Night view form Mt.Hakodate ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO

Sample itinerary Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hokkaido 10 days by JR Pass 7-day

Clock Tower is Sapporo’s icon.

In this post, I would like to share the itinerary which covers Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hokkaido. It is 10 days trip plan but you can make this trip by JR pass 7-day. Some local deals are added at the beginning and the end of the trip to shrink the total cost. But JR pass covers all long distance trips. Actually JR Pass 7-day gives you huge saving. Please find the itinerary below.

Day 1 Narita or Haneda to Tokyo

Keisei Railway Skyliner
Keisei Railway Skyliner is the fastest train other than the Shinkansen. This is the best way to get Ueno from Narita.

There are many kinds of deals available. Before you choose the deal, you have to make sure which airport, Narita airport or Haneda airport, you will arrive and which place in Tokyo you will stay. The following links shows you the deals for airport to Tokyo and airport Tokyo with subway ride combo.

Ueno is very convenient if you arrive in Narita. You can access to Ueno directly by Keisei railway from Narita airport. Especially limited express “Skyliner” is the fastest way to get downtown Tokyo. Ueno is Keisei railway’s terminal station. Ueno is also accessible to Akihabara, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Tokyo Skytree. Average hotel rate is more reasonable than most of places in downtown Tokyo.

Shinagawa is most accessible place in downtown Tokyo from Haneda. You can get Shinagawa from Haneda by Keihin Kyuko railway directly. Average hotel rate is not so reasonable actually. But you can catch the Shinkansen to Kyoto at Shinagawa. This is a big asset to stay in Shinagawa. There is no subway station but you can catch JR local trains, such as Yamanote line. You can get Akihabara, Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku Yurakucho (Ginza) directly by Yamanote line.

Day 2 Tokyo

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

You may use the airport access + subway 24 hours ride pass. In this case, you can use subway pass for sightseeing in Tokyo. You may learn the train route and system in downtown Tokyo in the link below:

If you want to stay in Tokyo more, you can extend to stay as many as you want. You start using JR pass when you leave Tokyo and use other deal before that anyway.

Day 3 Tokyo – Kyoto

Kinkakuji temple in Kyoto ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

This is the first day of using JR pass. JR pass can be exchanged in advance. You can exchange JR pass on day 1 when you arrive in Narita or Haneda airport if you want. There are service counters and you can exchange and book a seat. Once you turn in the actual pass, you can start booking your seat. I recommend you to exchange in advance.

You can take Hikari on the Tokaido Shinkansen. Hikari is second fastest train on Tokaido Shinkansen. Nozomi is the fastest but it is not covered by JR Pass. Please see the timetable in the link below.

JR Central official site – The Tokaido and the Sanyo Shinkansen timetable

If you want to spend the time in Kyoto as much as you can, please try to take the train as early as possible. It takes 3 hours to get Kyoto by Hikari. But when you take the Shinkansen, you have to get the Shinkansen terminal station which is Tokyo station or Shinagawa station. If you stay near one of these stations, you can take the Shinkansen very smoothly. But if you do not stay near these stations, you have to take a local train or subway. You might know how crazy a local train is in downtown Tokyo during the morning peak hours. Please try to avoid to take local trains between 7:30 and 9:00 if you leave Tokyo on weekday. If you leave there on Saturday, Sunday or holiday, it is not an issue.

If you stay in Ueno, you may take the Shinkansen for the short ride to get Tokyo station. It takes only 5 minutes. You have JR pass and it covers. Some commuters use the Shinkansen but it is not crazy busy. You can avoid to take a crazy packed commute train even if you depart in peak hours. However the Shinkansen platform is located at the deep underground in Ueno. Please expect to spend extra 5 minutes.

After arriving Kyoto, you can take JR trains in Kyoto by JR pass. Please see the link below to get the coverage information in Kyoto at the link below:

Please remember that JR pass does not cover subway, city bus and non JR trains in Kyoto. You can get Arashiyama, Nijo, Fushimi and Uji. by JR pass. But you have to take city bus, subway and/or non JR trains to get other places in Kyoto such as Gion, Kiyomizu-dera temple, Kinkaku-ji temple (Golden Pavilion), Kurama. Please see the link below to find the information about local deal in Kyoto.

Sample itinerary
Ueno 08:31 (Yamabiko 204) 08:36 Tokyo 09:03 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 465) 11:49 Kyoto
Shinagawa 09:10 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 465) 11:49 Kyoto

Hikari between Tokyo and Kyoto runs every 30 minutes in daytime.

After arrival at Kyoto station, drop off your baggage at your hotel and eat lunch. And then you can start to explore Kyoto. I recommend you to stay near Kyoto station.

Kyoto 13:37 (JR Nara line local train) 13:42 Inari
Inari station is located just in front of Fushimi Inari shrine.

Fushimiinari 15:08 (Keihan Railway / 210 yen extra) 15:14 Kiyomizu-Gojo (Walk 1.7 km / 20 minutes) Kiyomizu-dera temple
Even if you take a bus from Kiyomizu-Gojo station, you need to walk about 1 km. There is no buses to get Kiyomizu-dera directly. If you do not walk or travel with senior, do not hesitate to take a taxi. It costs less than 1,000 yen.

Kiyomizu-dera temple (walk about 2km) Gion
There are sightseeing spots, like Sanneizaka, Ninenzaka between Kiyomizu-dera and Gion. I highly recommend you to walk to Gion. It is very scenic and lots of shops along this route. You may have dinner at Gion area. Gion is one of the biggest downtown core in Kyoto. Enjoy the atmosphere of Kyoto in Gion!

Gion (city bus 15 to 20 minutes ride / 230 yen extra) Kyoto

Day 4 Kyoto – Osaka

Autumn in Arashiyama is breathtaking. ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

You can enjoy sightseeing in Kyoto until late afternoon. After sightseeing in Kyoto, proceed to Osaka. It is very short trip from Kyoto to Osaka. Even if you take the commute rapid train, “Special Rapid Service”, it takes only 30 minutes. You can catch even Shinkansen for this short trip. It takes only 10 minutes from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka.

Shin-Osaka is most recommended place to stay in Osaka in my opinion. It is only one station away from Osaka (Umeda) by JR train.

You can catch subway to get Namba directly. But subway is not covered by JR pass. Please see the link below to find the coverage of JR pass in Osaka:

Umeda Sky Building is one of popular spots in Umeda area. ©JNTO

I show you the sample itinerary that include Arashiyama, Kinaku-ji temple (Golden Pavilion) and Umeda.

Sample itinerary
Kyoto 09:03 (JR Sagano line local train) 09:12 Enmachi 09:21 (city bus #204 / 230 yen extra) 09:30 Kinkakujimichi (walk 5 minutes) Kinaku-ji temple
You have one hour to view Golden Pavilion.
*Leave your baggage at your hotel and pick up when you leave Kyoto later.

Kinkaku-ji temple (walk 5 minutes) Kinakujimichi 10:59 (city bus #204 / 230 yen extra) 11:08 Enmachi 11:15 (JR Sagano line local train) 11:19 Saga-Arashiyama

You have 4.5 hours in Arashiyama for sightseeing and lunch time. If you want, you can squeeze Sagano Scenic Train (Torokko train). Sagano Scenic Train is not covered by JR Pass.

Saga-Arashiyama 15:48 (JR Sagano line local train) 16:04 Kyoto
Pick up your luggage before you take Shinkansen train when you leave Kyoto.

Kyoto 16:49 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 475) 17:03 Shin-Osaka

You can take earlier or later train. Even if you take Special Rapid train (commute rapid service train), it takes less than 30 minutes to get Shin-Osaka from Kyoto and it runs every 15 minutes. Of course you can take this train by JR pass. However Special Rapid is always busy.

After you arrive in Shin-Osaka, drop off your baggage at your hotel and go to Umeda. Umeda is same location as JR Osaka station. It is only one station away from Shin-Osaka and it takes 5 minutes. Train runs almost every 5 minutes until midnight.

Day 5 Osaka – Tokyo

Dotonbori(道頓堀) is most popular spot in downtown Osaka.
Dotonbori(道頓堀) is most popular spot in downtown Osaka.

You enjoy full day sightseeing in Osaka. You have to leave Osaka for Tokyo because Hokkaido is very far to access from Osaka. But you can stay in Osaka until dinner time. I show you the sample itinerary that includes Kaiyukan Aquarium, Osaka Castle, Dotonbori and Namba. But you can build your own day plan.

Sample itinerary
Before starting trip, purchase Osaka Kaiyu ticket (2,550 yen) at subway Shin-Osaka station. This deal includes admission of Kaiyukan aquarium and 1 day subway unlimited ride.

Trip to Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium by Osaka Kaiyu Ticket

Shin-Osaka 09:25 (Osaka Subway Midosuji line) 09:36 Hommachi 09:42 (Osaka Subway Chuo line) 09:53 Osakako (walk 10 minutes) Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium
Enjoy Aquarium and eat lunch at Tenpozan Marketplace.
*Leave your baggage at your hotel before you leave for Tokyo.

Osakako 13:26 (Osaka Subway Chuo line) 13:41 Tanimachiyonchome
Tanimachiyonchome station is located beside Osaka Castle Park. But this park is quite big. You have to walk around 20 minutes to get the castle.

Osaka Business Park 15:41 (Osaka Subway Nagano/Tsurumiryokuchi line) 15:51 Shinsaibashi
Osaka Business Park station is also located beside Osaka castle park. You can get Shinsaibashi directly. After arrival at Shinsaibashi, enjoy eat and shop in Dotonbori and Namba.

19:40 (Osaka Subway Midosuji line) 19:53 Shin-Osaka 20:37 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 482) 23:36 Tokyo
Pick up your baggage before you go to Tokyo.
*Hikari runs almost every 30 minutes. This above train is the last Hikari to Tokyo. You can take earlier train if you want to get Tokyo earlier. I just maximize to stay in Osaka. You stay in Tokyo on day 5 but you just stay there and prepare to take early train to Hokkaido next morning.

Overnight train option from Osaka to Tokyo

JR pass covers “Nobi Nobi seat” of the overnight train Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto fully. If you use this train, you can save the cost of hotel in Tokyo and you also can maximize your time in Osaka. Because this train departs from Osaka after midnight. Please find the timetable and the information of Sunrize Izumo and Seto in the link below:

As I mentioned in the post above, it is not easy to book a space on Sunrise Izumo or Seto. You must book it after you arrive in Japan. All spaces may be booked out. You must have a back up plan if you plan to take this train. For example, you book a hotel which you can cancel in 3 days without any cancellation charge. You may try to book a space when you arrive in Japan. If you can make it, cancel a hotel. If you cannot make it, just hold the space at the hotel in Tokyo. It is not hard to find the hotel which allows you to cancel without any charges in 3 days.

Day 6 Tokyo – Lake Toya

Lake Toya has nice Onsen resort (C) Toyako Tourist Association / JNTO

It is such a long trip by train. You spend 6 hours on board. After arriving Toyako Onsen (Lake Toya), enjoy lake cruise or walk along the lake shore. Lake Toya is one of the popular hot spring resorts. There are lots of hotels along the lake shore.

You can skip Lake Toya and stay in Noboribetsu if you want. You make a stop at Noboribetsu next day. But if you stay in Noboribetsu, you can leave Noboribetsu earlier and make some extra time in Otaru or Sapporo.

I do not recommend you to stop at Lake Toya and then move to Noboribetsu on day 6. There are express bus running between Lake Toya and Noboribetsu. But no bus is available after 15:00. If you use train from Lake Toya to Noboribetsu, you have to take local bus to Toya station and then take train. And then you need to take local bus to Noboribetsu. You need to spend extra minutes and waste your time.

Sample itinerary
Tokyo 08:20 (Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 5) 12:22 Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto 12:34 (Limited Express Super Hokuto 11) 14:09 Toya 14:20 (Donan Bus / extra 330 yen) 14:40 Toyako Onsen

If you skip Lake Toya and stay in Noboribetsu, the itinerary is the following:
Tokyo 08:20 (Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 5) 12:22 Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto 12:34 (Limited Express Super Hokuto 11) 14:50 Noboribetsu 15:20 (Donan Bus / extra 340 yen) 15:34 Noboribetsu Onsen

You will change trains at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. You can find some more information about this station in the link below:

I traveled Lake Toya and Noboribetsu before. You can find my trip report in the link below:

Day 7 Lake Toya – Noboribetsu – Otaru – Sapporo

Noboribetsu Jigokudani means hell valley (C) Noboribetsu Tourist Association / JNTO

Leave Lake Toya by express bus for Noboribetsu Onsen. You have a quick stop at Noboribetsu Onsen and see the valley of hell. It is just step away from the bus stop in Noboribetsu Onsen. You also spend a few hours for sightseeing in Otaru.

Otaru Canal (C)Y. Shimizu
Otaru Canal is the highlight of Otaru city. (C)Y. Shimizu

You stay in Sapporo and enjoy the evening there.

Sample itinerary
Toyako Onsen 09:06 (Donan Bus “Express Iburi” / extra 1,700 yen) 10:11 Noboribetsu Onsen 12:00 (Donan Bus / extra 340 yen) 12:12 Noboribetsu 12:35 (Limited Express Super Hokuto 7) 13:48 Sapporo 14:13 (Rapid Airport) 14:45 Otaru 18:30 (Rapid Airport) 19:02 Sapporo

If you skip Lake Toya and stay in Noboribetsu on day 6, you can leave Noboribetsu earlier. The itinerary is the following:
Noboribetsu Onsen 09:45 (Donan Bus / extra 340 yen) 09:57 Noboribetsu 10:09 (Limited Express Hokuto 3) 11:27 Sapporo 11:43 (Rapid Airport) 12:15 Otaru 17:30 (Rapid Airport) 18:02 Sapporo

You can skip Otaru and spend more time in Sapporo if you like.

Day 8 Sapporo – Hakodate

Night view form Mt.Hakodate ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO
Night view form Hakodate mountain (C) Hokkaido Tourism Organization / JNTO

You spend the time in Sapporo until late afternoon. The last train to Hakodate is 20:00 departure. However night view from Hakodate mountain is marvelous. I recommend you to arrive Hakodate by 20:00 because Hakodate mountain gondola is operated until 21:00 in winter time and 22:00 in summer time.

The train in the following sample is the latest train to see the night view from Hakodate mountain. And also I recommend you to stay in the hotel near Hakodate station. You can drop off your luggage right after arrival in Hakodate. And catch the taxi to get Hakodate mountain ropeway station.

Sample itinerary
Sapporo 15:39 (Super Hokuto 18) 19:24 Hakodate
Hakodate (10 minutes by taxi / extra fare about 2,000 yen) Hakodate mountain gondola station
*You can take tram to Jujigai from Hakodate station and walk from there to gondola station. You spend 210 yen only but you spend 10 minutes for tram and 15 minutes to walk.

When I visited Hakodate, I stayed in Hotel Route Inn Hakodate.

hotel route inn hakodate
Hotel Route Inn Grantia Hakodate Ekimae

It was not a high-end hotel but the rate is very affordable and the location is just next to Hakodate station. This hotel is highly recommended.

Day 9 Hakodate – Tokyo

Goryokaku is one of the best spots to see cherry blossom in Hokkaido. (C) JNTO

Enjoy sightseeing in Hakodate and leave for Tokyo by Hokkaido.

This is the last day of JR pass. You have to get Tokyo by midnight. There is no overnight trains available either.

Sample itinerary
Hakodate 18:01 (Rapid Hakodate Liner) 18:23 Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto 18:36 (Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 38) 23:04 Tokyo
I picked the last train to Tokyo. But you can take earlier train. Please check the timetable in the link below:

JR East official site – the timetable

You can get off the train at Ueno if you go to Narita on next day.

Day 10 Tokyo to Narita or Haneda

If you use round trip deal on arrival day, you can use the remaining portion. Otherwise single fare is your choice to get the airport.

How much you can save

The total fare during 7 days when you use JR pass is more than 90,000 yen. You can save more than 60,000 yen.

Even if you use 14-day pass, you still can save about 50,000 yen. In this sample itinerary, I use 7-day pass and I recommend you to use other deal for day 1, 2 and 10. The extra cost for these 3 days is around 5,000 yen. It is not a good idea to use JR pass 14-day.

If you want to make the trip be longer

As I mentioned, even if you use JR pass 14-day, you have already to get the worth of that by this trip. So you can use 14-day JR pass and add any places. But if you just want to extend your stay in Tokyo, simply add subway ticket on this trip plan. 14-day JR pass is not very efficient in Tokyo and just wasting money.

I hope you have got some idea from this post.

160 thoughts on “Sample itinerary Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hokkaido 10 days by JR Pass 7-day”

  1. Hi Takeshi san,

    I will be arriving at Narita Airport Terminal 2 with my husband and our 2.5-year-old daughter on Dec 20th at 16:05, and flying back home on Jan 1st at 17:45. We are planning to visit Tokyo, Hokkaido, and Osaka if possible, using 7 days JR Pass. I’m trying to get the itinerary done, however I’m rather confused about the stops so that the JR Pass could cover most of the trip, especially the more expensive ones. I don’t mind if we have to take domestic flight, especially since the JR Pass wouldn’t fit into the whole trip.

    Here’s the itinerary:

    At first I thought this looks good, but then again we don’t really need to use JR Pass to go around Osaka, except on the last day when we’re going back to Tokyo. However, since we’re going to many places in Hokkaido, JR Pass would save us a lot. The itinerary is made due to some considerations as our daughter will be on that trip:
    – We thought that Hokkaido’s temperatures would be lower than Tokyo or Osaka, so we’re getting there on the first few days instead.
    – Since we’re arriving at Narita, we’re thinking of staying at nearby hotel then going to Noboribetsu on the next day (It should be less hassle than going to Tokyo/downtown, stay for a few days and getting to station to get to Hokkaido after. Besides we could also save up for not getting the train tickets.)
    – We prefer to go to Tokyo Disneyland between 22nd to 29th of Dec because I’m referring to the crowd calendar.

    Please let me know what you think. Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Gisela san,

      I think JR pass 14-day is the best choice. Because the round trip fare by the Shinkansen for Tokyo – Osaka is around 28,000 yen. The difference of 7-day and 14-day JR Pass is 17,000 yen. Even if you don’t use JR Pass in Osaka at all, you still can get a big saving.

      As I took a look your itinerary, Furano to Tokyo may be too much. You have to change trains 3 times and the travel time is more than 11 hours. Furano is about one hour away from Asahikawa. When you visit Asahyama, you may go to Furano after this. And you may go back to Sapporo after staying in Furano. Sapporo is still far from Tokyo but you have to change train only once and trip time is around 8 hours. It’s much easier than from Furano.

      Or you may take a domestic flight for Tokyo – Sapporo, Sapporo – Osaka and Osaka – Tokyo. The trip time is much shorter but I have no idea about the fare of the domestic flight. It depends on the travel date. If you do so, you may use Hokkaido Rail Pass instead of JR pass in Hokkaido.

      And you can visit Tokyo at the first because Disneyland is less crowded if you go there before Christmas.

      This is just an idea to shorten your trip time.


      Takeshi /

  2. Hi Takeshi San,

    I am flying to Osaka on 18 May and leaving Osaka on 27 May. I would like to visit Hakone, Tokyo, Hokkaido then back to Osaka. Could you recommend me which JR pass to take and roughly the plan please?

    1. Hi Sam san,

      JR pass 14-day is required. It is much longer coverage period than your trip schedule but you can make the worth easily.

      Hakone is located near Tokyo. If you want to stay overnight there, you can squeeze between Tokyo and Osaka. Either way is fine on the way to Tokyo or on the way to Osaka. You can make a day trip to Hakone from Tokyo as well:

      Hokkaido is quite far from Osaka.

      If you stay overnight at Hakone on the way to Tokyo, you can stay overnight Tokyo after Hokkaido. (or reverse)


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi san,

    We have a trip booked in Dec 2019, we have only booked our flights to Japan and return flights home. We are just trying to work out the best itinerary in between, also what the best mode of transport would be whilst travelling internally.

    We arrive in Haneda, hen connecting flights to Sapporo, we have 5 days booked in Sapporo for skiing, then fly out of Narita home 14 days after arriving in Sapporo.
    We would like to visit Disneyland, Osaka and Kyoto. WHat would you suggest to be the best way to attached this? Thanks

    1. Hi Paul san,

      If you want to save your cost, I recommend you to use JR Pass 7-day. In this case, you have to go to Osaka and Kyoto first after Hokkaido. Tokyo is the last place to visit. Because you will depart from Narita. JR Pass 7-day must cover Sapporo-Osaka/Kyoto-Tokyo. But Osaka and Kyoto are way far away from Sapporo by train. Please see the link below:

      Once you get Tokyo, JR pass is not required.

      So please think about train trip between Hokkaido and Osaka/Kyoto. If it’s too much for you, you may take a domestic flight from Sapporo to Osaka. There are still lots of options if you take a flight. But you have to decide whether you use JR pass to take a train or take a domestic flight.


      Takeshi /

  4. Hi. We will be travelling 2nd time in Japan this June 28-July5.
    We were not able to make it to Universal Studios that is why I am including it this time.
    Our itinerary is Osaka-Tokyo-Hokkaido.
    I havent purchase our return flight to Manila yet as I was wondering where I should depart from.
    Anyway, here is my itinerary, but if you have suggestion I do appreciate it.
    Osaka (2 days) – US
    Tokyo (2 days) –
    Hokkaido (2-3 days)
    Is it cheaper that I travel Osaka to Hokkaido then Tokyo?
    I need your advise on how we can spend less on fare.
    I appreciate this very much.

    Thanks much,

  5. Is it possible to do Hitachi seaside and Ashikaga flower park in a day from Tokyo? If not, what other trip combinations would you suggest if I visit those two parks on separate days?

  6. Please Takeshi san, help me plan a perfect 14 day trip to Japan including Hokkaido, Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa, Mt Fuji, Kamakura,Nikko, Hakone and possibly Takayama. I want to get the best deal as a fellow traveller from India wanting to visit with my parents. Gomen nasai for the trouble but please help!! I wish I could also get a fare/cost breakdown. I’m planning a budget trip and will arrive at Narita airport on my first day. If need be, I want to call and make the suitable plan so please do help.

    1. Hi Ilina

      JR Pass is the best deal. It does not cover Okinawa but you can get the worth to visit all places other than Okinawa by JR pass 14 days very very easily.

      I cannot say about the flight fare to Okinawa. You can get there from either Osaka or Tokyo. Please try to find the fare. So JR pass and the round trip fare to Okinawa is your total cost for this trip.


      Takeshi /

      1. Thanks for the reply, Takeshi san! Could you perhaps recommend the visiting order if I plan to cover all these sites other than Okinawa within 2 weeks? Should we purchase Rail pass for 1 week or 2 weeks? Also, can we somehow accomodate to visit snow monkeys of Nagano if we want to? We are planning on a budget of around 1500$ per person, will that suffice or not? We are planning a budget trip so we might have to compromise in certain aspects but would be greatly obliged if you guide us somehow, arigatou~
        Edit : Most importantly, what would be the best time to visit?!

        1. Hi Ilina san,

          You will stay in Tokyo for the first night, and then go to Hokkaido first. You will stay in Tokyo again one way back from Hokkaido. Kamakura, Fuji, Hakone and Nikko can be accessed as day trip from Tokyo if you like.

          Takayama can be squeezed between Tokyo and Osaka. If you go to see snow monkey, you will squeeze it between Tokyo and Osaka too. I don’t know where you want to go in Hokkaido and what you want to do in Okinawa. But 2 weeks may be too short to have enough time at each spots. Of course anything is possible. Please make sure which place you want to visit and see in Hokkaido and what you want to do in Okinawa. (I have never been to Okinawa before, so I cannot say about it.)

          You need 14 days JR pass. I cannot say how much you will spend in Japan. But in regards to transportation cost, you will need round trip airfare to Okinawa and 14 days JR pass cost.

          If you want to see snow monkey, you have to visit from December to mid March. Otherwise it’s not monkey in snow.

          Please see the links below to get some idea about your trip.


          Takeshi /

          1. Thank you for replying, Takeshi. We will be landing at Haneda and taking off from Haneda as well according to our plan. After much thought, I decided to drop Okinawa from my plan list. I instead want to add Sendai in Tohoku region but then I realize I have to get JR east rail pass for that and that will bear more fare. So could you help me plan the trip in a way so that I can use both the normal pass and the east rail pass in the best way possible in 14/15 days? Maybe mention what places I should visit in east and elsewhere from Tokyo. I want to add Kanazawa to the trip plan if possible or else I can let it drop.
            I also want to spend one day at a budget ryokan where we can enjoy hot spring for a day but I read somewhere that Takayama is a good site for that. So I want to stay a night at Takayama. Or maybe you can suggest a better place for that( if not Takayama)?
            In Hokkaido, I have in plan Sapporo. Otaru and Hakodate so will that take one day each to visit…so three days? How will I use the JR Pass there and should I stay one night each at each of these three places?
            So first I arrive at HND airport and take Access Narita to Tokyo and book a airbnb there on site.
            Day 2, 3 and 4) Visit Sapporo, Otaru and Hakodate in what order I dont know and how?
            Day 5, 6, 7,8) Come back to Tokyo from where? And visit Kamakura, Nikko, Fuji and Hakone. I am approx taking 4 days here or maybe less..
            Day 9, 10) Osaka visit( How?) and Takayama when?
            Day 11,12) No plans….Suggest(Kyoto?)
            Day 13,14, 15) Tokyo.
            Now tell me Takeshi, where do I stay in capsule hotels/Airbnb/Ryokan in each of these days and which staying sites I need to book in advance.
            Please help!

            1. Hi Ilina,

              If you want to go to Sendai, JR East Pass is not required. You will have JR pass and it covers throughout Japan.

              Hakodate is located on the way to Sapporo. You can stay on the way or on the way back. You can make a day trip to Otaru from Sapporo. You can find the timetable and some info in the links below:

              JR pass basically covers most part of your trip but you need to add some other deals or regular fare. I gave several links about trip to Fuji, Hakone in the previous reply but I put other links too. Please read carefully.

              You can stop at Takayama on the way to Osaka or on the way back to Tokyo. The following link was given in the previous reply. Please read carefully and find the location of it:

              There are many places to see around Osaka, such as Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, Mt. Koya.

              You can get Hiroshima and Miyajima as day trip too.

              I believe you can find the solution mostly in the links which I gave you.

              Sorry but as I mentioned above the comment section, I cannot say about accommodation.


              Takeshi /

              1. Thanks a lot, really Takeshi. I guess I’ll go with your “10 day trip guide to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hokkaido with 7 day JR pass” for the first 10 days. One last question, can you tell me the approximate cost per person during this 10 day trip starting from Tokyo station and back to Tokyo(except accommodation charges of course since that depends on me) incurred in 10 days for a single person?

                1. Hi Ilina,

                  It’s very hard to say the cost. It depends on what you eat and what you see. I can say about the cost of transportation. But it’s too hard to say about whole cost. It’s same thing about the cost of accommodation.


                  Takeshi /

  7. Dear Takeshi-san,
    I will be travelling to tokyo-hokkaido-shirakawago-osaka on feb with itinerary as below :
    15 tokyo
    16 tokyo – sapporo (jrpass)
    17 sapporo
    18 hakodate
    19 hakodate – kanazawa (jrpass)
    20 kanazawa – shirakawago – osaka
    21 – 23 osaka.
    I need your recommendation, is it possible to visit all of these places?

    Thankyou for taking time to reply my msg.

    1. Hi Renova san,

      You can do this trip plan. In your trip plan, 16th and 19th are big trips.

      When you go to Kanazawa from Hakodate, you can change trains at Omiya. Please see the timetables below to find the schedule:

      You may use 7 days JR pass for the first 7 days. You can use other deals for the rest of days. Please refer the links below:


      Takeshi /

  8. HI,
    we are 4 travelling to japan on oct 23 to nov 3. we will arrive at Narita and depart in osaka.
    please help us on our itinerary . we want to visit the following places, Tokyo, Hokaido sapporo, mt. fuji, kyoto, arashima, narra, kobe, osaka. or any suggestion from you. and please include also which place to reserve our accomodation that will fit the itirenary.
    can you recommend place to buy cheap stuff, like shoes , bags.

    thank you,

    1. Hi Cris,

      Unfortunately I cannot make an itinerary for you as I mentioned above the comment section. I just give you some tips to help you to build your itinerary.

      You may go to Hokkaido first. Please see the link below to find the route by train to Hokkaido from Tokyo.

      You can squeeze Fuji between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka. You may visit there as day trip from Tokyo too. Please see the links below:

      For the trip in Kansai region, you can visit all places as day trip from Osaka. Or you can stay in each cities if you like.

      I don’t have any info about shopping unfortunately.

      Please try to make a plan by yourself. If you make it and show me it, I can give you advice.


      Takeshi /

  9. Hi Takeshi san,

    We have 5 ppl visiting japan in november for 17 days

    I cant make up my mind to make my itienary, any help will always appreciated.

    November 10-13 will be in tokyo assuming will be purcashing tokyo subway for 3 days to go around tokyo city

    November 10-17 will be in osaka namba ( should i purchasing jr pass? )
    Thinking to go hirosima day trip and miyajima day trip in 2 different days or all can be in one day?
    If im in osaka can i use jr pass to explore the city or i will have to buy osaka amazing pass?

    17-20 to kyoto or should i stay in osaka longer since we dont have to move our lugage since we travelling with our parents

    17 nov osaka to kyoto
    18 nov osaka to kyoto
    19 nov osaka to nara
    20 november check out to yokohama then back to tokyo

    So any suggestion for another 7 days?

    Please let me know if i should be purchasing 14 days jr pass

    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Kiki san,

      JR pass is recommended if you’re sure that you go to Hiroshima. You can do it in one day to visit both Hiroshima and Miyajima.

      I cannot find which day you move from Tokyo to Osaka. If you move on 14th, you can use 7 days pass from 14th to 20th. This is most cost effective option. If you move on 13th, you have to use 14 days pass. But if you visit outside Tokyo after 20th, you need 14 days pass anyway.

      Please see the links below to find the coverage of JR pass in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.

      If you want to minimize to travel with luggage, you should stay in Osaka and make day trips to Kyoto and Nara. But if you want different atmosphere, I recommend you to stay in Kyoto. It’s totally up to you.

      Actually you can go anywhere after you go back to Tokyo. As you saw the sample in the post above, you can visit even Hokkaido.


      Takeshi /

  10. Hi! I would like to travel around hokkiado (those places that you have mentioned) right after landing in Tokyo. After Hokkaido, we would like to go Kyoto and nara and then back to Tokyo for few days before flying off.

    Is it okay to travel from Hokkaido to Kyoto? Or to nara better? Or both places are bad choice? Is taking shinkansen better or aeroplane especially in terms of cost and time.

    Feel free to recommend other places that you feel is better after visiting Hokkaido.
    Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Eileen,

      If you travel from Hokkaido to Kyoto, it is very very long trip. Please see the link below to find the info about Hokkaido to Kyoto travel.

      If you are okay with it, you can do it. If you go to Nara, you have to change trains at Kyoto anyway. You have to add another 45 minutes to get Nara from Kyoto.

      If you feel too much, you should stay in Tokyo on the way to Kyoto or Nara from Hokkaido.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi, thank you for the very fast response. Yeah it’s rather long 🙁 okay I can choose a round trip in haneda airport or narita airport. Which would you recommend?

        Since I will be travelling to Tokyo, Kyoto, nara and hokkaido, which areas should I visit and then thereafter? Would like to spend 6 days in Hokkaido, 5 days in Kyoto and 3 days in tokyo.

        1. Hi Eileen,

          Kyoto is closer than Hokkaido from Tokyo. So you can visit Kyoto first. It doesn’t matter which airport you arrive in, Haneda or Narita.

          As per the last comments, you have to stay in Tokyo between Kyoto and Hokkaido anyway. Otherwise you have to make a long train trip. If you do so, you can stay in Hakodate. It is southmost place in Hokkaido. It is closest spot in Hokkaido from Tokyo.

          I put Tokyo in the middle of my sample itinerary. This is the reason why.


          Takeshi /

          1. Dear Takeshi-san, thank you for really taking the time replying my messages. Okay I shall stick to your recommendations to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto to nara, and then to Tokyo and then Hokkaido. Shall stay Tokyo for 3 days, Kyoto and nara for 4 days and Hokkaido for 6 days.

            Would you recommend opting for 14 days JR pass only or 14 days JR pass and card for subways? Or is there better way?

            Would you recommend to stay longer time in Sapporo or hakodate? Interested in looking at scenery.


            1. Hi Eileen san,

              >Would you recommend opting for 14 days JR pass only or 14 days JR pass and card for subways? Or is there better way?

              I cannot say it. It depends on your trip plan. Please check JR pass coverage:

              >Would you recommend to stay longer time in Sapporo or hakodate? Interested in looking at scenery.

              It’s hard to say either. If you want slow and relax trip, you should stay in these cities. But if you want to see many places, you can stay there one night each and visit other places. It’s totally up to your choice.


              Takeshi /

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