Sample itinerary Tokyo to Osaka plus Hakone, Takayama, Shirakawago and Kyoto in 7 days by Japan Rail Pass

Very popular scene of Shirakawago from Tenshukaku view point

7 days JR Pass price is almost same as round trip fare between Tokyo and Osaka by Shinkansen. That means if you have one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka or reverse, JR Pass is not worthwhile using. However if you add some trips when you stay in Osaka and Tokyo, you may use JR pass 7 days.

In this post, I add Nikko and Himeji at the both end to get the worth of JR pass 7 days.

Day 1 Narita airport to Tokyo

You can take Narita Express to Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku or Ikebukuro. Narita Express runs very frequently. Please see the link below to find the timetable.

JR East official site, Narita Express timetable from Narita airport to Tokyo

Of course you can take any JR trains in downtown Tokyo as well. After you get off Narita Express, you can take JR local trains, such as Yamanote line to get the nearest station to your hotel.

Please remember that subway and other Non JR trains are not covered by JR pass.

In this sample itinerary, Ueno is the place to stay. Ueno is four stations away from Tokyo. You need to take local train on Yamanote line. But average hotel rate is quite reasonable. You can take Tohoku Shinkansen directly. Asakusa is very close. Ueno is a good place to stay.

Day 2 Tokyo

You can use JR pass to visit many places in Tokyo. Please see the link below to find the coverage of JR pass in downtown Tokyo.

Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by train to get the major spots?

Some of the places in Tokyo cannot be reached by JR pass, such as Asakusa, Odaiba. You may need to add single fare or Tokyo Subway Ticket. If you need to take subway four times or more, think about using Tokyo Subway Ticket. You may find the information about Tokyo Subway Ticket in the link above.

Day 3 Day trip to Hakone from Tokyo

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

Odakyu Railway is the primary way to get Hakone. This railway connects Shinjuku and Hakone-Yumoto directly. But if you stay in east side of downtown Tokyo, such as Ueno, Akihabara, Tokyo, Ginza, Shinagawa, you have to take local train to get Shinjuku.

Meanwhile you can catch Tokaido Shinkansen at Tokyo or Shinagawa. You cannot get Hakone-Yumoto but you can get Odawara that is the gateway to Hakone. And you have JR pass. Why not take Shinkansen?

But after Odawara, JR pass does not cover any transportation. If you want to see whole part of Hakone, Hakone Free Pass is recommended. It is available from two days. This two days pass at 4,000 yen is a good deal for even one day tour.

Hakone Free Pass official site

The following sample itinerary covers most of popular sites in Hakone, such as Open Air Museum, Owakudani, Gotemba, Lake Ashi Cruise.

Sample itinerary
Ueno (10 minutes ride on Yamanote line or other local train) Tokyo
Train runs very very frequently. But in morning peak hour, train is very busy. If you want to avoid the peak hour, start your trip after 9:00 am.

Tokyo 06:56 (Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama 633) 07:36 Odawara
You need to change trains and purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara. If you have 30 minutes there, you do not need to rush.
*Hakone Free Pass 2 days at 4,000 yen is extra.

Odawara 08:06 (Odakyu railway local train) 08:21 Hakone-Yumoto 08:24 (Hakone Tozan Railway) 08:58 Chokokunomori
3 minutes in Hakone-Yumoto is enough to change trains. It is same platform. You can change trains in even 30 seconds.
One hour for visiting Open Air Museum near Chokokunomori station. Museum opens at 09:00 am.

Chokokunomori 10:13 (Hakone Tozan Railway) 10:16 Gora 10:27 (Hakone Tozan Bus) 11:37 Gotemba Premium Outlet
You will have 2 hours for shopping and lunch at Gotemba Premium Outlet. If you want to stay more in outlet, cut Open Air Museum or later sightseeing.

Gotemba Premium Outlet 14:00 (Hakone Tozan Bus) 14:22 Sengoku 14:35 (Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus) 14:48 Togendai (16 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) Owakudani
Enjoy walking in Owakudani

Owakudani 15:30-40 (16 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) 16:00 Togendai 16:20 (Hakone Sightseeing Cruise) 17:00
You can enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji on Lake Ashi.

Hakone-machi 17:38 (Hakone Tozan Bus) 18:00 Hakone-Yumoto 18:11 (Odakyu railway local train) 18:25 Odawara 18:42 (Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama 668) 19:17 Tokyo (10 minutes local train ride) Ueno
You do not need to go back to Tokyo quickly. The last Shinkansen train from Odawara to Tokyo is 22:42. You may enjoy onsen bath at Hakone-Yumoto. There are some day use Onsen bath near Hakone-Yumoto station.

You may find the timetable at the links below:
Shinkansen westbound (from Tokyo)
Shinkansen eastbound (to Tokyo)
Hyperdia (to check the timetable for Hakone Tozan Railway and Odakyu Railway)
Hakone Tozan Bus

Day 4 Tokyo to Takayama and day trip to Shirakawago

Gasshozukuri housing is the landmark of Shirakawago. (C) Akira Okada/ (C) JNTO

You can take Hokuriku Shinkansen to get Toyama and take limited express Wide View Hida from Toyama to Takayama. Most of Wide View Hida run between Nagoya and Takayama only. But there are a few trips running between Nagoya and Toyama. So you can get Takayama from Tokyo via Nagoya. But if you can catch Wide Veiw Hida at Toyama. Tokyo-Toyama-Takayama route is faster. I would like to show you sample itinerary by this route.

Sample itinerary
Ueno 07:26 (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 503) 09:31 Toyama 09:52 (Limited Wide View Hida 8) 11:23 Takayama
Leave your luggage at your hotel in Takayama. Hotel can hold your luggage even before check in. After that, have lunch in Takayama and take Nohi bus to Shirakawago.

Takayama 12:50 (Nohi bus) 13:40 Shirakawago 16:15 (Nohi bus) 17:20 Takayama
*Nohi bus is not covered by JR pass. Round trip fare at 4,420 yen is extra. Reservation is strongly recommended for taking Nohi bus. Reservation information and timetable can be found in Nohi Bus official site in the link below:
Nohi Bus official site

Day 5 Takayama to Osaka

Preserved path in Takayama. It is very popular tourist district in Takayama.

You can take limtied express Wide View Hida from Takayama to Nagoya, and Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari from Nagoya to Shin-Osaka. There is one trip of Wide View Hida running from Takayama to Osaka directly. But this train departs from Takayama at 15:36 and arrive at Osaka at 19:51. I think this is too late to arrive in Osaka. My sample schedule is the following:

Sample itinerary
Takayama 12:33 (Limited Wide View Hida 10) 15:02 Nagoya 15:11 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 473) 16:03 Shin-Osaka

You can stay anywhere in Osaka. But Shin-Osaka is recommended. It is Shinkansen station. It is very accessible to Umeda, Namba, Kyoto and Kansai airport. You can get these places directly. And hotel rate is more affordable than downtown core, such as Umeda and Namba.

If you arrive in Shin-Osaka around 16:00, you still have some time to shop and eat in Osaka. Trains in Osaka run until midnight. If you take a flight in the morning on day 7, this is only chance to see Osaka.

Day 6 Day trip to Kyoto from Osaka

Torii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto
Torii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

You can take JR trains to Kyoto. Please see JR train network in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe in the link below:

How to transfer among Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Wakayama. Compare Japan Railway and private railways.

You can visit Arashiyama, Nijo, Fushimi Inari shrine and Uji by JR pass. But you need to pay extra fare or buy day pass to get other places, such as Gion by bus and subway. Please see the links below to find the detailed information in the following links:

Guide to take trains in Kyoto. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?
How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Kyoto

I show you one day sample itinerary to Kyoto from Osaka. That includes Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizu-dera and Gion.

Sample itinerary
Shin-Osaka 08:16 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 512) 08:31 Kyoto
You can take ordinary train, such as Special Rapid. Most of travelers do not take Shinkansen for Shin-Osaka to Kyoto because it is a short ride and very expensive. But you have JR pass and it covers Shinkansen trips as many as you want. Shinkansen is 15 minutes faster than Special Rapid train.

Kyoto 08:48 (local train) 09:03 Sagaarashiyama
Change the trains at Kyoto station to Arashiyama.

Kyoto station guide. How to transfer among Shinkansen, Kintetsu, Subway and JR local trains.

Sagaarashiyama station is located in Arashiyama. It is not located in the center of Arashiyama but you can walk to most of places in Arashiyama. You have 4 hours for sightseeing and lunch in Arahsiyama.

Sagaarashiyama 13:08 (local) 13:24 Kyoto 13:37 (local) 13:42 Inari
After Arashiyama, proceed to Fushimi Inari shrine. Inari station is located just in front of Fushimi Inari shrine.

Fushimiinari 15:08 (Keihan Railway / 210 yen extra) 15:14 Kiyomizu-Gojo (Walk 1.7 km / 20 minutes) Kiyomizu-dera temple
Even if you take a bus from Kiyomizu-Gojo station, you need to walk about 1 km. There is no buses to get Kiyomizu-dera directly. If you do not walk or travel with senior, do not hesitate to take a taxi. It costs less than 1,000 yen.

Kiyomizu-dera temple (walk about 2km) Gion
There are sightseeing spots, like Sanneizaka, Ninenzaka between Kiyomizu-dera and Gion. I highly recommend you to walk to Gion.
In my estimation, you stay in Kiyomizu-dera about 1 hour (15:45 to 16:45) and spend 2 hours from Kiyomizu-dera to Gion. If you want to visit more temples from Kiyomizu-dera to Gion, I recommend you to shorten the time in Arashiyama. Some of temples are closed by 17:00. You should leave Arashiyama by 12:00 and make one extra hour after Kiyomizu-dera.

Gion (city bus 15 to 20 minutes ride / 230 yen extra) Kyoto 19:13 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 521) 19:26 Shin-Osaka

You can take later train from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka. You can enjoy the dinner in Gion or Kyoto station before going back to Shin-Osaka. You can catch Shinkansen even around 23:00. Even if you miss Shinkansen, you sill can take local or rapid train. These commute trains run until midnight.

Day 7 Osaka to Kansai airport

Limited Express Haruka connects Shin-Osaka and Kansai Airport directly.

Cost break down

Ueno – Odawara round trip by Shinkansen – 3,740 yen x 2 = 7,480 yen
Ueno – Takayama via Toyama one way trip by Shinkansen and Limited Express Wide View Hida – 15,620 yen
Takayama – Shin-Osaka via Nagoya one way trip by Shinkansen and Limited Express Wide View Hida – 10,600 yen
Shin-Osaka – Sagaarashiyama one way trip base fare – 970 yen
Sagaarashiyama – Fushimi one way trip by local train – 240 yen
Kyoto – Shin-Osaka one way trip base fare – 560 yen
Shinkansen seat fee for Shin-Osaka to Kyoto round trip – 4,500 yen

Total 39,970 yen

JR Pass 7 days is 29,100 yen. You can save around 10,000 yen. Even if you do not take Shinkansen between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka, you still can save about 5,000 yen. But actually you can save more. Some of you may notice that I do not include the fare for Narita airpot to Tokyo and Osaka to Kansai airport, and also you may take local train in Osaka and Tokyo. Train trips in Osaka and Tokyo can be made at very reasonable fare. It is not a big issue. But train trips for Narita to Tokyo and Osaka to Kansai are not cheap. I will explain why I did not include it in the next chapter

If you want to make the trip be longer

As long as you make the trips in the chapter of “Cost break down” above, JR pass 7 days works. That means you still can use JR pass even if you cannot make trip for Narita to Tokyo and/or Osaka to Kansai in 7 days period. If you can include these trips in 7 days period, you can save more. The fare for these airport access trips are the following:

Narita airport – Tokyo one way trip by Narita Express – 3,020 yen
Shin Osaka – Kansai airport one way trip by Haruka – 2,850 yen(*1)
*1 – This is regular fare. Haruka discount ticket is available at 1,300 yen but this deal covers only non reserved seat. JR pass covers reserved seat fee too.

The cost is about 6,000 yen. If you include both trips in 7 days, JR pass is a huge deal. Even if you include one of those trips, you can save more!

If you want to have more time in Tokyo, Osaka or other places, extend your stay in Japan. As long as you use JR pass for Hakone, Tokyo-Takayama-Osaka and Osaka-Kyoto round trip, 7 days pass will work and offers you a big saving.

40 thoughts on “Sample itinerary Tokyo to Osaka plus Hakone, Takayama, Shirakawago and Kyoto in 7 days by Japan Rail Pass”

  1. Below is our planned itinerary and the passes we are planning to use:

    Day 1
    Tokyo -Shinagawa station to Osaka
    Day 2
    Day trip to Kyoto
    Day 3
    Day trip to Nara and depart from Osaka to Nagoya
    Day 4
    Nagoya – Takayama ( day trip)
    Day 5
    Nahoya – Tokyo
    Day 6
    Tokyo – Kusatsu Onsen (day trip)
    Day 7
    Tokyo- Echigo-Yuzawan 9 day trip)

    We hope to hear your opinion about our itinerary soon! Thank you so much Takeshi-san!

  2. Hello Takeshi-san:
    Thanks for the itinerary above, i will copy that on our 7-day trip to Japan mid-May. I already have our family’s JR Pass. My question is about exchanging the JR pass voucher. The voucher does not exactly match my passport – the voucher has lastname and firstname, and my passport has lastname, firstname middlename. Is this going to be a problem when I exchange the voucher upon arrival in Japan? I don’t want to have to return it to the travel agent to add my middlename (and have it mailed back to me) if it is not a problem. Please let me know. Thank you.

  3. Hi!,

    We planned to just bring light clothes and just backpack (light travelling), so bringing our bag with us while visiting is not a problem. Which pass would you recommend me to take for travel within KIX-KYOTO-NAMBA? And what is the easiest option for ARASHIYAMA-NAMBA,OSAKA travel? Also easiest option for KINKAKUJI TEMPLE-ARASHIYAMA STATION?

    Below is our itinerary :

    20TH JULY
    • 11PM: FLIGHT ARRIVED IN KANSAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KIX). WE PLANNED TO JUST OVERNIGHT AT THE AIRPORT IF POSSIBLE

    21ST JULY
    • 6:30AM: START MOVING TO KYOTO STATION FROM AIRPORT. LEAVE OUR BAG IN THE LOCKER IF AVAILABLE THERE AS WE GOING TO CHECK-IN OUR ACCOMODATION AROUND THERE IN THE EVENING. THEN HEAD FOR BREAKFAST NEAR KYOTO STATION.
    • 8:30AM-12PM: GO TO “FUSHIMI INARI TAISHA” FROM KYOTO STATION. CLIMB TO THE TOP. AFTER THAT, TAKE BUS TO KIYOMIZU TEMPLE.
    • 12:30PM-1:30PM: LUNCH
    • 1:30PM-2:30PM: EXPLORE KIYOMIZU TEMPLE
    • 2:30PM-5:30PM: EXPLORE SANNEN ZAKA AND NINNEN ZAKA. ALSO, SPEND IN GION.
    • 5:30PM: HEAD BACK TO KYOTO STATION AND CHECK-IN IN ACCOMODATION. REST

    22ND JULY
    • 10AM: CHECK-OUT. BREAKFAST AND LUNCH (BRUNCH).
    • 11:30PM-2PM: HEAD TO KINKAKUJI TEMPLE AND EXPLORE THERE
    • 2PM-5PM: HEAD TO TENRYUJI TEMPLE BY BUS/TRAIN TILL REACH ARASHIYAMA STATION. EXPLORE TENRYUJI AND ARASHIYAMA BAMBOO FOREST.
    • 5:PM-10: HEAD TO NAMBA, OSAKA FOR DINNER AND SIGHSEEING THE CITY TILL NIGHT.
    • 10PM: HEAD TO THE KANSAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND OVERNIGHT THERE FOR EARLY MORNING FLIGHT.

    23RD JULY
    • 7AM: FLIGHT DEPARTED BACK TO SEOUL

    1. Hi  Bill,

      You may use Kansai area pass 2 days.
      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

      But you need to add some other tickets or deals because this pass covers JR trains only. You can take limited express Haruka from KIX to Kyoto, Kyoto to Tennoji and Tennoji to KIX.
      http://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/kansai-airport-limited-express-haruka.html

      You also can take a local train from Kyoto to Inari (Fushimi-Inari), Saga-Arashiyama to Kyoto, Tennoji to/from JR-Namba by this pass.

      You need to take Keihan railway from Fushimi-Inari to Kyomizu-Gojo. This is extra. And also you need to take Kyoto city bus for all other access in Kyoto. All day bus pass is sold at 500 yen for one day. But you need 3 rides to get the worth. I think you will take twice on 21st and twice on 22nd. So you may pay one by one.
      http://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/koho/eng/access/transport.html#bus

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi Takeshi,
    May I please use your expertise in my itinerary?
    I will be in Japan from April 26-May 15.
    My itinerary looks like this:
    Tokyo April 26-2
    Osaka May 2-5
    Kyoto May 5-10
    Gunma (Kusatsu Onsen) May 10-11
    Tokyo May 11-15 (Fky out)

    Is my best bet using a 14 day JR Pass? I will probably do a few day trips to fill my time.

    Any suggestions is greatly appreciated!

    David

    1. Hi David,

      14 days pass may be too expensive for your trip. It depends on another day trips. If day trips are short trip, such as Osaka to Kobe, Osaka to Nara, Tokyo to Yokohama, 14 days pass does not work. If you get Nikko and/or Kanazawa from Tokyo, Kanazawa and/or Hiroshima from Osaka or Kyoto, 14 days pass will work.
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1-day/day-trip-to-hiroshima-and-miyajima-from-osakakyoto.html
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1-day/sample-itinerary-of-day-trip-to-kanazawa-and-shirakawago-from-osaka-or-kyoto.html
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1-day/sample-itinerary-of-day-trip-to-kanazawa-and-shirakawago-from-tokyo.html
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/how-to-access-to-nikko-from-tokyo-there-are-three-ways-from-tokyo-shinjuku-and-asakusa.html

      Please think about how you use your days when you are in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hello Takeshi,

    I would like to consult you before the purchase of the JR Pass (7 or 14 days) for the following itinerary: 3 nights in Tokio, 1 night in Hakone, 4 nights in Kyoto with a day trip to Nara, 1 night in Osaka, excursion to Hiroshima and 1 night in Miyajima and 5 more nights in Tokio.

    Thank you very much in advance!

    Cheers,
    Lea

    1. Hi Lea,

      7 days pass is better choice than 14 days. You can start using 7 days pass when you leave Odawara which is near Hakone.

      You may use airport access + subway pass combo deal for arrival day and departure day, and for sightseeing in Tokyo. 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
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/airport_bus/index.html

      You can use single fare to get Hakone and use Hakone Free Pass in Hakone.
      http://www.odakyu.jp/english/deels/freepass/hakone/

      In my calculation, if you start using JR pass when you leave Odawara, it will cover until you get back to Tokyo. These combination is cheaper than 14 days pass and more effective.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi Takeshi-san!

    Your site helps me a lot for our 9days Japan trip this november but The more i read, the more i get confused. Huhu. We will arrive in Tokyo and depart in Nagoya. We would like to go to hakone, disneyland/disneysea, osaka, usj and kyoto. We plan just to take a bus from tokyo to osaka since its the cheapest.

    But getting around osaka-kyoto-nagoya, can you enlighten me about Kintetsu Rail Pass versus Kansai OnePass/Kansai Thru Pass? I got confused which one to get?

    Thank you so much! 🙂

    1. Hi Patty san,

      Kintetsu rail pass is okay. But it does not cover any local transportation in Kyoto and Osaka. And also you need to add limited express fee when you get Nagoya from Osaka. If you take only ordinary train, you need to change trains once or twice and it takes a long long trip by commute trains. It’s not a realistic choice.

      Kansai thru pass is the best choice if you make multiple trips to outside Osaka. If you have only one trip to outside Osaka which is Kyoto, Kansai one pass is your choice.

      In Osaka, you can use one of the deals in the link below. You may also use Kansai one pass to access to USJ and other places in Osaka.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      Platt Kodama is most recommended deal to get Nagoya.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/platt-kodama-one-way-deal-among-tokyo-nagoya-kyoto-and-shin-osaka-by-shinkansen.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you so much for replying Takeshi-san 🙂

        I have follow up questions

        1. Is the kansai one pass good for 1 day only?

        2. If we choose platt kodama, theres no more transfer? We just go down nagoya station and transfer to meitetsu for chubu airport access?

        Thanks again 🙂

        1. Hi Patty san,

          1. You can use any days. Actually it’s valid for 10 years if you have fund in the card. You can add more fund if you like.

          2. Platt Kodama covers only Shin-Osaka to Nagoya. You need to change trains at Nagoya. You also have to pay for access to Shin-Osaka, and pay for Nagoya to Chubu airport.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Thanks again Takeshi-san 🙂

            I have question again 🙂

            If our flight back to manila is at 9pm, and we get the first trip of platt kodama, do we still have time go around nagoya? If yes, what place/s can we visit which is nearest to the train station? Also, Is there a luggage storage in the train station? If yes, how much is the fee?

            Thank you 🙂

          2. Hi Patty san,

            It takes less than one hour from Kyoto to Nagoya. So you can have lots of time in Nagoya. You can go anywhere in city of Nagoya. Please see the link below to find more info about spots in Nagoya:
            http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2155.html

            You can leave your baggage at coin lockers. Please see the link below to find more info:
            http://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/baggage/managing-luggage-how-to-carry-your-baggage-on-board-and-how-to-store-your-baggage-at-the-station.html

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi Takeshi-san,

    My family, 6 adults wl b travelling Japan on 23 Dec to Jan 1, 2018. Can u suggest the most budget stay near train station n travel in convenient route using JR pass in my planned itinerary as follows :

    Dec 23- Jan 1 (10 days Tokyo 4nights, Kyoto 2N, Takayama -N, Osaka 2N) purchase Japan Rail pass 7 days 29000¥. (JPR Pass start fr 26 dec to 1 Jan) In tokyo use subway 1000¥ unlimited pass per day coz JPR doesnt cover.

    Day 1 …. 23 Dec 2.30pm AAflight …… reach Haneda airport Tokyo @10.30pm

    Day 2 …. 24 Dec … tokyo city
    Day 3 …. 25 Dec …tokyo city
    Day 4 ….. 26 Dec …. Hakone Mt. Fuji day trip bck to tokyo hotel by shinkasen

    Day 5 …. Dec 27….. tokyo to Kyoto by shinkansen
    Day 6 …. Dec 28 ….. kyoto

    Day 7 …. Dec 29… kyoto to Takayama arrive 11am by shinkasen ( day trip fr takayama to Shinakawago japanese cottage unesco site)

    Day 8…. Dec 30….Takayama to Osaka by shinkansen
    Day 9 …. Dec 31….Osaka city
    Day 10… Jan 1 …. return to KL from osaka Kansai airport

    Hoping to hear your great suggestion soon. Thank you for your kind assistance, Takeshi-san .

    Need help
    SH Lee

    1. Hi SH Lee san,

      Regarding place to stay, as long as you stay near JR station, that will be fine. But in Tokyo, I recommend you to stay in east side, like Ueno, Akihabara, Tokyo, Shinagawa. Because it’s much easier to access to Shinkansen station, Tokyo and Shinagawa.

      In Kyoto, around Kyoto station is the best. In Osaka, Shin-Osaka has many hotels and average rate is much more affortable.

      When you go to Hakone, you can use Shinkansen to Odawara.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-get-hakone-from-tokyo-compare-japan-railway-and-odakyu-lines.html

      In Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, you can use JR pass but some places are not covered by JR pass. Please see the links below:
      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://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
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-osaka-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      You will travel in peak period. Especially December 29 and 30 will be very very busy. But unfortunately there is no online site available to book. You can exchange JR pass on day 2 even though you will start using on day 4. Once you turn in actual pass, you can start booking. So try to book your train as soon as you can. If you cannot, you may be standing passenger.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi-san,

        Thank you for your prompt reply.

        Can u suggest how to maximise the JR Pass on my following travelling routes wth attached train timetable :

        – Tokyo to Yokohama
        – Tokyo to Kyoto
        – Kyoto to Takayama (can I able to take a day trip to Shirakawago upon arrival at Takayama 11++am)
        – Takayama to Shin-Osaka

        TQ again.

        1. Hi Lee Sock Han san,

          – Tokyo to Yokohama
          Please see the link below:
          http://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/yokohama-and-kamakura-access-guide-find-the-right-deal-and-route-from-your-place-to-stay.html

          – Tokyo to Kyoto
          You can take Tokaido Shinkansen.
          http://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-departure-arrival-stations/stations-in-tokai/nagoya-toyohashi/what-is-shinkansen-bullet-train.html

          – Kyoto to Takayama (can I able to take a day trip to Shirakawago upon arrival at Takayama 11++am)
          – Takayama to Shin-Osaka
          Please see the link below:
          http://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-access-to-takayama-by-trains-and-buses.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I and my husband planning to visit Japan on March 23th- 01 April 2017.
    We will be travelling to Tokyo-Kyoto and Osaka. We are planning to buy JR Pass for 7 days. Can you advise us, when we active our JR Pass. We are arriving and departing at narita airport .

    Below is our planned itinerary and the passes we are planning to use:

    Day 1
    Narita to Shinjuku by narita express (n’ex)
    Explore Shinjuku

    Day 2
    Gala Yuzawa
    and go to kyoto in afternoon

    Day 3 &4
    Kyoto ( explore arashima, Bamboo Forest Street, Fushimi inari shrine, Ginkaku-ji Temple, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, 6. Rokuon-ji Temple, Tofuku-ji Temple, Kurama onsen hot spring, Nanzen-ji Temple, Kodai-ji Temple)

    Day 5
    Osaka ( Universal Studio)

    Day 6
    Osaka- Kanazawa-Shirakawago- Osaka ( one day trip)

    Day 7
    Osaka- Mount Fuji ( Lake Kawaguchiko)
    For this plan, its better if we stay one night in lake kawaguchiko or go to tokyo at 5 pm?

    Day 8
    In Tokyo (asikaga flower, tsujiki market)

    Day 9
    Back to Narita

    We want go to fujio futsiko museum, can you advise us in what day we can include that place?
    We hope to hear your opinion about our itinerary soon! Thank you so much Takeshi-san!
    Reply

    1. Hi ranybeatrix san,

      You may use JR pass from day 2 to 8. If you take Narita Express both ways, you can use NEX Tokyo round trip ticket.
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/nex_round.html

      On day 2, this day is very tight. It takes 1.5 hours to get Gala from Tokyo. And you will spend another 3 hours from Tokyo to Kyoto. You will be on board for 6 hours. You need to leave Tokyo in very early morning. Otherwise you cannot make lots of time to enjoy in Gala Yuzawa.

      JR pass is the best deal but it does not cover local transportation, such as subway, city bus and local bus. In Kyoto, you may need to add local deals. Please see the link below:
      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

      Bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago is not covered. Advanced booking is highly recommended.
      https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/highwaybus/shirakawago.pdf

      When you go to Lake Kawaguchi from Osaka, you need to get off Shinkansen at Mishima and take express bus. This express bus is not covered. And also you will take train from Lake Kawaguchi to Otsuki and Otsuki to Shinjuku. Lake Kawaguchi to Otsuki is not covered by JR Pass.
      http://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/highway/detail/id/29

      You should go back to Tokyo on day 7 because you will visit Tsukiji market. You need to be in early morning in Tokyo. So day 7 will be very tight too.

      Unfortunately there is no extra time to visit Fujiko Museum. You should have one more day in Tokyo if you visit there.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Hi Takeshi-san,

    We will be travelling to Tokyo + Osaka for 13 days and was wondering if getting individual tickets everytime we take the subways/trains or a 7 or 14 day JR pass will be more worth it?

    We are arriving at narita airport and departing at kansai airport. For Tokyo, we will residing near shinjuku station and as for Osaka, we will be residing near namba station.

    Below is our planned itinerary and the passes we are planning to use:

    Day 1
    Narita to Shinjuku by narita express (n’ex)
    Explore Shinjuku

    Day 2 & 3
    Explore Tokyo. Travel by suica card (shibuya, harajuku, shimokitazawa, omotaesando, meiji shrine, tokyo tower, ginza, akihabara, roppongi etc.)

    Day 4
    Disneyland (suica)

    Day 5
    Hakone day trip (hakone free pass)

    Day 6
    Shinjuku to tokyo station (suica)
    Tokyo to Osaka (one way shinkansen – platt kodama)
    Shin-osaka to namba station (suica)

    Day 7
    Universal Studios (suica)

    Day 8
    Kyoto day trip (JR Kansai area pass WIDE – 5 days [1])

    Day 9
    Nara day trip (JR Kansai area pass WIDE – 5 days [2])

    Day 10
    Kobe day trip (JR Kansai area pass WIDE – 5 days [3])

    Day 11 & 12
    Explore Osaka (Osaka castle, Osaka Aquarium, Rinku premium outlets, Ame-mura, dotonburi etc.) (JR Kansai area pass WIDE – 5 days [4&5])

    Day 13
    Explore namba area
    Namba to Kansai airport (suica)

    We hope to hear your opinion about our itinerary soon! Thank you so much Takeshi-san! 🙂

    1. Hi Darren san,

      Overall I agree with your plan. But I have two things to mention to you.

      1. Suica for day 2 and 3
      Suica is okay and very convenient. But it does not give you any discount. You may have Suica but you may use Tokyo Subway Ticket. It’s 1200 yen for 48 hours, not 2 days.
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/travel/index.html

      It is very very easy to get 1200 yen worth in 48 hours. I think you may save your fund in Suica by this pass.

      2. Kansai Wide Area Pass
      This is okay if you don’t rely on any Non JR trains. Especially in Kyoto, you may need to take subway or city bus. You can access to Fushimi Inari, Arashiyama, Uji and Nijo only by this pass. If you go to Kinkaku-ji temple, Kiyomizu-dera temple, Gion, you need to take a bus. These costs are extra on top of Kansai Wide Area Pass.
      I think Kansai thru pass is better choice. You cannot take JR trains but you can use non JR trains, such as Kintetsu (to Nara), Nankai (to Rinku), Hanshin (to Kobe), Hankyu and Keihan (to Kyoto). And you can take subway in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      You need to have 1×2 days and 1×3 days. The cost is higher than Kansai Wide Area Pass but you have better coverage.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Hello Takeshi-san,

    I have followed your suggestions to use the Takayama Hokuriku 5-day Pass when I visit Kyoto-Osaka-Takayama-Shirakawago back in 2015. Now I’m missing Japan again and will like to visit Tokyo/Hakone this round but still going back to Takayama (arrived late and left early the last round end Nov, didn’t manage to see the places). Was thinking to include Kanazawa or Toyama this time. I’m looking at 2nd week of May, around 9-10 days. Need your advice if I should get this 7-day JR Pass or there is other options? May or may not be going back to Shirakawago & Kyoto, will skip Osaka.

    Thanks in advance and have a good day!

    1. Hi Pei Jy san,

      As long as you use JR pass for round trip to Odawara, Tokyo-Takayama, Takayama-Osaka, it will work. Please see the chapter of “Cost break down”. Bus to Shirakawago is not covered by JR pass, so it’s not an issue. Even if you don’t go to Osaka and Kyoto, and go back to Tokyo, JR pass still work.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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