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-day 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 the 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:

Suggested deals for Haneda passengers

Please refer the following links:

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.

You can find the detailed information of train system in downtown Tokyo in the link below. You also can find the information about the deals:

In Tokyo, the single fare is very reasonable because of a short trip. The regular fare may be cheaper if you visit one or two places. You may use IC card, such Suica or Pasmo instead:

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 “Romancecar” 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.

Suggested deals

Base fare ticket (Shinjuku – Odawara) and Hakone Free Pass (Odawara departure 2 days)

You may find more information about Hakone Free Pass and Odakyu Railway in the link below:

Hakone Free Pass official site

Shinjuku 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.

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.

I have the post which explains about the access to Hakone and the trip plan in Hakone in the link below:

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 the the Tokaido Shinkansen to get Kyoto. Please find the details about Odawara station at the following:

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:

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

You may find Hikari which stop at Odawara mostly every two hours. Please try to catch this kind of Hikari. This is the fastest and direct way to get Kyoto from Odawara.

There is no deals to cover the trip from Odawara to Kyoto. The base fare ticket and the Shinkansen seat fee ticket are required to take the Tokaido Shinkansen. You can purchase these tickets in advance if you want. The Shinkansen and limited express surcharge tickets can be purchased at most major JR stations that have reservation window, a.k.a. “Midori no Madoguchi”. The base fare ticket also can be purchased with surcharge ticket at same time. If you do so, you can just transfer from Hakone Tozan Railway train to the Shinkansen at Odawara.

If you follow my suggested itinerary, you have half day for sightseeing in Kyoto. I recommend you to visit south part of Kyoto, like Fushimi Inari. It’s just 5 minutes away from Kyoto station by Nara line local train. If you want, you can visit even Nara.

If you need some more information about Kyoto station, please refer the link below:

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.

Please refer the links below to find the information of train system in Kyoto and deals in Kyoto.

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

I use JR train, Special Rapid which is the fastest way to get Osaka (Umeda). It is a sort of commute train. Only base fare is required to take this train.

There are many other trains running between Kyoto and Osaka. Please see the link below to find the train network in Kansai area:

After arriving in Osaka, you may add the deal as you need.

Day 7 Osaka to Kansai airport

There are some deals available. Please see the link below:

Summary and total costs

If you have one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka, as you read above, the key is how to combine some local deals and the regular fare ticket. In this itinerary, approximate total cost is 23,000 to 26,000 yen. It is cheaper than JR Pass 7-day. And JR Pass does not cover Hakone area, subway and city bus in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. You might feel the total cost is very close to JR Pass 7-day. But actual different is much bigger.

I show you 7 days itinerary but you can extend staying 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.

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

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

  1. Hi Takeshi San,

    we are planning to go Japan in mid December 2019. My planning to to cover Tokyo, Hakone & Kyoto for 7days.

    1st day arrive midnight 01:00am at Haneda airport
    2nd day plan to go Hakone and stay 1 night
    3rd & 4th day from Hakone to Kyoto and stay 2 nights
    5th day back to Tokyo city and stay for 3 nights (2days for disneyland & disneysea)

    based on my planning, is it advisable to get 7days JR Pass?

    thanks!

    Regards,
    Joyce

    1. Hi Joyce san,

      7-day JR pass is recommended. You can start using it when you leave Tokyo for Hakone. You can take the Shinkansen to get Odawara:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/how-to-build-the-trip-plan-to-hakone-various-sample-itineraries-of-hakone.html

      And you can add Hakone Free Pass there. You don’t need to take Odakyu Railway from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto. You will use JR Pass and you should use it as much as you can.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi,
    I am traveling to Japan for the first time for one week as follow:
    September 11 arrive at Narita at 3:30pm
    Stay in Tokyo near Ueno
    September 14 Leaving for Hakone
    Stop at Hakone for one day. Thinking about your recommendation to stay. In Hakone Overnight
    Travel to Kyoto
    Stay in Kyoto till 17 September.
    Return to Tokyo for flight back to San Francisco on September 18 at 5pm
    Is this itinerary possible with all the trains. Can I go from Kyoto to Narita the same day to catch my flight.
    How difficult it is to travel with a carry on.
    I really appreciate it

      1. Hi Nelly,

        Your itinerary is okay. You can do this trip.
        You may use the pass as I mentioned in the previous reply:
        https://jprail.com/forums-about-japan-rail-pass-and-rail-travel-in-japan/comment-page-180#comment-296140

        You can get Narita from Kyoto on the departure day. It takes about 4.5 hours by the Shinkansen and the Narita Express including the transfer time in Shinagawa. You can find the timetable of the Shinkansen and the Narita Express in the links below:
        https://global.jr-central.co.jp/en/info/timetable/
        http://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/english/wb/common/timetable/index.html

        Cheers,

        Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Dear Takeshi San,

    We are a group of 12 adults coming to Japan from 31 Oct to 10 Nov 2019.
    Our itineraries will be:

    1 Nov – Narita Airport to Asakusa
    2 Nov – Shinjuku
    3 Nov – Kamakura
    4 & 5 Nov – 2 days in Hakone
    6 Nov – Odawara to Osaka
    7 & 8 Nov – 2 days trip to Kyoto (overnight in Osaka)
    9 Nov – Nara
    10 Nov – Osaka Airport 3.15pm

    We are not sure to buy JR pass for nationwide or buying other passes. Not sure if use early for 7 day pass and buy Tokyo Metro Pass is it worthy.

    Could you please offer your opinion on our itinerary and travel pass type?

    Thank you

    JS

      1. Dear Takeshi San,

        Thank you for your reply and clear instructions.

        We will follow.

        Have a good day.

        Regards
        Janette

  4. Dear Takeshi San,

    Very detailed explanation of the itinerary.

    Could you please give me advise on my 11days itinerary on Hakone onwards?
    I’m abit confused on the base fare part.

    Day 1-3 Tokyo
    Day 4 Tokyo to Hakone
    Day 4-6 Hakone
    Day 6 Hakone to Osaka (up till here I will be following you’re recommended method)
    Your sample here is a stop trip at Kyoto for a day then continue to Osaka.
    If I were to directly go to Osaka, should I buy the same ticket as your suggested one?

    Day 6-11 Osaka (day trips to Kyoto, Kobe maybe Nara)
    Do you recommend getting Osaka amazing pass and Kansai Thru pass?

    Day 11 Osaka to airport morning

    Thanks for the hardwork on the itinerary, really helped alot in planning my trip.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    CK

    1. Hi CK san,

      You can simply use the single fare ticket to Osaka. You don’t need to use any stopover.

      Kansai thru pass is the best choice for the trip to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. If you visit many attractions, Osaka amazing pass is the best choice. But there are several other options in Osaka. Please see the links below to find the deal in Osaka and to Kansai airport:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi San,

        Thank you for the swift reply. Some parts I don’t understand about the tickets.
        From your sample you said:
        5060 yen Shinkansen reserved seat surcharge (Odawara-Kyoto)
        8640 yen Base fare ticket (Odwara-Kansai airport)

        and for my question you said that single fare ticket to Osaka is sufficient, so do I still need to buy the Shinkansen reserved/unreserved seat surcharge but instead of (Odawara-Kyoto) I should select (Odawara-Osaka)? Or just buying the Base fare ticket is enough? Or is both must be bought together?

        Thanks for the links. I’ll read them.

        Thanks
        CK

        1. Hi CK san,

          You have to purchase a base fare ticket for Odawara to Osaka and the Shinkansen seat ticket for Odawara to Shin-Osaka. If you purchase only the base fare ticket, you have to take the local train. It is much slower than the Shinkansen and you have to change the trains 4 or 5 times. It takes about 8 hours. All trains are the commute trains and you sometimes have to stand up because the train is busy by the local commuters and students. It is not a realistic choice.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Hi Takeshi San,

            Ah that clears things up.

            Thank you very much Takeshi San.
            Am very excited for my upcoming trip.

            Sincerely,
            CK

              1. Hi Takeshi San

                Its me again, I’m gonna be at Osaka for 5 day 4 nights, so I’m thinking of getting Kansai Thru Pass (3 days) and Osaka Amazing Pass(2 day).
                Is it sufficient or do I need and ICOCA card just in case since ICOCA card can be refunded?

                Thanks.
                CK

                1. Hi CK san,

                  I don’t think you need ICOCA. When you have to take JR train, you cannot use Kansai thru pass and Osaka amazing pass. But mostly you can make trip by other than JR which are subway, Kintetsu, Keihan, Hankyu, Hanshin and Nankai railways. When you need to take JR train, just buy a regular ticket. If you use ICOCA and try to get refund, you may have to wait on the line in Kansai airport station. It’s just wasting time.

                  Cheers,

                  Takeshi JPRail.com

                  1. Hi Takeshi San,

                    Thank you for answering my questions.
                    I’ve just bought the tickets to Japan and am looking foward to visit the beautiful country.

                    Thanks alot.
                    Arigatou Gozaimasu.

                    CK

  5. Dear Takeshi,

    I will be travelling from the 03.08.19 – 13.08.19

    My routes are as follows: Haneda,Tokyo (Arrival) – Asakusa,Tokyo (5nights) – Fujikawaguchiko (1night) – Gora,Hakone (1night) – Kawaramachi,Kyoto (3nights) – Kansai,Osaka(Departure)

    I’m not sure if I should
    a) opt for a Japan Rail Pass and a Fuji Hakone Pass
    b) forgo the Japan Rail Pass, instead opt for a Fuji Hakone Pass and Kansai Area Wide Pass to travel from kyoto to osaka Kansai Airport

    Would greatly appreciate your advice.

    Shuren

    1. Hi Shuren,

      You may use Fuji Hakone Pass but JR pass does not suit your trip plan. You cannot get the worth of it.

      For staying in Tokyo, you can find the deal in the link below:
      https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/airport_bus/index.html

      I recommend you to use Fuji Hakone Pass Odawara version because if you use Shinjuku version, it includes Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko and Hakone to Shinjuku. But you will take the Shinkansen from Odawara to Kyoto. You need only Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko. You may simply add the regular fare to get Kawaguchiko by express bus.
      https://www.odakyu.jp/english/passes/fujihakone/
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/highway/detail/id/1

      And then add the regular fare to take the Shinkansen from Odawara to Kyoto.

      Kansai Wide Area Pass is way too much for your trip. You can find some deals for sightseeing in Kyoto in the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      And then use Kansai area pass one day from Kyoto to Kansai by the limited express train Haruka:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-use-jr-west-kansai-area-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Dear Takeshi,

    Please give me advise on my 10days itinerary as below:
    Day 1-3 Tokyo
    Day 4 Tokyo to Hakone
    Day 5 Hakone to Nagoya
    *Question: As i added Nagoya to my itinerary compared to yours, is it still cheaper if i buy regular ticket instead of JR pass?
    *Is it recommended/worth to take regular train instead of shinkansen for enjoying the scene along the train journey? I don’t mind travel with longer time.
    *if i am not taking shinkansen, do i still need to buy base fare ticket?
    Day 6 Nagoya to Kyoto
    Day 7-8 Kyoto
    Day 9 Kyoto to Osaka
    Day 10 Osaka to airport at night

    *Since i am not using JR pass, can i buy all the train tickets only on that travel day itself(or a day before)?
    *Is it cheaper to buy tickets at counter than buy online? As I found some of the websites selling tickets with more expensive price.

    Thank you for your reply!

    Regards,
    B

    1. Hi Bethel,

      JR pass is still not the choice for your trip. And I don’t recommend to take a local train to get Nagoya. Because there is no direct trains from Odawara to Nagoya. You must change trains a few times and all trains are a sort of commute train. You may not be able to sit down. Actually this is tough for even train buffs in Japan.

      If you use Smart Ex which is JR Central official app, the price is same online.
      https://smart-ex.jp/en/index.html

      But you may purchase it in the counter. But I recommend you to buy in few days before. It may be hard to find the seat if you buy it on the spot.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

    2. Dear Takeshi,

      If I using Kansai Thru pass in the last four days, is it better if i stay at Osaka for 4 nights straight(instead of 2 nights in Kyoto and Osaka), or no difference?
      Lastly, I am more to nature/relax style, will you recommend me Kyoto or Osaka to spend more times/days with?
      Thank you for your patience reply.

      Regards,
      B

      1. Hi B,

        If you stay in Osaka and make day trips to Kyoto or other cities outside Osaka, Kansai thru pass is a good choice. But if you stay in Kyoto and/or Osaka and using it for sightseeing in the city, it’s not a good choice. Because 2-day pass is sold at 4,000 yen. You have to make 2,000 worth a day. It’s hard to do it for sightseeing in Kyoto from Kyoto or Osaka from Osaka. You must do sightseeing to Kyoto as day trip from Osaka.

        On the other hand, Kyoto is more suitable for you. Kyoto offers nature/relax style than Osaka.

        Cheers,

        Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Your sample itinerary was very informative! We are going on our first trip to Japan for 13 days.

    Feb 5 to 7 – Okinawa
    Feb 7 – Travel to Kobe airport staying and stop by Kobe or Osaka for dinner before travel to Kyoto – Hotel
    Feb 8 – 11 – Kyoto/ Nara/ Osaka /Rabbit Island ( Option)
    Feb 12 – 16 – Hakone /Tokyo / Doraemon Museum / Diver-city/Onsen
    Feb 16 – Narita Airport 6pm

    We are not sure to buy JR pass for nationwide or buying other passes. Not sure if use early for 7 day pass and buy Tokyo Metro Pass is it worthy

    Could you please offer your opinion on our itinerary and travel pass type?

    1. Hi Jaslynn,

      If you are sure to go to Rabbit island, JR pass 7-day will work. Otherwise JR pass is not your choice like the sample itinerary above.

      If you don’t use JR pass, you may use the deal in the link below for Kansai area.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-choose-discount-railway-ticket-and-pass-in-kansai-area.html

      Hakone Free Pass from Shinjuku is for the trip to Hakone.
      https://www.odakyu.jp/english/passes/hakone/
      2-day pass is your choice even if you have a day trip. If you use JR pass, you can get Odawara by JR Pass and use Hakone Free Pass from Odawara. Shinjuku version Hakone Free Pass is not required.

      And you can use Tokyo subway ticket.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hello Takeshi,

    This is very informative and helpful. Thank you so much.

    My planned itinerary is:
    Day 1 – arrival (morning) at Tokyo and planned to stroll the city afterwards
    Day 2- Disneyland
    Day 3 – Tokyo to Mt.Fuji – Hakone (overnight at Hakone)
    Day 4- Hakone to Kyoto (might leave Hakone afternoon and sleep at Kyoto)
    Day 5 – Kyoto whole day
    Day 5 – Kyoto to Osaka (Universal Studio)
    Day 6 – Departure

  9. Hi.

    This is very informative. I’m planning a trip from Tokyo-Hakone-Osaka for one week. My main aim is to go to Fuji-Q Highland in Hakone and Universal Studio Japan in Osaka.

    I’m thinking of buying JR west pass for Kansai area. And one way tickets from Tokyo to Hakone.

    Is this feasible? Or is there a cheaper alternative?

    1. Hi Bakabaka,

      First of all, Fuji-Q highland is not located in Hakone. It is located in Lake Kawaguchi area. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html

      If you want to see both Hakone and Fuji-Q highland, please see the link below. This is one day sample itinerary but you may find the way to visit both Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/fuji-hakone-one-day-trip-sample-itinerary-you-can-visit-both-lake-kawaguchi-and-hakone-by-day-trip-from-tokyo.html

      Regarding Kansai area pass, I cannot say that it’s a good choice or not. But if you stay in downtown Osaka only, it’s not a right choice. If you visit outside Osaka, such as Nara, Kyoto, Kobe, it works. There are lots of better deal for sightseeing in Osaka. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu Takeshi San!

    Thank you for the post on your sample itinerary, it was very informative! We are going on our first trip to Japan next year and we cannot decide if the JR pass is worth buying or not. Could you please offer your opinion on our itinerary below?

    Mar 21 – Narita to Tokyo
    Mar 26 – Tokyo to Hakone
    Mar 27 – Hakone to Osaka (based in Osaka)
    Mar 28 to Apr 31 – Osaka to Kyoto / Nara / Kobe (will be travelling to Kyoto from Osaka about 2 times at most)
    Apr 1 – Osaka to KIX

    Thank you! Looking forward to your response.

    1. Hi Arissa san,

      JR pass does not work unfortunately. You must have a round trip between Tokyo and Osaka to get the worth. As I wrote in the post above, you have to use a regular ticket for Tokyo-Hakone-Osaka. Even if you have a lot of trips in Osaka/Kyoto/Nara/Kobe, it does not help to get the worth of it. You must have a big trip outside Kansai area, such as trip to Hiroshima to get the worth of JR pass.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/world-heritage-destinations/day-trip-to-hiroshima-and-miyajima-from-osakakyoto.html

      If you don’t use JR pass, you may use Kansai thru pass for trip to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe from Osaka.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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