West Japan (Kyoto, Hiroshima and Kyushu) 7 days sample itinerary by Japan Rail Pass 7 days

Kyoto Imperial Palace ©Akira Okada/©JNTO7 to 9 days
Kyoto Imperial Palace ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
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Kyoto Imperial Palace ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

Kyoto Imperial Palace ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

This itinerary includes Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima and North part of Kyushu (Hakata, Nagasaki, Aso and Beppu). This starts from Tokyo and your Japan Rail pass will be started to use from Tokyo station. You may start this itinerary from Shinagawa station, if you arrive at Haneda airport early morning. And of course, you can start this itinerary from Osaka or Kansai airport too. Osaka and Kansai airport are much closer to Kyoto than Tokyo. If you start this itinerary from Osaka, the itinerary is more smooth and easier.

Day 1

06:26am Depart from Tokyo station by Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 501.
09:16am Arrive at Kyoto station. After arrival, enjoy exploring in Kyoto.
*Hikari departs at Tokyo station every 30 minutes. If you want to depart a bit later, you can take later Hikari. If you arrive at Narita or Haneda early morning, you can transfer to Kyoto on the arrival day. If you need to check the timetable of Shinkansen, please check JR Central timetable.
Overnight in Kyoto

Day 2

Dotonbori(道頓堀) is most popular spot in downtown Osaka.

Half day free in Kyoto and transfer to Osaka by Shin-Kaisoku (新快速=Special Rapid service). After arrive at Osaka, enjoy sightseeing and shopping in downtown Osaka

Overnight in Osaka

*If you are not interested in Osaka or prefer to stay in Kyoto, you can extend to stay in Kyoto instead of Osaka. Kyoto is only 30 minutes away from Osaka by Local train Shin-Kaisoku (新快速=Special Rapid service), 10 minutes away from Shin-Osaka by Shinkansen.

Day 3

Food stalls in Hakata © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO

Catch the local train to Shin-Osaka. It takes only 5 minutes from Osaka.
07:20am Depart from Shin-Osaka station by Sanyo Shinkansen Hikari 545.
09:16am Arrive at Hakata station. After arrival, enjoy exploring in Hakata.

I recommend to go to Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine when you stay in Hakata. And also Hakata give you casual supper experience at Yatai (屋台=Food stalls). You can enjoy many kinds of Japanese comfort food there.

Overnight in Hakata (Fukuoka)

Day 4

07:54am Depart from Hakata station by Limited express Kamome 7.
09:50am Arrive at Nagasaki station. After arrival, enjoy exploring in Nagasaki.
Overnight in Nagasaki

Day 5

06:00am Depart from Nagasaki station by Limited express Kamome 2.
07:31am Arrive at Shin-Tosu station. After arrival, transfer to Kyushu Shinkansen.
07:50am Depart from Shin-Tosu station by Kyushu Shinkansen Tsubame 331.
08:26am Arrive at Kumamoto station. After arrival, transfer to Limited express Kyushu Odan Tokkyu (=Trans-Kyushu Limited express).
08:35am Depart from Kumamoto station by Limited express Kyushu Odan Tokkyu 2.

Kusasenri at Mt.Aso ©JNTO

09:44am Arrive at Aso station. After arrival, take a local bus to one of very popular active volcano, Mt. Aso.
*The bus to Mt. Aso depart once every one to two hours. The fare is 730 yen for one way to Aso Nishi station. Aso Nishi station is the depart point to take Gondola. The gondola fare is another 1,000 yen for round trip.
16:28pm Depart from Aso station by Limited express Kyushu Odan Tokkyu 6.
17:39pm Arrive at Beppu station. Stay at most famous hot springs resort in Kyushu.
Overnight in Beppu

Day 6

Enjoy half day sightseeing in Beppu
12:53pm Depart from Beppu station by Limited express Sonic 32.
14:03pm Arrive at Kokura station. After arrival, transfer to Sanyo Shinkansen.
14:22pm Depart from Kokura station by Sanyo Shinkansen Sakura 566.
15:09pm Arrive at Hiroshima. After arrive at Hiroshima, enjoy sightseeing in downtown Hiroshima.
Overnight in Hiroshima

Day 7

Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajiam

Enjoy full day sightseeing in Miyajima. Please refer the post, How to get Miyajima, about access from Hiroshima.
After sightseeing, take Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama.
21:15pm Depart from Hiroshima station by Sanyo Shinkansen Sakura 580.
21:57pm Arrive at Okayama station
22:33pm Take Sunrise Seto/Izumo at Okayama station. Overnight in the train.
*As far as you don’t get off overnight train, Japan Rail Pass 7 days cover your basic fare and express surcharge. If you don’t exit the station, Japan Rail Pass still cover basic fare.

Day 8

07:08am Arrive at Tokyo station.
If you don’t exit the station, you can continue your trip. Japan Rail Pass cover the basic fare. But it does not cover surcharge. So if you go to Narita airport, you can take Rapid Airport Narita with no extra charge.

Comments

  1. Japan News Kyushu Y says:

    […] West Japan (Kyoto, Hiroshima and Kyushu) 7 days sample … – This itinerary includes Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima and North part of Kyushu (Hakata, Nagasaki, Aso and Beppu). This starts from Tokyo and your Japan Rail pass …… […]

  2. Ashok says:

    I will be in Japan for a week and have purchased 7 days JR Pass,will land at Narita and will stay 3 nights at Kiba hotel, Kotu-Ku, Tokyo, how to use the JR in Tokyo for sight seeing, should I start using from Narita, or is there an alternate pass to explore around Tokyo and what are the places of interest in Tokyo.
    On 4th day would like to stay in Kyoto or Osaka for 1or 2 nights. Which is better place to stay and places to explore at both places?
    In he last 2 days would like to visit Hirishima and Nagashaki before heading back to Narita Airport.
    Please suggest to explore the above places in a week and the best possible way to use JR pass.Regards, Ashok .

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Ashok,

      You will stay in Japan for a week and you will have 7 days pass. Of course you should start to use it at Narita. In Tokyo, subway is better to access to several places. Please see the following post:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/best-way-efficient-how-much-can-we-use-japan-rail-pass-in-downtown-tokyo.html

      Regarding staying in Osaka or Kyoto, it depends of where you want to see. Osaka is cheaper to stay and many more places to eat.

      I think it’s very hard to go to both Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2 day.
      Tokyo (3 hrs) Shin-Osaka (1.5 hrs) Hiroshima (1 hr 10 min) Hakata (2 hrs 10min) Nagasaki

      As you see above, Nagasaki is quite far away from Tokyo. If you really want to go, you have to spend 2 nights/3 days for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And also you have to stay in Osaka or Kyoto before and after visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
      Tokyo – Osaka/Kyoto – Hiroshima – Nagasaki – Osaka/Kyoto – Tokyo

      It’s not impossible but it’s quite tight to visit all places in 7 days.

      Cheers.

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Charlene says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I will arrive in Tokyo (Narita) in the morning of 13th April.

    My plans are as follows and was wondering what is the most cost effective for JR Pass purchase (I was thinking of a 14 day pass – ordinary).

    13th – 15th: 3 nights in Tokyo (Shinjuku) – like to cover Nikko, Nagano, Hakone, Kamakura (is this possible and by what rail?
    16th – 17th: Go to Osaka and stay for 2 nights (Kita-ku) – activate my JR Pass on this date?
    18th: Go to Fukuoka/Hakata (1 night)
    19th: Go to Beppu (1 night)
    20th: Have to be in Oita early in the morning for a wedding (stay 1 night in Oita)
    21st – 27th: Go to Kyoto (7 nights); during these days – I want to go to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kobe, Nara, Nagoya, Okayama, Shizouka & Osaka again if time permits.
    28th – 30th: Back to Tokyo for 2 nights (Shinjuku)
    30th: Fly out of Narita Airport at 9pm

    Will the 14 day pass work to cover my itinerary?
    Can the JR Passbe use to get to Fukuoka?
    Can I use the JR Pass to Beppu & Oita in Kyushu or is there other trains?
    What is reserved & non-reserved seats and is it available choice on both ordinary pass or on Green pass only? Can you explain more about reserved & non-reserved seats for JR Pass.
    When I’m in Tokyo for the first 3 days & the last 3 days, what transportation can I use (if I don’t use the JR Pass).

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Jojo says:

    Hello Takeshi!
    I’ve been reading the articles in your website, and i’ve found it very helpful. I was wondering if you could help me regarding our trip. Our plan is to purchase a 7-day JR pass to visit all these sites written below. My question is, will this be enough and will this be more economical with regards to our places to visit. Thank you! Our daily agenda is as follows:

    April 28 – Arrival at Osaka, Kansai International Airport, check in at Namba Osaka Hotel

    April 29 – Tour of Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Himeji Castle, to sleep in Hyogo

    April 30 – Depart to Tokyo – visit sites (Disneyland, Disneysea)
    – Sleep in hotel

    May 1 – Tour Tokyo, Shibuya, Ueno, Shinjuku, Tsukiji

    May 2 – Depart to Kyoto, tour of Kyoto

    May 3 – Tour of Kyoto

    May 4 – Depart to Hiroshima, then depart to Osaka

    May 5 – To leave Japan

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Jojo,

      Yes, you can use 7 days pass for your trip. It gives you a great deal.

      You can use it for either Apr 28 to May 4 or Apr 29 to May 5. KIX-Namba is operated by Nankai if you take a train. That is not covered by JR Pass. And it’s not expensive.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. Michael says:

    Hi there,

    first of all i want to say that this website is just great, planing a japan trip isnt easy, but this website just helped me a lot, especially this example trip! I’m thinking of doing more or less the same.

    The thing is, this seems like a lot for 7 days.. so i’m thinking about doing this in like 10 days or so.. so i can stay an extra day at places I really like..

    So my question is, since single Trips are very expensive, If I get a 14day pass, and do this route in about 10 days, the pass is still way cheaper right? Even if I wouldn’t use it for anything else?

    And if I dont use the last 2 or 3 days.. can I give the pass to some1 else?

    And the most important question, if found this great map with all the JR lines and where they have offices (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=70698843), is there always some1 who speaks good, not perfect english at the red dots? If I wanna change my plans i have to ask ppl.. since its impossible to read plans (at least it was for me last time i visited japan)

    Thank you very much and keep up the good work with the Homepage!

    Greetings from Switzerland.
    Michael

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your comment about my website.

      1. If I get a 14day pass, and do this route in about 10 days, the pass is still way cheaper right? Even if I wouldn’t use it for anything else?
      Yes. 14 days pass is still cheaper than single ticket.

      2. And if I dont use the last 2 or 3 days.. can I give the pass to some1 else?
      No. Your name will be shown on the pass. No one can use your pass.

      3. And the most important question, if found this great map with all the JR lines and where they have offices (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=70698843), is there always some1 who speaks good, not perfect english at the red dots? If I wanna change my plans i have to ask ppl.. since its impossible to read plans (at least it was for me last time i visited japan)

      Those stations have exchange office. Usually there is a staff who can understand English. You can refer the list at the following link too:
      http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en009.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Gena Ng
    Gena says:

    Hello, thanks for all the helpful information on your website! I have a question – my current planned itinerary is this:

    Tokyo – Osaka – Hiroshima – Tokyo

    I’m also planning to make side trips to Miyajima, Iwakuni, and maybe Nara. Would the JR 7 days rail pass be worth it? Can I also use the pass to travel to Hakone?

    Thank you!

    Best,
    Gena

  7. momof3letitbe
    Amy says:

    Hello,

    My husband and I are traveling to Japan for the first time in September. I am confused by the JR Pass and uncertain as to whether or not we should purchase it. Her is our itinerary:

    Japan to Kyoto (which train do we take?)
    Kyoto to Hiroshima and Miyajima (round-trip as we are staying in Kyoto) (also, which train should we take?)
    Kyoto to Osaka airport (which train should we take?)

    Is the 7-day pass our best bet?

    Thanks so much!
    Amy

  8. siewkingteh
    Teh says:

    I am going Kyoto from Tokyo for 2 days trip, but it is cost approximate 27,000 yuan round trip by Shinkansen. May i know what type of pass is the best choose for me? Thank you.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Teh,
      You have only two choices, Japan Rail Pass 7 days or single ticket.
      JR pass is more expensive (28,300 yen) than single ticket. However if you have some more trips in Kyoto or Tokyo, JR pass will be cheaper.
      Cheers,
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Julia says:

    1. Is Suica only valid in Tokyo, can it be used in Kyoto, Hiroshima?
    2. How do I make the most with JR pass in the following route?
    3. How to travel from Shinjuku to Kyoto? What station to disembark ? Do I need to get off and transfer? I stay at Westin Miyako, close to Keage. I think they have a shuttle from Kyoto station. If not how do I get to hotel?
    4. How about from Kyoto (keage) to Hiroshima?
    5. Kyoto ( Keage ) to Osaka?
    6. How from Keage to Nagoya?
    7. Nagoya to Tokyo/Shinagawa

  10. Julia says:

    I’ll arrive Narita on 14 of August, late evening, after getting my luggage, going through immigration, exchange rail pass and reserve seat, do I have enough time to take Narita express into town?

    Does the pass calculate on 24 hr span, so if I start 9pm on 14 of August, is it consider a day? Or good till the next day at 9pm?

    Basically I’ll stay in Toyko for 2 nights and then my goal is to travel to Kyoto and stay there for 5 nights and go to Osaka and Nara through Kyoto. And then exit out of Tokyo. I have basically 8 days. (but if I count solid days, hr to hr, I have only 7 days.) Should I get a 7 day jr pass? Or what are the alternatives?

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Julia,
      I already answer about how to count the day of use. It is 0:00 to 23:59. So don’t use your pass on arrival day.
      If you can get out from Osaka by overnight train, you still can use your pass on even 8th day. Please see chapter 6 on the following link:
      http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en008.html
      14 days pass is too much. But if you use 7 days pass and cannot use for return to Tokyo, 7 days pass is more expensive than a single ticket. So all I can say to you is squeeze your trip in 7 days.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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