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. Good evening Takeshi-san,

    My name is Jeannie from Singapore.

    I’m planning for a trip to Japan for 13 days from either 12 November to 24 November or from 19 November to 1 December.

    My plan is to travel to the following places:-

    (1) Osaka – 2D1N (been there) free & easy, eat & relax *-*
    (2) Kyoto – 3D2N (i) Eikando temple, (ii) Arashiyama, (iii) Nanzenji & (iv) Rurikoin.
    (3) Mount Fuji – intend to stay for 3D2N.
    (4) Gifu – intend to stay for 3D2N.
    (5) Tokyo – 2D1N (i) Meiji jingu gaien park, (ii) Rikugi garden & (iii) Showa Memorial park (hope to visit all 3 places, if possible).

    May i have your advice on our queries below:-

    (1) Should we travel from Osaka or from Tokyo?
    (2) Is it advisable to buy JR pass?
    (3) Any comments on our planned schedule above – your honest comments are most welcome ^-^

    1. Hi Jeannie san,

      1. It doesn’t matter. You can do from either Osaka or Tokyo.

      2. If you arrive and depart at same airport, JR pass is your choice but if you travel one way only from Tokyo to Osaka (or Osaka to Tokyo), JR pass may not be your choice. JR Pass 7 days price is almost same as Tokyo – Osaka round trip fare by Shinkansen. It’s hard to get the worth of it by one way trip.

      3. If you start from Osaka, you should visit Gifu before visiting Fuji. Gifu is closer to Osaka than Fuji. It looks good at other part of your trip.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi-san,

        Thank you for your prompt reply. We are cracking our brains to decide…

        Your advice is kindly appreciated.

        Have a good night rest.

          1. Ohayo gozaimasu, Takeshi-san!

            Finally, we booked our flight to Tokyo on 12th November and will return from Tokyo on 24th November (13 days in Japan).

            We discussed last night and decided to make changes to our itinerary to avoid rushing.

            May I kindly trouble you to have a look at our amended schedule below and provide us your valuable advice pls?

            We decided to visit:-

            (1) Tokyo
            (2) Mount Fuji
            (3) Gifu
            (4) Kyoto

            NOTE : From Kyoto we shall return to Tokyo for our flights coz the return flight from Osaka is much more expensive compared to return flight from Tokyo.

            We shall give Osaka a miss this time. Actually, we went to Japan last year from 4th to 14th April and we stayed 4D3N in Osaka. From there, we traveled to Nara, Kobe & Kyoto. It was awesome!

            We have not decided how many days to spend in each place. We prefer to have the flexibility and freedom in each place to catch autumn leaves and enjoy the place at a relaxed pace, especially at Mount Fuji. We would like to spend up to 4D3N there.

            Need your advice on:-

            (1) Based on our amended schedule, should we still purchase JR pass (say for one week after leaving Mount Fuji).

            (2) Should we travel from Tokyo to Mount Fuji first or from Tokyo to Gifu first?

            I’m sorry for many questions, Takeshi-san. It is not urgent, you do not have to reply immediately.

            Should you need advice about Singapore, I’ll be happy to share with you L-A-H! (L-A-H is Singlish -unique language in Singapore!)

            1. Hi Jeannie san,

              1. JR pass 7 days is still the best choice.

              2. Actually either one is okay. If you go to Fuji first, as you mention, you start using JR pass for Fuji-Gifu-Kyoto-Tokyo. If you visit Gifu first, you will use JR pass for Tokyo-Gifu-Kyoto-Fuji. As long as you use JR pass 7 days for one of these plans, it works.

              If I were you, I do Tokyo-Fuji-Gifu-Kyoto-Tokyo. Because fall foliage season in Kyoto is later than Fuji and Gifu. In the last couple of years, Kyoto has nice fall color leaves in late November. It’s mother nature. It may be earlier than last season.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JPRail.com

              1. Dear Takeshi-san,

                Thank you so much.

                Your advice is awesome. We like your suggestion and will follow it ^-^

                With our flights booked, we are now deciding the no. of days in each place and we shall then book our hotels.

                Have a pleasant evening.

                P.S. if you’re heading to Singapore, pls feel free to ask me about the local stuff instead of getting the info from guide books *-*

                  1. Konnichiwa, Takeshi-san!

                    Hope your week has been smooth sailing. I’m writing to you today as I’m off work. You do not need to reply me today as it is Sunday.

                    Would like to seek your thoughts as to when is the best day/date for me to purchase JR pass based on my schedule below:-

                    12 Nov – Arrive Narita airport, take Keisei bus to Kawaguchiko bus station.
                    13 Nov – Kawaguchiko
                    14 Nov – Kawaguchiko
                    15 Nov – Depart Kawaguchiko to Takayama by Fujikyu bus for 1 night stay.
                    16 Nov – Depart Takayama for Shirakawago by Fujikyu bus for 2 nights stay.
                    17 Nov – Shirakawago
                    18 Nov – Depart Shirakwago for Kyoto for 3 nights stay. Have not decided what transport??
                    19 Nov – Kyoto
                    20 Nov – Kyoto
                    21 Nov – Depart Kyoto for Tokyo.
                    22 Nov – Tokyo
                    23 Nov – Tokyo
                    24 Nov – Leave for morning flight, home sweet home ^-^

                    Below are my questions:-
                    (1) Based on the above schedule, we should buy 7 day JR pass from 18 Nov – correct?
                    (2) Places to visit in Kyoto are (i) Eikando Temple (ii) Rurikoin (iii) Arashiyama (iv) Nanzenji & (iv) Fushimi Inari Shrine.
                    (3) Places to visit in Tokyo are (i) Meiji-jingu Gaien Park, (ii) Rikugi Garden & (iii) Showa Memorial Park.
                    (4) Do you think it is worthwhile to buy JR pass? I mean, can I use JR pass to visit the places mentioned in (2) & (3) above?

                    We are not in hurry for the reply as we are working on the hotels now.

                    We shall purchase JR pass next month (October).

                    Thank you in advance for your teaching, Takeshi-san.

                    1. Hi Jeannie san,

                      First of all, the shortest route from Shirakawago to Kyoto is taking bus to Kanazawa and taking limited express Thunderbird to Kyoto.
                      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

                      1. If you use JR Pass for the last 7 days of your trip, total fares may be slightly cheaper than JR Pass 7 days price. In rough estimation, it cost around 25,000 to 26,000 yen for Kanazawa-Kyoto, Kyoto-Tokyo, and Tokyo-Narita. You will use JR Pass partially in Kyoto and Tokyo. But you will add about 1000 to 2000 yen worth. Local train rides do not give you a big help to get the worth.

                      2. You can get Arashiyama and Fushimi by JR Pass. Please see the link below:
                      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

                      You may add Kyoto city bus pass at 600 yen for one day. It gives you city bus unlimited ride.
                      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

                      3. You may get all places by JR pass.

                      4. As I mentioned, if you use a regular ticket, it may be slightly cheaper than JR Pass. But if you want flexibility, you may use JR Pass. And you may have another trip to outside Tokyo or Kyoto, such as trip to Nara from Kyoto, trip to Kamakura from Tokyo. JR pass will be a good option.

                      Cheers,

                      Takeshi / JPRail.com

                    2. Ohayo gozaimasu, Takeshi-san!

                      It’s Monday! May you have a smooth sailing week.

                      You’re such an angel for us! I’m very grateful for detailed information. Without your advice, I’m likely ending like a headless chicken with little clues the best way to move around.

                      I shall go through your suggestion and consider carefully on the purhcase of JR pass.

                      Thank you so much, Takeshi-san!

                    3. Ohisashiburidesu, Takeshi-san!
                      How have you been? Trust all is going well at your end.
                      I’m counting down for my trip to your beautiful country.
                      So far, I’ve already reserved the buses from Narita to Kawaguchiko, Kawaguchi to Takayama and Takayama to Shirakawago. Thank you for your past guidance:)

                      Can you help me with one more question about JR pass pls?

                      I’ll arrive Narita airport on 12th November morning. The JR pass will be used from 18th November from Kanazawa to Kyoto via Thunderbird till my last day of stay on 24th November from Tokyo to Narita airport.

                      My question is:-
                      Do I collect JR pass when I arrive at Narita airport on 12th November? If not, can I collect at Kanazawa? Is collection of JR pass avaialble at any JR railway station?

                      Pls teach me.

                      Thank you for your help always.

                      Sincerely yours,
                      Jeannie

                    4. Dear Takeshi-san,

                      Appreciate your prompt reply and thank you for sharing the link on the exchange office list.
                      It is very useful for me 🙂

                      Since we are arriving @ 10.35am and the bus departs @ 1.35pm to Kawaguchiko, we have enough time to exchange. I’ll follow your advice to exchange it at Narita airport.

                      Thank you & have a pleasant evening.

                      Best regards,
                      Jeannie

                    5. Ohayo gozaimasu, Takeshi-san!

                      Thank you very much indeed for your valuable advice before our travel to Japan. We had a fantastic time over the past two weeks. Autumn in Japan is awesome!

                      Our commute would not have been this smooth without you. Truly appreciate your efforts and time to foreigners like us.

                      Kind regards,
                      Jeannie

                    6. Dear Takeshi-san,

                      We are planning to return to Kawaguchiko for a longer stay in Spring ^-^

                      Will touch base again.

                      Till then, continue bringing joy and sweet memories to travellers to Japan 🙂

                      If you’re coming to Singapore, I’ll be most happy to share any informative as a native with you.

                      Kind regards,
                      Jeannie

  2. Hi, can I have some comments whether the below itinerary works?

    Day 1, reach Tokyo in the morning, stay Tokyo (any Tokyo pass to buy?)
    Day 2, Roam Tokyo, overnight Tokyo
    Day 3, Start JR 7 day pass to Hakone, get Hakone 2 day pass, Overnight Hakone
    Day 4, Roam Hakone, night train to Kyoto, stay Kyoto
    Day 5, Roam Kyoto (any Kyoto pass to get? )
    Day 6, Kyoto
    Day 7, Osaka (any Osaka pass to get?)
    Day 8, Osaka or Nara ?
    Day 9, overnight at Osaka airport hotel (last day of JR pass)
    Day 10, morning flight to Sapporo
    Day 11-14, Niseko
    Day 15 -17, Sapporo (any pass to buy ?)

    Thanks and best regards !

    1. Hi Leeng Leeng,

      You cannot get the worth of JR pass 7 days by your trip plan. Please refer the link below to find how you manage your trip from day 1 to 9:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7to9-days/sample-itinerary-of-tokyo-hakone-kyoto-and-osaka-classic-route-in-7-days.html

      In Sapporo, you may add subway pass, tram pass. Please see the link below:
      http://www.sapporo.travel/learn/transportation/sapporo/?lang=en

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Can you please let me know if the JR pass is worth it if I do the following?

    Day One: Narita to Tokyo
    Day Four: Tokyo to Hakone
    Day Five: Hakone to Osaka
    Day Six: Osaka to Kyoto
    Day Eight: Kyoto to Kansai

    Thank you!

  4. Hi Takeshi San,

    Thank you for such an informative site.

    We will be visiting Japan in late April and we are looking at following this itinerary but in the reverse order. We will arrive in Osaka and depart from Tokyo. I have a few questions that i hope you can help with.

    Just wondering if the reverse order of this itinerary is possible and is there anything we need to take note of in terms of transport timings? Would you recommend for 2 or 3 nights in Takayama ?

    Thank you.

    Cheers,
    Ken

    1. Hi Ken san,

      You can do it from Osaka. If you stay in Takayama for 2 or 3 nights, you can do. But JR pass 14 days is too expensive and cannot use it. So you need to add other deal or single fare for the first or the last few days.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi San,

        Thanks for your quick reply.
        Here is my tentative itinerary.

        Day 1 [24 April Tue]
        Arrive Osaka (KIX) 12:55pm
        Stay in Osaka 2 nights

        Day 2 [25 April Wed]
        Train: Osaka to Kyoto day trip (JR Pass 1)

        Day 3 [26 April Thu]
        Train: Osaka to Takayama (JR Pass 2)
        Stay in Takayama 3 nights

        Day 4 [27 April Fri]
        Bus: Takayama – Day trip to Shirakawago
        (Niho Bus)

        Day 5 [28 April Sat]
        Takayama

        Day 6 [29 April Sun]
        Train: Takayama to Hakone (JR Pass 5)
        1 night in Hakone

        Day 7 [30 April Mon]
        Train: Hakone to Tokyo (JR Pass 6)
        2 nights in Tokyo

        Day 8 [01 May Tue]
        Tokyo (JR Pass 7)

        Day 9 [02 May Wed]
        Depart Tokyo NRT 10:40am

        I have a few questions with this itinerary that i hope you can help me with.

        1) Is the JR Pass worth it for this?
        2) Do you recommend that we go to Hakone from Takayama or we should head to Tokyo then do day trip to Hakone.

        Thank you.

        Cheers,
        Ken

        1. Hi Ken san,

          1. You may get the worth. But don’t expect to get a big saving. Total fares will be almost same as 7 days pass or single ticket may be cheaper slightly. But JR pass is more convenient and easy to handle.

          2. If you want Onsen experience, you should stay in Hakone. If you want to have easy way, you can make a day trip. I just wrote about Hakone. Please see the link below to find more info:
          https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/how-to-build-the-trip-plan-to-hakone-various-sample-itineraries-of-hakone.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi – San

    We would be traveling to Japan for 10 days in January 2018 and here is our itinerary. We would be travelling in the opposite direction of your sample itinerary.

    Day 1 – Early morning arrival at KIX -> Osaka Castle, Dotonburi, Umeda
    [1st day Kansai Thru Pass, 5220Y)

    Day 2 – Osaka Aquarium or USJ
    [ Kaiyukan Pass, 2550Y]

    Day 3 – OSAKA-> Nara -> Kyoto
    [ 2nd Day Kansai Thru Pass]

    Day 4 – Kyoto
    [ 3rd Day Kansai Thru Pass]

    Day 5 – Kyoto -> Kanazawa -> Shirakawago
    [JR Thunderbird Train, 6500Y ??] [Nohi Bus,1850Y]

    Day 6 – Shirakawago -> Takayama -> Lake Kawaguchi
    [Nohi Bus,1850Y] [ Nohi Bus, 5000Y]

    Day 7 – Lake Kawaguchi -> Mt Fuji -> Tokyo
    [Mt Fuji Buss Day Pass, 1200Y or Fuji Hakone Pass, 8000Y]

    Day 8 -> Tokyo

    Day 9 -> Disney Sea

    Day 10 -> Tokyo Area -> Haneda Airport

    1) Is JR pass worth it in this case, since we will be travelling in 1 direction only and the most expensive part of the trip, 15,2000Y from Kyoto to Shirakawago to Lake Kawaguchi route is not doable by train, please correct me if I am wrong.
    My total up excluding Tokyo has exceed 30970Y, this does make 7 day JR pass seems to be more viable.

    2) Can I further optimise my pass usage between Day 1 to Day 5, if say not going to USJ and Kaiyukan.
    a) Yokoso Pass – KIX to Namba => 1500Y
    b) 2 days Osaka Amazing Pass => 3300Y

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Colin san,

      As you think, JR pass does not work.

      If you don’t use Kansai thru pass on day 1, you cannot get the worth of 3 days pass. 2 days Kansai thru pass is too expensive for day 3 and 4. Yokoso Osaka ticket is a good deal but if you want convenience, just keep 3 days pass for day 1, 3 and 4.

      If you go to Kaiyukan, Osaka Kaiyu ticket is the best deal. If you go to USJ, single ticket is okay. If don’t go both, think about using subway pass or amazing pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi San,

        Thanks for your reply.

        1) Just would like to check on Takayama-Hokuriku Pass, which cost Y14000 for 5 consecutive days. I tried to fit in our itinerary, but can’t seem to get the value out from it. is that correct?

        Day 1 – activate TH for KIX transfer
        Day 2 – TH active but not in use + Kaiyukan Pass
        Day 3- TH (does not cover Nara)
        Day 4 – TH (does not cover Kyoto local travel right)
        Day 5 – TH (Kyoto -> Kanazawa-> Shirakawago -> Takayama all covered by TH)

        2) Kansai Thru Pass

        Kansai Thru Pass covers most of the local travels for Osaka, Nara and Kyoto right?
        The more popular/convenient sightseeing trains/subways in Osaka and Kyoto – Keihan and Hankyu and to and within Nara by Kintetsu Railway.

        Thank you.
        Colin

  6. Hi Takeshi,

    You mentioned at the start of this article that you add Nikko and Himeji at the start and end of the journey. I am very much interested to add those 2 destinations to make the most of JR 7-Day Pass. I can’t seem to find that part of the article though.

    1. Hi Benito,

      Thank you very much for mentioning this. When I made this sample, I supposed to add these two places. But after I made this sample, I exclude these two places because this sample can make the worth of 7 days pass.

      Anyway if you want to add these places on top of this sample, you need two more days. So total duration is 9 days. In this case, you don’t need to use JR pass for airport to Tokyo and sightseeing in Tokyo. You can visit Nikko on day 3 and start using JR pass at this point. On day 8, you can visit Himeji and JR pass covers until day 9 when you leave from Osaka.

      If you have only 7 days, you have to give up some places in the sample itienrary.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi Takeshi san,

    I am planning the itinerary for a family trip of 3 (all adults) to Japan next month. The exact dates are 10-21 Dec. Could you help me see if the following itinerary is feasible?

    Day 1: Arrival at Haneda airport late night, staying at a hotel in city area
    Day 2: Tokyo Disneyland
    Day 3: Tokyo
    Day 4: Tokyo > Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi (Fuji Hakone Pass) > Tokyo
    Day 5: Tokyo > Kanazawa (store luggage at hotel) > Shirakawa-go (day trip by bus, 2 -way) > Kanazawa
    Day 6: Kanazawa > Kyoto, rest of day at Kyoto
    Day 7: Kyoto
    Day 8: Kyoto > Osaka, rest of day at Osaka
    Day 9: Osaka
    Day 10: Osaka > Hiroshima, day trip to Miyajima
    Day 11: Hiroshima > Nara (half-day trip at Nara) > Haneda Airport (flight departs at 12am Day 12)

    1) We plan to start using 7-day JR pass on Day 5. Do you think that’s ok? Day 1-3 transport will rely on local deals like what you recommended on other pages.
    2) For Day 4, we’re using the Fuji Hakone Pass. Will a day trip from Tokyo be enough to cover major attractions at Lake Kawaguchi + Hakone? Or, would you recommend staying for one night there since we’re buying the pass?
    3) For Day 11, do you think it’s impossible to visit Nara?

    Hope to hear your advice. Thanks in advance!

    Cheers,
    Lee

    1. Hi Lee san,

      1) Your choices are right.

      2) You can but it’s very tight. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1-day/fuji-hakone-one-day-trip-sample-itinerary-you-can-visit-both-lake-kawaguchi-and-hakone-by-day-trip-from-tokyo.html

      3) Yes, you can. You can get off Shinkansen at Kyoto and then take a local or rapid train to Nara.
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/subway/how-to-access-to-nara-by-japan-rail-pass-if-you-dont-use-jr-pass-kintetsu-railway-is-more-convenient.html

      You can store your luggage in Kyoto station too.
      https://www.kyotostation.com/kyoto-station-lockers-luggage-storage/

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi san,

        Thanks a lot for your advice!

        The following are some specific places we intend to visit in Osaka and Kyoto.

        Osaka Day 1: Osaka Castle, Shinsaibashisuji Shopping Street, Kuromon-Ichiba Market, Shinsekai, Dotonbori
        Osaka Day 2: Minoo Park, Instant Ramen Museum, Umeda area

        Kyoto Day 1: Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kiyomizu-dera, Nanzen-ji, Heian Jingu, Nishiki Market
        Kyoto Day 2: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kinkaku-ji, Nijo Castle, Gion

        My questions regarding the above are:

        1. Given the Osaka places we listed above, would you recommend getting the 2-Day Osaka Amazing Pass? Or would you recommend getting ICOCA cards and top up as we travel? I have read your Osaka rail guide and understand that Minoo and Instant Ramen Museum are quite a distance away from Umeda. And also, JR Pass can’t be used in Osaka subways. Hence, I would love to hear from you what you think is the best value plan.

        2. We also read your page about how to use JR Pass in Kyoto. As the Kyoto places we intend to visit are accessible by the Sanin line and JR West Bus Takao-Kyohoku line, we don’t need to purchase any additional pass or bus cards. Is that correct?

        Sorry for the additional questions. Hope to receive further advice from you. Thanks again!

        Cheers,
        Lee

        1. Hi Lee san,

          1. You can use ICOCA. If you want to use Osaka amazing pass, you need to visit at least three attractions on the list. So far, you will visit Osaka castle only. And also may not take subway lots. ICOCA is enough.

          2. You may use bus pass. It’s sold at 500 yen for one day. If you make three ride by bus, it’s paid off. I think you will take a bus a few times a day.
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi san,

    First of all, thank you for the informative website, it helps me a lot to make my itinerary for my 21days trip to Japan, commencing this 20th November.

    Quick question, can I get away with a 2-week JR Pass with the below itinerary:
    Day 1 Tokyo
    Day 2 Hakone
    Day 3 Hakone
    Day 4 Toyama
    Day 5 Toyama
    Day 6 Takayama
    Day 7 Takayama
    Day 8 Kanazawa
    Day 9 Kanazawa
    Day 10 Hiroshima
    Day 11 Hiroshima
    Day 12 Kyoto
    Day 13 Kyoto
    Day 14 Kyoto
    Day 15 Kyoto
    Day 16 Kyoto
    Day 17 Kyoto
    Day 18 Kyoto
    Day 19 Kyoto
    Day 20 Tokyo
    Day 21 Tokyo

    Because the last day of my JR Pass usage would be on day 20th for a trip to Tokyo from Kyoto. With a 14-day JR Pass, when I counted back, I should activate the trip on the 7th Day. Actually, I wouldn’t use it on the day, because I will be taking bus from Takayama to Kanazawa (via Shirakawago).

    Anyway, my dilemma is, I would need to travel from Hakone (via Shinjuku and Ueno Stt in Tokyo) to Toyama. When I checked at Hyperdia, the cost is 12,520 Yen, which is around the same of the difference between 14 and 21 days JR Pass (basic fare).

    Could you please review my itinerary and can i still get away with a 14-day JR Pass – with some savings if I pay the trains costs outside the Pass period separately? Or do you think I should definitely use the 21-day Pass?

    Many thanks in advance for your help.

    Cheers
    Nicko

    1. Hi Nicko,

      First of all, if you use 14 days pass from day 7 to the end, you may not get the worth. In rough calculation, total fare is around 41,000 yen for Kanazawa-Hiroshima, Hiroshma-Kyoto and Kyoto-Tokyo by limited express and Shinkansen. You may get the worth if you make lots of trips when you are in Kyoto and Tokyo. But JR Pass does not help so much for sightseeing 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

      You will visit Miyajima, right? You will make another 1200 yen for round trip. You can take a bus in Hiroshima by JR pass.
      https://www.chugoku-jrbus.co.jp/teikan/meipurupu/en/

      So you have to make another 4000 yen trips to get the worth. If you can get the worth for 14 days pass, you can think about using 21 days pass. As you noticed, Tokyo-Toyama fare is almost same as the difference between 14 days and 21 days. And also you may think about using JR pass from Odawara to Tokyo. You can catch Hokuriku Shinkansen there. You don’t need to move from Shinjuku to Ueno. And also you can take Shinkansen to Odawara when you go to Hakone. You can get 21 days pass worth easily.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Hi Takeshi

    I am planning a 10 day trip in Mar. I plan to Arrive Haneda and immediately take Shinkansen to Osaka Namba Station on the Osaka municipal subway Midosuji Line. I plan to stay in Osaka 4 nights and visit Nara and Kyoto as day trips on two days, Osaka to Hakone stay one night (Mount Fuji Lake Aishi and Gotema) and back to Tokyo go Disneyland one day and other areas in Tokyo and back to Haneda. What sort of pass should I get. Also I understood I must buy JR pass from outside Japan. Would appreciate if you can advise. Thank you very much for your help and thoughts . Janice

    1. Hi Janice,

      JR pass is highly recommended. You may use 7 days pass for the first 7 days of your trip. JR pass does not cover subway, non JR trains and city bus but this is the best choice. Please see the link below to find the coverage of JR pass in the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html#How_to_use_JR_pass_in_major_cities_and_tourist_spots

      After JR pass is expired, you may use a local deal in Tokyo, such as subway pass.
      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

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Dear Takeshi-san,

    My wife and I will be travelling to Japan from 16-25 Nov and will appreciate it if you could help us look at our itinerary and recommend any adjustments.

    Day 1 (16/11) Narita Airport – Tokyo Downtown (Limousine Bus)
    Day 2 (17/11) Tokyo Disneyland (Tokyo Metro or Subway)
    Day 3 (18/11) Tokyo (Tokyo Metro or Subway)
    Day 4 (19/11) Tokyo – Takayama – Shirakawago – Tokyo (7 Days JR Pass + Nohi Bus)
    Day 5 (20/11) Tokyo – Hakone: Owakudani & Gotemba (7 Days JR Pass + Fuji Hakone Pass)
    Day 6 (21/11) Hakone: Lake Kawaguchi, Fuji 5th Station (Fuji Hakone Pass)
    Day 7 (22/11) Hakone – Kyoto (7 Days JR Pass)
    Day 8 (23/11) Kyoto (Kyoto City Sightseeing Card or All Day Bus Pass)
    Day 9 (24/11) Kyoto – Osaka (7 Days JR Pass + Osaka Visitors Ticket or Enjoy Eco Card )
    Day 10 (25/11) Osaka – Narita Airport (7 Days JR Pass)

    Couple of questions:
    1) Is it worthwhile that we activate our 7 days JR pass on 19-Nov?
    2) As we are travelling with luggage, is it advisable to stay in 2 major cities (Tokyo and Osaka) and travel to the other places on day trips?

    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Don san,

      You may start using JR pass on 19th as you think. I think you should keep this trip plan. If you visit Hakone and Fuji as day trip, you need to go back and forward many times. You don’t need to think about luggage but you will lose many hours.

      By the way, you don’t need subway pass on day 2. You will take JR train to get Disneyland and single ticket is okay.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi san,

        Thank you for your quick response.

        We have decided to make some changes to our itinerary and will appreciate it if you could advise.

        Day 1 (16/11) Narita Airport – Tokyo Downtown (One Way Limousine Bus)
        Day 2 (17/11) Tokyo Disneyland (Two-ways Local JR Train)
        Day 3 (18/11) Tokyo (Tokyo Metro/Subway)
        Day 4 (19/11) Tokyo – Kanazawa- Shirakawago – Kanazawa (7 Days JR Pass-Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki + 2 Ways Nohi Bus)
        Day 5 (20/11) Kanazawa – Osaka (7 Days JR Pass-Limited Express Thunderbird)
        Day 6 (21/11) Osaka (Osaka Amazing Pass)
        Day 7 (22/11) Osaka – Kyoto (7 Days JR Pass-Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari + Kyoto City Sightseeing Card or All Day Bus Pass)
        Day 8 (23/11) Kyoto – Hakone: Owakudani & Gotemba (7 Days JR Pass-Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari + Fuji Hakone Pass)
        Day 9 (24/11) Hakone: Lake Kawaguchi, Fuji 5th Station (Fuji Hakone Pass)
        Day 10 (25/11)Hakone – Narita Airport (7 Days JR Pass)

        Couple of questions:
        1) Will this revised itinerary be of a shorter travelling time as compared to the previous itinerary? Is it still worthwhile that we activate our 7 days JR pass on 19-Nov?
        2) If we activate the 7 days JR pass on 19-Nov, 7am to travel from Tokyo to Kanazawa, will it be able to cover our travel from Hakone (Odawara Station) back to Narita Airport for our return flight on 25 Nov, 6pm?
        3) Lastly, as we will be staying in Osaka and Kyoto for only a day each, would you recommend to purchase the Kansai Area Pass/Kansai Thru Pass to cover both cities or still the local passes respectively like Osaka Amazing Pass and Kyoto City Sightseeing Card?

        Thank you very much.

        Cheers,
        Don

        1. Hi Don san,

          1. Yes. It works.

          2. Yes, you can. Actually time is not an issue. If you start using anytime on Nov 19, it will be valid until Nov 25 at 23:59.

          3. No, I don’t think so. You can move between Osaka and Kyoto by JR pass. It covers local train in both Kyoto and Osaka. Try to minimize using other than JR trains and use JR trains as much as you can. But Osaka Amazing Pass may be suitable because it covers subway and many attractions.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

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