pass Shinjuku departure is the best deal.
Odakyu Railway Hakone Free Pass
Day 4 Hakone to Kyoto
Hakone Tozan Railway
Odawara station is the nearest JR station to Hakone. You can catch Shinkansen to get Kyoto. Please find the details about Odawara station at the following:
There are some Shinkansen train, “Hikari” stop at Odawara and takes you to Kyoto without any transfer. I picked 10:08 departure, Hikari 507. Please see the timetable at the link below and find the train what you want to take:
You may find Hikari 493 (“H” 493 on timetable) that departs from Odawara at 6:15, Hikari 501 (“H” 493 on timetable) that departs from Odawara at 7:04 and many more trains mostly every two hours. Please try to catch this kind of Hikari. This is the fastest and direct way to get Kyoto from Odawara.
Shinkansen reserved seat surcharge (Odawara-Kyoto) 5060 yen
Base fare ticket (Odwara-Kansai airport) 8640 yen
Base fare ticket and Shinkansen surcharge ticket are required to take Shinkansen. You can purchase these tickets in advance. Shinkansen and limited express surcharge tickets can be purchased at any JR stations that have reservation window, a.k.a. “Midori no Mdoguchi”. Base fare ticket also can be purchased with surcharge ticket at same time. So you can just transfer from Hakone Tozan Railway train to Shinkansen at Odawara.
In this itinerary, you can purchase one base fare ticket from Odawara to Kansai airport. Because you can make stopovers at Kyoto and Osaka. Please find more information at the link below:
If you follow my suggested itinerary, you have half day for sightseeing in Kyoto. I recommend to visit south part of Kyoto, like Fushimi Inari. It’s just 5 minutes away from Kyoto station by Nara line local train and single fare is only 140 yen one way. If you want, you can visit even Nara.
If you need some more information about Kyoto station, please refer the link below:
Kyoto station guide. How to transfer among Shinkansen, Kintetsu, Subway and JR local trains.
If you go to Nara or other spots in Kyoto, please exit at Kyoto station and purchase other ticket. Your ticket is for Kansai airport. You have to exit and make a stopover Kyoto. You cannot use this ticket to other direction.
Day 5 Kyoto
You can enjoy in Kyoto for all day.
Suggested deal : Kyoto city sightseeing pass (bus and subway) or Kyoto all day bus pass
Please find more information about these deals at Kyoto Subway and Bus pass
You can find some more information about transportation in Kyoto at the following page.
Guide to take trains in Kyoto. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?
Day 6 Kyoto to Osaka
Now you can restart to use long base fare ticket for Odawara-Kansai airport. Now you can make stopover at Osaka. Special Rapid is the fastest way to get Osaka (Umeda). It is a sort of commute train. Only base fare is required to take this train.
As long as you go forward, you can make multiple stopover in same city. So for example, you can make stopovers at Osaka (Umeda) and Imamiya. You can’t go to Namba by this single ticket because Namba is not on the route to Kansai Airport. But you can make stopover at Imamiya and purchase another ticket to JR-Namba station.
I suggested you to use base fare ticket for Odawara to Kansai airport. But if you intend to stay near subway station, you can purchase base fare ticket for Odawara to Shin-Osaka or Osaka. You can take Nankai railway to get Kansai airport from Namba. That is easier and faster especially if you stay in Namba.
Day 7 Osaka to Kansai airport
You can restart to use base fare ticket to Kansai airport. You have two choices, Kansai airport rapid or limited express Haruka.
If you take Haruka, you have to add limited express surcharge. But only base fare ticket is okay to take Kansai airport rapid. Limited express surcharge is 1490 for reserved seat and 970 yen for non reserved. In my opinion, non reserved seat is okay when you travel other than peak season, like mid August, New Years holidays and Golden Week (late Apr to early May).
Summary and total costs
If you have one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka, as you read above, the key is how to combine deals and single fare. In this itinerary, approximate total cost is the following:
1500 yen n’ex direct ticket
1000 yen Metro and Toei subway one day pass
880 yen Base fare ticket (Shinjuku – Odawara)
890 yen Romancecar limited express surcharge (Shinjuku-Hakneyumoto)
4000 yen Hakone Free Pass (Odawara departure 2 days)
5060 yen Shinkansen reserved seat surcharge (Odawara-Kyoto)
8640 yen Base fare ticket (Odwara-Kansai airport)
280 yen Base fare ticket (Kyoto-Inari return)
1200 yen Kyoto city sightseeing card (subway and bus pass)
800 yen Enjoy Eco card (Osaka subway pass)
970 yen Haruka non reserved seat surcharge (Shin-Osaka to KIX)
Total : 25220 yen
Even I include many non JR deals, it is about 4000 yen cheaper than JR Pass 7 days.
I show you 7 days itinerary but you can extend stay in Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto or Osaka. And also I have another sample itinerary that includes Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka only. Please see the following post to find it.
I hope this post will help you to build your trip plan to Japan!