Throughout Japan 14 days sample itinerary by Japan Rail Pass 14 days pass

Light-up at Kiyomizu-dera temple
Light-up at Kiyomizu-dera temple

This itinerary includes many popular spots throughout Japan in 14 days. This itinerary starts from Tokyo. But if you want to start from Osaka, you can start from Day 11 to Day 14, and then start from Day 1 to Day10. Actually 14 days in not enough to see all popular spots in Japan. I include Hokkaido in this itinerary. But it does not include Shiretoko because of not enough time. I could not include south part of Kyushu, Hakone and Mt. Fuji either. If you can give up Tohoku part, you can get more time in Hokkaido. Of course you can go to Shiretoko.

Anyway this is a sample. I hope this sample itinerary help you When you make your own plan.

Day 1

Nikko Toshogu is the most popular spot in Nikko. ©Yasufumi Nishi/© JNTO
Nikko Toshogu is the most popular spot in Nikko. ©Yasufumi Nishi/© JNTO

08:08am Depart from Tokyo by Tohoku Shinkansen Max Yamabiko 127
09:01am Arrive at Utsunomiya station
09:12am Depart from Utsunomiya station by Nikko line local train
09:54am Arrive at Nikko station. After arrival, enjoy exploring in UNESCO World Heritage site, Nikko
14:20pm Depart from Nikko station by Nikko line local train
15:01pm Arrive at Utsunomiya station
15:59pm Depart from Utsunomiya station by Yamagata Shinkansen Tsubasa 143
18:00pm Arrive at Yamagata

*You can get Nikko from Shinjuku directly by Limited Express Nikko. But this express train goes on Tobu line. Japan Rail Pass does not cover this section. If you need more info, please refer Limited Express Nikko and Kinugawa.

*You can go to Zao Hot Springs after arrival at Yamagata. I choose only major cities to stay in this itinerary because you can find the accommodation very easily. But you can skip Yamagata and go straight to Zao. The last bus depart from Yamagata station to Zao at 18:40 and arrive at Zao at 19:17. (2011 summer timetable) Zao hot springs is a nice spa resort.

Overnight in Yamagata

Day 2

07:40am Depart from Yamagata station by Yamako bus
08:17am Arrive at Zao hot springs
Zao Ropeway start to operate at 08:30am. You can enjoy the fresh air and easy trekking at the summit. You can enjoy it for 1.5 hour.
10:10am Depart from Zao hot springs by Yamako bus
11:07am Arrive at Zao Kattasancho (Zao the summit of Katta mountain. It is known as “Okama”.)
Okama is a lava lake. You cannot access this spot in winter time. There is only one restaurant there. So it is very busy in lunch time. If you have a plan to have a lunch there, please make sure your schedule.
13:00pm Depart from Zao Kattasancho by Yamako bus
14:40pm Arrive at Yamagata station

Zao Okama ©Miyagi Prefecture/©JNTO
Zao Okama ©Miyagi Prefecture/©JNTO

*The extra cost to get to Zao is the following:
Yamako bus from Yamagata station to Zao hot springs — 980yen one way
Yamako bus from Zao hot springs to Zao Kattasancho — 1430yen one way
Yamako bus from Zao Kattasancho to Yamagata station — 1900yen one way
Zao Ropeway to the summit — 2500yen round trip

15:43pm Depart from Yamagata station by Senzan line local train
15:59pm arrive at Yamadera station

Yamadera means the mountain temple. There are several temples. Most well-known haiku poet Basho Matsuo wrote one of his famous haiku there. You can skip here if you want to arrive at Sendai earlier.

17:59 Depart from Yamadera station by Senzan line local train
18:59 Arrive at Sendai

Overnight in Sendai

Day 3

Matsushima is one of three greatest scenery in Japan. ©JNTO
Matsushima is one of three greatest scenery in Japan. ©JNTO

08:59am Depart from Sendai station by Senseki line local train
09:35am Arrive at Matsushima Kaigan station
*The pier is 5 minutes away from the station
10:00am Depart from Matsushima Kaigan pier by Matsuhima bay cruise
10:50am Arrive at Matsushima Kaigan pier

*The fare for Matsushima bay cruise is 1400yen per person
*You can enjoy easy hike up to Ogitani. The trail head is 10 minutes away from the station. It takes only 10 minutes hike up to the view point. Enjoy the panorama view of Matsushima.
You can enjoy a fresh seafood lunch here at Matsushima Sakana Ichiba (Matsushima fish market — Japanese website) after sightseeing at Matsushima. You may have a seafood lunch around 1000yen. Of course you can go back to Sendai.

12:34pm Depart from Matsushima Kaigan station by Senseki line local train
12:58pm Arrive at Sendai station
13:42pm Depart from Sendai station by Tohoku Shinkansen Yamabiko 59
14:14pm Arrive at Ichinoseki station
14:37pm Depart from Ichonoseki station by Tohoku line local train
14:45pm Arrive at Hiramizumi station

You can enjoy the newest UNESCO World Heritage site, Hiraizumi. The most famous spot in Hiraizumi is Chusonji temple. It is 25 minutes (1.6km) away from Hiraizumi station. The admission is 800yen per person. (English website)

17:39pm Depart from Hiraizumi station by Tohoku line local train
18:10pm Arrive at Kitakami station
18:33pm Depart from Kitakami station by Tohoku Shinkansen Yamabiko 67
18:52pm Arrive at Morioka station
(Dinner break at Morioka)
20:26pm Depart from Morioka station by Tohoku Shinkansen Hayate 37
21:28pm Arrive at Shin-Aomori station
21:38pm Depart from Shin-Aomori station by Local train
21:44pm Arrive at Aomori station
22:42pm Depart from Aomori by overnight express train Hamanasu

Overnight in the train


06:07am Arrive at Sapporo station
Full day free in Sappro. You have several choice, staying in Sapporo, half day trip to Otaru, full day trip to Furano, or you can go even Kushiro marsh. You can get some information about Furano at Furano Lavender Express / Furano Koyo Express. If you are looking for day trip to Kushiro from Sapporo, please refer Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train.

Overnight in Sapporo

Day 5

08:34am Depart from Sapporo station by Super Hokuto 6
11:53am Arrive at Hakodate station
Enjoy afternoon in Hakodate

*You can extend to stay in Sapporo instead of Hakodate. If you don’t need to stay in Hakodate, you can take Super Hokuto 16 (Sapporo 14:52 – Hakodate 18:09).

19:18 Depart from Hakodate station by Super Hakucho 98
21:22 Arrive at Aomori station

Overnight in Aomori

Day 6

*Before you depart from the hotel, ask to store your luggage to the hotel. Because you will walk along Oirase gorge. It is short hike, but you cannot carry your luggage.

07:50am Leave Aomori station by JR Tohoku Bus Mizuumi 2
10:35am Arrive at Towadako station
Enjoy Lake Towada
12:30pm Depart from Towadako station by JR Tohoku Bus Mizuumi 7
12:56pm Arrive at Kumoi no Taki bus stop
Enjoy walking from Kumoi no Taki to Ishigedo
14:35pm Depart from Ishigedo bus stop by JR Tohoku Bus Mizuumi 9
17:04pm Arrive at Aomori station

*Don’t forget to pick up your luggage at the hotel.

17:51pm Depart from Aomori station by Super Hakucho 40
17:56pm Arrive at Shin-Aomori station
18:14pm Depart from Shin-Aomori station by Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa 6
21:24pm Arrive at Tokyo station
22:00pm Depart from Tokyo station by Overnight train Sunrise Seto/Izumo.

Overnight in the train

Former Glover Residence is one of the popular spot in Nagasaki. ©Nagasaki City/© JNTO
Former Glover Residence is one of the popular spot in Nagasaki. ©Nagasaki City/© JNTO

Day 7

06:27am Arrive at Okayama station
07:16am Depart from Oakayam by Sanyo Shinkansen Hikari 541
09:13am Arrive at Hakata station
09:55am Depart from Hakata station by Limited Express Kamome 13.
11:48am Arrive at Nagasaki station.
After arrival, enjoy exploring Nagasaki.

Overnight in Nagasaki

Day 8

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
Kusasenri at Mt.Aso ©JNTO

09:43am Arrive at Aso station. After arrival, take a local bus to one of very popular active volcano, Mt. Aso.

10:00am The bus to Mt. Aso depart from Aso station.
10:40am Arrive in Mt. Aso West (Gondola station). The bus fare is 730 yen for one way to Aso Nishi station. The gondola fare is another 1,000 yen for round trip.
13:05pm Depart from Mt Aso West by bus to Kusasenri/Mt. Aso Museum. The bus fare is 140 yen.
13:10pm Arrive at Kusasenri/Mt. Aso Museum.
15:40pm The bus depart to Aso station from Kusasenri/Mt. Aso Museum. The bus fare is 670 yen.
*You can spend your time for the gondola only. In case of that, the bus leave rfom Mt. Aso West at 15:35pm.
*Unfortunately the bus company (Kyushu Sanko Bus Line) does not have any English website. But the gondola company Mt. Aso Ropeway has English site.

16:13pm Depart from Aso station by Trans-Kyushu Limited express 6.
18:13pm Arrive at Beppu station. Stay at most famous hot springs resort in Kyushu.

Overnight in Beppu

Day 9

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 10

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.
16:15pm Depart from Hiroshima station by Sanyo Shinkansen Sakura 568.
17:44pm Arrive at Shin-Osaka station
17:50pm Depart from Shin-Osaka station by Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama 478
18:05pm Arrive at Kyoto

Overnight in Kyoto

Day 11

Full day for exploring in Kyoto

Overnight in Kyoto

Day 12

10:10am Depart from Kyoto by Limited Express Thunderbird 11
12:18pm Arrive at Kanazawa
After arrival, enjoy sightseeing in Kanazawa

Overnight in Kanazawa

Day 13

Doburoku Festival in Shirakawa-go
Doburoku Festival in Shirakawa-go

08:45am Depart from Kanazawa for Shirakawa-go by Nohi Bus.
Reservation Required!!! Don’t forget to make a reservation. This bus is not included in Japan Rail Pass. The bus fare 1,800yen.
10:00am Arrive at Shirakawa-go

*If you need more information about access to Shikawago, please refer one of my posts, How to get Shirakawa-go.

Enjoy sightseeing UNESCO world heritage site Shirakawa-go.

*Reservation Required!!! Don’t forget to make a reservation. This bus is not included in Japan Rail Pass. The bus fare 2,400yen.
17:20pm Depart from Shirakawa-go for Kanazawa by Nohi Bus
18:10pm Arrive at Takayama

Overnight in Takayama

Day 14

Decoration for Tanabata in Takayama
Decoration for Tanabata in Takayama

Eenjoy sightseeing in very traditional Japanese town, Takayama.
18:45pm Depart from Takayama by “Wide View Hida 20
21:00pm Arrive at Nagoya
21:27pm Depart from Nagoya by Tokaido Shinakansen “Hikari 534”
23:26pm Arrive at Tokyo

136 thoughts on “Throughout Japan 14 days sample itinerary by Japan Rail Pass 14 days pass”

  1. Hello Takeshi san,

    Hope you are well. We took our trip this year 18 days in June and worked out quite well, a lot of thanks to your help.

    We have already booked our trip for next year and dates are fixed, but itinerary is maybe flexible as we have not booked accommodation yet. Our trip this year was similar (except Osaka > Hiroshima > Tokyo, we instead did Osaka > Koyasan > Tokyo this year) and everything worked out quite well, travel to and from each destination – despite some suggesting against our itinerary, it worked out quite cheap, we stayed in air bnb’s with no problem – we did a lot of research on where to stay and how to travel to and from, didn’t use a JR Rail pass at all (wasn’t going to be cost-effective for us) but we did use other tickets and got great value, especially Hakone Free Pass, Kyoto to KIX discount Haruka ticket, etc), but our stay will be longer, so I am thinking that this time a 14 day Japan rail pass might be justified (even though we are staying 25 days in Japan, we will spend time in places such as Osaka and Kyoto where I found the subways and non-JR were very convenient to us).

    If you don’t mind to see below what I am planning and perhaps comment of make suggestions?

    KIX > Osaka (will day trips or half day trips to Himeji and Nara – so no need to include a night in either city)

    Osaka > Hiroshima (Shinkansen)

    Hiroshima > Tokyo (Shinkansen) – would you advise to go from Hiroshima to Tokyo, due to the distance, or maybe change some things around?

    Tokyo > Hakone (Odakyu – 3 day Hakone Free Pass)

    Hakone (Odawara) > Tokyo > Toyama (Hokoriku Shinkansen)

    Toyama > Takayama (Wide view Hida)

    Takayama > Nagoya (Wide view Hida)

    Nagoya > Kyoto (Hikari Shinkansen)

    Kyoto > KIX (Haruka – we had icoca pass so we got the discounted Haruka one-way from Kyoto station on our day of departure) – even though Kyoto is in the Kansai area, and we were based in Osaka at first, we found to go here last as it was easy to get to KIX at the end, instead of from Tokyo to KIX.

    It has been suggested to us to stay 1 night in Kawazu for the early sakura blossom time, as we are too early for the normal sakura season, would you justify a stay there, and if so, where would you fit this in the above itinerary?

    We are planning to stay 6 nights in Osaka and Tokyo, and this time 4 or 5 nights in Kyoto – depending on where we might decide to stay on the other spare nights of our trip.

    Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated as to a 14 day Japan rail pass or maybe combination of other JR passes, JR West etc?

    Thanking you as always and cheers,


    1. Hi Michael san,

      I think you can use 14 days JR pass. But try to put other than Osaka and Kyoto in 14 days. Even Nara and Himeji should be in 14 days period.

      Hiroshima to Tokyo is quite long and need to transfer at least once. Hakone and Kawazu should be put before you reach Tokyo.

      Hiroshima – (transfer at Shin-Osaka) – Atami – Kawazu (stay)
      Kawazu – Atami – Odawara – Hakone (stay)
      Hakone – Tokyo
      Tokyo – Toyama

      I think 14 days pass is enough to cover this part of your trip.


      Takeshi /

  2. Dear Takeshi san,

    My family and I are planing a trip to Japan in Dec 2017.
    We would like to cover few places within 12 days.
    Travelling pax: 2Adults & 2Kids (age 12&14)

    Here’s our itineraries:

    20 Dec 2017 -> Arrive Haneda Airport @2230
    21 – 24 Dec 2017 -> Tokyo
    25 – 1 Jan 2018 -> ***
    2 Jan 2018 -> Depart from Kansai Airport @1100

    We would like to visit Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa (optional), Kyoto and Osaka.
    Have been to Kyoto once many years ago but would like to revisit some of the places.

    25 – 1 Jan 2018 -> ***

    Option A:
    25 Dec -> Tokyo – Takayama (via Nagoya)
    26 Dec -> Takayama
    27 Dec -> Takayama – Shirakawago – Kanazawa
    28 Dec -> Kanazawa – Kyoto
    29 Dec -> Kyoto
    30 Dec -> Kyoto
    31 Dec -> Kyoto – Osaka
    1 Jan 2018 -> Osaka

    Option B:
    25 Dec -> Tokyo – Takayama (via Nagoya)
    26 Dec -> Takayama – Shirakawago (day trip) – Takayama
    27 Dec -> Takayama – Kanazawa
    28 Dec -> Kanazawa – Kyoto
    29 Dec -> Kyoto
    30 Dec -> Kyoto
    31 Dec -> Kyoto – Osaka
    1 Jan 2018 -> Osaka

    Option C:
    25 Dec -> Tokyo – Takayama (via Nagoya)
    26 Dec -> Takayama
    27 Dec -> Takayama – Shirakawago – Takayama
    28 Dec -> Takayama – Kyoto
    29 Dec -> Kyoto
    30 Dec -> Kyoto
    31 Dec -> Kyoto – Osaka
    1 Jan 2018 -> Osaka

    Would like to seek your advice which option is better.

    Thanks and regards,

    1. Hi Elaine san,

      I like option A. You can maximize your time in Shirakawago and Takayama. You can visit Kanazawa too in this plan. It’s worth visiting.

      You may use single fare ticket or Platt Kodama between Tokyo and Nagoya. After arriving Nagoya, you can start using Takayama Hokuriku area pass.


      Takeshi /

      1. Dear Takeshi san,

        Thank you for the advise.
        My husband, our children and I have never experience staying in minshuku or ryokan in Japan.
        Would you highly recommend us staying at Shirakawago for a night to experience the minshuku?
        If so, would this be better thank option A 🙂

        26 Dec -> Takayama
        27 Dec -> Takayama – Shirakawago
        28 Dec -> Shirakawago – Kanazawa – Kyoto

        20 Dec 2017 -> Arrive Haneda Airport @2230
        21 – 24 Dec 2017 -> Tokyo
        25 Dec -> Tokyo – Takayama (via Nagoya)
        26 Dec -> Takayama
        27 Dec -> Takayama – Shirakawago – Kanazawa / Takayama – Shirakawago
        28 Dec -> Kanazawa – Kyoto / Shirakawago – Kanazawa – Kyoto
        29 Dec -> Kyoto
        30 Dec -> Kyoto
        31 Dec -> Kyoto – Osaka
        1 Jan 2018 -> Osaka
        2 Jan 2018 -> Depart from Kansai Airport @1100

        I received this suggestion from Takeshi san from another query few weeks ago.
        Will this still be the best deal compared to buying JR Pass 7/14 days pass?

        Haneda-Tokyo and sightseeing in Tokyo
        Single ticket or Platt Kodama for Tokyo to Nagoya
        Takayama Hokuriku area pass for Nagoya-Takayama-Shirakawago-Kanazawa-Kyoto
        Single ticket for Kyoto to Osaka
        Kyoto city deal
        Osaka city deal
        Osaka to KIX

        Looking forward to hearing your advise. 🙂

        Thanks and regards,

        1. Hi Elaine san,

          You can use same deals as I suggested.
          It’s not a bad idea to stay in Shirakawago. But actually I have never stayed in Shirakawago before. So I cannot comment which one the best is.


          Takeshi /

          1. Dear Takeshi san,

            Thank you once again. 🙂
            Time to start looking for accommodation.

            Thanks and regards,

          2. Dear Takeshi san,

            When should I exchange for the pass for “Takayama Hokuriku area pass for Nagoya-Takayama-Shirakawago-Kanazawa-Kyoto”?
            Can I exchange the pass @Tokyo station and then only use it few days later?
            or should I exchange the pass @Nagoya station on the day I start travelling from Nagoya to Takayama?

            Based on your suggestion, is this the only pass that I need to purchase from my home country before flying off to Japan?

            Thanks and regards,

          3. Dear Takeshi san,

            Thank you for your kind reply.
            Your suggestions are very helpful and useful.

            Thanks and regards,

  3. Mr Takeshi san,

    My 1st Free and Easy Trip.

    We will arrive on 7 Apr’2017 morning, will check in a Guest House in near Asakusa Train station, will leave for Shizuoka till 10 Apr, (friend will bring us around).
    11 Apr will go to Ogikawa for sightseeing then back to Tokyo.
    ok no problem.

    the next we are going is
    1. Mt Fuji /Hakone – plan to stay for one night
    2. Osaka
    4. Kakegawa

    17 Apr’2017 must come back to Tokyo. Taking morning flight back to SG on 18 Apr’2017

    Please tell me which place should we go from so we don’t have to waste time. Thank you.


  4. Hi Takeshi..please make correction on my itinerary ..
    Im planning to go to japan from indonesia start on KL-Haneda
    KIX-KL in 20des 2017-3jan 2018

    Here my itin:
    20 des. Arrive at haneda airport,spend the night here
    21 -23 des. Go to tokyo town..explore tokyo: asakusa,shinjuku, shibuya, etc. ==> with 2 days metro pass
    23-24 Yokohama. with suica
    24-25 Gala Yuzawa.. Buy tokyo wide pass 3 days
    25-26 NIKKO
    26-27 Lake kawaguchi
    27-29 Hakone. from odawara buy hakone pass 2 days
    Go to shinjuku than take willer buss go to osaka

    29-30 Osaka (osaka amazing pass)
    30- 1 Jan Kyoto (2days bus pass)
    1-2 Nara (1 day nara buspass)
    2-3 Kobe and osaka then go to KIX at 22.00

    I will buy suica/pasmo for transportation that doesnt cover by my pass

    Im planing to spend the night at
    1.Hotel in asakusa 3 nights
    2. Hotel near gala yuzawa 1 night
    3. Hotel in nikko 1 night
    4. Hotel in kawaguchiko 1 night
    5. Hotel in hakone 2 nights
    6. hotel in osaka 5 night

    my question:
    1. is my itinerary and my pass already good enough ?
    2. Is it too much to jumping from hotel to another hotel?im planning bring not to much suitcase

    Thanks for your help


    1. Hi Joyce,

      Your plan is very good and very organized.

      You don’t need to change your plan. You will move many places but as long as you understand it, it’s okay. I like this style because you can fell different atmosphere at each places if you stay overnight.

      I have a few things to mention to you.

      1. Lake Kawaguchi – Hakone – Tokyo
      You need to add single fare to get Odawara or Hakone-Yumoto to get Hakone Free Pass. You need to change the bus several times and not very convenient.
      I recommend you to start using Fuji Hakone Pass from Shinjuku. I understand you can get Lake Kawaguchi by Tokyo Wide Pass. But if you give up it and use Fuji Hakone Pass, you can get Lake Kawaguchi by express bus directly from Shinjuku. And you can take bus and other transportation to get Hakone from Lake Kawaguchi. You don’t need to get Hakone-Yumoto or Odawara to buy Hakone Free Pass. You can save your time.

      This pass is valid for 3 days. So you need to add single fare from Odawara to Shinjuku by Odakyu railway. But if you keep your original plan, you need to pay single fare to Shinjuku anyway. And also my suggested plan gives you saving time and saving cost between Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone. How about it?

      2. Trip to Nara, Kobe and Kyoto
      Kansai thru pass covers all.
      It covers trip between the cities, subway and bus in the cities. It’s more convenient.


      Takeshi /

      1. Thanks Takeshi for your reply..

        I will buy Fuji Hakone pass from shinjuku..since i buy that pass.. how about from yohohama i use tokyo wide nikko (26 des morning) go back to shinjuku and start using fuji hakone pass. Or better stick to the plan. TWP start use in Gala.
        Another question is fuji hakone pass doesnt include trip from hakone to shinjuku? Because you said i have to buy ticket from odawara to shinjuku..

        Kansai thru pass ..noted will buy that pass..

        1. Hi Joyce,

          You can use Tokyo Wide Pass to get Yokohama. But you need to take train from Nikko to Shinjuku even if you take bus from Shinjuku by Fuji Hakone Pass. Fare from Nikko to Shinjuku is much lager than fare to Yokohama. You should use Tokyo Wide Pass from 24th from Yokohama to 26th to Shinjuku,

          Fuji Hakone Pass covers Hakone to Shinjuku. But it’s valid for 3 days. You will start using it on 26th and it will be expired on 28th. You will go to Shinjuku on 29th.


          Takeshi /

          1. I think i made suppose to be one day in hakone so 28 evening go to shinjuku , and night go by willer bus..arrive in osaka 29 morning..

        2. Since fuji hakone pass valid for 3 days. so from 26,27,28 i can use it. but i spend the night in hakone until in 29 if i want to explore hakone..what should i use?
          Since the willer bus from shinjuku start at night around 10pm..
          Sorry to keep u busy ..hheeh..This is my first time go to japan..please forgive me :))

          1. Hi Joyce,

            You need to add single fare or another Hakone Free Pass.I’m not sure which one is cheaper. It depends on how much you use the pass. If you explore all part of Hakone and take lots of train, bus, ropeway, cable car and/or cruise, Hakone Free Pass may be cheaper. You can purchase it at Hakone-Yumoto. But you still need to add single fare from Odawara to Shinjuku even if you use Hakone Free Pass.


            Takeshi /

  5. Hi takeshi

    We are exploring Japan on April 23 to may 20 this 2017. Our route will be Tokyo – Hokkaido – Nagasaki – Fukuoka – Hiroshima – Nagoya – Osaka. We are planning to get a 14 day jr pass that will be first on our way to Hokkaido down to Osaka.

    My questions are the following :

    1. Will jr pass be enough? Or will there be a possibility that we will be incurring additional costs?

    2. Is this planned route all covered by jr pass?

    3. Do you have any sample iterinary covering areas we would like to visit?

    Thank you and more power!

    1. Hi Joan,

      I have already replied to your first inquiry in the link below:

      Your inquiry is not shown right away, but after I approve it, it’s shown on it.

      So JR Pass covers your trip. You may need to add some fares when you are in cities, like Tokyo, Osaka because JR pass does not cover subway and city bus. But most part of your trip is covered and JR pass is the best choice anyway.

      Unfortunately I don’t have any sample itineraries for your trip.


      Takeshi /

  6. Hello Takeshi,

    Thank you for reading my question.

    I am a student studying in Japan (ryugakusei visa). This winter my family will come here to travel all around Japan with me for fully 16 days. Together, my wife will also come here to begin to stay with me as a long-term resident. To make it short, my “team” has 4 short-term Japan visitors and 2 long-term Japan residents.

    As you may already know, being a long-term resident made it impossible for my wife and me to get any JR (and even non-JR PASS), so it took me a lot of time thinking about the appropriate plan that suits both my family and us.

    I did a lot of research and came out with the following itinerary. I would strongly appreciate if you can have a look and give me some advices on whatever you think could make our trip better, including any DEALS on JR or subways and private railways, the places to visit, etc.

    Especially, I really stuck with the part from Tokyo to Kansai (Osaka) and Hiroshima. Would really be grateful to any advices on it.

    Jan 22~28 (7days) TOKYO

    I booked already a hotel very near to Ueno station so the transport between Narita and Ueno, as well as Ueno to Tokyo to transfer to Osaka shouldn’t be a problem, I think.

    Also, for the move inside Tokyo I intend to buy the 3-day METRO PASS (1500¥/person)

    – Arrived at Narita Airport. From evening 22: visit Asakusa, Tokyo by night.

    – 23: Disney sea full day

    – 24: daytrip to Hakone

    – 25: daytrip to Fuji

    24~25 I intend to buy the Fuji-Hakone pass as it isn’t limited to short term visitors

    *I once got up to the 5th station of Fuji but unfortunately I didn’t find it enough to enjoy Mt.Fuji. I wonder if 5th station is only for those who wish to climb the mountain? If we just want a perfect view of Mt. Fuji, would it be Kawaguchiko beside Hakone?

    – 26: day trip to Yokohama

    – 27: day trip to Nikko

    Maybe I will use Nikko pass on 27. Any better advice, please?

    – 28: Inside Tokyo: Ghibli Museum, Sky Tree, Sensoji, Ginza (optional)

    Late 28: get Shinkansen to Osaka <— maybe 4 JR rail pass for my family and two single tickets for my wife and me.

    I intend to stay near Namba or (if any) a better place to have better access to Kyoto, Kobe, Himeji, and Hiroshima

    29 Jan ~ 6 Feb (9days)

    – 29: daytrip to Nara

    – 30: inside Osaka: Osaka castle, etc.

    – 31: Osaka: Universal Studio 1 day

    – 1 Feb: daytrip to Kyoto

    – 2: daytrip to Kyoto

    – 3: get shinkansen to Hiroshima, stay one night in Hiroshima

    – 4: another half day in Hiroshima then get Shinkansen back to Osaka

    I stucked in Feb 3 and 4 where my Family could use JR PASS (combine with trip from Tokyo to Shin Osaka and get use of it as much as possible), or KANSAI HIROSHIMA PASS, while my wife and I could book a round-trip from Osaka to Hiroshima (including 1 night stay) as 15000¥/person.

    If we all turn into round-trip tickets including one night stay, it will cost us only 90000¥ for the whole group. I find it amazing but still not know if it's a wiser choice over the option to buy my family a JR PASS or a KANSAI HIROSHIMA PASS and use it for other transport between Osaka and Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Himeji…

    – 5: day trip to Kobe (may include Himeji)

    – 6: optional day trip to Amanohashidate

    7 Feb: my Family will flight back from Osaka airport

    Thank you for reading until now! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

    1. Hi Triet,

      I will answer your inquiries one by one.

      1. Tokyo Subway ticket 3 days
      It’s not a right choice. When you go to Disney Sea, you will take JR train from Ueno to Tokyo and Tokyo to Maihama. You will have no chances to take subway. When you go to Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi, you will take JR trains to get Shinjuku. This deal must be used for ordinary sightseeing in Tokyo.

      2. Fuji Hakone Pass
      This deal includes round trip to/from Lake Kawaguchi or to/from Hakone. You cannot use two round trips. That means you cannot make two day trips by this deal. You may use Hakone Free Pass for day trip to Hakone and take Express Bus to Lake Kawaguchi.

      3. Tokyo Wide Pass
      As long as I know, this is only deal that is available for all foreign travelers. The condition says “The JR TOKYO Wide Pass is available for purchase and use only by holders of non-Japanese passports.” So any of your team member can use this pass.

      You can use this for trip to Nikko, Lake Kawaguchi, Yokohama, Disney. This is valid for three consecutive days. So try to gather long trips, such as Nikko, Lake Kawaguchi in this three days period.
      You can use this pass to get Odawara. But after Odawara, you have to purchase Hakone Free Pass anyway. Trip to Hakone is a right way to use this pass.

      4. Place to stay in Osaka
      Shin-Osaka is most recommended. Hotel rate is cheaper than Namba. It’s Shinkansen terminal station. You and your family member do not need to take subway or other local trains with luggage. Namba and Ueda can be accessed by JR or subway directly. You can get Kyoto, Himeji and Kobe directly. And you can get KIX directly by access express “Haruka”.

      5. Trip to Hiroshima
      I have no idea about 15,000 yen deal. If you find it somewhere, that is amazing deal. Regular fare for Shinkansen round trip is about 20,000 yen. But your family member will use JR pass. If they don’t use JR pass for trip to Hiroshima, it doesn’t work. They need to use single fare ticket for Tokyo to Osaka too. The best way to use JR Pass is make Tokyo-Osaka and round to Hiroshima in 7 days period. That means you have to come back to Osaka from Hiroshima by Feb 3. Or you will stay in Tokyo on 28th and take early train on 29th. You can start using JR pass and will cover until 4th. This is another choice.

      6. Trip to Amanohashidate
      If you sure to visit this place, it must be done in 7 days period of JR pass. For trip to Nara and Osaka, the fare is quite reasonable. Trip to Amanohashidate give your family member bigger saving.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hello Takeshi,

        Thank you so much for always being not only me but also everyone’s enthusiastic advisor!

        If you remember, I asked you already about TOKYO WIDE PASS last year. My family did have a great trip last year with the WIDE PASS.

        It seems like we can still you TOKYO WIDE PASS with this time’s itinerary for three days: Nikko, Lake kawaguchiko and Yokohama. For the day trip to Hakone, a single Hakone Pass seems to suit it well. Did I make it right?

        If we just want the best picture of Fuji Mt., is Lake kawaguchiko the best? We dont need to take bus to the 5th station, do we?

        Now I come up with a new idea and I’ll be more than happy if you can check it up for me 🙂

        -night 28 January: ACTIVE JR PASS
        -29 Jan: one day around Kyoto
        -30 Jan: one day around Kyoto
        -31 Jan: day trip to Amanohashidate (JR PASS works on the way from Kyoto – Fukuchiyama)
        -1 Feb: send luggage to hotel in Osaka (Yamato kuroneko), Get Shinkansen from Kyoto – Hiroshima. Stay a night in Hiroshima
        -2 Feb: haft day in Hiroshima, then get Shinkansen back to Shin-Osaka
        -3 Feb: get Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Himeji, then back to Osaka with a stop in Shin-Kobe
        -4 Feb: Single fare to Nara (maybe another PASS if any)
        -5 Feb & 6 Feb: enjoy Osaka

        Do you see any problem with the new plan? I heard that there is no need for a PASS if we stay in Kyoto when exploring it. Is it right?
        I know I won’t be using the JR PASS to its limit but I prefer comfortability and time than money (although saving money is one of the reasons I am asking you here).
        The only thing I want to make sure is that if we stay in Kyoto while exploring Kyoto, we dont need any PASS, right?
        And, could you recommend a good place to stay in Kyoto? We’ll send luggage via Yamoto when go to Hiroshima so we’ll “check out” of Kyoto luggage-free. Therefore, I think we can accept a place that is a little bit far from Kyoto Station but have better access to other spots of Kyoto (for your information, we are sure to visit Inari and Arashiyama, and are thinking about other famous spots).

        And, last year we made use of the KANSAI THROUGH PASS 3 days to move a round Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Himeji but it seemed to take much time than JR? Is it right?

        1. Hi Triet,

          Actually I don’t remember that you have asked me about Tokyo wide pass last year. Sorry but I receive sometimes more than 20 inquiries a day. I sometimes cannot remember the reply for a few days ago.

          So you can use this pass for Nikko, Lake Kawaguchi and Yokohama. Hakone Free Pass is okay for visiting Hakone.

          5th station is not recommended especially in winter time. You may not be able to get there even if you want due to weather. You can get a good view of Fuji at lake side. You don’t need to go there. Just check the forecast and pick up the nice weather day for visiting Fuji.

          If you start using JR pass on 28th, try to visit the places in Tokyo where you can access by JR trains as many as you can. Please see the link below to find the place that is covered by JR pass.

          In Kyoto, JR pass covers Arashiyama, Nijo, Fushimi and Uji. You must take a bus or subway to visit most of places in Kyoto, such as Kiyomizudera temple, Gion, Kinkakuji temple. As you know, subway and bus are not covered by JR pass. Please see the links below to find more info about using JR pass in Kyoto.

          I still recommend to stay near Kyoto station. You can get Arashiyama, Fushimi and Uji directly by JR trains. You can get other places by bus or subway from Kyoto station. Kyoto station is a hub for sightseeing in Kyoto.

          You don’t have many chances to use Kansai thru pass. For this trip, this deal is not required.


          Takeshi /

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Sorry for keeping asking you. I want to master our 6 days in Tokyo from half 22 Jan to late 28 Jan.
            We are sure to visit Hakone, Kawaguchi-ko, Disneysea, Yokohama, Nikko, and Ghibli museum. All the good tickets seem to be taken by others so I could only book the 12pm ticket on 27 Jan to enter Ghibli.
            As I already wrote in the above question, we will leave Tokyo to Kyoto on 28 Jan so we cannot make a “heavy” trip to somewhere that is so far from Tokyo. Therefore, I came up with this plan:
            (We’ll be staying at a hotel very near to Nippori Station)
            22 Jan: 3pm check in Hotel, half day in downtown Tokyo, maybe Odaiba, Asakusa…
            23 Jan ~ 26 Jan: each day for Hakone, Kawaguchiko, Disneysea and Nikko
            27 Jan: half day for Ghibli, half day to enjoy downtown Tokyo and (if any) Chinese Lunar New Year festival.
            28 Jan: head to Yokohama in early morning, spend over half a day in Yokohama, including Chinese Lunar New Year festival in ChinaTown of Yokohama.
            19:30 take Shinkansen from Shin-Yokohama to Kyoto.
            Is it the best way to “use” the final day – 28 Jan, as we need to leave Tokyo for Kyoto by 19:30 of that day?

            *I am also thinking of passing Nikko, but perhaps I may be regretting not visiting it. My wife asked me to take her to Doraemon museum in Tokyo. I love Doraemon too, however….

            Thank you very very so so much, Takeshi

          2. Hi Triet,

            Your plan seems to be okay. I don’t see any issues. But if you add Doraemon museum, the only day that you can squeeze is 28th. There is no other available spot. You have to give up most of time in Yokohama. The choice is yours.


            Takeshi /

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