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  1. Dear Mr Takeshi
    We’ve finally have final itinerary and this is the detail
    7 Feb 2018 Sapporo (not using jr pass)
    8 Feb 2018 Sapporo (not using jr pass)
    9 Feb 2018 Sapporo-Asahikawa by ltd.exp kamui
    10 feb 2018 Asahikawa-Abashiri by ltd exp okhotsx
    11 Feb 2018 Abashiri-Asahikawa by ltd. exp okhostx
    12 feb 2018 Asahikawa-Toyako (jr muroran) by ltd. exp ilaxc and ltd. exp hokuto
    13 feb 2018 Toyako-hakodate by ltd. exp hokuto
    14 Feb 2018 hakodate-nagano by lt exp hokuto,sihinkansen hayabusa and shinkansen kagayaki
    15 Feb 2018 Nagano-Kanazawa-Ikebukuro shinkansen hakutaka/kagayaki
    Question :
    1. is it cover all routes by jr pass for 9 feb to 15 Februari 2018 (7 days)
    2. 2 days in sapporo, what should pass i choose if we are planning to otaru ?
    3. is there lockers in kanazawa station ? because we want to put our luggage in station while sightseeing/visiting to shirakawago
    4. jr pass cover bus from asahikawa station to asahiyama zoo ?
    and train inside city asahikawa cover by jr pass ?
    5. we are planning stay in tokyo and yokohama from 15 to 18 Februari 2018, what is your suggest for pass in tokyo ?

    Thanks for your kindness help

    Regards
    Budi nio

    1. Hi Budi nio,

      1. Yes.

      2. Single ticket is the choice.

      3. Yes. Even if all lockers in Kanazawa station are full, you still can use the locker or luggage storage in Shirakawago.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-get-shirakawa-go-%E7%99%BD%E5%B7%9D%E9%83%B7.html

      You must book a seat for taking bus to Shirakawago in advance.
      https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/highwaybus/shirakawago.pdf

      This bus is not covered by JR pass.

      4. No. If you take JR trains in Asahikawa, it’s covered.

      5. Please see the links below:
      https://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
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/yokohama-and-kamakura-access-guide-find-the-right-deal-and-route-from-your-place-to-stay.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear mr Takeshi

        Thanks for quick answer..once more question how to buy ticket aurora ice drift in abashiri?
        I’m afraid the ticket is sold out if we buy in february 2018

        Regards
        Budi

  2. we are planing to purchase return ticket (e voucher) of SHINKANSEN NOZOMI for traveling between Tokyo and Osaka.

    My question is that

    1)Can we take drop while traveling from Tokyo to Osaka at Kyoto and Re board Shinkansen NOZOMI for Osaka after 2/3 hours USING SAME ABOVE RETURN TICKET without paying extra fare.

    2) OR can we travel to Kyoto after reaching Osaka and come back to Osaka using above ticket

    1. Hi PRAKASH,

      I’m not sure which deal you meant. But in most of cases, both ways are not allowed. If you get off at Kyoto, your ticket is expired. You need to purchase a regular ticket to get Kyoto after arrival in Osaka. But there are several deals. Please ask your dealer to make sure it.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. I am planning a one way 12 days trip from Tokyo to Osaka via hakone, kyoto.
    What is the best mode of transport / pass for me if i would like to explore something that covers me from Narita all the way to Osaka Kansai international airport?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Shannon,

      There is no deals to cover whole part of your trip. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7days/basic-itinerary-of-osaka-kyoto-and-tokyo-in-7-days.html

      You may add Hakone between Kyoto and Tokyo. You can access from Odawara.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html

      You can visit Hakone as day trip from Tokyo too.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. I need some help with interpreting the timetable for the Resort Shirakami train.
    I have looked at the timetable here: https://jprail.com/travel-informations/seasonal-trains-schedule/schedule-of-2017-fall-seasonal-trains-of-japan-railways.html#Rapid_Resort_Shirakami
    Can you confirm that the Resort Shirakami travels from Akita to Hirosaki on October 23, departing at 10.38? (I am not certain about the date ranges)
    I have purchased a JR East Pass and plan to reserve this train when I arrive in Japan in early October. Am I likely to have difficulty getting a reservation?
    Thanks for your assistance.

  5. Dear Takeshi

    My itinerary to Hokkaido was as below:-
    Day 1 – Arrive Sapporo at night
    Day 2 – Sapporo city (use subway/streetcar)
    Day 3 – Sapporo~Otaru~Sapporo
    Day 4 – Sapporo-Noboribetsu~Sapporo
    Day 5 – Sapporo~Hakodate
    Day 6 – Hakodate~Lake Toya~Hakodate
    Day 7 – Hakodate City (use subway/tram)
    Day 8 – Fly off from Hakodate Airport

    Base on the above, is it advisable for me to get 3 days Hokkaido rail pass or 4 days Flexible Hokkaido rail pass in order to cover Day 4,5 & 6. I believe i should get single ticket for Otaru.

    Beside, please suggest an IC card which can use both in Sapporo city & Hakodate for their city tram/subway.

    Thank you

      1. Hi takeshi

        Thanks for your information.

        If I am going to buy exchange order for Hokkaido rail pass yet my friend going to buy exchange order for JR East South Hokkaido pass , when we going to make online reservation as per the JR east website you mention, for the trip in Day 4-6, once we ask to choose which pass to click in, can we just click & reserve under JR East South Hokkaido pass so that we can get a seat in the same area.

        If we split the reservation , i worry i might not get the same seat area as per my friend.

        Can we do so, please advise, thanks

        1. Hi Lai,

          You can book under any train passes at JR East reservation site. If you choose Hokkaido Rail Pass, only trains in Hokkaido will be shown. So you can book all seat under JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

      2. Hi Takeshi

        If we do not sure whether our Day 6 will be going to Lake Toya or Onuma park which using our JR East South Hokkaido Pass & Hokkaido 3 Day Pass, and we do not reserve any seat online. So, on the day itself can we still get the reservation seat at the station, How can we reserve our seat if we do not do online before we fly in to Japan.

        Which route will you recommend between Lake Toya & Onuma Park, as we will be going to Noboribetsu as well, so wonder is Noboribetsu about the same as Lake Toyo. Appreciate your advise

        1. Hi Lai pw,

          You can book at major stations. Most of major stations have reservation window which is called “Midori no Madoguchi”. Please refer the link below:
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/how-to-reserve-seat.html

          Major stations include even Noboribetsu, Toya, Onuma-Koen. Of course big city station, such as Sapporo, Hakodate, Otaru have the window.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Dear Takashi,
    following is my visit schedule in Japan during sep/oct 2017
    26 Sep Arrival Narita Terminal 2 JL 720 17:25
    26-28 sep Shibuya Excel Htl Tokyu
    exploring edo museum
    28-30 sep Hotel Lake Villa Kawaguchiko
    30 sep- 4 oct Kyoto Htl the Celestine Gion
    Kyoto down town, Nara, Kobe day trip
    4-5 oct Tokyo Shibuya Excel Htl Tokyu
    5 Oct shibuya to Narita Term 2 airport and fly to Jak by JL 729 18:15
    Please advice the most economical way for us (2 pax) , whether the Tokyo Wide rail pass is OK , since the validity only 3 days.

    Your comment is highly appreciated.

    kind regards,
    Budi Japadermawan

    1. Hi Budi,

      Tokyo Wide Pass is not a right choice because it does not cover Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. I recommend you to use JR pass 7 days for the last 7 days.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html

      You may use other deal in Tokyo.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/narita/the-list-of-deals-for-access-to-downtown-tokyo-from-narita-airport.html

      You can take Express bus from Shinjuku to Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Kawaguchi to Mishima.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html

      You will start using JR pass when you are in Lake Kawaguchi but it does not help anything until you get Mishima.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi Takeshi san

    I am travelling to Japan in November with my mum for 2 weeks. I have put together this plan but it can be changed if it needs to be. I just wanted to run the plan by yourself to see if any improvements could be made. Just for perspective i am 29 years old and my mum is 57 years old. She does struggle walking some distance but she will always try her best to explore where i take her. I plan to buy a 7 day rail pass for this trip as i was hoping i could do all the travelling within 1 week and have a relatively easy 2nd week.

    Day 1 – Sun
    Arrive Narita Airport 1035
    Take Taxi/ NEX/ Limousine Bus to Tokyo Station
    Check in to hotel at Tokyo Station
    Explore Ginza and Tokyo Station area

    Day 2 – Mon
    Take JR Shinkansen to Hiroshima
    H461 Tokyo 0703 – Shin Kobe 1015 / S551 Shin Kobe 1022 – Hiroshima 1136
    H463 Tokyo 0803 – Shin Kobe 1115 / S553 Shin Kobe 1122 – Hiroshima 1236
    H465 Tokyo 0903 – Shin Kobe 1215 / S555 Shin Kobe 1223 – Hiroshima 1337
    Check in to hotel at Hiroshima Station
    Visit Miyajima for afternoon/ early evening
    Hondori for shopping and dinner

    Day 3 – Tue
    Check out of hotel and store luggage
    Visit Hiroshima area
    A-Bomb Dome
    Peace Memorial Park and Museum
    Hiroshima Castle
    Take JR Shinkansen to Osaka
    S556 Hiroshima 1522 – Shin Osaka 1648
    S558 Hiroshima 1622 – Shin Osaka 1748
    S560 Hiroshima 1722 – Shin Osaka 1848
    S562 Hiroshima 1747 – Shin Osaka 1924
    Check in to hotel at Shin Osaka/ Umeda/ Osaka Station

    Day 4 – Wed
    Kyoto day
    Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
    Kinkakuji
    Fushimi Inari
    Kiyomizudera

    Day 5 – Thur
    Kyoto
    Nara

    Day 6 – Fri
    JR Shinkansen to Shin Kobe
    H495 Shin Osaka 0839 – Shin Kobe 0852
    S549 Shin Osaka 0918 – Shin Kobe 0931
    K633 Shin Osaka 0935 – Shin Kobe 0949
    OR Take Local Lines – Hankyu-Kobe Line/ Hanshin Line/ JR Kobe Line
    Shin Kobe Ropeway
    Nunobiki Herb Garden
    Explore Kitano area
    Sannomiya area & eat Kobe Beef lunch
    Kobe Harborland
    Back to Osaka

    Day 7 – Sat
    Osaka day
    Osaka Castle
    Umeda Sky Building
    Shinsaibashi shopping street
    Dotonbori
    Namba – Hep5

    Day 8 – Sun
    JR Shinkansen to Tokyo Station
    Take subway/train/taxi to hotel
    Check in to hotel

    Day 9 – Mon
    Yokohama
    Cup Noodle Museum
    Pompompurin cafe
    Elephant Nose Park

    Day 10 – Tue
    Asakusa
    Sensoji Temple
    Sumida Park
    Skytree 0800 – 2200
    Odaiba – Venus Fort/ Liberty statue

    Day 11 – Wed
    Ghibli Museum
    Kichijoji
    Kawagoe
    Ikebukuro – Sunshine City

    Day 12 – Thur
    Harajuku – Meiji Jingu
    Omotesando – Cat street
    Shibuya
    Shinjuku – Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory

    Day 13 – Fri
    Shimokitazawa
    Jiyugoaka – Peter Rabbit cafe
    Futakotamagawa – Tama River/ Okura Tonkatsu
    Sangenjaya – Carot Tower Observatory

    Day 14 – Sat
    Taxi/ NEX 0700
    Leave Narita Airport 1235

    2 things to note are that i cannot change my flights since these are booked and i cannot change the day of the Ghibli Museum visit. Everything else can be moved around and changed since i have not booked any accommodation or booked any tickets for anything else at this point. I have planned some train times to catch since i wanted to be in certain areas for a certain time. Where i have not included a train time it is either i am not sure yet and would like advice or it doesn’t really matter what time we go. I will welcome your feedback on my plan and thank you in advance for your help.

    1. Hi Sammie,

      Your plan is very organized. I don’t have anything to change. You can keep this itinerary.

      You can use JR pass 7 days as you think from day 2 to 8. If you want to take Narita Express, you can use NEX round trip ticket.
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/nex_round.html?src=gnavi

      There are other deals available, such as Limousine + subway pass or Budget bus + subway pass. These deals include subway pass and you can use this after day 10.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/narita/the-list-of-deals-for-access-to-downtown-tokyo-from-narita-airport.html

      But subway pass covers downtown Tokyo only. In your plan, it’s effective on day 10 and 12. So if you add 48 hours pass, you may switch day 10 and 13, and use subway pass for day 12 and 13.

      You can find some deals for Yokohama. But other part of Tokyo is not covered by any deals. You may have Suica or Pasmo.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/yokohama-and-kamakura-access-guide-find-the-right-deal-and-route-from-your-place-to-stay.html
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html?src=gnavi
      http://www.pasmo.co.jp/en/

      At last, you may add Osaka amazing pass for day 7. Even though you will have JR pass, subway is more convenient. Amazing pass includes subway pass and attraction’s admission:
      https://www.osaka-info.jp/osp/en/

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you so much for your quick reply. I do like an organised plan so I will have a look at what you have mentioned. Thank you 🙂

  8. hi takeshi!i will be travelling to tokyo with 8 elders (60-75 yrs old) and 1 disabled person. can you recommend cheap airport tranfer services? thanks!

  9. This is Kathy again – sorry another question,
    I am coming to Tokyo with my daughter and grand-daughter on 1st November. My husband will join us on the night of 8th and we want to go straight to Kyoto next morning as quickly as we can – then we will all return to Narita on 15th November.
    I am thinking of buying either the 7 day JR pass or the Japanican E-voucher for Nozomi Tokyo/Kyoto/Tokyo for all of us – probably the JR pass.
    My question is whether I will be able to buy our tickets to Kyoto on Nozomi or Hikari before my husband arrives. I will have his E-voucher or JR pass with me but not his passport of course. I am concerned that in mid-November these trains will be busy and he doesn’t get in until quite late on 8th.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      You cannot book for him if you use JR Pass. You need to exchange the pass first but you cannot do it without his passport.
      I have never used Tokyo Kyoto Nozomi deal. But I think you need an actual passport to exchange too.

      Basically you need an actual passport for using either these. However Shinkansen booking is not such a hard thing. Shinkansen is always busy but there are lots of trains and you will be able to make it.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Thanks so much Takeshi,
    I’ll do the sums again. To make it clear, here is the current itinerary (always changeable).
    1st Nov – 9th Nov Tokyo (Disneyland and lots of shorter trips in Tokyo)
    9th train to Kyoto (3 adults and
    stay Kyoto to 15th and go out to Nara, Himeji and possible Okayama, Hikone etc
    15th train to Narita drop off the girls at Narita on 16th
    16th late train to Sakasaki stay one night
    17th train to Nagano stay two nights with possible side trips to Kazuirawa and Obuse
    19th pick up car and drive possible to Nanao – two nights Noto Peninsula
    21st drive to Kanazawa 2 nights
    23rd drive to Gujo Hachiman area (maybe via Shirakawago)
    24th drive to Narai Juku
    25th drive to Matsumoto and return car stay Matsumoto
    26th train to Narita and fly out that night.
    The 14 day pass doesn’t fit 9th – 26th so I was thinking 1 X 7 day pass for the Kyoto stretch and then the JR East pass for the second part. Someone suggested going straight to Kanazawa instead of Nagano to catch the peak koyo there so I was looking into how I could that.
    I am so glad you are there to ask these question. It is all quite difficult for outsiders to work out the different rail lines and different passes.
    regards Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Okay. Your choice is JR East Pass to extra fare for Joetstu-Myoko to Kanazawa which is the outside coverage area. When you get JR East Pass, you can purchase the extra fare ticket too and you will get same seat until you get Kanazawa from Nagano. The extra fare is around 6000 yen.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Thank you so much for all your help Takashi. It has all been so useful in our planning!
            regards
            Kathy

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