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 Tokyo to/from Narita airport

Suggested deals for Haneda passengers

Please refer the following links:

Haneda airport access guide and the list of deals

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.

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:

Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by train to get the major spots?

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.

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

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Kyoto

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.

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

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 1,490 yen 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!

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

  1. Hello Takeshi! I find your article to be the most helpful, but also it made me to rethink what’s best for me. it seems for you it worked out perfectly fine not buying the JR Pass, and I want to know if I can get away with just buying the 7-days JR Pass (everytime I use the calculator it says that I should stick with the 14 days, but it’s very pricey)
    This is my itinerary:
    Tokyo 2 days
    Hakone 1 night
    Kyoto 4 days
    Hiroshima 2 days
    Osaka 2 days
    Back to Tokyo to catch our flight back

    I really hope if you can give me your advice, which I’d really appreciate it.
    Thanks!

  2. Takeshi San,

    Thank you so much for all your detailed information which I have used to plan my own itinerary. We will be travelling from London through Shanghai to Tokyo and out from Osaka through Shanghai back to London spending 13 days in Japan following Ireland play two rugby games either side of our trip in Yokohama and Kobe.

    I would be grateful if you can advise that I have planned transport appropriately and don’t require JR pass?

    Arrive 8.40pm to Narita from Shanghai
    Travel to Yokohama direct (limousine bus given we will not make the Narita Express)
    Day 1& 2 in Yokohama for rugby match
    Day 3-5 Tokyo (from Yokohama by train? Use Daily Travel Card for Tokyo?)
    Day 6 – Travel to Kawaguchiko (Express Bus) and buy Fuji/Hakone Free Pass
    Day 7 – Hakone
    Day 8 – Odawara to Kyoto (Shinkansen ticket to Osaka)
    Day 9-11 – Kyoto Sightseeing (best transport card?)
    Day 12 – Osaka (best daily transport card? which route best to Kobe?)
    Day 13 – Kobe
    Day 14 – Kobe – KIX for flight to Shanghai (Best train route for this?)

    I would appreciate any assistance or advice you can give that I am on the right track with planning the transport.

    Thank you

    Ciara

    1. Hi Ciara,

      JR pass is not required. You cannot get the worth of it.

      The limousine bus is okay. There is one way bus ticket and 24 hours Tokyo Subway Ticket combo deal. You can use Tokyo subway ticket later after arriving in Tokyo. You may buy this combo in Narita:
      https://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/information/visitor_tickets/subwaypass/

      There is no deals to cover Yokohama to Tokyo. Just pay the regular fare to take the train to Tokyo. There are JR, Keikyu and Tokyu railways between Tokyo and Yokohama. Please see the route map in the link below and find which line is most convenient to your location to stay in Tokyo:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/yokohama-and-kamakura-access-guide-find-the-right-deal-and-route-from-your-place-to-stay.html

      You may buy Suica or Pasmo instead of buying a regular ticket one by one:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/what-is-ic-card-suica-icoca-pasmo-how-to-use-these-cards.html

      Fuji Hakone Pass and the regular ticket for Odawara to Osaka is okay. You cannot use IC card (Suica or Pasmo) for this trip.

      In Kyoto, Osaka and Osaka to KIX, please see the link below to find the deal:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html
      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

      For Osaka to Kobe, there are a few routes available. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/world-heritage-destinations/how-to-access-to-himeji-and-kobe-from-osaka.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I am traveling to Japan for 2 weeks this December. Will a JR pass be good for my itinerary?

    Dec. 3 – Tokyo
    Dec. 10 – Tokyo to Hakone (will be staying at a ryokan for one day)
    Dec. 11- Hakone to Kyoto (will be staying in Kyoto for 3 days but will be moving around Osaka, Nara and maybe Kobe)
    Dec. 14- Kyoto to Tokyo

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Thea san,

      You may use JR Pass 7-day for the last 7 days in your trip. But Hakone is not covered by JR Pass. You have to buy Hakone Free Pass at Odawara. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/how-to-build-the-trip-plan-to-hakone-various-sample-itineraries-of-hakone.html

      Before you start using JR Pass, you can use Tokyo Subway Ticket for sightseeing in Tokyo:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/compare-many-discount-tickets-and-passes-for-sightseeing-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-right-tickets.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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