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4,999 thoughts on “Forums”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    We are having 5 days 4 nights in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. We would like to ask for your opinion on the passes that suitable for our trip. We will staying in Tamatsukiri station and will be going for day trip to Kyoto and Nara. Below is our itinery planning.

    Day1(reach early morning): KIX to Shinsaibashi . Osaka attractions (Dotonbori, Osaka Castle, Shinsekai, Shitennoji
    Day2: USS
    Day3: Kyoto (Nanzenji, Rifokuji Temple, Fushimi Inari shrine, Nishiki market, Kiyomizudera Temple, Gion Dustrict)
    Day4: Nara (Nara park, Kasuga Taisha shrine,Todai ji temple,)
    Day5: Osaka attraction , to tokyo

    Thanks & Regards,

    1. Hi Syuen,

      You may use Kansai thru pass 3 days for day 1, 3 and 4.

      Regular ticket is okay for day 2.

      For day 5, you may use the deal in the link below:

      For trip to Tokyo, there is no deals available. If you intend to take Shinkansen (bullet train), Platt Kodama may be considerable:


      Takeshi /

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    Travelling Japan will be a wonderful experience but I have working on these itineraries for months. First I went all out for a JR 14 day pass, then put that aside to a JR 7 day pass and now have put that aside. (Totally Confused)
    OPtion 1
    My Itinerary; July 2nd – July 18th 16 days
    Narita – Tokyo 4 days (Suica Cards)
    Shinjuku – Hakone – Yumoto ( one way Romance Car)
    Hakone 2 days
    Odawara – Hiroshima (one-way Shinkansen)
    Hiroshima & Miyajima 3 days
    Hiroshima – Kyoto
    Kyoto 4 days (day trips Nara etc)
    Kyoto – Osaka
    Osaka 4 nights (day trips Himeji / Kobe
    Osaka to ITAMI Airport/Flight to Narita

    OPTION 2;
    Odawara – Kyoto (one-way Shinkansen)
    Kyoto 4 days (day trips Nara etc)
    Kyoto – Hiroshima
    Hiroshima & Miyajima 3 days
    Hiroshima – Himeji – Kobe- Osaka
    Osaka 4 nights
    Osaka to ITAMI Airport/Flight to Narita

    OPTION 3
    Odawara – Kyoto (one-way Shinkansen Hikari)
    JR West Hiroshima 5 day pass
    Kyoto – Shin Osaka
    Shinkansen Nozomi to Hiroshima
    Hiroshima & Miyajima 3 nights
    Hiroshima – Himeji – Kyoto
    Kyoto 4 days (day trips Nara etc)
    Kyoto – Osaka
    Osaka – Kobe etc )
    Osaka 4 nights (day trips Himeji / Kobe
    Osaka to ITAMI Airport /Flight to Narita
    This will be for 3 adults (family) and appreciate any information regarding travel passes

    1. Hi Garry,

      If you pay regular fare for Odawara to Hiroshima and Hiroshima to Kyoto, total cost is almost same as JR pass 7 days. So if you can make Odawara-Hiroshima-Kyoto/Osaka in 7 days, JR pass 7 days is your choice.
      One way Shinkansen ticket for Odawara to Kyoto and Kansai Hiroshima area pass is cheaper than JR pass. But Kansai Hiroshima area pass does not cover reserved seat fee. Meanwhile JR pass does not cover Nozomi and Kansai Hiroshima area pass does. But I don’t think Nozomi ride is not required. Sakura’s reserved seat is more comfortable.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you for all your good information on our upcoming July holiday. Shin – Osaka to Hiroshima you would go on Sakura using Kansai 5 day Hiroshima pass? (Reserved? Non -Reserved?) I have read that the pass will not cover reserved seating. I have tried to costings on 14 day JR, 7 Day JR and just seems of costings. I understand with a Kansai 5 day pass it will cover all transport (Ropeways, Buses, Subway etc) in Shin- Osaka -Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji and last day Osaka to Kobe to Osaka

        1. Hi Garry,

          Kansai Hiroshima area pass does not cover reserved seat. Sakura has nice reserved seat but it’s not covered by Kansai Hiroshima area pass. If you want to take this, JR pass is your choice.

          Both JR Pass and Kansai Hiroshima area pass do not cover other than JR trains. You have to pay extra for taking subway, city bus, ropeway and non JR trains. The exception is ferry to Miyajima and JR bus in Hiroshima city.


          Takeshi /

    2. Hello Takeshi,
      My Sis & I are planning to travel to Osaka & Tokyo from Nov.1 thru 14, 2018. Can you please help me with an itinerary? Is it better to got to Osaka first then Tokyo or the reverse? We wanted to get a 2-way flight Manila-Osaka.
      We are also very interested in Takayama, Shirakawago & Arashiyama. But we don’t know how to start the itinerary, which place to go first and last. Is it also practical to stay in one of the inns at Shirakawago? or just do a day trip? We are very interested in authentic Japanese food and products. Please help us.

      Thank you in advance.

      1. Hi Rose,

        Actually you can visit first either Osaka or Tokyo. It doesn’t matter. Shirakawago and Takayama are very closed.

        But you cannot visit both as day trip from either Tokyo or Osaka. I recommend you to stay there at least one night. You may stay in Kanazawa too. It’s nice city too and it is also the gateway to Shirakawago.

        Arashiyama can be visited as day trip from Osaka. Of course you can stay in Kyoto too.

        The following sample is very closed to your trip plan. It may help you to build your trip plan.


        Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi san,

    i will be arriving in Japan this Feb 2018 for total of 12 days . This will be my first trip to Japan which i’m not too sure if I should purchase the JR Rail pass or IC cards, Suica ? Appreciate if you can give me some advice .

    Below is my drafted itinerary :
    Day 1 : Arrive Narita Airport in the morning, transfer to domestic flight to New Chitose Airport and take the train to Sapporo.
    Day 2 ( 2nights ) : From Sapporo to Hakodate by train
    Day 3 : At Hakodate. Heading to Mt. Hakodate, Fort Goryokaku, Morning market, Red brick warehouse , Motomachi
    Day 4 ( 4 nights ) : Leaving for Sapporo by train. Plan to stop by at Lake Toya or Noboribetsu for sightseeing before travelling back to Sapporo station within the day.
    Day 5 : at Sapporo , going to Shiroi Koibito Park, Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade
    Day 6 : Plan to go Furano Jam Garden, Anpanman Shop
    Day 7 : going to Otaru
    Day 8 ( 4 nights) : Sapporo to New Chitose Airport, take flight to Tokyo Haneda Airport. Then travel to Akasaka
    Day 9: Akasaka, Tokyo to Mt Fuji
    Day 10 : Akasaka, Tokyo to Tokyo Disney Land & Sea
    Day 11 : going Shinjuku, Harajuku, Ueno, attractions in Tokyo
    Day12 : Akasaka to Tokyo Narita Airport
    I would be grateful if you could advice whether to buy JR pass or/and travel card options within cities.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Jolin san,

      JR Pass is not required. You may use 5 days Hokkaido Rail Pass.

      And switch day 5 and 6. You may make the trip to Furano on day 5.

      For staying in Tokyo, you can may use subway deal in the link below:

      For trip to Fuji, you can take express bus.

      For the rest of the trip, you may use regular fare ticket. You can use IC card, such as Suica or Kitaca instead.


      Takeshi /

  4. Hi Takeshi,
    I will go to visit Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route on May 2018, can I buy tickets from Dentetsu Toyama to Murodo station round trip only i don’t want to go until ogizawa , please advise

    Thank you very much


  5. Dear Takeshi san
    I would like to ask if all train stations have luggage lockers? Or where can we find an info regarding this?
    We have planned itinerary which might force us to leave the luggage from morning till afternoon/evening and we prefer to leave it in a locker at a train station (for example, in Osaka-shin, Kurashiki, Okayama and Matsuyama).

    Thanks a lot. You site in very helpful

    1. Hi Yana san,

      Coin lockers can be found at most of stations. It’s hard to find the info in English. I have never seen the info in English which tells us number of lockers, which stations, size of lockers. I just can tell you the station which you mentioned me have coin lockers.


      Takeshi /

  6. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Thank you always for your kind advices. I will be using JR pass and be in Osaka for the last day. How can I utilize my JR pass to get to Kansai airport? I will plan my stay near the place with less transfers. Is it possible? Thank you.

    1. Hi Lisa san,

      You can take Limited Express Haruka or Kansai airport rapid:

      Most recommended places are Shin-Osaka or Tennoji. You can take Haruka from these stations and get Kansai airport directly. Haruka is better than Kansai airport rapid. Because this rapid train is a sort of commute trains.


      Takeshi /

  7. Is the Vista Car between Toba and Matsusaka on the Shima Peninsula a JR train or another company? I want to know if I can use my JR Pass on this car, but cannot find this information anywhere. Thank you in advance, Takeshi-san.

  8. Hello Takeshi,

    Good day to you. This is Ivy from Singapore, this will be my first trip to Japan which i’m not too sure if I should purchase the 7 days pass or by single trip purchase.

    I’ll be arriving at Nagoya airport and return back to Singapore via Osaka international airport.

    Below are my travel details:


    09th March – Nagoya
    10th March – Shirakawa go (Day trip)
    10th to 11th March – Nagoya
    11th March to 12th March – Kyoto
    12th March – Hiroshima
    13th March – Himeiji (Day trip)
    13th March – Kobe
    14th to 19th March – Osaka
    19th March – Osaka airport – Return back to Singapore in the morning 10.20 am.

    My flight back to Singapore from Osaka is in the morning at 10.30am. I was wondering if I should directly check in a hotel in the Osaka airport on the 18th March night? As I was told that the train in the morning is very crowed especially it’s on a weekday (Monday). It will be great if you could give me a few advice on the travel part. Looking forward to hear from you soon thanks and appreciated.

    1. Hi Ivy,

      You may use JR pass 7 days from 10th. Single fare is okay for airport to Nagoya. And you can add other deal in Osaka.

      As you think, morning peak hours are very busy. But if your hotel within walking distance from Namba, Tennoji or Shin-Osaka, you can catch limited express train, Haruka (Shin-Osaka or Tennoji), Rapi:t (Nankai railway Namba). These are not commute trains and you can avoid busy train. And also limousine bus to airport is your choice too.


      Takeshi /

      1. Dear Takeshi,

        Am really appreciated and take for your help with great advice. I really enjoy your post on your website, the information was impressive. I’ll recommend to my friend regarding your website. Have a good day ahead.


  9. Hi Takeshi

    Thank you for your site.

    I’d like your advice on any passes I could use to save up on my trip. Here’s my itinerary (so far).

    Day 1 (29 jan): Arrive at Nagoya airport, travel to Kyoto
    Days 2, 3, 4 Kyoto – possibly one day trip to Ise
    Days 5 Travel Kyoto to Osaka
    Day 6: Osaka
    Day 7: Travel Osaka-Kyoto
    Days 8, 9 Kyoto
    Day 10: Travel Kyoto to Nagoya
    Day 11: Travel Nagoya to Takayama
    Day 12: Takayma
    Day 13: Travel Takayama to Shin-hotaka Onsen
    Day 14: Travel Shin-Hotaka Onsen to Nagano and Shibu Onsen
    Day 15: Shibu Onsen
    Day 16: Travel Shibu Onsen to Kyoto (spend most of the day in Nagano)
    Days 17-18 Kyoto
    Day 19: Kyoto to Osaka
    Day 20: Osaka
    Day 21: Osaka to Kansai airport

    Thank you very much again for your help.


    1. Hi Michael,

      You have to combine many passes.

      For the first 5 days, Kintetsu Rail Pass is the best choice but you need to get Ise otherwise you cannot get the worth.

      And please keep in your mind that Kintetsu is not the best way to get Kyoto from Nagoya. You have to change trains at once even if you add limited express surcharge. If you don’t, you have to change trains several times.

      Shinkansen is the best way to get Kyoto from Nagoya but there is no deals available. Kintetsu rail pass does not cover subway, city bus and other trains in Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. But this is still the best deal.

      In Osaka and Kyoto, you may need to add other deal:

      You also need regular fare for Chubu airport to Nagoya station.

      You may use JR pass 7 days from day 10 to 16.

      However JR pass does not cover any bus services in your trip. So you need to add the fare for Shirakawago, Shin-Hotaka, Shibu onsen. And also JR pass gives you convenience but you cannot get lots of savings. Total fares are not far from 7 days pass price.

      At last, you can add other deal for Osaka to KIX.


      Takeshi /

      1. Thank you very much Takeshi.

        I think I may visit Ise from Kyoto on day 4, stay there overnight, and on day 5 go from Ise to Osaka. That should be covered by Kintetsu Rail Pass.

        I should say that I am not stressed about time. I’ve spent a lot of time in Kyoto and Osaka before (and many other places in Kansai) so I’ve seen the main sights. I’ll be really slowing down in Kyoto and Osaka.

        Would it be possible to purchase this Kintetsu pass at Nagoya airport upon arrival.

        As for the other leg of my journey, if you think a JR pass will not yield significant savings, then I’m inclined to drop it as that may give me more flexibility. My only question is, if I wanted to break the rail journey from Nagano to Nagoya (not sure if there are any interesting places I could stop on the way, your advice would be welcome) would JR Pass make more sense then?

        Thank you very much again.


        1. Hi Michael,

          You can purchase Kintetsu rail pass upon arrival if you want.

          Kiso Valley is located on the way to Nagoya from Nagono. It’s very interesting place and highly recommended.


          Takeshi /

  10. Hi Takeshi-san,

    My family of 3 are planning a trip to Japan. I would appreciate your advice on our proposed itinerary 🙂

    [Possible Pass to consider]
    Day 1:
    Narita Airport transfer to Shinjuku
    Day 2-6:
    Explore Tokyo area
    Day 7: Kamakura & Enoshima
    [Enoshima-Kamakura 1-Day Pass]
    Day 8: Kawaguchiko
    [Fuji-Hakone 3D Pass]
    Day 9-10: Hakone

    Day11-12: Yokohama

    Day13: *
    On the way to Yudanaka (over-night at Onsen area), stop over Karuizawa for 2hours
    Day14: Visit Snow-Monkey Park, then overnight near Nagano Station
    Day15: Matsumoto
    Day16: Takayama
    Day17: Shirakawago
    Day18: Kanazawa
    Day19: Toyama
    Day20: Alpine-route, then overnight at Nagano
    Day21: * Nagano back to Tokyo; Stop-over Gala Yuzawa for about half-day
    Day22: * Day-trip tfrom Tokyo o either Nikko or Saitama (Kawagoe and Hitsujiyama Park-possible to do both in a day?)
    Day23: To Haneda for departure.

    1) Is this itinerary is it doable or too rushed?
    2) What other Passes can we consider? And will the answer be the same if on Day-22we drop the Day trip stay in metro-Tokyo?
    3) Day 7, we intend to stay Kamakura, can we use Enoshima-Kamakura 1-Day Pass to go from Fujisawa to Kamakura, drop our luggage at our accomodation, then use the pass to do sightseeing to Fujisawa finally back to our accomodation for the night? If not, is there any other pass that can help us here?
    4) Is Seishun18 Ticket available for this period (late March to 3rd-week April)? Can it be used for any segment of the itinerary above, e.g. Day 2-6?
    Looking forward to your help in this, many thanks!

    1. Hi Sera san,

      1. Actually this trip is slow. You can do it pretty easily.

      2. I recommend you to use JR East Pass Nagano Niigata.

      You have 5 days coverage in 14 days period. You can use it for day 13, 15, 21, 22. You still have one more day coverage. You can use it whenever you want in 14 days period. JR East Pass does not cover the bus among Matsumoto, Takayama, Shirakawago and Kanazawa. And also it does not cover train between Kanazawa and Toyama, all transports on Alpine route either. You have to add regular fare and Tateyama Kurobe option ticket:

      3. Yes, you can. But I recommend you change your itinerary if you can. Yokohama is located between Tokyo and Kamakura. Kamakura is located between Tokyo/Yokohama and Odawara. Odawara is the gateway to Hakone. So I recommend you to visit the following order.

      Lake Kawaguchi

      You can keep this itinerary if you don’t want to change. But this order is easier.

      4. Seishun 18 kippu is not a good choice to explore Tokyo. Tokyo subway ticket is much better choice:


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,
        Thanks for your answer, I mean i don’t want to go all the whole route from Toyama until ogizawa , I just want to go from Toyama until Murodo and come back to Toyama, only half way, can I do that? I don’t want to go to Ropeway to Kurobe Dam.

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