Sample itinerary Tokyo to Osaka one way trip with Alpine route, Takayama, Shirakawago, Hiroshima, Osaka and Kyoto 9 days by JR Pass 7 days

7 to 9 days
Kurobe dam (C) Nagano Prefecture/JNTO

Kurobe dam (C) Nagano Prefecture/JNTO

I would like to show you 9 days sample itinerary which includes very popular places with Tokyo to Osaka one way trip. The basic plan is Tokyo arrival and Osaka departure. I show you how to convert the reverse plan, Osaka arrival and Tokyo departure. And also you may find the way to change Tokyo arrival/departure and Osaka arrival/departure.

This itinerary has been created by timetable in March, 2018. If you try to do this plan, please check the updated timetable before you go.

Day 1 Narita or Haneda to Tokyo

Do not start using JR pass until you leave Tokyo. There are so many deals available which includes airport access and Tokyo subway pass. You may find the deal in the links below:

Haneda airport access guide and the list of deals

The list of deals for Tokyo to/from Narita airport

e.g. Narita airport arrival, Shinjuku stay
Tokyo Subway 24-hour Ticket + One-way Limousine Bus Ticket from Narita Airport at 3,400 yen for adult (1,700 yen for child)

You can use subway pass portion on day 2.

Day 2 Tokyo

Enjoy sightseeing in downtown Tokyo by Tokyo Subway Ticket. Tokyo subway system covers most part of downtown Tokyo

Please find the information about Tokyo train network in the link below:

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

Day 3 Tokyo to Nagano to Toyama

The new fleet, E7/ W7 series run on Hokuriku Shinkansen.

You will start using JR pass on this day. And also you have to purchase Tateyama Kurobe option ticket before you go. This ticket covers all part of trip from Nagano to Toyama via Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. I recommend you to purchase this in advance because you will leave Tokyo in early morning.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route official site

On this day, take early morning Shinkansen to Nagano and travel to Toyama via Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. I show you a sample trip plan below.

Sample trip plan
Tokyo 07:20 (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 503) 08:45 Nagano
Nagano 09:00 (Express Bus) 10:45 Ogizawa
Ogizawa 11:00 (Kanden Tunnel Trolley Bus) 11:16 Kurobe Dam
Kurobe Dam (walk 15-20 minutes) Kurobeko
Kurobeko 12:00 (Kurobe Cable Car) 12:05 Kurobedaira
Kurobedaira 12:20 (Tateyama Ropeway) 12:27 Daikanbo
Daikanbo 13:00 (Tateyama Tunnel Trolley Bus) 13:10 Murodo
*Lunch and walk at Murodo
Murodo 15:40 (Tateyama Highland Bus) 16:30 Bijodaira
Bijodaira 16:40 (Tateyama Ceble Car) 16:47 Tateyama
Tateyama 17:30 (Toyama Chiho Railway) 18:37 Toyama

In Nagano station, transfer time is only 15 minutes. It is tight but you can make it. Please find the information about Nagano station in the link below. You can find the direction to get the bus stop.

Nagano station guide. How to catch the bus to the tourist spots. How to change between Hokuriku Shinkansen and other local trains

You cannot reserve a seat on this express bus. However usually this bus picks up all passengers in Nagano station. You can use Tateyama Kurobe option ticket from this point. You do not need to exchange the pass. You can show your ticket to bus driver when you are on board.

Inside of Ogizawa terminal

At Ogizawa, you will have 15 minutes only too. At this point, you have to go to the window and show your Tateyama Kurobe option ticket. And you will be assigned which trolley bus you will be on. You may not be able to take 11:00 departure. In this season’s schedule, next one is 11:30 departure. If you take this, your time in Murodo will be 30 minutes shorter. But you will still have 2 hours. If you think, it is too late to eat lunch, you can have a lunch time in Kurobe Dam or Kurobedaira. Kurobedaira station offers dining space too.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this itinerary is made by the timetable when I wrote this post. Please find the updated timetable in the links below before you go.

Hokuriku Shinkansen (Tokyo to Nagano)
Express bus and Alpine route (Nagano to Toyama)

I traveled on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Toyama to Nagano in summer, 2017. Please find the trip report in the link below:

Trip report of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Toyama to Nagano
I visited Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Toyama to Nagano in June, 2017. It was raining but it was a nice trip. I would like to show you my trip in this post.

Visiting Snow Monkey Park – winter substitute plan

Monkeys enjoy natural hot springs in Snow Monkey Park.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is closed from December to mid April. If you want to use this sample itinerary for your trip in winter period, you can visit Snow Monkey Park instead of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Please see the below to find the sample trip plan to Snow Monkey Park.

Sample trip plan
Tokyo 08:36 (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 505) 10:01 Nagano
Nagano 10:15 (Express Bus) 10:57 Snow Monkey Park
Walk to Snow Monkey Park
Snow Monkey Park 14:05 (Express Bus) 15:00 Nagano
Visit Zenkoji temple in Nagano
Nagano 17:48 (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 511) 18:35 Toyama

Please read the following my trip report to learn more about trip to Snow Monkey Park.

Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 9, Visit Snow Monkey Park in Nagano

JR pass does not cover any transports to Snow Monkey Park from Nagano. As I mentioned in the trip report, Snow Monkey Pass is recommended.

Day 4 Toyama to Takayama and day trip to Shirakawago

Very popular scene of Shirakawago from Tenshukaku view point

On this day, you will move to Takayama from Toyama, and visit Shirakawago. But there are three choices to get Takayama and Shirakawago. You will take Nohi bus and/or Kaetsuno bus. JR Pass does not cover these bus lines. Please learn more in the link below:

How to access to Shirakawago from Takayama, Kanazawa, Takaoka and Toyama

Option 1, Round trip to Shirakawago from Takayama

This is the simplest plan. You will take Limited Express Wide View Hida to Takayama and drop off your luggage at the place to stay. And then take Nohi bus to Shirakawago.

Sample trip plan
Toyama 08:00 (Limited Express Wide View Hida 6) 09:31 Takayama 10:50 (Nohi bus) 11:40 Shirakawago 16:15 (Nohi bus) 17:20 Takayama

Option 2, Visit Shirakawago directly from Toyama

You will take Nohi bus from Toyama and get Shirakawago directly. This trip makes extra time in Shirakawago or Takayama.

Sample trip plan
Toyama 08:50 (Nohi bus) 10:10 Shirakawago 14:35 (Nohi bus) 15:25 Takayama

Option 3, Gokayama and Shirakawago

You will get Takaoka first and catch World Heritage Bus to get Ainokura, Suganuma area. These places are located on the way to Shirakawago from Takaoka. You will drop by Shirakawago. You will visit all part of World Heritage site. After visiting all places, you will go to Takayama.

Sample trip plan
Toyama (Ainokaze Toyama Railway local train) Takaoka 08:10 (Kaetsuno bus) 09:28 Ainokura 10:38 (Kaetsuno bus) 10:53 Suganuma 11:43 (Kaetsuno bus) 12:20 Shirakawago 16:15 (Nohi bus) 17:20 Takayama

I visited Shirakawago in 2016 winter. Please see the link below to find my trip report.

Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 6, Takaoka to Shirakawago via Himi line, Johana line and Shirakawago

Day 5 Takayama to Osaka

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

You may stay in Takayama until lunch time. After lunch time, take Limited Express Wide View Hida to Nagoya and change to Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka.

Sample trip plan
Takayama 13:29 (Limited Express Wide View Hida 12) 16:04 Nagoya 16:19 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 517) 17:26 Shin-Osaka

You can stay anywhere in downtown Osaka. If you have no idea about the place to stay, Shin-Osaka is recommended. Shin-Osaka is not located in downtown core of Osaka. But it is only one station away from Umeda (JR Osaka station) by JR local train. Shin-Osaka is connected with Namba by Osaka Metro Midousuji line. Please learn more about Osaka’s train system in the link below:

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

Day 6 Osaka to Kyoto to Osaka

Torii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

Torii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

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 in Kyoto. This includes most of big names in Kyoto, such as Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizu-dera and Gion.

Sample itinerary
Shin-Osaka 08:16 (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 512) 08:32 Kyoto 08:48 (local train) 09:03 Sagaarashiyama

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, Yasaka no Tou (pagoda) 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 or start your trip earlier. 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

You can take Shinkansen, Limited Express Haruka or Special Rapid. Even though Special Rapid is a sort commute train, it takes less than 30 minutes from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka. Of course you can take Shinkansen in 10 minutes from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka.

Day 7 Osaka to Hiroshima/Miyajima to Osaka

One of well known places in Japan, World Heritage Site, Miyajima Itsukushima shrine. ©Hiroshima Prefecture / ©JNTO

Please access the link below. You can get all information about day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima:

Sample itinerary of day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima from Osaka/Kyoto

Day 8 Osaka

You can use JR pass to take JR local train to visit many places in downtown Osaka. Please see the link below to find the coverage of JR pass in Osaka:

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

You may add other deal, such as Osaka amazing pass if you visit many sightseeing spots. Please learn more in the link below:

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

Day 9 Osaka to Kansai

You can take Limited Express Haruka from Shin-Osaka. If you stay in other place, you may catch Limited Express Haruka at Tennoji too.

Direct access to Shin Osaka, Kyoto from Kansai airport, Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka

Cost breakdown

Exact cost is varied by the choice of deals and routes. These following costs are rough estimation.

Limousine bus (from Narita airport) and 24 hours Tokyo Subway Pass deal – 3,400 yen
JR Pass (Japan Rail Pass) 7 days – 29,110 yen
Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket – 9,000 yen
Nohi bus round trip between Shirakawago and Takayama – 4,420 yen
Keihan railway from Fushimi-Inari to Kiyomizu-Gojo – 210 yen
Kyoto city bus from Gion to Kyoto station – 230 yen
Total 46,360 yen

By the way, JR Pass 7 days covers the following trips.
Tokyo to Nagano one way trip by Hokuriku Shinkansen – 7,990 yen
Toyama to Takayama one way trip by Limited Express Wide View Hida – 3,360 yen
Takayama to Shin-Osaka via Nagoya one way trip by Limited Express Wide View Hida and Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari – 10,600 yen
Shin-Osaka to Saga-Arashiyama by Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari and local train – 3,090 yen
Saga-Arashiyama to Inari by local train – 240 yen
Kyoto to Shin-Osaka round trip by Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari – 2,810 yen
Shin-Osaka to Miyajimaguchi one way trip by Sanyo Shinkansen Sakura and local train – 10,550 yen
Miyajimaguchi to Miyajima return by ferry – 360 yen
Miyajimaguchi to Hiroshima one way trip by local train – 410 yen
Hiroshima to Shin-Osaka one way trip by Sanyo Shinkansen Sakura – 10,230 yen
Shin-Osaka to Kansai airport by Limited Express Haruka – 2,850 yen

It costs 52,490 yen if you do not use JR pass. JR Pass 7 days is 29,100 yen. You can save more than 23,000 yen.

If you want to do Osaka in and Tokyo out

In this case, do not use JR pass for the first 2 days. There are lots of deals for Kansai airport to Osaka and sightseeing in Osaka. Please see the link below:

How to choose the deals for access to/from Kansai Airport

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

You can use JR Pass from day 3 and it will cover until you get Narita or Haneda.

This is just a sample itinerary. You can arrange or make some changes, whichever you like. I hope this sample itinerary will give you some thoughts to build your trip plan.


  1. Ben says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I’m planning to use JR Hokuriku Arch Pass + Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket to cover my entire trip from Tokyo to Osaka (8-day).

    Day 1 Haneda Aiport – Tokyo area.
    Day 2 Tokyo – Omiya – Nagano ( use pass ) – Matsumoto – Nagono ( no pass )
    Day 3 Nagano – Alpine Route – Toyama ( use pass )
    Day 4 – 5 Toyama – Shirakawago – Takayama (no pass)
    Day 6 Takayama – Kanazawa ( use pass )
    Day 7 Kanazawa – Fukui – Kyoto ( use pass )
    Day 8 Kyoto – Osaka – Kansai Airport ( use pass )

    Question: Is the pass cover Omiya Station ? Usually how crowded will be on the 1st day (April 15, 2019) for Alpine route?



    • Hi Ben,

      Omiya is covered by the pass. Whole part of the trip from Takayama to Kanazawa is not covered. You have to pay the regular fare for Takayama to Inotani. It covers Inotani – Toyama – Kanazawa. If you take the limited express Wide View Hida from Takayama to Toyama, the extra fare for Takayama to Inotani (base fare + reserved seat fee) is around 2,500 yen.

      First day of Alpine Route is super super busy. It’s one of the busiest days. You may have to wait for more than 1 hour at each transfer place. You must take the first departure bus from Nagano. I recommend you to go to the bus stop at Nagano station at least 30 minutes earlier than the departure time.


      Takeshi /

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