Sample itinerary Tokyo to Osaka plus Hakone, Takayama, Shirakawago and Kyoto in 7 days by Japan Rail Pass

Very popular scene of Shirakawago from Tenshukaku view point

7 days JR Pass price is almost same as round trip fare between Tokyo and Osaka by Shinkansen. That means if you have one way trip from Tokyo to Osaka or reverse, JR Pass is not worthwhile using. However if you add some trips when you stay in Osaka and Tokyo, you may use JR pass 7 days.

In this post, I add Hakone (trip to Odawara) and Takayama in this sample itinerary. And try to take Shinkansen (bullet train) as much as possible to get the worth of JR pass 7 days.

Day 1 Narita airport to Tokyo

You can take Narita Express to Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku or Ikebukuro. Narita Express runs very frequently. Please see the link below to find the timetable.

JR East official site, Narita Express timetable from Narita airport to Tokyo

Of course you can take any JR trains in downtown Tokyo as well. After you get off Narita Express, you can take JR local trains, such as Yamanote line to get the nearest station to your hotel.

Please remember that subway and other Non JR trains are not covered by JR pass.

In this sample itinerary, Ueno is the place to stay. Ueno is four stations away from Tokyo. You need to take local train on Yamanote line. But average hotel rate is quite reasonable. You can take Tohoku Shinkansen directly. Asakusa is very close. Ueno is a good place to stay.

Day 2 Tokyo

You can use JR pass to visit many places in Tokyo. Please see the link below to find the coverage of JR pass in downtown Tokyo.

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

Some of the places in Tokyo cannot be reached by JR pass, such as Asakusa, Odaiba. You may need to add single fare or Tokyo Subway Ticket. If you need to take subway four times or more, think about using Tokyo Subway Ticket. You may find the information about Tokyo Subway Ticket in the link above.

Day 3 Day trip to Hakone from Tokyo

Highest mountain, Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi, Hakone ©Odakyu Electric Railway/©JNTO

Odakyu Railway is the primary way to get Hakone. This railway connects Shinjuku and Hakone-Yumoto directly. But if you stay in east side of downtown Tokyo, such as Ueno, Akihabara, Tokyo, Ginza, Shinagawa, you have to take local train to get Shinjuku.

Meanwhile you can catch Tokaido Shinkansen at Tokyo or Shinagawa. You cannot get Hakone-Yumoto but you can get Odawara that is the gateway to Hakone. And you have JR pass. Why not take Shinkansen?

But after Odawara, JR pass does not cover any transportation. If you want to see whole part of Hakone, Hakone Free Pass is recommended. It is available from two days. This two days pass at 4,000 yen is a good deal for even one day tour.

Hakone Free Pass official site

The following sample itinerary covers most of popular sites in Hakone, such as Open Air Museum, Owakudani, Gotemba, Lake Ashi Cruise.

Sample itinerary
Ueno (10 minutes ride on Yamanote line or other local train) Tokyo
Train runs very very frequently. But in morning peak hour, train is very busy. If you want to avoid the peak hour, start your trip after 9:00 am.

Tokyo 06:56 (Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama 633) 07:36 Odawara
You need to change trains and purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara. If you have 30 minutes there, you do not need to rush.
*Hakone Free Pass 2 days at 4,000 yen is extra.

Odawara 08:06 (Odakyu railway local train) 08:21 Hakone-Yumoto 08:24 (Hakone Tozan Railway) 08:58 Chokokunomori
3 minutes in Hakone-Yumoto is enough to change trains. It is same platform. You can change trains in even 30 seconds.
One hour for visiting Open Air Museum near Chokokunomori station. Museum opens at 09:00 am.

Chokokunomori 10:13 (Hakone Tozan Railway) 10:16 Gora 10:27 (Hakone Tozan Bus) 11:37 Gotemba Premium Outlet
You will have 2 hours for shopping and lunch at Gotemba Premium Outlet. If you want to stay more in outlet, cut Open Air Museum or later sightseeing.

Gotemba Premium Outlet 14:00 (Hakone Tozan Bus) 14:22 Sengoku 14:35 (Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus) 14:48 Togendai (16 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) Owakudani
Enjoy walking in Owakudani

Owakudani 15:30-40 (16 minutes by Hakone Ropeway) 16:00 Togendai 16:20 (Hakone Sightseeing Cruise) 17:00
You can enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji on Lake Ashi.

Hakone-machi 17:38 (Hakone Tozan Bus) 18:00 Hakone-Yumoto 18:11 (Odakyu railway local train) 18:25 Odawara 18:42 (Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama 668) 19:17 Tokyo (10 minutes local train ride) Ueno
You do not need to go back to Tokyo quickly. The last Shinkansen train from Odawara to Tokyo is 22:42. You may enjoy onsen bath at Hakone-Yumoto. There are some day use Onsen bath near Hakone-Yumoto station.

You may find the timetable at the links below:
Shinkansen westbound (from Tokyo)
Shinkansen eastbound (to Tokyo)
Hyperdia (to check the timetable for Hakone Tozan Railway and Odakyu Railway)
Hakone Tozan Bus

Day 4 Tokyo to Takayama and day trip to Shirakawago

Gasshozukuri housing is the landmark of Shirakawago. (C) Akira Okada/ (C) JNTO

You can take Hokuriku Shinkansen to get Toyama and take limited express Wide View Hida from Toyama to Takayama. Most of Wide View Hida run between Nagoya and Takayama only. But there are a few trips running between Nagoya and Toyama. So you can get Takayama from Tokyo via Nagoya. But if you can catch Wide Veiw Hida at Toyama. Tokyo-Toyama-Takayama route is faster. I would like to show you sample itinerary by this route.

Sample itinerary
Ueno 07:26 (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 503) 09:31 Toyama 09:52 (Limited Wide View Hida 8) 11:23 Takayama
Leave your luggage at your hotel in Takayama. Hotel can hold your luggage even before check in. After that, have lunch in Takayama and take Nohi bus to Shirakawago.

Takayama 12:50 (Nohi bus) 13:40 Shirakawago 16:15 (Nohi bus) 17:20 Takayama
*Nohi bus is not covered by JR pass. Round trip fare at 4,420 yen is extra. Reservation is strongly recommended for taking Nohi bus. Reservation information and timetable can be found in Nohi Bus official site in the link below:
Nohi Bus official site

Day 5 Takayama to Osaka

Preserved path in Takayama. It is very popular tourist district in Takayama.

You can take limtied express Wide View Hida from Takayama to Nagoya, and Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari from Nagoya to Shin-Osaka. There is one trip of Wide View Hida running from Takayama to Osaka directly. But this train departs from Takayama at 15:36 and arrive at Osaka at 19:51. I think this is too late to arrive in Osaka. My sample schedule is the following:

Sample itinerary
Takayama 12:33 (Limited Wide View Hida 10) 15:02 Nagoya 15:11 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 473) 16:03 Shin-Osaka

You can stay anywhere in Osaka. But Shin-Osaka is recommended. It is Shinkansen station. It is very accessible to Umeda, Namba, Kyoto and Kansai airport. You can get these places directly. And hotel rate is more affordable than downtown core, such as Umeda and Namba.

If you arrive in Shin-Osaka around 16:00, you still have some time to shop and eat in Osaka. Trains in Osaka run until midnight. If you take a flight in the morning on day 7, this is only chance to see Osaka.

Day 6 Day trip to Kyoto from Osaka

Torii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto
Torii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

You can take JR trains to Kyoto. Please see JR train network in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe in the link below:

How to transfer among Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Wakayama. Compare Japan Railway and private railways.

You can visit Arashiyama, Nijo, Fushimi Inari shrine and Uji by JR pass. But you need to pay extra fare or buy day pass to get other places, such as Gion by bus and subway. Please see the links below to find the detailed information in the following links:

Guide to take trains in Kyoto. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?
How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Kyoto

I show you one day sample itinerary to Kyoto from Osaka. That includes Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizu-dera and Gion.

Sample itinerary
Shin-Osaka 08:16 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 512) 08:31 Kyoto
You can take ordinary train, such as Special Rapid. Most of travelers do not take Shinkansen for Shin-Osaka to Kyoto because it is a short ride and very expensive. But you have JR pass and it covers Shinkansen trips as many as you want. Shinkansen is 15 minutes faster than Special Rapid train.

Kyoto 08:48 (local train) 09:03 Sagaarashiyama
Change the trains at Kyoto station to Arashiyama.

Kyoto station guide. How to transfer among Shinkansen, Kintetsu, Subway and JR local trains.

Sagaarashiyama station is located in Arashiyama. It is not located in the center of Arashiyama but you can walk to most of places in Arashiyama. You have 4 hours for sightseeing and lunch in Arahsiyama.

Sagaarashiyama 13:08 (local) 13:24 Kyoto 13:37 (local) 13:42 Inari
After Arashiyama, proceed to Fushimi Inari shrine. 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.
In my estimation, you stay in Kiyomizu-dera about 1 hour (15:45 to 16:45) and spend 2 hours from Kiyomizu-dera to Gion. If you want to visit more temples from Kiyomizu-dera to Gion, I recommend you to shorten the time in Arashiyama. Some of temples are closed by 17:00. You should leave Arashiyama by 12:00 and make one extra hour after Kiyomizu-dera.

Gion (city bus 15 to 20 minutes ride / 230 yen extra) Kyoto 19:13 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 521) 19:26 Shin-Osaka

You can take later train from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka. You can enjoy the dinner in Gion or Kyoto station before going back to Shin-Osaka. You can catch Shinkansen even around 23:00. Even if you miss Shinkansen, you sill can take local or rapid train. These commute trains run until midnight.

Day 7 Osaka to Kansai airport

Limited Express Haruka connects Shin-Osaka and Kansai Airport directly.

Cost break down

Ueno – Odawara round trip by Shinkansen – 3,740 yen x 2 = 7,480 yen
Ueno – Takayama via Toyama one way trip by Shinkansen and Limited Express Wide View Hida – 15,620 yen
Takayama – Shin-Osaka via Nagoya one way trip by Shinkansen and Limited Express Wide View Hida – 10,600 yen
Shin-Osaka – Sagaarashiyama one way trip base fare – 970 yen
Sagaarashiyama – Fushimi one way trip by local train – 240 yen
Kyoto – Shin-Osaka one way trip base fare – 560 yen
Shinkansen seat fee for Shin-Osaka to Kyoto round trip – 4,500 yen

Total 39,970 yen

JR Pass 7 days is 29,100 yen. You can save around 10,000 yen. Even if you do not take Shinkansen between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka, you still can save about 5,000 yen. But actually you can save more. Some of you may notice that I do not include the fare for Narita airpot to Tokyo and Osaka to Kansai airport, and also you may take local train in Osaka and Tokyo. Train trips in Osaka and Tokyo can be made at very reasonable fare. It is not a big issue. But train trips for Narita to Tokyo and Osaka to Kansai are not cheap. I will explain why I did not include it in the next chapter

If you want to make the trip be longer

As long as you make the trips in the chapter of “Cost break down” above, JR pass 7 days works. That means you still can use JR pass even if you cannot make trip for Narita to Tokyo and/or Osaka to Kansai in 7 days period. If you can include these trips in 7 days period, you can save more. The fare for these airport access trips are the following:

Narita airport – Tokyo one way trip by Narita Express – 3,020 yen
Shin Osaka – Kansai airport one way trip by Haruka – 2,850 yen(*1)
*1 – This is regular fare. Haruka discount ticket is available at 1,300 yen but this deal covers only non reserved seat. JR pass covers reserved seat fee too.

The cost is about 6,000 yen. If you include both trips in 7 days, JR pass is a huge deal. Even if you include one of those trips, you can save more!

If you want to have more time in Tokyo, Osaka or other places, extend your stay in Japan. As long as you use JR pass for Hakone, Tokyo-Takayama-Osaka and Osaka-Kyoto round trip, 7 days pass will work and offers you a big saving.

138 thoughts on “Sample itinerary Tokyo to Osaka plus Hakone, Takayama, Shirakawago and Kyoto in 7 days by Japan Rail Pass”

  1. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’m travelling solo / a friend, for 12 days on Nov 2019.
    We would like to seek your opinion on our route:

    PLAN 1
    1-Nov – Arrive at Kansai Airport 5pm [stay Shinsaibashi / shin-osaka]
    2-Nov –Osaka [stay Shinsaibashi / shin-osaka]
    3-Nov –Osaka > Kyoto [stay downtown Kyoto]
    4-Nov – Kyoto [stay downtown Kyoto]
    5-Nov – Kyoto > Takayama [stay Takayama]
    6-Nov – Takayama > Shirakawa-go [stay Takayama]
    7-Nov – Takayama > Tokyo [stay Akakusa]
    8-Nov – Tokyo day trip to Hakone [stay Akakusa]
    9-Nov – Tokyo day trip to Enoshima [stay Akakusa]
    10-Nov – Tokyo [stay Akakusa]
    11-Nov – Tokyo [stay Akakusa]
    12-Nov – Tokyo [stay Akakusa]
    13-Nov – Tokyo > Narita Aiport

    PLAN 2
    1-Nov – Arrive at Kansai Airport 5pm [stay Shinsaibashi / shin-osaka]
    2-Nov – Osaka [stay Shinsaibashi / shin-osaka]
    3-Nov – Osaka > Kyoto [stay downtown Kyoto]
    4-Nov – Kyoto [stay downtown Kyoto]
    5-Nov – Kyoto > Takayama [stay Takayama]
    6-Nov – Takayama > Shirakawa-go [stay Takayama]
    7-Nov – Takayama > Hakone [stay Hakone]
    8-Nov – Hakone [stay Hakone]
    9-Nov – Hakone > Tokyo [stay Akakusa]
    10-Nov – Tokyo day trip to Enoshima [stay Akakusa]
    11-Nov – Tokyo [stay Akakusa]
    12-Nov – Tokyo [stay Akakusa]
    13-Nov – Tokyo > Narita Aiport

    1. day trip to Hakone enough to cover all the attractions ? Owaku-dani Valley, lake ashi, Hakone shrine, premium outlet, and any suggestions ?
    2. should I stay at Toyoma instead of Takayama ? Easy to move to next stop ?
    3. Are these plans good for 7 days JR pass ?
    4. I wanted to stay at Hakone after Takayama/ Toyama, but unsure the transport and if it’s convenience. Any advises ? As plan 2

    1. Hi Venus san,

      1,4. First of all, Hakone had the record breaking rainfalls by the typhoon a few days ago. You have to keep watching the status. At this point, many bus lines, trains, ropeways and Lake Ashi cruise are suspended. If everything will be fixed, you can visit Hakone as day trip. But honestly, I don’t think so. Please find the info in the link below:
      http://www.hakonenavi-m.jp/pc/search/service-info/search030.php?lang=en&fbclid=IwAR0eeq9alnw5pcGcyjPFevbD1TO6eQzhxiMRavpVynWdVpBJ0egYgNOmabs

      If you stay in Hakone, you can access from Odawara. Please find some more info in the link below:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/how-to-build-the-trip-plan-to-hakone-various-sample-itineraries-of-hakone.html

      I think it’s very easy to book a hotel in Hakone now. Many travelers canceled the trip to Hakone. Anyway, please keep watching the status. I will update the info in the link below:
      Train operation status https://jprail.com/train-operation-status
      Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BlueWorks.JPRail/
      Twitter https://twitter.com/jprailcom

      2. Takayama is okay. And don’t stop by Toyama on the way to Tokyo. Toyama-Tokyo direct route is suspended now. Tokyo, Hakone and Nagano area got the terrible damage by the typhoon. It was one of the biggest one in the history.

      3. You may use JR pass 7-day if you visit Hakone as day trip from Tokyo. The total fare of Osaka-Kyoto, Kyoto-Takayama, Takayama-Tokyo is slightly less than the price of 7-day pass. It may be hard to make a decision whether visiting Hakone or not.

      If you use JR pass 7-day, you can use it for day 3 to 9. You may add other deal before/after using JR pass. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-access-from-kansai-airport-to-downtown-osaka-kyoto-and-kobe.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/destinations/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-best-deal-and-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html
      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

  2. Dear Takeshi san,

    I have read your blog, and it really helps me a lot with the information you shared on your blog. Very detail and written so well. I plan to visit Japan on this coming December and I would like you to check whether the pass that I use already suite me well, or is there any better suggestion?
    Below is my itinerary which I divided into 3 option. Which one is better option for me? Do you think it is worth if I use JR pass for my trip? Thank you very much for your help Takeshi, it means a lot to me. Cheers.

    Option 1 :

    29 DEC. arrival Osaka ( 22.00 local time )
    30 DEC. osaka
    31 DEC. osaka
    1 DEC. osaka – kyoto
    2 DEC. kyoto – nara – kyoto
    3 DEC. kyoto – takayama (start using JR PASS )
    4 DEC. takayama – shirakawago – takayama – nagoya
    5 DEC. nagoya – tokyo
    6 DEC. tokyo
    7 DEC. tokyo – mount fuji – tokyo
    8 DEC. tokyo
    9 DEC. tokyo departure

    If I choose option 1, is it better if I use Kintetsu 5 day rail pass from 30DEC – 1DEC and then continue with JR pass, or i just use 3 days Kansai Thru Pass and then continue with JR pass?

    Option 2 :

    29 DEC. arrival Osaka ( 22.00 local time )
    30 DEC. osaka ( Amazing Osaka Pass )
    31 DEC. osaka ( Amazing Osaka Pass )
    1 DEC. osaka – takayama (start using JR PASS)
    2 DEC. takayama – shirakawago – takayama – nagoya
    3 DEC. nagoya – kyoto
    4 DEC. kyoto – nara – kyoto
    5 DEC. kyoto – tokyo
    6 DEC. tokyo
    7 DEC. tokyo – mount fuji – tokyo
    8 DEC. tokyo ( PASSMO )
    9 DEC. tokyo departure ( PASSMO )

    Option 3 :

    29 DEC. arrival Osaka ( 22.00 local time )
    30 DEC. osaka ( Amazing Osaka Pass )
    31 DEC. osaka ( Amazing Osaka Pass )
    1 DEC. osaka – nagoya (start using JR PASS)
    2 DEC. nagoya – shirakawago – takayama
    3 DEC. takayama – kyoto
    4 DEC. kyoto – nara – kyoto
    5 DEC. kyoto – tokyo
    6 DEC. tokyo
    7 DEC. tokyo – mount fuji – tokyo
    8 DEC. tokyo ( PASSMO )
    9 DEC. tokyo departure ( PASSMO )

    PS : I know my itinerary would be very hectic if I visit Nagoya, but i really want to see Nabana No Sato and I don’t want to miss it 🙂

    1. Hi Linda san,

      Option 1 is the best because you can use your times most efficiently. If you go to Takayama before Kyoto, you will go by Kyoto on the way to Takayama from Osaka. And you will go by Nagoya when you go back to Kyoto from Takayama in option 2. You will waste your time by option 2 and 3.

      You may use JR pass 7-day. But if you leave from Haneda in Tokyo on Dec 9, you should start using JR pass on Dec 2 (you meant Jan 2?) when you go to Nara. Because the round trip fare to Nara is more than one way fare to Haneda. But if you leave from Narita in Tokyo, you can start using JR pass when you leave Kyoto for Takayama. One way fare to Narita is more than the round trip fare to Nara.

      You don’t need either Kintetsu rail pass 5-day and Kansai thru pass 3-day. You cannot get the worth of either one. In Osaka, as you mentioned in the other options, Osaka amazing pass is the best option. For Osaka to Kyoto and Kyoto to Nara to Kyoto, the regular fare ticket is okay. You may use Kansai one pass instead of using the regular fare ticket:
      https://kansaionepass.com/en/about.html?info=1

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi san,

        Sorry for the confusion, I mean I will travel from 29Dec – 9Jan and leave Tokyo from Narita airport.
        Just to make sure if I choose option 1, then I will be using my JR PASS on 3 January?
        and I just want to make sure if JR PASS holder can reserve any seat on shinkansen free of charge? Because there are seat fare and based fare on Hyperdia.

        Some of my itinerary were made based on your trip report, and I am very excited to experience it in person. Thank you so much Takeshi. You Rock !!! Cheers 🙂

        1. Hi Linda san,

          Yes. You can start using JR pass on Jan 3 when you leave Kyoto for Takayama.

          Both the base fare and the seat fee on the Shinkansen is covered. But you cannot take Nozomi which is the fastest train on the Shinkansen line. You have to take Hikari or Kodama. Please see the link below:
          https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-departure-arrival-stations/stations-in-tokai/nagoya-toyohashi/what-is-shinkansen-bullet-train.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi San,

    I’m planning to visit Takayama & shirakawa-go from Tokyo. Can you advise what is the best way to get there from Tokyo please?

    Option 1:
    Take Hokuriku Shinkansen to get Toyama and take limited express Wide View Hida from Toyama to Takayama. Stay overnight at Takayama and take Nohi bus to visit Shirakawa-go the next day.

    Option 2:
    Get to Takayama from Tokyo via Nagoya. Stay overnight at Takayama and take Nohi bus to visit Shirakawa-go the next day.

    I saw in this post that most people choose to travel to Takayama via Kanazawa too. Is this a better option? If so, would you recommend staying at Kanazawa instead?

    I will be purchasing a 7 days JR Pass. Thanks for your advice.

    Rgds
    Agnes

    1. Hi Agnes san,

      Actually either way is good. Both route offers a beautiful scenery. Train runs more frequently from Nagoya. There are only 3 express trains from Toyama. So just check the timetable by hyperdia and use more convenient route for you.

      If you have enough time, you may add Kanazawa. It is very attractive city.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi Takeshi-san,
    I will be travelling to Tokyo on 7.7.19 and out via Osaka 15.7.19.
    Below is my planned itinerary:
    Day 1- Tokyo
    Day 2- Tokyo
    Day 3- Tokyo
    Day 4- Tokyo to shirakawago early morning, overnight there in minshuku
    Day 5- check out minshuku early morning to catch the earliest bus to takayama for the morning market there and walk around till late afternoon then take the train to Kyoto
    Day 6- Kyoto
    Day 7- Kyoto
    Day 8- go to Osaka at noon time
    Day 9- fly out of Osaka late evening

    May I know if my plan is feasible and would a JR pass pay off for the trip? Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Yong san,

      It depends on how much you can use JR pass in Tokyo. If you arrive in Narita and use JR pass to take Narita Express, it will be very close to the value of JR pass 7-day. But even if you use it and make lots of train trips in Tokyo, the total cost for the first 7 days will be almost same as JR pass 7-day. If you don’t take Narita Express, you cannot get the worth of it.

      It is hard to get the big saving by your trip plan.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Thanks for your reply and the links provided.
    We already book the accommodations and purchased 7 days JR pass, we will depart to Japan in 10 days time 🙂

    Below are details:
    18 jan – Arrive in Haneda Airport 10:30pm > Tokyo [stay Akakusa]
    19 jan – Tokyo [stay Akakusa]
    20 jan – Tokyo [stay Akakusa]
    21 jan – Tokyo day trip to Hakone [stay Akakusa]
    22 jan – Tokyo > Kanazawa [stay Kanazawa]
    23 jan – Kanazawa > Shirakawa-go > Takayama [stay Takayama]
    24 jan – Takayama [stay Takayama]
    25 jan – Takayama > Kyoto [stay Arashiyama]
    26 jan – Kyoto [stay Arashiyama]
    27 jan – Kyoto [stay Arashiyama]
    28 jan – Kyoto > Osaka [stay Shinsaibashi]
    29 jan – Osaka > Kansai Airport

    However, we are little confused about the public transportation within the cities especially in Tokyo, Kyoto & Osaka.
    We would like to seek your advice whether we make the right decision on the transportation passes in these cities:

    1- Once we arrived in Haneda airport. Should we purchase
    [Tokyo Subway 72-hour Ticket + Keikyu Line One-Way Ticket] OR
    [Tokyo Subway 48-hour Ticket + Keikyu Line One-Way Ticket] ?

    2- For the day trip to Hakone, we will purchase Hakone Free Pass once we arrive at Odawara.

    3- Upon arrive in Kanazawa Station, we will purchase Hokutetsu Bus 1 day pass
    & Nohi Bus to travel from Kanazawa to Takayama via Shirakawago on the next day.
    Understand that reservation needed for Nohi Bus. Are we suppose to purchase Nohi Bus ticket and also make seat reservation on the spot at Kanazawa Station ?

    4- Upon arrive in Kyoto & Osaka, there are various transportation passes from the link and we are confuse in these section.
    We will stay in nearby Arashiyama for 3 days, follow by last 2 days spend in Osaka, before proceed to KIX.

    Is it advisable to purchase:
    i) Kyoto Sightseeing 2 Days Pass
    ii) Another Kyoto Sightseeing 1 Days Pass for remaining one day in Kyoto?
    iii) Kansai Thru Pass for last 2 days in Osaka

    Or is there any option which best suit for our itinerary from 25-29 Jan, which include a trip from Osaka to KIX.

    Thank you in advance 🙂

    1. Hi Zi Lun san,

      1. 48 hours is okay because you will be there very late evening. But if you make some more trips by subway after/before Hakone, you can go for 72 hours. At this point, you need to take subway to between Ueno and Asakusa. You can start using JR pass after Ueno.

      2. That’s a good choice. You can start using JR pass on this day.

      3. Advanced reservation for Nohi bus is highly recommended. You may not be able to make it if you try to book it after arrival in Kanazawa.

      4. In Kyoto, you still have JR Pass. Please see the link below how you can use JR pass in Kyoto.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      I think most of places are covered by JR pass and Kyoto city bus pass. Kyoto sightseeing pass may be too much. Please make sure where you go.

      You may add a regular fare to get Osaka and use subway pass or amazing pass in Osaka. Kansai thru pass is too much.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      There are several deals available for Osaka to KIX.
      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 your prompt reply.

        In reply to your advice in number 3, we already reserved/purchased bus ticket from Kanazawa to Shirakawago from “Japan Bus Online” website.
        However, we couldn’t find any deal from Shirakawago to Takayama on the same website. We are little confuse, would like to make sure is that mean that advance booking is not required from Shirakawago to Takayama ?

        Attached with “Japan Bus Online” link where we couldn’t find any deal from Shirakawago to Takayama:
        https://japanbusonline.com/en/CourseSearch/11900040002

        Thanks & Regards,
        Zi Lun

        1. Hi Zi Lun san,

          Japan bus online does not seem to cover all bus services. Some of the bus between Takayama and Shirakawago requires reservation and other one does not. If you really want to secure your seat, you can book over the phone. Otherwise take a bus which does not require reservation. You can find which one does not require it in the link below:
          https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/highwaybus/shirakawago.pdf

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Hi Takeshi-san,

            We have completed the trip to Japan and back to our hometown. Everything went smooth as planned and I want to thank you for the advice given above. The guidelines and tips are indeed helpful especially travelling in different cities (Tokyo, Hakone, Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama, Kyoto & Osaka) within 11 days.

            We enjoyed Japan a lot and we will miss the cold weather and snow there. Thanks again for your help. We wish you all the best 🙂

            Regards,
            Zi Lun

  6. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Your informative website is my reference to make our itinerary in Japan.
    I’m travelling with family, 4 persons for 11 days on January 2019.
    We would like to seek your opinion on our route:

    18 jan (day 1) – Arrive in Haneda Airport 10:30pm > Tokyo [stay Tokyo]
    19 jan (day 2) – Tokyo [stay Tokyo]
    20 jan (day 3) – Tokyo [stay Tokyo]
    21 jan (day 4) – Tokyo day trip to Hakone [Stay Tokyo]
    22 jan (day 5) – Tokyo > Kanazawa [stay Kanazawa]
    23 jan (day 6) – Kanazawa > Shirakawa-go > Takayama [stay Takayama]
    24 jan (day 7) – Takayama [stay Takamaya]
    25 jan (day 8) – Takayama > Kyoto [stay Kyoto]
    26 jan (day 9) – Kyoto [stay Kyoto]
    27 jan (day 10) – Kyoto [stay Kyoto]
    28 jan (day 11) – Kyoto > Osaka [stay Osaka]
    29 jan (day 12) – Osaka > Kansai Airport

    Couple of questions:
    1- Is the itinerary too rush to visit all the places in 12 days ?
    2- Is it advisable to purchase 7-days railway pass for this itinerary. If yes, JR Pass or Hokuriku Arch Pass more suitable ?
    3- If we purchase 7-days railway pass, which day we should activate to get the worth of it ?
    4- Day 8 to Day 11, do you think we should stay only one place, rather than split to stay in Kyoto then Osaka.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Zi Lun san,

      1. It’s feasible and looks good.

      2. Hokuriku arch pass does not work because Takayama is outside the coverage area. JR Pass may be your choice. But you must use JR Pass for trip to Hakone partially. JR Pass does not cover Hakone but you can take Shinkansen to get Odawara. This round trip Shinkansen trip is required to get the worth of it. Please see the link below to find more info about trip to Hakone.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/how-to-build-the-trip-plan-to-hakone-various-sample-itineraries-of-hakone.html

      3. You may start using it on day 4, trip to Hakone. You can use other deal for day 1 to 3.
      https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/airport_bus/index.html

      EVen if you use JR pass, you should add bus pass in Kyoto because JR Pass covers only JR trains.
      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/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      4. It’s totally up to you. If you want to minimize to move with luggage, you can stay only Kyoto or Osaka. If you want two different atmosphere, you may stay both.

      If you stay in Osaka at the end, please see the link below to find the deal:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      If you stay in Kyoto only, you may take a limousine bus to get KIX.
      http://www.kate.co.jp/en/timetable/detail/KY

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. can you recommend me from ueno to shirakawa-go? using which shinkansen and which train or bus?
    actually was planning
    ueno to toyama/kanazawa to shirakawa-go then back to takayama to stay, next day walk around takayama and back to tokyo
    please advise
    thank you

    1. Hi Danny,

      You can take Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa, Nohi bus to Shirakawago and Takayama, and then Wide View Hida and Shinkansen to Tokyo via Nagoya. Please see the link below to find more info:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-access-to-takayama-by-trains-and-buses.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-get-shirakawa-go-%E7%99%BD%E5%B7%9D%E9%83%B7.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. i’ve already planning to go shirakawa-go on 10th dec to 11th dec back to tokyo..
            is 10th dec a holiday or peak season for shirakawa-go?

            my trip is 5th to 13th dec..

            1. Hi Danny,

              It’s not a peak season but Shirakawago is always busy in these days. You can find online booking site and phone number in the link that I gave you in previous reply. Please try to book in advance.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JPRail.com

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