Sample itinerary Tokyo to Osaka in just 7 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days

7 to 9 days
Mt Fuji from Lake Shoji ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
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Mt Fuji from Lake Shoji  	©Akira Okada/©JNTO

Mt Fuji from Lake Shoji ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

I have received many inquiries about Tokyo – Osaka one way trip from many readers. But Japan Rail Pass 7 days is too much for Tokyo (even Narita) to Osaka (even Kansai) one way trip. Single fare is much cheaper than 7 days pass price. So in this itinerary, I include Mt. Fuji, Hiroshima and Miyajima and still include Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. This itinerary can be done in just 7 days from airport to airport. But if you want to travel a little more slowly and stay longer, you can add some local deals beside 7 days pass. I tell you at the end of this post about add on plan. Of course you can do this itinerary from Osaka to Tokyo.

Itinerary

This timetable is as of June, 2013. Please check the updated timetable before using this itinerary.

Narita Express is covered by both Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Narita Express is covered by Japan Rail Pass. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Day 1 / Narita airport to Tokyo

Take Narita Express from Narita airport to Tokyo. Narita Express can take you Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Yokohama and many more stations. Of course you can take local train or Rapid train. As long as you take JR train. Japan Rail Pass cover your trip.

If you arrive in Narita early morning, you will have a time to explore in Tokyo.

If you arrive in Haneda early morning, you will have a time as well. But you cannot exchange the pass in early morning in Haneda. The exchange counter open between 11:00 and 18:30. In this case, take Keihin Kyuko to Shinagawa. Exchange window open between 9:00 and 19:00 at Shinagawa. If you want to exchange your pass much earlier, go to Tokyo station. They open from 7:30 to 20:30.

Please refer the post, How to take Tokyo Monorail or Keihin Kyuko for late arrival and early departure at Hanedato get the details about access from Haneda.

Day 2 / Mt. Fuji day trip from/to Tokyo

First of all, access to Shinjku to catch the train to Otsuki. Shinjuku can be accessed from most stations in downtown Tokyo by JR Yamamote line, Chuo line or subway line. JR trains can be covered by JR Pass, but subway is not.

07:30 Take Limited Express Azusa #3 at Shinjuku station
08:31 Arrive at Otsuki station
08:35 Take Fuji Kyuko local train at Otsuki station
*This train goes through Fuji Kyuko line from JR line. Train departs from JR’s platform. Please see the post, Otsuki station guide. How to transfer from JR train to Fuji Kyuko train. to get the details about transfer to Otsuki station
09:21 Arrive at Fujisan station

Train on Fuji Kyuko line is not covered by JR Pass. The fare 990 yen is extra.

After arriving at Fujisan station, take bus to Mt. Fuji 5th station.
09:40 Fujisan station
10:45 Mt. Fuji 5th station
Enjoy fresh air and walk at the high elevation (2300m) area.
13:30 Mt. Fuji 5th station
14:15 Kawaguchiko station
*5th station can be accessed between mid April and mid December. But it depends on the weather. I think May to October is the season to get there.

You can use round trip bus fare for Fujisan station – 5th station – Kwawaguchiko. Round trip fare is 2000 yen. After you get Kawaguchiko station, you can go Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka or wherever you want. You can get more info at Mt. Fuji and Fuji Goko Navi.

From Kawaguchiko station, train runs every 20 to 30 minutes. I just show you the last connection to Shinjuku.
20:19 Take Fuji Kyuko local train from Kawaguchiko station
21:19 Arrive at Otsuki station
21:40 Deparr from Otsuki station by Limited Express Super Azusa #36
22:36 Arrive at Shinjuku

After arriving Shinjku, take local train or subway to get your accommodation. In Tokyo, trains run until midnight.

Actually we have one more later connection from Kawaguchiko station to Shinjuku via Otsuki. But you have to take all local trains and have to transfer between Otsuki and Shijuku. It is not recommended for the travellers.

Day 3 / Tokyo – Kyoto

Enjoy sightseeing in Tokyo before going to Kyoto. From Tokyo to Kyoto, you can take Shinkansen. Japan Rail Pass allows you to take only Hikari or Kodama. Nozomi that is the fastest train is not covered by JR Pass. But even Hikari runs every 30 minutes. So you can go to Kyoto whenever you want. I just show you the last train to Kyoto.

20:03 Depart from Tokyo by Hikari #533
23:03 Arrive at Kyoto

Day 4 / Full day free at Kyoto

Kifune shrine is very popular to see fall color leaves. But you neded to take non JR train, Eizan Railway to get there. ©JTA/ ©JNTO

Kifune shrine is very popular to see fall color leaves. But you neded to take non JR train, Eizan Railway to get there. ©JTA/ ©JNTO

Enjoy sightseeing in world famous Kyoto. But Japan Rail Pass does not cover subway, bus and private trains in Kyoto. You may have to purchase city pass. Please see the post, Japan Rail Pass is the best way to explore Kyoto? How to use Japan Rail Pass in Kyoto to get the details.

Day 5 / Kyoto – Hiroshima/Miyajima – Osaka

07:20 Depart from Kyoto by Hikari #491
09:06 Arrive at Hiroshima

If you feel this train is too early, you can take Hikari $493 (08:02/10:01). But you will lose one hour in Hiroshima/Miyajima.

From Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi, train runs every 10 minutes, 09:16, 09:26 and 09:36. I recommend you to store your luggage at Hiroshima station. You can take 09:16 train from 09:06 arrival. But if you want to store your luggage, 09:26 or 09:36 is more comfortable.

It takes 30 minutes to get Miyajimaguchi by local train. After arriving at Miyajiamaguchi, take passenger ferry to get Miyajima. This ferry service is operated by JR. So it is covered by JR Pass. About access to Miyajima, please see the post, How to access to Miyajima from Hiroshima by local train. No extra charge for Japan Rail Pass user to get the details.

It is up to you how many hours you spend in Miyajima. It takes another one hour total from Miyajima to Hiroshima via Miyajimaguchi. If you want to see many things in Hiroshima, try to finish sightseeing Miyajima as fast as you can.

When you go to Osaka, take Shikansen again. Sakura or Hikari is your choice. Trains run very frequent. I just want to tell you the last Shinkansen to get Osaka. Of course you can get an earlier Shinkansen if you want.

21:58 Depart from Hiroshima by Hikari $444
23:32 Arrive at Shin-Osaka

After arrival at Shin-Osaka, you can get Umeda (JR Osaka station) by JR trains and you can get Namba by subway Midousuji line. But subway trains is not covered by JR Pass.

Day 6 / Full day free at Osaka

You can enjoy downtown Osaka. Please see the post, “How to use and how much can we use Japan Rail Pass in downtown Osaka?” to get the details about using JR Pass in Osaka.

Day 7 / Osaka – KIX

Take Limited Express Haruka to get Kansai International Airport. You can ride Haruka at Kyoto, Shin-Osaka or Tennoji. You cannot catch this train at Osaka or Namba. You have to take local train to get these three station to catch Haruka.

If you want to travel a bit slower

As long as you use JR pass 7 days for Tokyo-Kyoto-Hiroshima-Osaka, it works. The pass is cheaper than total single fares. So you can use Suica & N’ex for the first several days in Tokyo.

On the other hand, you can finish to use 7 days JR pass at arriving Osaka from Hiroshima. You can use subway pass for sightseeing and other deals to get Kansai Airport.

Comments

  1. Tan says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,

    I have planned my itinerary for a 11D-10N trip to Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. Would like to seek your kind advice which day should I activate my 7-day JR pass.

    Day 1: Arrive Haneda airport, travel to Osaka for 4 nights in Namba.
    Day 2 to Day 4: Osaka
    Day 5: Kyoto
    Day 6: Kyoto and day trip to Nara
    Day 7: Kyoto to Tokyo Shinjuku
    Day 8- 10: Tokyo
    Day 11: Narita Airport flight home.

    Should I activate my JR pass on day 1 to make use of 2 trips from haneda airport to Osaka on day 1 and Kyoto to Tokyo on Day 7?

    Thank you in advance for your kind help.

    Best regard
    Tann

  2. Ivy says:

    Hello,

    I would appreciate if you can comment on my itinerary and specifically which rail passes are most economical for my family. There are 4 of us – my husband, me, and 2 children (ages 11, 13).
    *Note we are coming in July, so we understand prices will be higher.

    Day 1 – arrive at Narita 3:10pm- staying in Akasaka
    Days 2-4 – touring around Tokyo
    Day 5 – travel to Osaka (or is Kyoto more convenient or economical?)
    Day 6&7 – tour Osaka and Kyoto
    Day 8 – travel back to Tokyo
    Days 9 & 10 – more Tokyo
    Day 11 – Akasaka to Narita Airport – flight at 4:55pm

    Thank you so much for any input you can give!
    Best regards,
    Ivy

  3. Murtuza says:

    Dear Takashi San,

    I had posted on other forum regarding my trip to Japan in June, however I have cut short my trip to 9 days instead of 15 days , so I will not be going to Hokkaido.. In this 9 days I would like to cover Tokyo, Fuji, Osaka, Kyoto, I plan to visit following places, please can you advice if it’s doable and JR pass is worth..

    Day 1: Arrive Tokyo at 12pm
    Day2 & 3 : Explore Tokyo
    Day 4: Mt. Fuji
    Day 5: Leave for Kyoto
    Day 6 : Explore Kyoto
    Day 7: Travel to Osaka
    Day 8: Cover Hiroshima , Nagoya & Kobe
    Day 9: Return to Tokyo & Flight to Singapore late evening.

    I’m travelling with kids, do you think this itinerary is doable? shall I spend more days in Osaka or Kyoto?

  4. Supol Durongwatana says:

    I am Thai living in Bangkok and I have been visiting Japan several times for my vacation. Each time of my vacation in Japan were 7-9 days and during May to June. Also the places I visited are in Hokkaido, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka. This year, once again, I have planed to visit Japan during last week of May to first week of June by rails. If anyone; Japanese, has any suggestion for my new exploration in Japan, please kindly do or you may have drafted me itinerary for new places during my 7-9 days vacation this year. I will be appreciated for your help.
    Thank you.

  5. emyrose says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Its me again emz.. march 6 10:45am tokyo narita arrival you inform to stay here for two nyts?can i ask what pass is suitable to use for strolling around tokyo if we are not going to disneyland. but we want to see even a glimpse of mt fuji.

    day 3 from tokyo to kyoto what pass do we need to buy?
    1 nyt here for kyoto siteseeing can advice me what pass need to ise

    day 4 kyoto to osaka what pass need to use then 1 nuyt in osaka th pass that we can use here for site seeing then

    day5 is our flyt kansai to manila at 1:45pm.

    can advise me also if we can go for a trip to nara?

    Thankyou wo much for answering all my querries.

    regards

    ema

  6. Allison Yap says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    My husband and I will have the following itinerary. I hope you can help:

    Day 1: Arrive at Narita, hotel is in Shinjuku.
    Day 2-5: Explore Tokyo
    Day 5: We need to travel from Tokyo to Osaka, hotel is in Namba/Shinsaibashi
    Day 6: Explore Osaka
    Day 7: Day trip to Kyoto
    Day 8: Explore Osaka
    Day 9: Travel to KIX

  7. Jenny Lo says:

    Hi Takeshi San:
    This is my itinerary for 3 passengers in September 2016:
    Day 1- Kannai station in Yokohama to Kyoto station
    Day 2-3- stay in Kyoto
    Day 4- Kyoto station to Osaka Umeda station
    Day 5-6- stay in Osaka city
    Day 7- Flight from Kansai airport
    What are the best options to buy transit tickets according to my itinerary? Single tickets or passes? Thanks.

  8. John Huang says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    We (2 adults, 1 kid) are traveling to Japan in July. Our plan is:

    Day 1, Osaka
    Day 3, Nara
    Day 4, Kyoto
    Day 6, Fujiyoshida
    Day 7, Tokyo
    Day 10, departure from Narita

    Would you recommend the JR pass?

    Thanks!

    John

  9. May says:

    Hi Ebony-san,
    My family & I will be travelling to Japan end of May. My itinerary is as follows:
    Day 1-arriving Narita airport T-2 from Manila at 3:30 PM. Ride Shinkansen to Osaka. Stay at Namba area
    Day 2- Dotombori/Shinsaibashi shopping
    Day 3-Universal Studio
    Day 4 – travel to Tokyo via Shinkansen
    Day 5-Stay at Tsukji Area. Shopping at Ueno, Akihabara & Ginza
    Day 6- Hakone sightseeing in the morning/ Gotemba premium outlet shopping in the afternoon
    Day 7 – Go to Shinjuku & Shibuya for shopping
    Day 8 – depart for Manila at 6:30PM at Narita airport-T-2

    Given our itinerary, is it best to buy JR Pass for 7 days? We are group of 10 pax with small children. Do you suggest we change our itinerary and stay first at Tokyo?

    • Hi May san,

      JR pass is the best choice.
      You can get Osaka on arrival day. But it takes at least 4 hours. You need to take Narita Express from Narita to Shinagawa (1 hour), Shinkansen from Shinagawa to Shin-Osaka (2.5 hour) and subway from Shin-Osaka to Namba (20 minutes). And also you will spend 1 hour to clear custom and immigration. You need to spend another 30 minutes to exchange JR pass and book your seat. So it’s going to be a long day. If you are okay with it, you can keep this itinerary. Otherwise stay in Tokyo on arrival day as you guess.

      You can use JR pass for the first 7 days if you want to keep this itinerary. If you stay in Tokyo on arrival day, start using JR pass on second day. There are many deals for Narita to Tokyo. But most of them are available for Narita to Tokyo only. There is no choices for Tokyo to Narita.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/narita/the-list-of-deals-for-access-to-downtown-tokyo-from-narita-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Ebony says:

    Hi Takeshi San,

    I wish to travel from Tokyo, to Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima during my 8 day stay in Japan. I will be doing little trips in and out during the day. Is it worth getting a 7day JR pass?

    Arigatoo,
    Ebony.

    • Hi Ebony san,

      You can use 7 days pass for this trip. I don’t know where you arrive and depart but I think it will be Tokyo or Osaka and stay there at least one night before leave or after arrive. So you can use 7 days pass the first or the last 7 days of your trip. You don’t need to use the pass for either arrival or departure day. You can cut shorter trip of these days.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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