Basic itinerary of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka in 7 days

Chidorigafuchi near Imperial Palace in Tokyo is one of the best spots to see cherry blossom. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO
Chidorigafuchi near Imperial Palace in Tokyo is one of the best spots to see cherry blossom. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO

I made the sample itinerary of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo in 7 days a month ago. Now I would like to show you the reverse itinerary that start from Tokyo and end at Osaka in 7 days. There is no deal to cover whole part of trip unfortunately. But you can combine some local deals and single ticket.

In this post, I show you the basic 7 days itinerary and the deals that suit this itinerary. But you can extend the duration as many as you want. I also show you how to change or add days in this itinerary too.

Day 1 – Narita airport or Haneda airport to Tokyo

Ordinary class interior of Narita Express
Ordinary class interior of Narita Express. It takes you to Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Yokohama and many more stations.

Tokyo has two airports, Haneda and Narita.

Haneda airport is much closer to downtown Tokyo. You can take Keihin Kyuko railway to Shinagawa or Monorail to Hamamatsucho. Both stations are connected by JR Yamanote line with Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno and many other stations in Tokyo. And also many of Keihin Kyuko railway’s trains go through Toei Subway Asakusa line. You can get Shinbashi, Higashi-Ginza, Asakusa and Oshiage (Tokyo Skytree) directly without changing the trains. You may find some more information about access from Haneda to downtown Tokyo at the following link:

How to access from Haneda airport to downtown Tokyo

But if you arrive at Haneda very late, you may miss the last train. Midnight bus runs after the last train but it is very limited. Please see the link below to find more information about late arrival at Haneda.

How to take Tokyo Monorail or Keihin Kyuko for late arrival and early departure at Haneda

Narita airport is one hour away from Tokyo station. There are many ways to from Narita to downtown Tokyo, like Narita Express, Skyliner, Limousine bus and budget access bus. Please find more information about access from Narita at the link below:

The list of deals for access to downtown Tokyo from Narita airport

Day 2 – Sightseeing in Tokyo

The view of Tokyo Skytree from near Asakusa. It is new icon of Tokyo. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO
The view of Tokyo Skytree from near Asakusa. It is new icon of Tokyo. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO

Tokyo Metro/Subway deal is most popular. JR Tokunai Pass is also available. Subway covers most of spots in Tokyo but subway lines are so many and very hard to find the fastest route. JR train network is very simple. But you cannot get many places in Tokyo by JR trains, such as Asakusa, Tsukiji. Please see the links below to find more information of these deals.

Compare many discount tickets and passes for sightseeing Tokyo. How to choose the right tickets?
Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass), good choice for sightseeing in Tokyo.

How to access to the places surrounding Tokyo

Many popular attractions are located outside downtown Tokyo. For example, Tokyo Disney Resort, Ghibli Museum, Sanrio Puroland and many more places are located outside coverage area of both subway pass and Tokunai pass. There is no deals available to access these areas. Single fare is okay for access to these places. You may use IC card, such as Suica, Pasmo instead of single fare.

And also Yokohama, Kamakura and Kawagoe are not in Tokyo and not covered by these Tokyo deals either. Single fare is okay to access to these places too.

How to extend to stay in Tokyo

If you stay in Tokyo more, you may simply add subway fare, Tokunai Pass or single fare as you need. But if you want to travel to other places in Kanto area, like Nikko, Fuji, Hakone, there are some deals available. Please find more information at the links below:

Fuji Hakone access guide by train and bus from both Tokyo and Osaka / Kyoto / Nagoya.
How to access to Nikko from Tokyo. There are three ways from Tokyo, Shinjuku and Asakusa.

If you travel both Fuji/Hakone and Nikko, Tokyo Wide Pass is a good choice.

JR East Kanto Area Pass. Perfect choice for tourist who want to go to Fuji, Izu, Nikko from Tokyo.

Tokyo Wide Pass covers Izu, Yuzawa (Gala Yuzawa), Kusatsu Onsen and many more places too.

Day 3 – Transfer from Tokyo to Kyoto

Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. Shinkansen stops at Maibara, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, Shin-Kobe, Nishiakashi and Himeji in Kansai area.
Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. It connects Tokyo and Kyoto in 2.5 hours.

There is no deals to cover this segment. Single ticket is your choice. If you take Shinkansen (bullet train), base fare ticket and Shinkansen surcharge ticket are required. You can purchase these tickets in advance. Shinkansen and limited express surcharge tickets can be purchased at any JR stations that have reservation window, a.k.a. “Midori no Mdoguchi”. Base fare ticket also can be purchased with surcharge ticket at same time.

In this itinerary, you can purchase one base fare ticket from Tokyo to Kansai airport. Because you can make stopovers at Kyoto and Osaka. Please find more information at the link below:

For non JR pass travellers. Guide to use JR single ticket, basic rules, validity and stopover

You may use Platt Kodama for Tokyo to Kyoto instead. You can add single fare ticket for Kyoto to Osaka and other deal for Osaka to Kansai. This way is better if single fare ticket is too complicated for you. Please see the link below to find the detailed information about Platt Kodama:

Platt Kodama, one way deal among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka by Shinkansen

You can find some information about how to find a timetable in the link above too. But PDF timetable of Shinkansen is available too.
Tokaido Shinkansen timetable westbound

If you leave Tokyo in early morning, you can spend half day for sightseeing in Kyoto. I recommend to visit south part of Kyoto, like Fushimi Inari. It’s just 5 minutes away from Kyoto station by Nara line local train and single fare is only 140 yen one way. If you want, you can visit even Nara.

How to access to Nara by Japan Rail Pass. If you don’t use JR Pass, Kintetsu Railway is more convenient.

If you need some more information about Kyoto station, please refer the link below:
Kyoto station guide. How to transfer among Shinkansen, Kintetsu, Subway and JR local trains.

If you go to Nara or other spots in Kyoto, please exit at Kyoto station and purchase other ticket. Your ticket is for Kansai airport. You have to exit and make a stopover Kyoto. You cannot use this ticket to other direction. Otherwise your ticket is expired.

Day 4 – Sightseeing in Kyoto

Fall foliage in Kiyomizu-dera temple. It is one of Must-See spots in Kyoto.
Fall foliage in Kiyomizu-dera temple. It is one of Must-See spots in Kyoto.

When you visit temples and shrines in Kyoto, you have to take city bus and/or subway. Kyoto city sightseeing card or all day bus pass is your choice. You may find more information at the link below:

Inside Kyoto – Special Kyoto Bus, Train and Subway Passes

Day 5 – Transfer from Kyoto to Osaka

You can continue using the base fare ticket from Tokyo to Kansai airport. Special Rapid train is the fastest way to get Osaka from Kyoto. Express supplement charge is not required to take this trian because this is a sort of commute train.

Most convenient and the fastest train among Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. Special Rapid Service

If you stay near JR station in Osaka, such as Osaka, Shin-Osaka on the way to Kansai airport, you can stopover there and take a train to Kansai airport on departure day. But if you stay near subway station, you cannot take subway by this ticket. You have to exit at the nearest JR station and pay single fare for taking subway.

Squeeze Nara or/and Kobe on the way to Osaka from Kyoto

If you just make a trip from JR Osaka to JR Kyoto, it takes 30 minutes by Special Rapid train. You can spend some more in Kyoto or get Osaka early and enjoy there. But you may visit other places, such as Nara or Kobe. Nara is easier to squeeze because both Kyoto and Osaka are very accessible to Nara. You may find the access to Nara from Osaka and Kyoto at the link below:

How to access to Nara by Japan Rail Pass. If you don’t use JR Pass, Kintetsu Railway is more convenient.

If you drop by Nara on the way to Osaka from Kyoto, you may purchase the base fare ticket for Tokyo – Kyoto – Nara – Tennoji – Kansai airport. This is the simplest route ticket that include Kyoto and Nara. But you cannot get Osaka (Umeda) and Shin-Osaka by this ticket.

If you want to make your travel be easier, use single ticket for just Tokyo to Kyoto. And you may use other deal. Kintetsu Rail Pass one day is recommended for trip to Nara.

Kintetsu Rail Pass (Kintetsu Railway official site)

You may visit Kobe too. But Kobe is located at other side if you move from Kyoto to Osaka. Please find more information about trip to Kobe at the following link:

How to access to Himeji and Kobe from Osaka

Hankyu Tourist Pass covers Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. This is most affordable one day pass that covers these three cities.

Hankyu Tourist Pass (Hankyu Railway official site)

If you are okay with very tight schedule and want to visit as many as you want, you can do Kobe and Nara in one day. In this case, Kintetsu Rail Pass that I mentioned above and Hanshin Tourist Pass are recommended. Hanshin Tourist Pass covers Umeda, Namba and Kobe. Hanshin Railway connects with Kintetsu Railway at Osaka-Namba station. Many of both Hanshin and Kintetsu trains run each other. Some trains go directly from Nara to Kobe-Sannomiya. This is the easiest route to get Nara from Kobe. If you have these two passes, you can take this direct train.

Day 6 – Sightseeing in Osaka

Dotonbori is located near the biggest downtown core of Osaka, Namba.
Dotonbori is located near the biggest downtown core of Osaka, Namba.

The basic choice is Enjoy Eco Card that is one day subway unlimited ride pass. You may get most of places in downtown Osaka by this pass.

Enjoy Eco Card (Osaka subway official site)

If you want to visit many attractions, Osaka Amazing Pass gives you the great savings. It includes 28 attraction’s admission and unlimited subway ride. Please see the following link to get the details about this pass:

Osaka Amazing Pass

If you want to go to Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium, Osaka Kaiyu Ticket is the best choice.

Trip to Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium by Osaka Kaiyu Ticket

If you intend to spend one full day in Universal Studio Japan, single ticket is okay.

If you want to extend to stay in Osaka

You may add another Eco Card or Amazing Pass. But you may visit other places, such as Kobe, Nara. In case of this, you may add another Kansai area deal, like Kansai Thru Pass or Kansai Area Pass.

The following link shows you the itinerary of stay in Osaka only. But you may get some idea about choosing deal for trip to inside/outside Osaka.

How to build the itinerary and choose the deals for Osaka stay 5 to 7 days.

Day 7 – Osaka to Kansai Airport

Limited Express Haruka at Kansai Airport station
Limited Express Haruka at Kansai Airport station

You can continue using the base fare ticket from Tokyo to Kansai airport. But this ticket is valid for 5 days. If you extend your stay in Osaka or Kyoto, your ticket is expired.

And also if you drop by Kyoto and Kobe, you will use a single ticket for Tokyo to Kyoto only. But there are many deals to get to Kansai airport from Osaka. Please find more information about the deals at the link below:

How to choose the deals for access to/from Kansai Airport

In this post, I have explained Tokyo to Osaka in 7 days. If you want to learn reverse itinerary, Osaka to Tokyo in 7 days, please see the link below:

the sample itinerary of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo in 7 days

I also have many more sample itineraries. Please check the category, Sample Itinerary.

80 thoughts on “Basic itinerary of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka in 7 days”

  1. Hello, hope you can recommend the best transport pass for my 10days trip.
    1. Arrive Oct 10 Narita 3.40pm.
    Which transport should I take for over night ride to Wakayama?
    2. Oct 11 sight seeing Wakayama. Spend a nite in Wakayama.
    3. Oct 12 -13 spend 2 nites in Koyasan. What type of transport pass should I purchase while I’m in Wakayama city n going into Mt. Koya from Oct 11-13?
    4. Oct 14-17activate the JR rail (7 days) pass ride along the railroad peninsula spend each nite in major attractions. Do you recommend where to stop n spend each nite ?
    5. Oct 17-18 one nite in Kyoto/Osaka
    7. Oct 19 using JR pass leave from Osaka or Kyoto for Narita airport for 5.35pm flight.

    I appreciate if you can comment my itinerary and suggestions.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Kim,

      There is no overnight trains to Wakayama and even Osaka/Kyoto. But as long as your flight will arrive on time, you can get Wakayama on arrival day. Trip time is around 5.5 hours. You can get Wakayama by midnight.

      There is overnight bus from Tokyo to Osaka. Please see the link below to find more info but I’m not familiar with bus. Please do not ask me about the bus.
      https://willerexpress.com/en/

      When you go to Koyasan, there is only one deal available from Osaka.
      http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/koyasan.html

      There is no deals available from Wakayama. So you can stay in Osaka on the first night and visit Wakayama after Koyasan.

      Please see the link below to find the place in Wakayama.
      http://www.japan-guide.com/list/e1229.html

      Basically Kii-Katsuura/Shingu and Shirahama are the popular spots in Wakayama.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi San
    I am plan our first holiday to Japan, 4 adults. Flying in to Tokyo and out from Osaka. What is your suggestion on itinerary? We like to include Mt Fuji view and stay in Kyoto. We are looking at 8 full days for this trip.

    Look forward to your suggestions.

    Regina

      1. Hi Takeshi San
        Hi my travel plan in Tokyo will be as follows appreciate your advise on the best transport, cost and pass:
        1) arrive Narita Airport 1505 hrs, staying in Shinjuku
        2) Shinjuku to Disney, round trip
        3) Shinjuku to Hakone and Hakone to Kyoto – same day
        4) Kyoto to Osaka
        5) Osaka to Nara, round trip
        6) Osaka to Itami Airport

        Appreciate if you can advise the travel time also for my planning, or provide the link.

        Thank you in advance.

        1. Hi Regina san,

          You may use my sample plan which I gave you in previous reply from 1), 3) and 4). Those are complay same.

          For 2) and 5), just single fare is fine. You can find the fare in Hyperdia:
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/hyperdia-perfect-guide-train-timetable-and-route-search-engine.html

          For 6), you can take a bus.
          http://www.okkbus.co.jp/en/index2.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. HI Takeshi,

    We are couple traveling with a 1 year old baby to Japan in Oct. We will be in Japan for a total of 15 nights.

    Our proposed itinerary is as follows:
    Day 0 – Arrive at Narita on a evening flight. Stay most likely at Ueno.
    Day 1- Stay in Tokyo – West Central Tokyo (Shinjuku, Harajuku, Meiji Shrine, Shibuya)
    Day 2- Stay in Tokyo – Day trip to Hakone – Mt Fuji & Lake Ashinoko
    Day 3- Stay in Tokyo – East Central Tokyo (Asakusa, Ueno, Ryogoku)
    Day 4 – Depart Tokyo to Takayama (est 6 hrs). Stay in Takayama. (activate JR pass- 14 days)
    Day 5 – Morning market at Takayama and day trip to Shirakawa-go
    Day 6 – Depart Takayama to Kyoto (est 3hrs). Stay in Kyoto
    Day 7 – Stay Kyoto – Sanjusangendo, Higashiyama Day, Gion Day.
    Day 8 – Stay Kyoto (most likely Otsukyo for next 6 days) – visit Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, Arashiyama Day.
    Day 9 – Stay Kyoto – Fushimi Inari and Nara.
    Day 10 – Stay Kyoto – Half Day trip to Himeji castle.
    Day 11 – Stay Kyoto – Kyoto – Day trip to Osaka.
    Day 12 – Depart Kyoto to Hiroshima – est 2h30m. Visit Miyajima. Stay in Hiroshima.
    Day 13- Day trip around Hiroshima. Depart Hiroshima to Tokyo est 5h.10min
    Day 14 – Tokyo — Waterfront and East Central Tokyo (Odaiba and Akihabara)
    Day 15 – Tokyo – day time- Kamkura/ Nikko? Depart Haneda @9pm.

    Can we please request your expert advice on the below questions:
    – We believe the 14 day JR pass is best suited our requirements on the above itinerary.
    – Currently our thinking is to activate the 14 day Jr pass on day 4 when traveling to Takayama. Are there any changes you may suggest?
    – My wife wants to upgrade from the standard JR pass to the Green pass based on web reviews that suggest making reservations, finding seats together as a family and space to store large suitcases is easier with the Green JR pass?
    – We want to see as much of Japan as possible and yet want to balance that against travel costs and the needs of a baby. Is the time line appropriate (and not being rushed) in your opinion?
    – Is there a facility you can suggest to leave 1 x large suitcase for approximately 10-11 day of storage in Tokyo?

    Thank you Takeshi. Look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards

    Izabela and Ninan George

    1. Hi Izabela and Ninan,

      – We believe the 14 day JR pass is best suited our requirements on the above itinerary.
      – Currently our thinking is to activate the 14 day Jr pass on day 4 when traveling to Takayama. Are there any changes you may suggest?

      14 days pass is a good choice but why do you intend to activate on day 4? It’s valid for 14 days. You should start using it on day 2. And you should switch day 1 and 3. Shinjuku, Harajuku, Meiji Shrine, Shibuya can be accessed by JR trains. So you can use JR pass to visit these places. On the other hand, you need to take subway to get Asakusa. You can use Tokyo subway ticket and Skyliner deal for day 0 and 1.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/narita/the-list-of-deals-for-access-to-downtown-tokyo-from-narita-airport.html

      – My wife wants to upgrade from the standard JR pass to the Green pass based on web reviews that suggest making reservations, finding seats together as a family and space to store large suitcases is easier with the Green JR pass?

      Green pass is okay and good choice to get a space for luggage. But Green car is more quiet than ordinary class. Your child is still very young. Please make sure that your child is okay for long hours train ride.

      – We want to see as much of Japan as possible and yet want to balance that against travel costs and the needs of a baby. Is the time line appropriate (and not being rushed) in your opinion?

      Day 15 will be busy if you go to Nikko. If you want to go to Nikko, you should go on day 14 and stay in Tokyo on day 15. Other part of your trip is okay.

      – Is there a facility you can suggest to leave 1 x large suitcase for approximately 10-11 day of storage in Tokyo?

      I only know this place. Please see the link below:
      http://www.sagawa-exp.co.jp/ttk/english/service/tenimotsu.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

    2. Dear Takeshi,
      Thank you so much for your helpful advice and quick reply. Very grateful for your input.

      Have a great day.

      Izabela and Ninan George

  4. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Good evening to you and hope you have a great day ahead.
    Will appreciate if you could advise me on my upcoming trip.

    I will be going to Japan for 9 days (Tokyo->Osaka->Tokyo) and will arrive in Tokyo in the morning at around 730am.

    Arrive Narita Airport (1st Day)
    Depart Haneda Airport (Last Day)

    My plan in Tokyo/Osaka as follow:
    Day 1- (Ueno, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Shibuya)
    Day 2- Disneyland (Without JR pass)
    Day 3- Disneysea (With JR pass)
    Day 4- Tokyo->Osaka via bullet train
    (Nissan Ramen Museum, Namba, Dotonbori, Amerikamura )
    Day 5- Universal Studios Japan + Umeda
    Day 6- Osaka-> Nara (Nara Park)
    Day 6- Nara>- Kyoto (Higashiyama District, Gion’s, Kiyomizudera ,Fushimi Inari Shrine, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove)
    Day 6- Kyoto-> Osaka (Shinsekai)
    Day 7- Osaka (Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Osaka Castle) and after which via bullet train back to Tokyo
    Day 7- Tokyo (Shinjuku, Tokyo station, Asakusa (Sky tree), Akihabara)
    Day 8-(Tsukji Fish Market, Odaiba, Ginza)
    Day 9- (Shimbashi and head to Haneda Airport)

    Questions
    1. To purchase Tokyo Subway 48-hour Ticket + Keisei Skyliner One-way Ticket (Limited Express) for the first 2 days and after which i will use the Nationwide JR pass or the opposite way?

    2. How can i book and check the timing to reserve a seat ticket for the bullet train and how long in advance should i do that?

    3. With JR pass i am not able to take Nozomi and Mizuho if i choose not to pay additional right?
    The rest of the shinkansen i will be able to take without paying?

    4. I will be getting the suica card in Tokyo, will i be able to use it at Osaka, Nara and Kyoto?

    5. Understand some JR line is further as compare to the subway line therefore do you think i should purchase any 1/2 day pass at Osaka/Kyoto/Nara looking at the places that i want to go ?

    6. Looking at my itinerary do you think is feasible or some of the days are quite tight?

    Hope to hear from you soon, thank you in advance~

    1. Hi Chirstine san,

      1. I recommend you to use JR pass for the first 7 days. And add subway pass for day 8. Switch Asakusa and Ginza. You can access to Ginza via Yurakucho by JR trains. But you need to take subway to get Asakusa.
      Haneda is much closer to Tokyo than Narita. Even if you pay single fare to Haneda, it’s much smaller than paying for Skyliner. You can take Narita Express from Narita to Tokyo by JR pass. All places from day 1 to 3 are covered by JR pass.

      2. You will use JR pass on day 1. So you should book for all trains when you exchange JR pass in Narita on day 1.

      3. Nomozi and Mizuho are not covered at all. You cannot use these trains by JR Pass. Basically you will take Hikari and Kodama between Tokyo and Osaka. Sakura is covered but this train does not run on this segment.

      4. Yes, you can.

      5. If you use Suica, you don’t need subway pass in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. Try to use JR trains as much as you can. And when you need to take subway or Non JR trains, you can use Suica. You may add city bus pass in Kyoto. It’s cheap and get the worth by only 3 rides.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      6. Day 6 is super tight. It’s not impossible but you need to keep rushing. Day 7 is very tight too.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

    2. Hi Takeshi-san,
      Is me again flooding you with many questions .
      I hope you will not mind as i am visiting Japan for the first time and i would like to explore many wonderful places as possible.
      It is pretty difficult to decide where to skip and where to go therefore really appreciate if you could guide me along.
      Thanks for the wonderful tips for the 1st reply.
      Really appreciate it alot!!!!!

      Questions:
      1. So I should buy a Tokyo Subway 48-hour Ticket for Day 8 and Day 9 because I am not able to purchase Tokyo Subway 48-hour Ticket + Keisei Skyliner One-way Ticket to Haneda Airport right?

      2. How or where do i purchase a single fare to Haneda Airport if I am departing from Shinjuku and I would like to stop over at Shimbashi before I head to Haneda Airport?

      3. Should I get a Kyoto City Bus & Kyoto Bus One-Day Pass (500 yen) or Kyoto Sightseeing One day Pass Card (1200 yen) since I have many places that I would like t visit in Day 6
      Day 6- Osaka-> Nara (Nara Park)
      Day 6- Nara>- Kyoto (Higashiyama District, Gion’s, Kiyomizudera ,Fushimi Inari Shrine, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove)
      Day 6- Kyoto-> Osaka (Shinsekai)

      4. As I will be visiting Nara first and travel to Kyoto should I visit the places as follow accordingly to save more time? Does this flow works?
      -Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
      – Fushimi Inari Shrine
      – Kiyomizudera
      – Higashiyama District
      – Gion’s

      Am i still able to squeeze in Hanami-koji Street, Sagano Scenic Railway, Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion) anywhere in Day 6?
      I can actually leave at a later timing in Day 7 to travel back to Tokyo maybe around 3pm- Linked to next question

      5. Will this plan be better as compare to the previous one?
      Day 7- Osaka (Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Osaka Castle) and after which via bullet train (Hikari and Kodama) back to Tokyo
      Day 7- Tokyo (Ginza, Tokyo station)
      Day 8-(Tsukji Fish Market, Odaiba, Shinjuku)

      Hope to hear from you soon~

      Thank you once again for your great help!!!!

      1. Hi Chirstine san,

        1. That is right. One way deal is for incoming passengers only.

        2. You need to purchase a ticket one by one. In this case, you need to purchase Shinjuku to Shimbashi, Shimbashi to Hamamatsucho and Hamamatsucho to Haneda airport.

        3. Kyoto City Bus & Kyoto Bus One-Day Pass is recommended. Subway does not help so much in your trip.

        4. No. You should visit Arashiyama last. Fushimi is on the way from Nara to Higashiyama/Gion area. I think you cannot squeeze any more thing. It’s already many many places. Even in current plan, it’s rushed as I mentioned.

        5. Yes.

        Cheers,

        Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I love reading all your writeups and have learned a lot. Thank you for breaking down Japan’s complex transport system into articles that r so easy to understand.

    My family of 4 will be going to Japan on early dec for the first time and below is my itinerary. Do u think I should get a raill pass or any sort of intercity or city pass?

    Arriving in Haneda n staying in Tokyo shibuya for 5 nights.
    Day 1: shinjuku/harajuku
    Day 2: Disneyland
    Day 3: Disneyland
    Day 4: asakusa/odaiba
    Day 5: tsukiji/akihabara/ikebukuro

    Day 6: Hakone for 1 night.

    Staying in Kyoto kawaramachi for 2 nights
    Day 7: nishiki market n kawaramachi
    Day 8: fushimi inari n arashiyama
    Day 9: golden pavilion, Nino castle, kiyomizudera-Gion before gg to Osaka

    Staying in Osaka namba for 2 nights
    Day 9: namba, shinsaibashi, dotonbori
    Day 10: kuromon market, instant noodle museum, uemda.

    Flying to new chitose and staying on hokkiado for 6 nights
    Day 11: Norboribetsu for 1 night
    Day 12 – 13 : Sapporo for 2 nights
    Day 14: Otaru for 1 night
    Day 15 – 16: Kiroro for 2 nights

    I look forward for your expert advice!

    Arigato
    Corrina

    1. Hi Corrina san,

      You may use my sample in the link below for the 1st part of your trip:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7days/sample-itinerary-of-tokyo-hakone-kyoto-and-osaka-classic-route-in-7-days.html

      In this sample, I suggested to use single fare ticket to KIX from Odawara. But in your trip, just use single ticket to Kyoto. You may not take JR trains from Kyoto. You may get the following tickets and passes.

      Kyoto bus pass
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      Eco card (subway pass)
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      Kansai one pass to take trains in Kyoto, trains from Gion Shijo (Kawaramachi) to Yodoyabashi by Keihan railway. When you get Yodoyabashi, you can get Eco card to take subway from Yodoyabashi to Namba.
      https://kansaionepass.com/en/about.html?info=1

      You can use Kansai one pass to get KIX from Namba by Nankai railway if you leave from KIX. If you leave from Itami, you can take bus by single ticket.

      After arriving Hokkaido, no deals are available. Single ticket is only choice.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi-san,

        Thank you for prompt reply. You are indeed an expert and a walking encyclopedia of Japan transport! Thank you for showing us Japanese efficiency in action. I am truly impressed.

        Thanks for the links as well. You have made my research so much easier!

        Thank you once again, and God bless!

        🙂 Corrina

          1. Hi Takeshi San,

            Thank you for your advice on the best mode of transport. Based on my itinerary, do you think it’s feasible? What would you suggest to make my trip flows better? Or do you think it’s too tight or too free?

            We will be arriving in Haneda and staying in shibuya for 5 nights, Hakone for 1 night, Kyoto kawaramachi for 2 nights, Osaka namba for 2 nights before flying to Hokkaido.

            Day 1: Haneda to shibuya/shinjuku/harajuku
            Day 2: shibuya to/fro Disneyland
            Day 3: shibuya to/fro Disneyland
            Day 4: shibuya to asakusa, then to odaiba, before returning to shibuya
            Day 5: shibuya to tsukiji, then to akihabara, then to ikebukuro before returning to shibuya

            Day 6: shibuya to Hakone and stay in hakone for 1 night.

            Day 7: take bullet train from hakone to Kyoto station. Visit nishiki market n kawaramachi
            Day 8: kawaramachi to fushimi inari, and then to arashiyama before returning to kawaramachi
            Day 9: kawaramachi to golden pavilion, then to Nino castle, then to kiyomizudera-Gion before going to Osaka namba. Once arrive namba, to visit namba, shinsaibashi, dotonbori
            Day 10: kuromon market to instant noodle museum, then to uemda, before returning to namba
            Day 11: leave Osaka Namba to Sapporo via morning flight.

          2. Dear Takeshi San,

            Thank you so much for your reassurance. Can I check if 1 day eco card is based on 24hrs or midnight to midnight? Should I get it for Day 9 after arriving in Osaka (travel from Kyoto to Osaka via Keihan, and then visit namba, shinsaibashi, dotonbori) or day 10 (kuromon market to instant noodle museum, then to uemda, before returning to namba). Does eco pass cover trip up to instant noodle museum?

            Thank you so very much for your patience and time.

            Best regards
            Corrina

          3. Hi Corrina san,

            Eco card is valid from midnight to midnight. I don’t think you need it on day 9 because you will take subway from Yodoyabashi to Namba only. Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori can be accessed by walk.
            Ramen museum is not in coverage area. You need to take Hankyu railway from Umeda to Ikeda.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Dear Takeshi San,

    Good day.
    I’ve been reading your post and its been of great help setting our DIY itinerary (first timers, cherry blossom time,
    2018).

    If its not much to ask, we would like to hear your opinion/suggestion/comment on our below planned itinerary for 9days/8nights, and advise us for the best Pass to use and possible best route to take.

    Tokyo: will be staying at Shinjuku (450m from Shin-Okubo Station & 350m from Seibu-Shinjuku Station)

    Day 1: Saturday
    Arrive at Narita Airport (12NN)
    Half day sightseeing
    -Meiji Shrine
    – Harajuku
    – Shibuya Hachiko Statue & Scramble Street
    – Roponggi
    – Tokyo Tower
    – back to Accommodation

    Day 2: Sunday
    – Tokyo Metropolitan Govrrnment Building
    – Shunjuku Gyeon National Garden
    – The Imperial Palace & Hijubashi Bridge
    – Ueno Park
    – Odaiba (Rainbow Bridge, Fuji TV Building, Diver City, Joypolis, Legoland Discovery Center, Toyota Megaweb & Venus Port)
    – back to Accommodation

    Day 3: Monday
    – Disney Sea
    – Tokyo Syktree
    – if still with enough time: Sensoji Temple
    – back to Accommodation

    Day 4: Tuesday
    – Sanrio Puroland
    – Ghibli Museum
    – Akibahara

    Day 5: Wednesday
    Tokyo to Osaka (will travel by 6 or 7AM)
    Will stay at Nishinari Ward (270m from Hanazonocho Station and 210m from Haginochaya Station)
    – Umeda Sky Building
    – Osaka Castle
    – Tsutenkaku Tower
    – Dotonbori

    Day 6: Thursday
    – Universal Studio Japan
    – if still with enough time: Osaka Aquarium & Tempozan Ferris Wheel
    – back to Accommodation

    Day 7: Friday (Kyoto)
    – Golden Pavilion
    – Toei Kyoto Studio Park
    – Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
    – Fushimi Inari Shrine
    – back to Accommodation

    Day 8: Saturday (Nara & Kobe)
    – Nara Deer Park
    – Isuien Garden
    – Todai-ji Temple
    – Nigatsu Hall
    – Kobe Port
    – Kobe Chinatown
    – back to Accommodation

    Day 9: Sunday
    – Shinsaibashi (last minute shopping)
    – Osaka Aiport (KIX) by 12NN

    1. Your idea of the best Pass that we can use?
    1a. Tokyo: Is getting Tokyo Subway Pass good?
    1b. Osaka: Is getting Kansai Thru Pass good?
    2. Your suggestion of the best route we can take?
    3. What IC card to use in Tokyo & Osaka?
    4. Doing the same itinerary for Day 2 to 4: Will it be more ecoomical to stay at Asakusa than Shinjuku (at Asakusa will be staying at Senzoku Taito: 1.1km from Minowa Station & 1.6km from Asakusa Station)?
    5. Do you happen to know if there are coin lockers in Shin-Okubo Station (Tokyo)? and Shin-Osaka (Osaka)? Will it fit luggage with sizes of 25x13x22 inches (LxWXD)?

    Thank you very much for taking your time reading my inquiry and hearing your thoughts is highly appreciated.

    Best Regards,
    Gev Mallari – Philippines

    1. Hi Gev san,

      First of all, please read the following post. I think you will find the solution for most of your inquiry.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7days/how-to-make-the-itinerary-of-tokyo-osaka-one-way-trip.html

      1. Subway pass is okay for Tokyo. Kansai thru pass is okay for Nara and Kyoto. You may find more info in the link above.

      2. Your planning is okay. But I think you don’t have any time left after USJ and Disneysea. Both theme parks are quite big. You can spend one full day quickly.

      3. You may have Suica or Pasmo in Tokyo. You can use these card in Osaka as well.
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html?src=gnavi

      4. Not much different.

      5. Shin-Osaka has many lockers and large size locker is available too. But I don’t think Shin-Okubo has many lockers. I’m sure there are lockers but I’m not sure this station has large one or not.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi San,

        Thank you for the very swift reply.
        It’s pretty amazing having your response that fast.

        Many thanks for the given links and will make sure to review it and learn it by heart.

        Again thank you very much for your time and insight.

        Have the best day ahead!

        ありがとうございます
        Arigatou gozaimasu

        Best Regards,
        Gev Mallari

  7. Hi Takeshi-san

    After reading this sample itinerary, I have wanted to utilise your idea of taking one-way Tokyo-Kansai, but realised my itinerary will be 6 days(1 day longer).
    May 19PM – May 22AM
    – Tokyo (will use Bus+72hour Subway Pass)
    May 22PM – May 27 (6am)
    – Kyoto(1.5days – Bus Pass) / Nara(0.5days – Walk) / Osaka(2.5days-OVT)

    Qn 1 : After considering, I was thinking of trying out this method (see Method 1 below) and would like to get your comment or any suggestion. With this one-way, will it be cheaper and convenient?

    Method 1: Get Tokyo-Tennoji (560km – 4days? – 14450Yen)
    May 22 (Day 1) – May 24 (Day 3) Kyoto
    May 24 (Day 3) Nara
    May 24 (Day 3) – May 27 Osaka (staying at Tennoji) – will be using the Osaka Visitors Ticket (OVT) during stay.

    I did a quick check using Hyperdia and Google and it probably saves me about 800-900 Yen, if I took Kintetsu Normal to Nara & Osaka instead. Other than that, it will be quite convenient as it will save me all the hassle to buy tickets for Kyoto-Nara and Nara-Tennoji. Also, I may be able to squeeze in Hakone or Kobe, though its not part of my plan.

    Qn 2: Can i check if its possible to purchase the OVT as a tourist when I am in Osaka?

    1. Hi Roy,

      1. Actually your calculation is wrong. 560km is Tokyo to Tennoji direct distance. But you will take the route, Tokyo-Kyoto-Nara-Tennoji. The distance is 592.8km and the fare is 9,610 yen base fare and 5.700 yen Shinkansen surcharge. Total is 15,310 yen. It’s not much different if you purchase a ticket one by one, Tokyo-Kyoto, Kyoto-Nara and Nara-Tennoji.
      If you want to purchase one ticket for this route, you must tell that you want to take the route via Nara between Kyoto to Tennoji. Otherwise you cannot take this route and cannot make a stopover at Nara.

      2. You can purchase Osaka visitors ticket.
      http://www.kotsu.city.osaka.lg.jp/foreign/english/OsakaTicket.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi-san,

    My family and I will be arriving at Osaka KIX Terminal 1 in the morning, and from there, going to Kyoto (Hanazono station).
    We are staying 4 days in Kyoto.
    Then from Kyoto, we are going to Lake Kawaguchiko. We are thinking of taking Shinkansen from Kyoto to Mishima then take bus to Kawaguchiko.
    From Kawaguchiko, we shall be going to Tokyo
    We stay in Tokyo for 4 days.
    From Tokyo, we take Haneda airport to go home.

    Which rail pass do you think should we get?

    Thanks a lot! Your site has a lot of very helpful information.

    1. Hi Riyo san,

      You may use Haruka discount ticket at 1600 yen for KIX to Hanazono. And you may add Kansai one pass for sightseeing in Kyoto.
      http://kansaionepass.com/en/about.html?info=1

      You also can add all day bus pass and use Kansai one pass for taking trains only.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      Single ticket is only choice for Kyoto-Mishima, Mishima-Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Kawaguchi-Tokyo, Tokyo-Haneda.

      For sightseeing in Tokyo, you can add subway pass.
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/travel/index.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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