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5,426 thoughts on “Forums”

  1. Dear Takeshi -san

    I like to know whether the JR Pass would be worth considering to complete the balance of the Saikogu Pilgrimage route. Initially planned to be in Japan this week but due to the Covid-19 it has to be postphoned. I’m doing a new set of planning and like if possible to combine the balance of the temples to be completed in one visit. Itineary as follows:

    1.Kii Katsurra
    2.Wakayama City

    If possible, i will combine a 1N/2D stay at Ise since Kii Katsurra is so far and i think the furthest to go to. I think the closest airport could be Kansai or Nagoya, if it is Nagoya i would need to transit either from Kansai or Narita, so i want to avoid that if possible. There may be other airline options which would need checking after it is safe to fly again.

    Apppreciate if you could kindly enlighten on the JR Pass options and also whether the routing makes sense if i buy the JR Pass. The only exception is that Omihachiman/Shiga must be last as its the route where the last 3 temples are.

    Many thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Janice san,

      You must have overnight trip to Kii Katsuura. You cannot make 3 shrines in a day. Kii Katsuura is the best place to stay and it is such a nice onsen town. I’ve been there a couple of years ago. Find my trip experience in the link below for a reference:

      Kansai airport is the best place for your trip. All places in your list are located around Osaka. Nagoya is not a right choice and Narita is not either.

      JR Pass is too expensive for your trip. Kansai Wide Area Pass is the best choice:

      Use 2 of 5 days coverage for Kii Katsuura 2-day trip. You may use the rest of 3 days for Himeji, Omihachiman and Wakayama. You may add Kansai Area Pass or Kansai Thru Pass for Kyoto, Nara and Uji.


      Takeshi /

      1. Dear Takeshi san

        Thank you very much for your quick response. Indeed i was considering the Kansai Area Pass if i had split the trip to two. Will do, hopefully this will end soon and we all can start to travel. I miss Japan.


  2. Dear Takeshi,

    I would really like your help with the train and which would be more cost effective for my sister, her husband, and 24 year old daughter, and myself.
    This will be our itinerary:
    – Arrival in Osaka on March 23rd
    – 3 nights Osaka 23-26 March (1 day spent in Nara: is it easier to go to Nara from Osaka or from Kyoto?). On march 26th, travel from Osaka to Kyoto.
    – 3 nights Kyoto 26-29 March. On march 29th, travel from Kyoto to Kawaguchiko. How to reach Kawaguchiko, which Shinkansen station to stop?
    – 2 nights Kawagushiko 29-31 March. On march 31st, travel to Tokyo. How to go from Kawaguchiko to Tokyo?
    – 6 nights Tokyo 31 march-6 april
    – leaving from Tokyo on April 6th, back to France.

    Thanking you in advance.

    Kind regards,

    Jean Marc

    1. Hi Jean Marc,

      Unfortunately there is no deals to cover whole part of your trip. You will use some local deals at each places and use a regular fare ticket for city to city.

      For the staying in Osaka, please see the link below:

      For the staying in Kyoto, please see the link below:

      The trip time to Nara is not much different from either Kyoto or Osaka. A regular fare ticket is your choice for this trip.

      For the trip to Kawaguchiko from Kyoto, you can take the Shinkansen to Mishima and then take a bus to Kawaguchiko. You can take an express bus to get Tokyo from Kawaguchiko. A regular fare ticket is your choice. Please see the link below:

      For the staying in Tokyo, you may use subway pass. Please see the link below:

      For the access to the airport, if you leave from Haneda, please see the link below:
      If you leave from Narita, please see the link below:

      As you probably know, many attraction are closed or open with some limitationn due to the novel Coronavirus outbreak.


      Takeshi /

    2. Hi Takeshi
      Kudos for your site, which is a great help for us foreign travelers.
      Is there a train that goes from Wakayama to Ogi (Mount Shigi), without going by Osaka.
      Thank you in advance.

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    I am travelling from Hiroshima to Narita on my last day in Japan in April and would like to stop off to see Himeji Castle on the way up. I will be in a group of 6 and we want to avoid carrying our luggage to the castle and back. Due to flying out early the next morning I cant use luggage forwarding services and I am worried there won’t be 6 large coin lockers left available at Himeji Station. Is there any other luggage storage options available in or around the station?


  4. H Takeshi,

    Do you have any info on the Sapphir Odoriko, and whether it can be taken with a railpass?

    I have done a search on your site, but nothing comes up yet.

    Also I believe the Hokuriku Shinkansen is still operating on a provisional schedule after the flooding. Do you know if the timetable in Hyperdia for April is correct?

    1. Hi Peter,

      Saphir Odoriko is covered by JR Pass Green only. This train has two seat classes, Green and Premium Green. Even JR Pass Green covers Green only. If you want to take Premium Green, JR Pass covers a base fare portion only. The rule is same as the case of taking Gran Class on the Shinkansen.

      Please see the link below to find the timetable of Hokuriku Shinkansen:


      Takeshi /

  5. Dear Takeshi, we are a group of 5 traveling for 7-8 days in Tokyo and its surrounding areas. We have hired a car to travel to Kawaguchigo upon arrival at Narita, from there we will drive to Nikko and leave the car there. We intend to return to Tokyo and spend 2 days before we depart for home from Narita airport.

    Is there a train pass that will cover our travel from Nikko to Tokyo (Shinjuku station) and then 2 days later to Narita airport. We are contemplating the 3-day Tokyo Wide Pass but we are not sure how much use we can get from it once we arrive in Tokyo city. Can we use it for trains inside Tokyo?

    Is there another pass that will include travel within Nikko (and perhaps entrance fees to some of the attractions also?) as well as our return to Tokyo and onwards to Narita airport.

    Or should we just buy the train tickets (Nikko to Tokyo and to Narita airport) separately?

    Thank you for your help. It is all too mind boggling for us.


    1. Hi Lilian,

      I don’t think Tokyo Wide Pass suits your trip plan. Because the train fare from Nikko to Shinjuku is about 4,000 yen and for Shinjuku to Narita is about 3,000 yen. You can take JR local train in Tokyo. But the fare in downtown Tokyo is very affordable. You cannot get the worth of Tokyo Wide Pass by your trip plan.

      So I think a regular fare ticket is the best choice. There is no deals which meet your trip plan unfortunately.


      Takeshi /

  6. Dear Takeshi san
    Thank you for the informative site.
    My family (parents and 1 teen) will be in Japan during the Olympics and we hope to go to Izu peninsula.
    Wed – Yokohoma to Enoshima
    Wed – Enoshima/Fujisawa to Ito (overnight Ito)
    Thu – Explore Ito (Jogazaki coast, Omuro volcano cone, maybe Shimoda)
    Fri – explore Ito (morning) – back to Tokyo by afternoon
    Is it worth to take Tokyo Wide Pass or buy individual ticket or rental car is better?

    Domo domo arigatou

    1. Hi April san,

      You may use Tokyo Wide Pass. You can get the worth of it. But you have to add the fare to get Enoshima. You will take Eno-den train there. It is not covered by Tokyo Wide Pass.

      If you can drive, rental car may be better idea. It is more flexible especially in Izu Peninsula. But you want to take a train, Tokyo Wide Pass is a good choice anyway.


      Takeshi /

  7. Hi Takeshi san
    I have a question about train from Toyama to Tateyama in the morning hours. In Hyperdia I see several lines:
    2. Toyama Chiho Railway Fujikoshi/Kamidaki Line for IWAKURAJI plus Toyama Chiho Railway Tateyama Line for TATEYAMA
    3. Toyama Chiho Railway Tateyama Line for TATEYAMA
    Is anyone of them covered by JR pass?
    Thank you very much

  8. Hello Takeshi-san
    I am planning two weeks vacation from April 14 to April 27. Here is my itinerary:
    14 April – landing at Osaka, going to Kyotu
    15, 16 – Kyoto
    17 – Miyajima island – one full day, no sleeping, back to Kyoto on the same day
    18 – travel to Takayama
    19 – travel to Toyama
    20 – doing Alpen route, sleep in Matsumoto
    21, 22 – travel to Hakone
    23 – 26 – Tokyo
    I want to ask your kind advice about the transportation:
    1. I was thinking about JR pass for 7 days for April 17 – 23. Is it a right choice?
    2. in the Hyperdia, it’s hard to understand which trains are covered by JR pass and which are not covered. How can I know that?
    3. What’s the recommended travel pass in Tokyo for 3 days?
    Thank you very much

    1. Hi Igal san,

      1. It’s the right choice. You may use Kansai one pass and Haruka for 14th to 16th:

      You also have to add Tateyama Kurobe option ticket and Hakone Free Pass:

      2. Basically your long distance train rides are covered by JR Pass, such as Kyoto-Hiroshima-Miyajimaguchi-Miyajima, Kyoto to Takayama, Takayama to Toyama, Shinano-Omachi to Matsumoto, Matsumoto to Tokyo to Odawara, and Odawara to Tokyo.

      By the way, when you go to Hakone from Tokyo, you have to go to Tokyo and then proceed to Odawara. This is the shortest route to get Hakone from Matsumoto. You may purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara.

      When you check the timetable at hyperdia, you may uncheck “Private Railway”. There are some exceptions but you can find the train route which is covered by JR Pass. When you check the timetable for Miyajima, you also need to uncheck “Nozomi, Mizuho, Hayabusa” too. Nozomi and Mizuho runs on this segment and these are not covered by JR Pass.

      3. Tokyo Subway Ticket is most convenient deal:


      Takeshi /

  9. Hi Takeshi
    I will be like travel on 11/02/2020 Tuesday, so please kindly confirm the train availability timings.

    Best regards

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        I would really like your help with the train and which would be more cost effective my myself, my husband, 15 year old daughter and 3 year old son.
        This will be our itinerary
        3 nights Tokyo 29Apr-1 May
        2 nights Hakone 2-3 May
        4 nights Kyoto 4-7 May
        3 nights Hiroshima 8-10 May
        2 nights Osaka 11-12 May
        1 night Tokyo 13 May
        Thank you!

        1. Hi Xavier,

          JR pass 14-day is the best one for you:

          There are only adult and child (6-11 years old). There is no student price. So you have to buy an adult pass for 15 years old daughter. For 3 years old son, it is free of charge if one of you share the seat with him. If you want one seat for him, you have to buy a child rate pass even his is 3 years old.

          By the way, you can use 14-day pass for the last 14 days of your trip. You can find other deal which include airport to downtown Tokyo and Tokyo Subway ticke. Please see the link below to find the deal:

          And Hakone is not covered by JR pass. You can get Odawara by JR pass and you may buy Hakone Free Pass at Odawara. Please see the link below:

          You may take JR local train in downtown Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. Please find the detailed info in the links below:


          Takeshi /


          Takeshi /

          1. Thank you so much Takeshi!!!
            You have made our travel arrangements so much easier and for that I am very grateful.

            Kind regards,

  10. Hello Takeshi-san,
    I am planning a 15 day trip to Tohoku in early April. I would like to use the JR East Nagano/Niigata pass to visit Nikko, Niigata, and Tsuruoka, then the JR East Tohoku pass to visit the rest of the area (Akita, Hirosaki, etc). Is it possible to have both passes at the same time (using 3 days of the Niigata pass before the Tohoku Pass outside the Niigata area)? Can I exchange for both at the same time in Tokyo but with different start dates, even though those dates will overlap?

    Thank you for your advice.

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