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

Night view form Mt.Hakodate ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO10 to 13 days
Night view form Hakodate mountain (C) Hokkaido Tourism Organization / JNTO
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 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

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.

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 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 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 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.


  1. Danty says:

    Konnichiwa Takeshi-san,
    I’m planning my 4th solo trip to Japan in 7- 16 Jan 2021 and this time I really want to experience the winter with thick snow. So, I’m including Hokkaido in my itinerary and try to utilize the 7-days JR Pass with the following itinerary:
    Day 1: Arrive in Sapporo (AM), explore the city, overnight at Sapporo
    Day 2: Otaru – day trip from Sapporo, overnight at Sapporo
    Day 3: Start using JR Pass (AM) Head to Tokyo, overnight at Tokyo
    Day 4: Kawaguchiko – day trip from Tokyo, overnight at Tokyo
    Day 5: Tokyo – Matsumoto – Takayama, overnight at Takayama
    Day 6: Takayama – Shirakawago – Kanazawa, overnight at Kanazawa
    Day 7: Explore Kanazawa, head to Kyoto (PM), overnight at Kyoto
    Day 8: Explore Kyoto
    Day 9: Explore Kyoto (late PM flight back to Indonesia) – end of using JR Pass

    Please let me know if the itinerary is doable and I would like to seek your view as well. I am really into the snow experience as well as Japan preserved historic city districts and towns.
    Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi ( administrator) says:

      Hi Danty san,

      It is doable but it will be super busy. I think you understand how busy your trip will be but I just want to mention a few things.

      On day 3, you will spend about 8 hours in the train.

      On day 4, JR pass does not cover whole part of the jounrney. You have to pay an extra fare for Otsuki to Kawaguchiko. This segment is not JR, so it’s not covered.

      On day 5, if you want to drop by Matsumoto, this is the best route. But you will take an express bus from Matsumoto to Takayama which is not covered by JR Pass. But in my view, Matsumoto is a nice sights to see. Matsumoto castle is one of most beautiful castles in Japan.

      Overall I like this trip plan. Hope everything will be back to normal soon and everybody can enjoy a trip.


      Takeshi /

    • danty rones
      Danty says:

      Arigatou gozaimasu Takeshi-san for your additional information! Glad to know that you also like my trip plan. It makes me confident to execute the plan. Yes, I know it’s gonna be a busy trip. Always so little time so much to see in Japan 🙁

      Hope world will back to normal soon, really miss Japan already. Finger crossed. Stay safe & healthy Takeshi-san!


  2. Hi Takeshi,
    Im planning to visit in late Oct to early Nov this year for 14 days. Just trying to plan a rough itinerary and wanted to know if I get 7 day JR Pass and include this itinerary of yours(Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hokkaido in 10days) and want to day trip the remaining four days in Hakone, Kamakura, Hiroshima and Miyajima and maybe one other day trip how do you suggest going about it? Will 7 day pass be worth or I need 14 day pass? What other passes do you recommend purchasing?
    Thanking you,
    Lina Jones

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi ( administrator) says:

      Hi Lina,

      I think you cannot cover all places by JR pass 7-day. 14-day pass is your choice.


      Takeshi /

      • Hi Takeshi,
        Thanks for replying 🙂 I did a rough itinerary after reading your samples and came up with this and made it a 10 day trip plan.
        Day 1- Activate JR pass after reaching Tokyo and day trip Hakone
        2- Tateyama alpine route and night stay at Kanazawa
        3- Kanazawa sightseeing and reach Kyoto by night
        4- Kyoto sightseeing whole day
        5- Osaka sightseeing
        6- Koyasan and overnight stay
        7- Osaka to Hiroshima and Miyajima day trip(last day of using pass)
        8- Osaka to Tokyo and sightseeing using Subway pass
        9- tokyo sightseeing
        10- tokyo to haneda airport back home
        Will I be able to get the 7 day JR Pass worth? Do you suggest staying at Takayama on day 3 on way from Kanazawa or return to Kyoto on that night?

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
          Takeshi ( administrator) says:

          Hi Lina,

          If you use 7-day pass for this trip, you should use Hakone Free Pass for day 1. Otherwise you have to pay for Osaka to Tokyo which costs about 15,000 yen. If you use Hakone Free Pass, it covers trip to Hakone from Shinjuku. If you travel most part of Hakone, 2-day pass will work for even one day trip.

          And you can use JR pass 7-day for day 2 to 8. You may add subway pass for day 9.


          Takeshi /

  3. Dee says:

    Hello Takeshi-San,

    Hope you are well.
    My name is Dee. I am planning 15 days trip to Japan, from 27/2/20-13/03/20.

    My itinerary are :
    27/02/20 : Tokyo, will catch connecting flight to Hokkaido

    27/02/2- 1/03/20 : Hokkaido
    (walking distance to Sapporo Station), planning to get 3 days pass for train to go around (Otaru Canal, Moerenuma Park, etc)

    1/03/20 – 5/03/20 : Osaka (flying from Hokkaido)
    Staying near Umeda Station. We will go around the city most of the time and Namba, also day trip to Nara and day trip to Universal Studio

    5/03/20 – 8/03/20 : Kyoto (taking train from Osaka)
    Staying near the Kyoto Station.
    Day trip to Arashiyama, Gion, and Nijo Castle on 6/03/20
    Day trip to Kanazawa on 7/03/20

    8/03/20 -13/03/20 : Tokyo (by train from Kyoto)
    Staying next to Shibuya Station. Mostly will be going around Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza and Central Tokyo.
    Day trip to MT Fuji 9/03/20
    Going home on 13/03/30.

    Looking to get 14 days JR Pass to use from Osaka,Kyoto,Tokyo, and airport transport as well, is it worth it?
    To go around the city (Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo), we planning to get Suica/Welcome Suica card, any better suggestion?

    Thank you for your help,

  4. AzMeanistrator – Singapore – Railway Engineer. Events Photographer. Ex-Malay Arts enthusiast.
    Azmin says:

    Hi Takeshi-San,

    I have an itinerary that spans across 2.5 weeks combining work and leisure (from 28Nov-14Dec). Below is my plan somewhat:

    Day 1 -9 : TOKYO (Trips to “JR Joyful Trains” on my free days)
    Day 10: Tokyo -> Osaka
    Day 11-12: OSAKA
    Day 13: KYOTO (Accomodation near Ogoto Onsen Stn. Just 1 night)
    Day 14-16: KYOTO (going to Nagoya Legoland one of these dates)
    Day 17: Kyoto -> Tokyo -> Narita Airport

    My plan is to buy a 7-day JR Japan-wide pass for the last 7 days (DAY 11 – 17) so that I can get back to the airport using the JR Pass. This will means however, I cannot use the JR Rail pass for my transit from Tokyo to Osaka (on DAY 10).
    I was contemplating on whether to get a 14-day pass instead so that I can cover the Tokyo-Osaka-Kyoto-Nagoya Trips but most of this 14-day pass period will be used in Tokyo when I will be working. Do you think the 14-day pass is worth it?

    My second option was to get an ala-carte TOKYO->OSAKA ticket for the DAY 10 trip.

    My third option is to get a 7-day JR Pass & JR East Pass (Nagato/Nigata). However, I read somewhere that I cannot use another seperate JR Pass for another 14 days after first activation. Which means I cannot use the 7-Day JR Pass. Is this rule true?

    What do you think Takeshi? Should I just get the 14-day pass instead to play safe?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi ( administrator) says:

      Hi Azmin san,

      First of all, JR Pass 7-day does not work. As you think, if you use 7-day pass, you have to pay for Tokyo to Osaka. JR pass 7-day price is almost same as the round trip fare between Tokyo and Osaka. Even if you use JR pass 7-day in osaka and Kyoto, you cannot get the worth.

      On the other hand, 14-day pass is too expensive to cover Tokyo-Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo-Narita. But if you use JR pass when you are in Tokyo, it may work. It depends on where you go. In this case, you can use 14-day pass from day 4 to 17.

      JR East Pass does not cover Tokyo to Osaka. This is not a good choice. If you use JR East Pass and JR Pass 7-day, you still have to pay for Tokyo to Osaka. 14-day JR pass is cheaper than these passes/tickets.

      I recommend you to use 14-day pass and try to use as much as you can from day 1 to 10.


      Takeshi /

  5. anytoh
    Annie Toh says:

    Hi Takeshi- San,

    My name is Annie.
    I am planning a 16-day trip to Japan.

    Start: Sapporo
    Ending with Fukuoka.
    Fukuoka Busan – Flight is not booked yet so i can have +1-2Days to explore further but not JR pass

    The sequence of the plan is
    CTS- Sapporo-Otaru- Norbeitsu- Hakodate- Amori- Sendai- Tokyo- Kanazawa- Osaka Hiroshima-Miyajima – Fukuoka.

    Would appreciate to have your view on the following itinerary & the feasibility of just using q 7-day JR pass.
    26 Nov- Night flight SIN to CTS
    27 Nov – Reach CTS 0930
    Go to Sapporo (1 nite)
    28 Nov -Sapporo (1 nite)
    29 Nov – Otaru day trip
    30 Nov – Lake (1 nite)
    1 Dec – Norbeitsu (1 nite )
    2Dec- Hakodate (1 nite)
    3 Dec Hakodate (1 nite)
    4 Dec Aomori ( JR Pass Day 1)
    5 Dec Tokyo ( JR Day 2)
    6 Dec Tokyo
    7 Dec Tokyo – to Kanazawa (JR Day 3
    8 Dec Kanazawa – JR Day 4
    9 Dec Kanazawa to Hiroshima (via Osaka) JR Day 5
    10 Dec Hiroshima JR Day 6
    11Dec Hiroshima to Fukuoka JR Day 7.

    Assuming I start using the JR 7-day pass on 4Dec morning trip eg 8am
    I must reach Fukuoka by 11 Dec 8am?

    Is including Kanazawa doable? Or should i skip? & go from Tokyo to Hiroshima instead?

    I hv been to Tokyo and Kansai a few times n would like to explore Kanazawa , Hiroshima & Fukuoka.

    Thanks in advance.


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi ( administrator) says:

      Hi Annie,

      It doesn’t matter what time you start using the pass. If you start using JR Pass 7-day anytime on 4th December, it will be expired at 23:59 on 10th December. You have to go to Fukuoka on 10 December.

      I think you can include Kanazawa in your trip. But if you use JR pass 7-day and don’t want to lose your time in Hiroshima, you may skip Kanazawa. The last Shinkansen to Hakata by JR pass is Hikari 443 (Hiroshima 22:31 – Hakata 23:51). If you are okay with this train, you can keep this trip plan and move to Hakata on 10th.


      Takeshi /

      • anytoh
        Annie says:

        Hi Takeshi-san,

        Appreciate your reply and advice.

        I have amended the itinerary as follows:
        (26 Nov —Night Flight to Chitose Airport )
        27 Nov – Chitose airport to Sapporo Station

        28 Nov – Sapporo to Otaru (Day trip)
        29 Nov – Sapporo to Odori Station- Ropeway Iriguchi, Mt Moiwa

        30 Nov – Sapporo to Noboribetsu
        1Dec- Noboribetsu to Hakodate
        2Dec- Hakodate – local tram

        3Dec- Hakodate to Tokyo- using Shinkansen- Hokuto (JR1)
        4 Dec – Tokyo – Sugamo
        5 Dec – Tokyo – Explore Yamamoto line
        6 Dec – Tokyo>Osaka>Hiroshima. (Problem here)
        7 Dec – Hiroshima
        8 Dec – Hiroshima- Miyajima
        9 Dec – Hiroshima – Fukuoka (JR7)

        10 Dec – Fukuoka
        11 Dec – Fukuoka

        I have removed Kanazawa.
        Some concerns:

        1) 6Dec — how to use JR pass as Nozomi & Mizuho trains are not allowed. If I am using JR pass, which line should I use to go to Osaka?
        Hyperdia shows Shinkansen Hikari with 3 transfers.
        Or is there other ways of going from Tokyo to Hiroshima with the JR pass? Apologies for asking so much but it is very confusing for foreigners.
        I tried to remove the Nozomi in the search but it doesn’ t work.

        Hiroshima is definitely worth the effort to see the Peace museum & Miyajima. I just need some help on the most efficient way to reach there.
        Via Kyoto or Osaka ?

        2) Instead of using 7-day JR pass, do you think it is better to use 14-day pass starting from 27 nov till 11Dec. to take consideration of cold weather.

        Or to combine a 7-day JR pass (29 600 Ordinary) with the Sanyo Sanin Pass (19 000 Yen) as I still need to go Fukuoka.

        Thank you so much for your kind help and understanding.

        Looking forward to your reply.


  6. Hi Sir,
    Can you kindly suggest on how can i save on transportation on my travel plan? I intend to start in Fukuoka-Sapporo/Hokkaido- Fukuoka.

    Thank you and looking forward to hear from you.

    Kind regards,

  7. Gisela says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    Thanks for your reply. As for the transportation, I might combine domestic flight and 7-day JR pass. I haven’t decided which route for domestic flight, but if we are going to visit Disneyland before Christmas, Tokyo would be our first destination before we fly to Sapporo. Therefore, while in Tokyo we would be using 48-hour Tokyo Subway Pass.

    Considering what you said about Furano, most probably we are just going to visit Asahiyama and skip Furano. Or we could stay in Furano, and go to Asahiyama from Furano. Is it possible to have a one day trip from Sapporo-Asahiyama-Furano-Sapporo though? We would like to go to Asahiyama zoo from morning til 2 or 3 pm when it’s closed, then from Asahiyama at around 4 pm we would go to Furano for Ningle Terrace and Furano Kan Kan Mura-Snow Night Fantasy. But I heard that the transportation is a bit difficult in Furano, especially at night. So I am a bit worried of going back to Sapporo.

    From Sapporo we would head back to Tokyo by train, and go to Osaka on the next day. We are planning to go straight to Narita International Airport from Osaka. Would the train be operated normally on the 1st of January? Also, you said that Sapporo to Tokyo is only 8 hour trip, but I checked on Hyperdia, it’s actually 16-17hour trip.

    Here’s my revised itinerary:
    Keisei Skyliner & 48-hour Tokyo Subway Ticket one way or return if we are going to depart from Narita on the 24th.
    SAT 21DEC TOKYO -24-hour Tokyo Subway Ticket
    MON 23DEC TOKYO ODAIBA -24-hour Tokyo Subway Ticket
    TUE 24DEC TOKYO TO SAPPORO -domestic flight

    Please let me know what you think, thanks a lot!


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Gisela san,

      I don’t recommend you to do the day trip to Furano and Asahikawa. It is simply too much. The last train is 20:38 from Furano. You have to take this train to Asahikawa and catch the train to Sapporo.
      Furano 20:44 – 21:42 Asahikawa 22:00 – 23:25 Sapporo

      If you miss this train, you cannot go back to Sapporo. And you will spend one hour from Asahikawa to Furano. So if you leave Asahiyama around 16:00, you will be Furano probably around 18:00. I think it is too short to see there. If you want to see Furano in the evening, you should stay overnight there. Or you have to leave Asahiyama earlier.

      It takes 8 to 9 hours to get Tokyo from Sapporo by train. It never takes 16 hours.

      When you check it at Hyperdia, did you check “NOZOMI / MIZUHO / HAYABUSA (SHINKANSEN)”? JR pass does not cover Mizuho and Nozomi. So when you check the timetable for Tokyo to Osaka, you have to remove check from this box. But Hayabusa is covered by JR pass. You can leave check in this box for Sapporo to Tokyo.

      Train runs as normal on January 1st.


      Takeshi /

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