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4,454 thoughts on “Forums”

  1. Is there any way we can use a JR rail pass from Niigata to go to Osaka. Which train can we use with the JR rail pass. We will be going in Dec.
    I know there is no direct train nor a seasonal train. What are the options available using JR rail pass.

    Thank you

  2. Hi Takeshi San,

    We are a family of 2 adults and 3 children age 5,7 and 9 will be traveling to Japan on December for the first time. We found that your site is very helpful. But we are still confuse about what passes is better for our 9 days 8 nights trip. Hope you can give us some advise.

    Here is our itinerary:-

    7 Dec——-Arrive at KIX at 8:35 am. Straight to Kyoto. Check in Budget Inn at Shimogyo-ku
    Aburanokoji,Shichijo-sagaru Aburanokoji.

    8 Dec——-Kyoto.

    9 Dec——-Kyoto. A day trip to Nara.

    10 Dec——Check out from Kyoto to Osaka. Check in Hotel Universal Port.

    11 Dec——Osaka sightseeing. Universal Studio. Dontobori.

    12 Dec——Osaka. Aquarium Kaiyukan.

    13 Dec——Castle, Umeda floating building.

    14 Dec——Osaka.

    15 Dec——Osaka. Depart from KIX at 16:25.

    Sir, we would like to go to Arashiyama. Do you think we can plan one day for that? Wonder can see any snow by that time?

    We would appreciate your advise on our transport arrangement details on our itinerary.

    Thank you so so much!

    Geogina. (Malaysia)

    1. Hi Geogina,
      I suggest you to use the following ticket/pass:

      Dec 7 Take Haruka to get Kyoto.
      Use ICOCA and Haruka round trip ticket.

      Dec 8 2 You can go to Arashiyama this day. But you may spend whole day. If you want to see some more places in Kyoto, you need to finish it on day 1. OR give up to go to Nara.
      You may use Kyoto 1 day pass as you need.

      Dec 9 Use ICOCA (e-money) to go to Nara. If you give up Nara, you can use this e-money to get Osaka.

      Dec 10 If you still have e-moeny, you can use it to get Osaka. Otherwise purchase single ticket.
      Take Special Rapid to get Osaka. And transfer to Osaka Kanjo line and then transfer to Yumsaki line at Nishikujo.

      Dec 11-14 Single ticket is fine. You won’t get a long trip.

      Dec 15 Use remaining ICOCA and Haruka round trip ticket to get KIX.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Hello,

    I am a new resident to Japan & have taken a few return trips from Sasebo Eki to Mikawachi Eki by purchasing a prepaid return ticket.

    Now I find that I may need to travel only one-way from Mikawachi Eki to Sasebo Eki but the Mikawachi station is unattended when usually I travel & has no ticket vending machine.

    My question is, do I pay once I arrive at Sasebo and if so how do I show that I got on at Mikawachi?

    Thanks in advance,

  4. Takeshi-san,

    I check the JR Pass exchange office list. I realized that Nara do not have an exchange office. In this case, I have to make my resevation or exchange my train ticket in advance in Osaka or Kyoto when I am there? Therefore, if I want to travel from Tennoji to Nara and Nara to Kyoto. I have to reserve my train for this two legs. May be also Kyoto to Tokyo.
    When I use the Hyperdia to search for Himej to Kansai Airport. It says, Himeji to Osaka (Arrival track no. 9/Departure track No. 1) In this case, I need to get out of the train and run over to track 1 to catch the other train to Kansai. What happen if the train leave and I miss it…
    From Hachioji to Kyoto, shows that “Take time: 196 Minutes Transfer: 1” Hachioji ->Shin-Yokohama->Kyoto. Need to get out and change to another train? or stay in the same train.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Lindsay san,

      Once you turn in the pass, you can make a reservation at any “Midori no Madoguchi” (reservation window). It is different from exchange office for Japan Rail Pass. You can make a reservation at exchange office too. But you don’t need to do all. Most of stations have Midori no Madoguchi. Of course Nara has it.

      Regarding transfer, you are right. You need to change the train. “Take time: 196 Minutes Transfer: 1″ means total travel time is 196 minutes and transfer once. In this case, you need to change the train at Shin Yokohama. If you miss the train, you need to check next train. If you travel in Osaka and Tokyo, there are lots of trains. It comes every 10 minutes. On some lines, train comes every 3 minutes. But when you take Shinkansen, in daytime, Hikari is operated every 30 minutes. Nozomi is available more. But it is not covered by the pass. If you worry about the miss, try to take one earlier train.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. Hi
    Me and my husband are planning a trip to Japan in second week of Dec. We have booked our flights from Singapore to Osaka and return from Nigata. We have total 7 days. We intend to visit Tokyo and Kyoto aswell. We are planning to buy the JP rail pass from osaka to go to tokyo and other places.I would like to ask how many days do you recommend to stay in Osaka , Tokyo , Kyoto and which day trips can we do using the JP rail pass while staying in Tokyo and Osaka.
    Which are other good places for good shopping in these cities.Any other places must see places we are missing on.

    1. Hi sweetlady123,

      I recommend you to read this site.
      As long as you are in Osaka or Tokyo, there are so many shopping spots.

      Japan Rail Pass valid for 7 days. So you can use the pass from the beginning of your trip to the end. There are many places to see among Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo and Niigata, such as Takayama, Kanazawa, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Nikko and many more places. You can learn it on the above site as well.

      If you really want to see Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo, you can spend all 7 days there. But it depends on where you want see and what you want to do. First of all, you should try to make a rough plan by yourself.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. We are planning to travel one way to Hakone-Yumoto from Shinjuku and will be spending 3 nights there. ( i.e. 4 days in total ; Arriving Day 1 and departing Day 4 )

    I understand that the Hakone Freepass is only available for 3 days so on our 4th day we will need to buy a single ticket from Hakone-Yumoto to Odawara in order to pick up the Shinkansen for travel to Kyoto.

    As we will be travelling just one way from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto, what is the most economical way of using the Odakyu line’s “Romancecar” to journey from Tokyo to Hakone and also take advantage of the Hakone Freepass to cover our 4 days of travel into and out of the Hakone area ?

    e.g. Is it better to buy a single ticket from Shinjuku to Odawara and buy the Hakone Freepass to cover Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto ( Yen 4,400 /adult ) and our 3 days there


    buy the Hakone Freepass from Shinjuku ( Yen 5,500 /adult ) and buy a SINGLE ticket from Hakone-Yumoto to Odawara ?

    ( Pls note I am unable to find the cost on the internet of a SINGLE fare on the Odakyu railway from either Shinjuku to Odawara ( outbound journey ) OR Hakone-Yumoto to Odawara ( for our return journey ) )

    Thank you for any advice you can offer.


    1. Hi RWA,

      Shinjuku-Odawara (one way)
      Single fare 850 yen
      Limited Express supplement 870 yen

      Hakone Pass cover only regular fare, not supplement.
      So the pass for dep from Odawara is better.

      If you want to get another fare, you can find it at Hyperdia.
      It doesn’t show Shinjuku (Odakyu). But you can use Shinjuku (JR) and take check mark out from JR column. You still can get Odakyu fare.

      If you still haven’t read the following post, it may give you some more idea.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  7. Hi Takuji San

    How are you doing?

    I want to ask you something regarding the visit to Ise-Shi…When you have some time to spare, would you help me to check the route out?

    I tried to read the CAN bus schedule you sent to me earlier on and figure out the route for 08 Sep (Sat) to visit Meotoiwa and Ise Jingu (Naigu and Gegu)
    Ps. the earlier plan was to visit Naigu and Gegu in 2 different days.

    09:20 Hotel – Ugata by shuttle bus (approximately 20 minutes journey)

    09:50 Ugata – 10:24 Toba by Kintetsu Shima Line Local

    10:40 Toba Bus Centre – 10:54 Meotoiwa Higashiguchi or 10:58 Futamigaura Omotesandou?
    Q: Where should I stop to see Meoto Iwa? I checked using google but I could not find clear information. The distance between both places is only like 4 minutes though. Do you think 15 minutes is enough for visiting Meotoiwa?

    11:14 Meotoiwa Higashiguchi or 11:18 Futamigaura Omotesandou to 12:13 Naigu

    13:13 Naigu to 13:31 Gegu

    14:31 Gegu to 14:34 Ujiyamada

    14:48 Ujiyamada to 16:38 Osaka Namba by Kintetsu Ltd. Exp, and walk to Namba-Nankai.
    Q: Is this a better way to go to Namba-Nankai? I checked using hyperdia and found that if I do not want ordinary train, I could take the train straight from Ujiyamada to Osaka Namba, then walk from
    But if I include ordinary train in my search, I would have travel as such: Ujiyamada to Tsuruhashi (Kintetsu Ltd. Exp.) + Tsuruhashi to Namba (Kintetsu Nara Line Local) + Namba to Namba-Nankai (walk).

    Btw, CAN bus’s fare is not included in KRPW, isn’t it?

    Many thanks in advance…

    Hi Takeshi-San

    Hope you don’t mind I write to Takuji-San for the above matter in this forum…



    1. Hi miki san,

      I checked your itinerary. I would suggest to allow more time for Naigu if you want to have lunch and check out the Omiyage shops in Okageyokocho but I think this is all right.

      A: Please get off at Meotoiwa Higashiguchi. You have to walk 10 min or so (if I remember correctly) along the beach to get to the Meoto iwa. The next bus is 11:14 and you have 20 min. I think 20 min is a bit too busy. If you catch the 11:44, you will have 50 min which is more than enough. I’d recommend 11:44.

      >11:14 Meotoiwa Higashiguchi or 11:18 Futamigaura Omotesandou to 12:13 Naigu

      I think it is a typo but arrival time at Naigu is incorrect. Please check the time table again.

      The CAN bus is operated by Mie Koutsu and it is included in KRPW.

      In addition to the CAN bus, ordinary buses are also available between Gegu and Naigu, but you will notice when you get there anyway. From Gegu, you can walk to Ise shi station in 5 minutes.

      A: Please take limited express straight to Osaka Namba. Then, walk to Nankai Namba station. Some limited express trains are bound for Uehonmachi. If you take that, please change at Uehonmachi to Osaka Namba. it will take only 5 min.
      Whichever train you take, you do not have to change at Tsuruhashi.

      I think you are now ready to go.Last but not least, please relax and go slow… 🙂

      1. Sorry, I had a second thought. If you take a limited express bound for Uehonmachi, transfer at Tsuruhashi is better. If you transfer at Tsuruhashi, the next local train departs from the same platform. if you transfer at Uehonmachi, the next local train departs from different platform. I hope I didn’t confuse you… In fact, you can transfer either Tsuruhashi or Uehonmachi. both are ok.

      2. Hi Takuji-San

        I also want to spend some more time at Okageyokocho, but for that I may have to either skip Meotoiwa or visit Meotoiwa on the earlier day. I probably have to reach Osaka before 6pm on 08 Sep to meet my seminar group people…I do not know there are ordinary buses between Naigu and Gegu. If I can use them and do not have to depend on CAN bus, may be I would be able to do all in one day. Anyway, I’ll just prepare two plans, just in case.

        Thanks for checking the day schedule and pointing out the timing typo error.

        I will take the ltd express straight to Osaka Namba, and take the other option via Tsuruhashi only if I am pressed for time.

        Ha ha, ok i will try to relax and go slow. But it may be a bit hard when one travelling alone and have certain schedules.

        Thanks for the great help again, Takuji-San. Have a great Sunday!


        1. Hi miki san
          I just checked the bus timetable between Naigu and Gegu. The bus comes every 10 minutes. That will give you more flexibility. Enjoy your trip!

        2. Hi Takuji-San

          I would not be able to make an organised day trip to Ise-shi as well as Nagoya without your generous help. I am a bit nervous with visit to these two areas as I never been there before and being on a rather restricted schedule (as I have to go to Osaka afterwards on certain date and timing). I hope I would have the opportunity to return your kindness in near time. Doumo arigatou gozaimashita, Takuji-San.

          Hi Takeshi-San

          Thank you for kindly providing me the space to communicate with Takuji-San in finalising some parts of my trip. I hope I wasn’t being rude in doing so.



  8. Hi Takeshi san,

    We are one group consist of 8 adults & 8 children & it will be our first time travelling to Japan on Dec 2012.

    We plan to buy 7 day JR Pass & this is our itinerary :

    Dec 23 arrive at KIX at 9 am & will stay in Floral Inn Hotel Namba,Osaka until Dec 26. We plan to go around Osaka (Universal Studio, Osaka Aquarium, Osaka Castle & Umeda Sky Bldg), Kyoto (Sanjusangendo, Kiyomizu temple, Heian Shrine,Kinkakuji Temple), Nara (Todaiji Temple, Nara Deer Park).

    Dec 26 will check out from Osaka & go to Resorpia Hakone Hotel to see Mount Fuji & will go around Hakone Area like oshino hakkai, izuhakone national park.

    Dec 27 will check out from Hakone & go to Smile Asakusa Hotel, Tokyo for one night only.

    But on Dec 28 will check out from Asakusa,Tokyo & go to Jal City Nagano Hotel (visit Shiga Kogen).

    And then we will go back to Smile Asakusa Hotel, Tokyo again on Dec 29 until Dec 31.
    In Tokyo, we plan to go around Tokyo such as Tsukiji Market, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, Imperial Palace, Asakusa, Odaiba & Roppongi.

    Dec 31 check out from Asakusa,Tokyo & head off to Narita Airport (11 am flight)

    We would appreciate your advice on our transportation arrangement details based on our itinerary. Do we need to buy additional local Pass or separate subway/bus card as to be more efficient & convenient for our transfer?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    1. Hi Nony,

      First of all, JR Pass 7 days is a good choice. You can use the pass on your trip for Dec 25 to 31, 7 days.
      But you need to buy day pass of single ticket for the following areas or sections:

      KIX – Namba

      Sightseeing in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara

      JR Pass do not cover in Hakone. You can use the pass to Odawara by Shinkansen. And then you need to pay some extra.

      Shiga Kogen
      You cannot reach there by JR lines. You can go to Nagano by Shinkansen. And then you need to take Nagano Railway or bus.
      Nagano Railway do not have any English website. See this page to get the details:

      Even though JR pass is still valid, you may need to pay some extra:

      You can use JR train to Narita. But you cannot take any JR trains from Asakusa.
      Limousine bus or Keisei line are easier to access from Asakusa.


      Takeshi / JP Rail
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Hi,
    You have a very helpful site, but I need to confirm my plans as the best option. Following a tour in Kyoto and surrounding areas, I will stay 5 days (leaving on 5th day) from KIX airport.

    I am going to Himeji, Kanazawa, perhaps 2x, and then a day or two in Kyoto , if I dont go to kanazawa a second time by train.

    I think a Kansai area wide pass will work for the first 4 days, and a Kyoto sightseeing bus/subway pass to get around the 4 days (4000Y). That leaves getting to the airport on the last day. Seems I will save over the JR pass. Would I pay separately for the kanazawa trips ?

    Lastly, can you buy a 4 day kanzai pass and then a 1 day to total 5days.


    1. Hi Marilyn,

      Kansai Wide Area Pass is not a bad choice. But if you have trip to Kanazawa twice, Japan Rail Pass 7 days is cheaper than single fare to Kanazawa. Please see the following post:

      If you have 7 days JR Pass, it cover all area where Kansai WIDE Area Pass. And Kanazwa is not included in WIDE Area Pass.

      So if you are sure you are going to Kanazawa twice, purchase 7 days JR pass. If you are not sure, choose Kansai WIDE Area Pass and another 1 day JR West Kansai pass as you think now.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Hi,
        I have decided to just go to Kanazawa once, and use the kansai area pass 3 days for other travel (Himeji etc).

        I am a little confused. Do you mean in your response to me, that the JR West Pass Kansai goes to Kanazawa or part way and pay extra? I can not seem to find that route, or do you mean another JR West train goes there?

        I know from your posts that the Thunderbird train is best but I cant tell which line that is on in order to buy a one day ticket before I go in October. Thanks in advance for the clarification.


        1. Hi Marilyn,

          If you use Kansai WIDE Area Pass 4 days, the pass cover to Tsuruga. You need to pay the extra for Tsuruga to Kanazawa return. But if you use Kansai area pass 3 days. the pass do not cover any express train except Haruka. You need to pay full express trains supplement to Kanazawa and regular fare from Kyoto to Kanazawa. It will be almost full fare.

          Kansai Area Pass 3 days 5,000 yen + 6,800 yen (one way for Kyoto-Kanazawa)
          Kansai WIDE Area Pass 4 days 7,000 yen + 4,500 yen (one way for Tsuruga-Kanazawa)

          As you see, WIDE Area Pass 4 days is much cheaper.


          Takeshi / JP Rail

    1. Hi Beeb,
      Single ticket is cheaper than JR pass 7 days. It is not a big gap. It may be a few thousand yen. If you will take more train in Tokyo, JR pass is better choice.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

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