Sample itinerary of Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka classic route in 7 days

Highest mountain, Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi, Hakone  ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO
Highest mountain, Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi, Hakone ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO

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.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.


*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

New train E259 series Narita Express
JR’s airport express train, Narita Express

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

Tokyo Monorail
Tokyo Monorail connects Haneda airport and Hamamatsucho.

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

Senso-ji temple and Tokyo Skytree in Asakusa ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO
Senso-ji temple and Tokyo Skytree in Asakusa ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO

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

Owakudani is one of Must-See spots in Hakone.  ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO
Owakudani is one of Must-See spots in Hakone. ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO

Suggested itinerary
08:53 Shinjuku
Odakyu railway’s limited express Hakone 9
10:35 Hakone-Yumoto

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.

Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center

Suggested deals
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.

Hakone Free Pass

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.

Odakyu Romancecar website

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

Fushimi Inari shrine is most popular spot in Kyoto in these days. ©Kyoto Convention Bureau /©JNTO
Fushimi Inari shrine is most popular spot in Kyoto in these days. ©Kyoto Convention Bureau /©JNTO

Suggested itinerary
09:40 Hakone-Yumoto
Hakone Tozan Railway
09:54 Odawara
10:08 Odawara
Hikari 507
12:13 Kyoto

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:

Odawara station guide. How to transfer to the train to Hakone.

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:

Tokaido Shinkansen timetable westbound

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.

Required fare
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:

For non JR pass travellers. Guide to use JR single ticket, basic rules, validity and stopover

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.

How to access to Nara by Japan Rail Pass. If you don’t use JR Pass, Kintetsu Railway is more convenient.

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

Arashiyama is very popular in any season.  	© soryofu/© JNTO
Arashiyama is very popular in any season. © soryofu/© JNTO

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

Osaka castle is very accessible. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO
Osaka castle is very accessible. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

Suggested itinerary
09:14 Kyoto
Special rapid
09:43 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.

Most convenient and the fastest train among Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. Special Rapid Service

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.

Suggested deal
Enjoy Eco Card (subway pass)
Osaka Amazing Pass (if you intend to visit many attractions in even one day)

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).

Suggest deals for departure from Namba or other subway stations
Kanku Rapi:t Tokuwari Ticket (1130 yen)
Kanku Chikatoku Ticket (1000 yen)

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.

Basic itinerary of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka in 7 days

I hope this post will help you to build your trip plan to Japan!

396 thoughts on “Sample itinerary of Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka classic route in 7 days”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    Find this page really useful. Was hoping for your insight on my itinerary whether it is better to purchase single trip fare or JR pass.

    Haneda to Tokyo – 3 nights
    Tokyo to hakone – 2 nights
    Hakone to Kyoto – 2 nights
    Kyoto to Tokyo – 1 night
    Tokyo to Haneda airport

    Hear from you soon!

    Cheers,
    Vincens

    1. Hi Vincens,

      JR pass 7 days is recommended for the last 7 days of your trip. You can add Haneda airport access deal and subway pass for the first 2 days. Please see the link below:
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/airport_bus/index.html

      JR Pass covers most part of your trip. But you may need to add some deals or single fare in Hakoone and Kyoto. Please see the links below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-get-hakone-from-tokyo-compare-japan-railway-and-odakyu-lines.html
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi,
    Can you please hightligh how to travel from
    Narita to Tokyo
    Tokyo to Odawara and Hakone
    Odawara/Hakone to Kyoto
    Kyoto to Tokyo
    Tokyo to Chiba
    Chiba to Narita
    Thank you so much
    Best regards
    Tenizn Ramjor

  3. Hi Takeshi. Thank you for your informative posts! We are going to Japan in September. From Haneda… Tokyo 4 nights, Hakone 2nights, Kyoto 5 nights, Hiroshima 2 nights, Myajima & fly back to U.K. From Osaka. We don’t know if a 14 night JR pass would be a good idea. We want to take Day trips out from Tokyo & Kyoto and would like to go to the Post Road at Nagoya. Or would single tickets be cheaper. We definitely want a trip on a Shinkansen ! We would really appreciate you thoughts…Thank you. Val & Chris Pendleton

    1. Hi Val,

      In rough calculation, the total fare for Tokyo – Odawara (gateway to Hakone) – Kyoto – Hiroshima/Miyajima – Osaka is almost equal to 7 days JR pass price. 14 days is more expensive than even single fares.

      But you intend to have day trips from Tokyo and Kyoto. You mentioned “post road at Nagoya”. If you meant Magome, Tsumago, Kiso valley, you can use 14 days pass. Because these places are 2 hours away from Kyoto. You will take Shinkansen and other express trains to get there.

      And also if you visit outside Tokyo, like Nikko, you will get the worth of 14 days pass easily.

      I think 14 days pass will be okay but please make sure where you go when you will be in Tokyo and Kyoto. Day trips from these cities will be key to take 14 days pass or not.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you so much Takeshi. Yes, I meant Tsumago ! Sorry !
        I am looking forward to visiting Japan so much. I would like to learn some basic words or phrases before I go. Best wishes, Val

      2. Thank you Takeshi. yes, we certainly want to visit Nikko from Tokyo and Nara from Kyoto. We will be in Japan for 20 days, so we wonder if it would best to buy a 21 day JR pass ?

  4. Hi Takeshi-san,

    We’re planning for family trip (7 person) to Japan at end of May with the itinerary :

    Day 1 arrived Haneda, overnight Tokyo
    Day 2 Tokyo
    Day 3 go to Hakone, overnight Hakone
    Day 4 to Kyoto, overnight Kyoto
    Day 5 tour Kyoto, overnight Kyoto
    Day 6 to Osaka, overnight Osaka
    Day 7 Osaka (universal studio) overnight osaka
    Day 8-9 to Tokyo (Disneyland, Odaiba)
    Day 10 depart from haneda

    What your suggestion for above itin and the pass ? Is 7day JR pass suitable/effective for this trip?

    Thanks

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    Last year I asked you some questions. You have been extremely helpful!

    This May, my son and his friends are visiting Japan, too. Can you help us again?

    Here is a summary of their itinerary:
    Day 1 – arrive at Haneda Airport, immediately take a domestic flight to Namba Osaka. Overnight Osaka
    Day 2 – tour Nara and Osaka. Overnight Osaka.
    Day 3 – go from Osaka to Kyoto. Overnight Kyoto near Kyoto Station.
    Day 4 – tour Kyoto. Overnight Kyoto.
    Day 5 – go to Hakone. Overnight Hakone.
    Day 6 – go to Tokyo. Overnight Shinjuku Tokyo.
    Day 7 – tour Tokyo. Overnight Tokyo.
    Day 8 – tour Tokyo. Overnight Tokyo.
    Day 9 – go to Nikko for a day trip. Overnight Tokyo.
    Day 10 – tour Tokyo. Overnight Tokyo.
    Day 11 – depart from Haneda Airport

    I believe the JR Rail Pass will cost more in this case. Can you advise what kind of pass(es) they should buy in these cities/areas?

    Thank you so much!

    June

    1. Hi June,

      For arrival day, if you arrive in Kansai, you can use one of the deals in the link below. But if you arrive in Itami, single fare to take bus is your choice:
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Kansai thru pass 3 days is the choice for day 2 to 4.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      Single ticket is only choice to get Odawara on the way to Hakone.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/for-non-jr-pass-travellers-guide-to-use-jr-single-ticket-basic-rules-validity-and-stopover.html

      You can use Hakone Free pass in Hakone.
      http://www.odakyu.jp/english/deels/freepass/hakone/

      You can add single fare to get Tokyo from Hakone by Odakyu railway.

      Tokyo subway ticket or other deal is your choice in Tokyo.
      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

      For the trip to Nikko, you can choose the deal in the link below:
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/how-to-access-to-nikko-from-tokyo-there-are-three-ways-from-tokyo-shinjuku-and-asakusa.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi Takeshi,

    I previously asked before for my Japan trip but I would like to add Kanazawa to the trip

    22 – 27/Apr – Tokyo
    27-28 – Hakone
    28 – 30 – Kanazawa
    30 – 5 – Kyoto
    5 – 7 – Osaka
    7 – Kansai Airport

    Do you think is this an ideal itinerary using the train? How can I catch the train?

    Regards

    1. Hi Derek,

      You can use same way as I mentioned in previous reply. But you have to change the following deals/tickets.

      For trip to Hakone
      Hakone Free Pass from Shinjuku
      http://www.odakyu.jp/english/deels/freepass/hakone/

      You have to go back to Tokyo before reach Kanazawa. There is no short cut routes.

      For trip to Kyoto from Tokyo via Kanazawa
      You can purchase a single ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto with stopover at Kanazawa. When you purchase a ticket, don’t forget to tell that you will take the route to Kyoto via Kanazawa. Otherwise you will get the ticket to Kyoto directly from Tokyo and you cannot visit Kanazawa. All other part of your trip will be same as your previous plan.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hello Takeshi-san,

    I’m planning 10 days to Japan with below itinerary :
    Day 1 : Narita – continue to Kyoto
    Day 3 : Kyoto – Osaka
    Day 6 : Osaka back to Tokyo
    7 – 10 : stay in Tokyo

    Do u think using JR Pass will be effective for the first 7 days? What do you suggest to use for the 7-10th days?

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Namira san,

      7 days JR pass is the best choice for the first 7 days.
      You can use Tokyo Subway ticket after day 8 in Tokyo.
      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

      For trip to Narita, please see the link below:
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/narita/the-list-of-deals-for-access-to-downtown-tokyo-from-narita-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi,

    here is my japan travel plan:

    Day 1 & 2 – Kansai Airport, Osaka
    Day 3 Nara
    Day 4 Kyoto
    Day 5 Hakone
    Day 6 to 9 – Tokyo (include Disneyland and Odaiba), last day will go to Haneda Airport.

    Need your advice. My plan is to use Kansai thru pass for Day 1 to Day 4. Then take JR to Hakone. Next, Hakone will use Hakone sightseeing pass. Tokyo will use Suica.

    Thanks.

  9. Hello Takeshi-san,
    The following is a possible itinerary I’m planning. I would like to seek your advice on whether a pass or single fares is better. Also, if it’s not too much trouble, kindly advise the station names and exit names nearest to these locations:

    – Haneda Airport > Shinagawa Prince Hotel (one-way).
    – Shinagawa Prince Hotel > Odaiba (return trip).
    – Shinagawa Prince Hotel > Harajuku > Nakameguro > Ebisu > Shinagawa Prince Hotel (return trip).
    – Shinagawa Prince Hotel > Asakusa > Ueno > Kagurazaka > Shinjuku > Shinagawa Prince Hotel (return trip).
    – Hoeiso Kijitei (in Hakone) > New Miyako Hotel (in Kyoto) (one-way).
    – New Miyako Hotel (Kyoto) > Arashiyama > Himeji Station > New Miyako Hotel (return trip).
    – New Miyako Hotel > Osaka Itami Airport (one-way).

    Arigato!

    1. Hi Julia san,

      You may use Suica or Pasmo until you leave Shinagawa for Hakone.
      http://www.pasmo.co.jp/en/
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html

      Use single fare ticket from Shinagawa to Kyoto with stopover at Odawara. You can access to Hakone from Odawara by single fare ticket.

      For Himeji and Arashiyama and Himeji, you can use Kansai area pass one day.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-use-jr-west-kansai-area-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      You can catch bus to Itami from Kyoto.
      http://www.osaka-airport.co.jp/en/access/bus/

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Just to clarify, when travelling around Tokyo area, if I use Suica or Pasmo card – will I be deducted regular single-fare prices?

        Regarding JR West Kansai 1-Day pass, I cannot use express or shinkansen – correct? Is JR Special Rapid trains ok using JR West Kansai 1-Day pass?

        Thank you again!

        1. Hi Julia,

          Yes. When you use Suica or Pasmo, regular fare will be deducted when you tap your card to exit the ticket gate. So it’s much more convenient to purchase a single ticket one by one.

          Kansai area pass does not cover Shinkansen but special rapid is covered. If you want to take Shinkansen, you have to pay single fare which is around 5000 yen for one way.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Hello friends, im planning to go to Kyoto, Hakone and tokyo for 8 days. Is it a good idea to go straight to kyoto and spend 2 or 3 days there? Then hakone for 1 day, and last few days in tokyo(fly out) what would be a good itinerary? First time in japan. Advice please. 🙂

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