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

7 to 9 days
Senso-ji temple and Tokyo Skytree in Asakusa ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO
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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

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Day 1 Narita or Haneda airport to downtown Tokyo

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Comments

  1. Hi, I am planning 5 days short visit toJapan on April 20. Arriving narita by 8 am on day one. My return flight on 24 the April 11.30am from narita. We are 2 . Please suggest a good itinerary. Thanks

  2. Weil says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I am planning a 10 days trip to Japan in March.
    My itinerary will be :-
    Day 1 – Narita Airport to Tokyo (staying in Shinjuku for the 4 days in Tokyo)
    Day 2 – Disney land
    Day 3 – Tokyo
    Day 4 – Tokyo
    Day 5 – Tokyo to Hakone (and I will be staying 1 night in Hakone)
    Day 6 – Hakone to Kyoto (and I will be staying 1 night in Kyoto) (would also like to visit Nara)
    Day 7 – Kyoto to Osaka
    Day 8 – Osaka
    Day 9 – Osaka
    Day 10 – Osaka
    Day 11 – Osaka to Kansai Airport

    Please advise me what train passes I should get to cover my trip. I will be visiting many areas in Tokyo (4 days) and Osaka (5 days).

    Your help is greatly appreciated.
    Regards,
    Weil

  3. steven says:

    we are doing this trip in March! Tokyo to Hokone to Kyoto back to Tokyo airport. Let us know how it goes and if worth the one night stay in Hokone!

  4. pmsalazar3 – Christian; Wife; Homeschool Mom;
    Patricia says:

    Hi. I have gone to so many of links you have listed that my head is spinning!!
    Our itinerary:

    Tokyo – 2 days
    Hakone – 1 night
    Kyoto 2 days
    Osaka 1 days
    Back to Tokyo for late afrernoon flight

    Because we have round trip back to Tokyo, is it best to get JR Pass ($269) , and Hakone Free Pass ($46).. or do we not need Hakone pass since JR Pass will give us train to Hakone? And then we would just use bus or other Hakone transport while there?

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