Sample itinerary of Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka classic route in 7 days

Highest mountain, Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi, Hakone  ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO
Highest mountain, Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi, Hakone ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO

Some of you are wondering if you should use JR pass or not for one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka via Hakone and Kyoto. Actually JR pass does not meet this trip. The price of 7 days JR pass is 29100 yen. One way base fare from Tokyo to Kyoto or Shin-Osaka plus Shinkansen surcharge is around 14000 yen. As long as you have one way trip from Tokyo to Kyoto or Osaka, JR pass is way more expensive than single fare. Even if you use JR pass when you stay in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, it is not realistic to spend another 15000 yen. Base fare in these cities is 200 to 500 yen.

In this post, I show you sample itinerary and some deals in these cities.
*When you follow this sample itinerary, please check the updated timetable. You can find more information about timetable at the link below:
Guide to plan your trip. How to find Japan Railway’s timetables

Day 1 Narita or Haneda airport to downtown Tokyo

New train E259 series Narita Express
JR’s airport express train, Narita Express

Suggested deals for Narita passengers

There are many deals available. Please refer the following link about Narita deals:
The list of deals for access to downtown Tokyo from Narita airport.

Suggested deals for Haneda passengers

Tokyo Monorail
Tokyo Monorail connects Haneda airport and Hamamatsucho.

Please refer the following links:
Keihin Kyuko Haneda and Tokyo downtown deals
Monorail and Yamanote line discount ticket (Weekend, holidays and selected dates only)

If you arrive in Haneda after 22:00, you have to be hurry. Please find more information about late arrival in Haneda at the following link:
How to take Tokyo Monorail or Keihin Kyuko for late arrival and early departure at Haneda

Day 2 Tokyo

Senso-ji temple and Tokyo Skytree in Asakusa ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO
Senso-ji temple and Tokyo Skytree in Asakusa ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO

Enjoy sightseeing in Tokyo.

Suggested deals: Metro pass or Tokyo Tokunai Pass
Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass), good choice for sightseeing in Tokyo.
Fast, economical and convenient for sightseeing in Tokyo. Learn about Tokyo Subways.

You have to compare single fare and deals. In Tokyo, single fare is very reasonable. Single fare may be cheaper if you visit one or two places.

Day 3 Tokyo to Hakone

Owakudani is one of Must-See spots in Hakone.  ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO
Owakudani is one of Must-See spots in Hakone. ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO

Suggested itinerary
08:53 Shinjuku
Odakyu railway’s limited express Hakone 9
10:35 Hakone-Yumoto

Leave your baggage at hotel or locker at the station. Enjoy sightseeing Hakone all day.

Odakyu Railway is most convenient to get Hakone and cheaper than JR trains. You can purchase base fare ticket and Hakone Free Pass Odawara departure at Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center at Shinjuku station.

Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center

Suggested deals
Base fare ticket (Shinjuku – Odawara) 880 yen
Hakone Free Pass (Odawara departure 2 days) 4000 yen

Hakone Free Pass gives you unlimited ride for local transportation in Hakone.

Hakone Free Pass

Shijuku departure Hakone Free Pass (5140 yen) is not required for this itinerary. Because it includes round trip to/from Shijuku. But you do not come back to Shinjuku and leave Hakone then go to Kyoto next day. Of course single fare for Shinjuku-Odawara is cheaper than the difference between Shinjuku departure Hakone Free Pass and Odawara departure Hakone Free Pass.

Hakone Free Pass does not include Limited Express charge. If you want to take Odakyu’s Limited Express train, “Romancecar”, add another 890 yen. If you pay only base fare, you have to take regular commute train and you have to transfer the trains at Odawara. If you take Romancecar, you will enjoy much better seat and direct transfer to Hakone-Yumoto.

Odakyu Romancecar website

Once you get Hakone, use Hakone Free Pass as much as you can. You can get most of places in Hakone by this pass.

I recommend you to stay in Hakone for at least one night. But if you want to visit Hakone as “luggage free” day trip from Tokyo, Hakone Free Pass Shinjuku departure is the best deal.
Odakyu Railway Hakone Free Pass

Day 4 Hakone to Kyoto

Fushimi Inari shrine is most popular spot in Kyoto in these days. ©Kyoto Convention Bureau /©JNTO
Fushimi Inari shrine is most popular spot in Kyoto in these days. ©Kyoto Convention Bureau /©JNTO

Suggested itinerary
09:40 Hakone-Yumoto
Hakone Tozan Railway
09:54 Odawara
10:08 Odawara
Hikari 507
12:13 Kyoto

Odawara station is the nearest JR station to Hakone. You can catch Shinkansen to get Kyoto. Please find the details about Odawara station at the following:

Odawara station guide. How to transfer to the train to Hakone.

There are some Shinkansen train, “Hikari” stop at Odawara and takes you to Kyoto without any transfer. I picked 10:08 departure, Hikari 507. Please see the timetable at the link below and find the train what you want to take:

Tokaido Shinkansen timetable westbound

You may find Hikari 493 (“H” 493 on timetable) that departs from Odawara at 6:15, Hikari 501 (“H” 493 on timetable) that departs from Odawara at 7:04 and many more trains mostly every two hours. Please try to catch this kind of Hikari. This is the fastest and direct way to get Kyoto from Odawara.

Required fare
Shinkansen reserved seat surcharge (Odawara-Kyoto) 5060 yen
Base fare ticket (Odwara-Kansai airport) 8640 yen

Base fare ticket and Shinkansen surcharge ticket are required to take Shinkansen. 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. So you can just transfer from Hakone Tozan Railway train to Shinkansen at Odawara.

In this itinerary, you can purchase one base fare ticket from Odawara 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

If you follow my suggested itinerary, you have 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.

Day 5 Kyoto

Arashiyama is very popular in any season.  	© soryofu/© JNTO
Arashiyama is very popular in any season. © soryofu/© JNTO

You can enjoy in Kyoto for all day.

Suggested deal : Kyoto city sightseeing pass (bus and subway) or Kyoto all day bus pass
Please find more information about these deals at Kyoto Subway and Bus pass

You can find some more information about transportation in Kyoto at the following page.
Guide to take trains in Kyoto. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?

Day 6 Kyoto to Osaka

Osaka castle is very accessible. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO
Osaka castle is very accessible. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

Suggested itinerary
09:14 Kyoto
Special rapid
09:43 Osaka

Now you can restart to use long base fare ticket for Odawara-Kansai airport. Now you can make stopover at Osaka. Special Rapid is the fastest way to get Osaka (Umeda). It is a sort of commute train. Only base fare is required to take this train.

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

As long as you go forward, you can make multiple stopover in same city. So for example, you can make stopovers at Osaka (Umeda) and Imamiya. You can’t go to Namba by this single ticket because Namba is not on the route to Kansai Airport. But you can make stopover at Imamiya and purchase another ticket to JR-Namba station.

I suggested you to use base fare ticket for Odawara to Kansai airport. But if you intend to stay near subway station, you can purchase base fare ticket for Odawara to Shin-Osaka or Osaka. You can take Nankai railway to get Kansai airport from Namba. That is easier and faster especially if you stay in Namba.

Suggested deal
Enjoy Eco Card (subway pass)
Osaka Amazing Pass (if you intend to visit many attractions in even one day)

Day 7 Osaka to Kansai airport

You can restart to use base fare ticket to Kansai airport. You have two choices, Kansai airport rapid or limited express Haruka.
If you take Haruka, you have to add limited express surcharge. But only base fare ticket is okay to take Kansai airport rapid. Limited express surcharge is 1490 for reserved seat and 970 yen for non reserved. In my opinion, non reserved seat is okay when you travel other than peak season, like mid August, New Years holidays and Golden Week (late Apr to early May).

Suggest deals for departure from Namba or other subway stations
Kanku Rapi:t Tokuwari Ticket (1130 yen)
Kanku Chikatoku Ticket (1000 yen)

Summary and total costs

If you have one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka, as you read above, the key is how to combine deals and single fare. In this itinerary, approximate total cost is the following:

1500 yen n’ex direct ticket
1000 yen Metro and Toei subway one day pass
880 yen Base fare ticket (Shinjuku – Odawara)
890 yen Romancecar limited express surcharge (Shinjuku-Hakneyumoto)
4000 yen Hakone Free Pass (Odawara departure 2 days)
5060 yen Shinkansen reserved seat surcharge (Odawara-Kyoto)
8640 yen Base fare ticket (Odwara-Kansai airport)
280 yen Base fare ticket (Kyoto-Inari return)
1200 yen Kyoto city sightseeing card (subway and bus pass)
800 yen Enjoy Eco card (Osaka subway pass)
970 yen Haruka non reserved seat surcharge (Shin-Osaka to KIX)

Total : 25220 yen

Even I include many non JR deals, it is about 4000 yen cheaper than JR Pass 7 days.

I show you 7 days itinerary but you can extend stay in Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto or Osaka. And also I have another sample itinerary that includes Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka only. Please see the following post to find it.

Basic itinerary of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka in 7 days

I hope this post will help you to build your trip plan to Japan!

442 thoughts on “Sample itinerary of Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka classic route in 7 days”

  1. Hello. I would appreciate your guidance on the best ways to travel for the following itinerary:

    Friday-Monday morning: Tokyo
    Monday – Wednesday early evening: Kyoto (from Tokyo)
    Wednesday evening – Friday morning: Hakone (from Kyoto)
    Friday morning: Hakone to Narita Airport for 4:30pm flight

    Thank you!

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    Thank you for a great guide!

    I am planning my itinerary to go from Tokyo > Hakone > Osaka > Tokyo (and use Osaka as a base to go to Kyoto and day trip to Nara) over 12 days.

    Day 1 – arrive in Tokyo (AM), travel to Hakone and stay overnight
    Day 2 – travel to Osaka
    Day 3 – Osaka
    Day 4 – day trip to Nara
    Day 5 – Kyoto
    Day 6 – Kyoto
    Day 7 – travel to Tokyo
    Day 8 to 11 – Tokyo

    What would be your suggestions on the easiest route from Hakone to Osaka? I see in your itinerary it stops at Kyoto first, will it change if I didn’t want to stop there?

    Also I assume I will most likely get value just buying base fare tickets instead of JR pass.

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Sam,

      Actually it’s same if you travel to Osaka. You will take Shinkansen from Odawara. You can take it until you get Shin-Osaka. It’s one station away from Kyoto.

      I recommend you to use JR pass 7 days for the first 7 days of your trip. It’s cheaper than regular fare.

      You may use other deal after day 8.


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi-san,

    If i buy the JR single trip ticket from Odawara to Osaka, can o stop over at Kyoto – Nara – Osaka within the 4 days?

    If i travel mainly by JR train and Keihan Line in Kyoto for 1.5 days, can i use ICOCA or is there any day pass available?


    1. Hi Poney san,

      You can use one single ticket for Odawara to Osaka with stopover at Kyoto and Nara. But when you buy a ticket, you must mention that you will go through Nara. Because Nara is not on the way to Osaka from Kyoto. The distance is a bit longer. If you don’t mention it, you cannot go to Nara.

      If you make it simple, just buy single ticket for Odawara to Kyoto. And you can use Kansai one pass to take both Keihan and JR. Kansai one pass is same type of card as ICOCA. But it offers discount at many attractions in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. It’s better choice than ICOCA.

      Even if you purchase single ticket one by one for Odawara-Kyoto, Kyoto-Nara and Nara-Osaka, it’s not much different from one ticket for these segments. You can use Kansai one pass instead of single ticket after Kyoto.


      Takeshi /

  4. Hi Takeshi,

    Your site is wonderful! Thanks for all the tips and information, and all your hard work!

    I was planning to buy a 3-week JR pass but after doing a lot of research I have lost the confidence that it is the best deal. I am OK paying a little extra for the convenience of having one ticket but it seems that in city areas I will not really be using it much.

    So far our itinerary looks as follow:
    2 Sept Arrive Narita (Staying in Shibuya so have to transfer there)
    3 – 6 September Tokyo
    6 September – 11 September (travel to visit a friend near Gifu)
    11 – 12 Sept Naoshima Island
    12 – 14 Sept Onomichi
    14-16 Sept Beppu
    16-20 Sept Aoshima
    20 Sept – Aoshima to Miyazaki Airport – flight from Miyazaki to Osaka
    20 Sept – Osaka Airport – Kyoto (not sure of the train connection yet)
    20 Sept – 26 – Kyoto/Koyasan/Nara trips
    26 -Kyoto – Osaka Airport train

    Now – I am not sure if I should buy the 14 day JR pass, which would start 6 Sept till 19 Sept and then figure out a way to get to Miyazaki Airport from Aoshima without the pass and get the Kansai Thru Pass? So I would get these two passes (14 day JR + Kansai Thru) or is it better to just get the 21 day JR pass – these are expensive but it would be good to know what would be most sensible and convenient. Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Dorota,

      14 days pass is okay but you need to add other deal for Narita to Shibuya. Otherwise you cannot use JR pass from Beppu to Aoshima.

      It’s closed from Aoshima to Miyazaki airport. Once you get Aoshima, JR Pass is not necessary.

      If you arrive in Itami (Osaka), limousine bus is the best option to Kyoto.

      If you arrive in Kansai (Osaka), ICOCA and Haruka is the best deal.

      Kansai thru pass is a good choice for trip to outside Kyoto. You may use other deal for inside Kyoto.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hello, Takeshi!

        Thank you so much for such a quick and helpful reply. It is very much appreciated.

        I have a few more questions – sorry! I will be grateful for your help.

        1. I understand I need to get from Narita to Shibuya without activating the JR pass as you have said.
        I have looked at your options and I think the best solution would be to take the Keisei Skyliner (2200 yen one way discounted price) – when I went to buy it online, it only shows Ueno, Nippori, Narita 2-3 and Narita 1 as Arrival Stations and we need to go to Shibuya. Do we transfer to the subway in Ueno or Nippori? If we do, do we need another ticket for the subway? And is it better to buy online and exchange at the airport or buy there?

        2. About the JR pass – if we activate it on 6th of September to go to Gifu from Shibuya, will it finish on the 19th or 20th September? I thought 19th?
        But if JR pass ends on 19th, how do we get from Aoshima to Miyazaki Airport on the 20th? Do we need to buy another ticket or take a bus (I cannot find clear information about travelling from Aoshima to Miyazaki Airport)?

        3. Kansai
        I like the idea of ICOCA / Haruka round trip between KIX and Kyoto. Can we buy that when we arrive or should we buy online?
        I also understand from your comment that Kansai Thru Pass is good for trips outside of Kyoto (Nara, Koyasan). Will it be worth it if we take just one trip? And also should we buy before we leave? We are not sure yet what trips outside of Kyoto we will take (or not) so it would be good if we can buy there.
        I have also read in your article about Kansai One Pass (specifically for foreigners) but is it a better deal than Thru Pass?

        Thank you so VERY much! Looking forward to seeing the beautiful Japan!

        1. Hi Dorota,

          1. You need to catch subway Ginza line in Ueno. Please see the map in the link below:

          You may take JR Yamanote line from Nippori to Shibuya too. You need to add single fare to take either subway or JR Yamanote line. If you take limousine bus or Narita Express, you can get Shibuya directly. The fare is around 3000 yen.

          2. It will be expired on 19th. You can take either local bus or local train. The bus runs more frequently. I don’t have a timetable but you can get it when you get Aoshima.

          3. If you use Kansai thru pass, you must have two trip to outside Kyoto. You cannot get the worth by one trip.
          Kansai one pass is different from Kansai thru pass. Kansai thru pass covers other JR trains and Kansai one pass covers all. But Kansai thru pass offers unlimited travel. Kansai one pass offers same value as cash payment. You can get only convenience.

          Kansai one pass is same type of card as ICOCA. You can add this instead of ICOCA card when you get ICOCA and Haruka. You don’t need to purchase it online. You need to exchange it even if you buy it online.


          Takeshi /

          1. Hi Takeshi!

            You are so fast! Thank you.

            So I am now doing the calculations:
            14 day JR pass = 46 390 yen
            21 day JR pass = 59 350 yen

            If I buy 14 day JR pass I need to add:
            Travel from Narita to Shibuya – around 3000 yen
            Travel from Aoshima to Miyazaki Airport – (??) found this:
   – so around 700 yen
            Return travel from KIX to Kyoto – at least basic Haruka 3200 yen
            So this makes total extras 7000 yen + 46 390 = 53 390, which is around 6000 yen less than 21 day pass
            Plus if I take any trips from Kyoto (Koyasan/Nara) I need to pay extra/ get Kansai Thru Pass 2 days – 4000 yen (which I can do better as I am saving some money).
            If I buy the 21 day pass, I could activate it either 7th Sept and it will then be still valid on 26th to go to KIX from Kyoto or activate it on 2nd September to go from Narita to Shibuya, and then I do not need to cover one of these extra tickets like I need to with 14 day pass (I hope this makes sense); this would basically mean a saving of around 3000 yen (if I can use JR pass from Narita to Shibuya or KIX to Kyoto)

            So the difference would really be more like 3000 yen – roughly, so it id not really the money as much as it is what the better and more convenient options may be (I read that JR Pass in Kyoto is not so useful, so even with 21 day pass maybe I would need tickets for non-JR trains to Koyasan/Nara anyway).

            Sorry if this is confusing. I am reading so many things and trying to understand mostly what is the best option, not just to save money but to have the best experience.

            Thank you again!


          2. Hi Dorota,

            Your calculation is right. If you want to get convenience, you can go for 21 days pass.

            It sometimes take one day to allow the comment. I have received two new comments from you but I have deleted. If you post another comment, it may not be shown quickly but please wait for at least one day. I sometimes reply very quickly but sometimes not.


            Takeshi /

          3. THANK YOU, Takeshi, and sorry for the duplicate comment! I was getting error messages and tried again.

            Thanks for your reply.

            I just went over the calculation and realised I did not add the 3000 Y for travel from Narita to Shibuya on 2nd Sept (as I would most likely activate JR 21 day Pass on 6th Sept to end on 26th), so the total would be 59,350+3000 = 62,350 Y

            On JR 14 day pass plus extras (Narita-Shibuya, KIX-Kyoto round trip, Aoshima-Miyazaki Airport) would be around 7000 Y (plus 1500 extra on ICOCA Haruka to use in Kyoto area + 500 deposit), so 46,390 +7000 = 53,390 Y (+2000 ICOCA)

            So it is around 9000 Y less with JR 14 day pass and other deals really, which is actually quite a significant amount (especially that it is two of us travelling). Or have I made a mistake?

            Thanks so much for your advice!

            Best wishes,


          4. Hi Dorota,

            If you use JR Pass 21 days, you should start using it on day 1 from Narita. It will cover until Sep 22 in Kyoto. You can visit Nara by JR pass before JR Pass expires. JR Pass is not perfect for trip to Koyasan. But you may use it to get Osaka. You can do these trips on 21 and 22. You can use Koyasan world heritage ticket from Shin-Imamiya to Koyasan.

            Even if you don’t go to Koyasan, you still can take JR trains to Arashiyama, Fushimi, Nijo in Kyoto.

            And add Kyoto city deal and Haruka discount ticket (without ICOCA) to KIX at 1,600 yen.

            I think this way is more useful than start using on 6th.

            On the other hand, if you use JR Pass 14 days, you need to add subway pass or other ticket before you start using JR pass in Tokyo. After Aoshima, your calculation is right. You don’t need to have ICOCA. You can use just Haruka discount ticket (without ICOCA) and use city deal as I mentioned above.

            So your calculation is okay but do not compare only cost but also convenience. You should think how you use JR Pass. Please see the link below to find the coverage of JR Pass.


            Takeshi /

          5. Thank you, Takeshi.
            We have decided to go for the 14 day pass as it worked out at least 5000 yen cheaper each (possibly more) and we will use this money to explore Kyoto and area.
            Your help and advice have been invaluable.
            Here is the summary:
            1. I will get the Narita express one way ticket to Shibuya at the airport when we arrive (3000 yen).
            2. I will get the Tokyo Subway Ticket for three days (3/4/5 Sept) (1500 yen).
            3. I will activate the JR pass on 6th September to travel to Gifu.
            I will then use JR pass for travelling south.
            4. I will buy local bus/train ticket from Aoshima to Miyazaki Airport on 20th Sept (approx 700 yen).
            5. I ordered a return Haruka ICOCA card (5200 yen) to pick up at KIX. I will use it to travel to Kyoto and the 1500 yen credit and extra top ups will be used to travel around Kyoto or take a trip to Nara/Osaka (I think I can just top it up with more money when it runs out?).
            6. We will go to Koyasan for one night so we will get the Heritage Pass ( 2860 yen). I think we need to get to Osaka to travel from there. Will I just be able to buy it at any railway station or will it be difficult to find?
            7. I believe the Haruka ICOCA will cover my return trip to KIX on 26th Sept – is that correct?

            Thanks again and hope the above makes sense 🙂

          6. Hi Dorota,

            Your choice is good. But I don’t recommend you to use ICOCA for sightseeing in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara. If you use this for trip to Nara, it costs about 1,300 yen. You will consume most part of credit in ICOCA. If you go to Osaka, it’s same thing. As I mentioned, if you are sure to go to Osaka or Nara, you should use Kansai thru pass. It covers all and even all part of trip to Koyasan.

            Of course, if you are not sure and you want flexibility, you can use ICOCA. But please remember that ICOCA only gives you convenience. It doesn’t give you unlimited ride. The cost is exactly same as regular fare. You can add the fund into ICOCA whenever you need at the vending machine in most of JR station.

            Kansai thru pass can be purchased near Kyoto station. If you change mind, you can buy it there right away.


            Takeshi /

          7. Hello, Takeshi,

            Thank you for your great comments. I am glad we are almost there.

            I understand your Haruka/ICOCA explanation BUT I cannot figure out how to buy a return Haruka Express ticket (when bought with ICOCA it is 3200 yen return). Where could I buy ONLY the Haruka Express return ticket and how much for?

            It also seems that Kansai Thru Pass (2 day) is 4000 yen (or 5200 for 3 days) while the Koyasan Heritage Pass is 2860 yen but would require an additional fee to get to Osaka from Kyoto, so would probably be more (return fare).
            Am I correct here? Or are you suggesting to use Kansai Thru Pass for Kyoto area and Nara and buy a separate deal (like Heritage Pass) for Koyasan? (We have maximum 4 days with the 3-day KTP and we will be in Kyoto – and maybe Nara – 21-24, then 24-25 Koyasan, 26 Kyoto-Osaka).

            I am just trying to understand what would be best in order to travel around Kyoto (I do not think a bus pass will do it).



          8. Hi Dorota,

            You may have ICOCA card too. It’s convenience to hop on and off train in Kyoto. When you are in Kyoto, you may use it. And also you can get bus pass to save your fund in ICOCA.
            If you have Kansai thru pass, you can get Osaka from Kyoto by Keihan railway, Kintetsu railway or Hankyu railway. It covers city bus and subway in both Osaka and Kyoto. So basically you can go anywhere by this pass. So Kansai thru pass is much cheaper than Koyasan world heritage pass.


            Takeshi /

          9. Hello, Takeshi!

            We are enjoying Japan (although currently stranded in Beppu due to the typhoon).

            I wanted to ask you how do I buy just a Haruka ticket from KIX to Kyoto (20.09) and then return is from Osaka to KIX (26.09). I cannot find information about buying it without the ICOCA card (I thought it would be 1600 one way, so 3200 both ways).
            We will be arriving in KIX on 20.09 around 7pm and heading for Kyoto. We are in Kyoto until 24.09 and will explore the city for at least two days and maybe take a trip to Nara. On 24.09 we are going to Koyasan for one night, and 25.09 from Koyasan to Osaka for one night, returning to KIX from Osaka on 26.09.
            Does it make sense to get the Kansai Thru Pass (3 day) to go to Nara and to/from Koyasan plus Kyoto One Day Bus or Subway Pass plus some pass for Osaka? Because we have 6 full days in total I am not sure what would work best.
            Thanks for your help!

          10. Hi Dorota,

            Haruka discount ticket can be purchased at the station.

            Kansai thru pass is recommended for Nara and Koyasan. In Kyoto and Osaka, as you think, there are lots of deals. Please see the links below to find the best one for you.


            Takeshi /

  5. Hello Takeshi,

    This is an excellent resource for all and I am so glad I stumbled upon it!

    I am looking for validation as to whether to buy the JR Pass for our trip in September. We are 2 adults and 2 children, and the 14 day pass that I am looking at seems very expensive.

    We are travelling:
    Day 1-4: Tokyo
    Day 5: Tokyo (Roppongi) to Hakone
    Day 5-6: Hakone
    Day 7: Hakone to Kyoto
    Day 8-12: Kyoto
    Day 13: Kyoto to Hiroshima
    Day 14: Hiroshima to Miyajima
    Day 15: Miyajima to Tokyo (Shinjuku)
    Day 16-18: Tokyo

    I know that if we buy the JR pass it’s the 14 day pass we need, but I am trying to work out if point-to-point is much cheaper?

    Any advice on this please??

    1. Hi Michael,

      Basically you may use same way as which I mentioned in the post above for Tokyo-Hekone-Kyoto. You may use several deals to save your cost.

      In Tokyo, you may use airport access + subway pass combo deal.
      Use single fare to Odawara by Odakyu railway from Shinjuku and use Hakone Free Pass from Odawara.
      Use regular ticket to take Shinkansen. It costs around 12,000 yen.
      In Kyoto, use local deal, like subway/bus pass.

      And then, use 7 days JR pass for the last 7 days. Even if you use JR pass 14 days, it covers Tokyo, Tokyo to Odawara, Odaara to Kyoto and Kyoto. But it does not cover much in Tokyo and Kyoto. And you need to add Hakone Free Pass from Odawara anyway. I think local deals, single fare and 7 days pass is cheaper.


      Takeshi /

  6. Hi there my husband and i planning our trip next April and the plan is 14 days and need help planning our itinerary. We had thought
    Osaka (we have family there) then back to Tokyo via kanazawa as our flight depts from tokyo.

    Is this possible using the JR pass? What would you suggest.

    1. Hi Mia,

      You can use JR Pass but you have to complete Hakone-Kyoto-Osaka-Kanazawa-Tokyo in 7 days. 14 days pass is too expensive and you cannot get the worth by your trip. You don’t need to use JR Pass in Tokyo and Tokyo to Hakone.

      But if you add other places to visit when you are in Tokyo or Osaka, such as day trip to Nikko from Nikko, day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima from Osaka/Kyoto, 14 days pass may work.


      Takeshi /

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    My friend and I will be going on a 9 days trip to Japan soon. I am extremely grateful for all your posts, and have been reading your comments and replies too to gain a better understanding. However, I still have some questions that got me confused. I hope you can help me.

    Day 1: Arrive at Haneda close to midnight, accommodation likely near a JR station in the city
    Day 2: Travel around Western Tokyo
    Day 3: 2D1N to Mount Fuji (Hakone + one of the lake cruise?)
    Day 4: Fuji Q Highland. Last day in Mount Fuji. Back to Tokyo at night
    Day 5: Disneyland day
    Day 6: Central & Northern Tokyo
    Day 7: 2D1N to Kyoto
    Day 8: From Kyoto to Osaka (Day trip) Back to Tokyo at night
    Day 9: Sanrio Puroland & Tokyo Bay in Tokyo
    Day 10: Flight home at Narita

    We are likely to purchase the JR pass because we kept reading that it is cheaper in any case, but I have had my doubts since there are a few posts that I read, it may not necessarily be the case. You have also calculated and mentioned here in this post that it is actually cheaper to not purchase a JR pass, but I understand that it is because it is a one-way trip that lets it be cheaper, and the itinerary I wrote above, probably requires round trip.

    So, my questions are:

    1) Since my flights are already confirmed, both arriving and departing from Tokyo, but I still plan to travel around Kyoto-Nara-Osaka, is it cheaper to get a JR pass or buy separate deals?

    2) Could my itinerary be better planned to be cheaper (with or without JR Pass)? I feel that it is because I assume I was getting the JR Pass that it is okay to keep going back and forth to Tokyo since it is paid for, but I am not sure if I can arrange the site of visits better and actually save more buying separate deals as compared to getting the JR Pass.

    3) We intend to visit Mount Fuji for 2D1N, and it seems like the best way to view Mount Fuji is from Hakone. Assuming that we will be getting the JR Pass, is it cheaper to utilize the JR pass up to Odawara and top-up for the rest of the trip, or get a Hakone Free Pass instead? We do intend to go on the cruise, and the ropeway/cable cars, but I am still not sure if I should use the JR Pass + top-ups, or just buy the Hakone Free Pass which already includes some of the attractions. I have researched on it, and the conclusion is usually different for many people hence it made me unsure. Which do you think would be better?

    Thank you in advance for all your help. I really look forward to visiting Japan.

  8. HI Takeshi,

    My family is going for our first trip to Janan soon. We already booked all the hotels, but need your insight on how to travel from one place to another.

    Here’s our plan:
    day 1: Narita to Tokyo, hotel is in shinjuku
    day 2,3: sightseeing in tokyo
    day 4: leave tokyo for hakone, overnight in gora, hakone
    day 5: leave hakone for kyoto, hotel is near kyoto station
    day 6: sightseeing in kyoto, overnight at the same hotel
    day 7: leave kyoto for osaka, hotel is near namba jr station
    day 8: osaka namba station to kankai airport to catch 1:50pm plane

    Thank you so much
    Best regards

    1. Hi Yun,

      Your trip plan is almost same as my sample itinerary in the post above. But you can use one base fare ticket to JR-Namba from Odawara. You cannot use same ticket for Odawara, Kyoto, JR-Namba and Kansai aiport. Because you will take same route same route when you leave JR-Namba. It does not meet base fare rule.

      For JR-Namba to Kansai airport, you may add Haruka discount ticket for Tennoji to Kansai airport.

      You can take a local train from JR-Namba by this ticket to Tennoji and then take Haruka from Tennoji to Kansai airport.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you very much for your prompt reply! So from this post and your reply, the only route I still couldn’t decide is how to get to the kansai airport from my hotel (Hotel Monterey Grasmere Osaka) right at namba JR station.

        As what I understand, I have three choices:

        1. At Odwara, buy base fare ticket (Odwara to Kansai airport). Then make stopover at Imamiya and purchase another ticket to JR-Namba station to get to the hotel. On the departure day, buy another ticket from JR-Namba station to Imamiya, then restart to use base fare ticket to Kansai airport. If this route is chosen, what is this “another ticket” between Imamiya an JR-Namba?

        2. At Odwara, buy base fare ticket(Odwara to JR-Namba), hotel is right next to the JR-Namba station, so that’s good. And on the departure day, as you suggested, for JR-Namba to Kansai airport, add Haruka discount ticket for Tennoji to Kansai airport. I can take a local train from JR-Namba by this ticket to Tennoji and then take Haruka from Tennoji to Kansai airport.

        3. At Odwara, buy base fare ticket(Odwara to JR-Namba), hotel is right next to the JR-Namba station, so that’s good. And on the departure day, buy some train ticket from JR-Namba station to Shin-imamiya station, then take nankai rapi:t to Kansai airport. If this route is chosen, what is the ticket from JR station to Shin-imamiya station?

        We are a family of 2 adults and 3 young kids, with couple of luggage. What is the best, most convenient, less costly choice?

        Thank you very much!

        1. Hi Yun

          You have understood that you will choose three options. But option 1 is not recommended. You need to exit at Imamiya station and need to buy another ticket. It’s very inconvenient. In my opinion, option 2 is the easiest. If you take option three, you need to exit JR Shin-Imamiya station and buy another ticket for Nankai to enter Nankai railway Shin-Imamiya station. It’s not very convenient too.

          Actually I forgot one more options. It’s taking limousine bus. Actually this is the best option because it’s only way to get KIX from OCAT directly. OCAT is same location as JR-Namba station.

          The fare is less than Haruka ticket.

          So just purchase one base fare ticket from Odawara to JR-Namba. And take this bus on departure day.


          Takeshi /

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Thank you so much for your advice. Limousine bus is definitely the best choice for us. I’m so glad I found this post and sought for your advice which I believe will make our trip so much easier.

            Best regards,

  9. Hello, I will go to Japan on 9July – 14July (6days). My iteniry
    Day 1. Touchdown tokyo narita
    Day2. Tokyo
    Day3. Hakone, going to osaka at evening
    Day 4, universal osaka, going to kyoto at evening
    This is realiable itinery?
    Which Pass I must buy?.
    Thank you
    Day 5, kyoto tour, going to tokyo at evening
    Day 6. Tokyo, Narita

  10. Hello again
    I am going back to Tokyo on 16-22 April
    Free and easy what’s your recommendation? I will staying in shinjuku . Will like to spend time within Tokyo and take some one day trip any everyday if I can to view n enjoy something diff

    1. Hi Faith,

      Actually there are so many things to do and to see. It’s hard to say what the best plan is for you. Please see the link below to find the info about the places in Tokyo.

      And also you can find the info about the train network in Tokyo at the link below:


      Takeshi /

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