questions & answers: general japan travel

10 days travel, should we get 7 day pass or 14 day pass?

10 days travel, should we get 7 day pass or 14 day pass?

Hello,

My husband and I will be travel to Japan from 4/30 @ 8pm land in Kix to 5/10 leaving Kix @7am and layover at HND 8:10am then leave Japan on 5/11@1am. It's our first trip to Japan.

My questions are:
Should we buy the 14 day JR. PASS or the 7 day JR pass?

We want to travel as follow:

4/30 Kix- Osaka
5/1 Osaka- Kobe
5/2 Kobe-Kyoto
5/3 Kyoto- Nara
5/4 Nara- Nikko
5/5 Nikko- Tokyo
5/6 Tokyo-mountain Fuji
5/7 mountain Fuji - Hamamatsu
5/8mamamatsu - Himeji
5/9 himeji - Osaka

On 5/10 we want to spend a day in Tokyo and back to the airport at night.

Will this be too pack? Should we keep it simple by stay in one area? Our trip is mainly to experience Japan cultures ( temples, hot springs) and the food over there 😋 . Will these travel be cover by the JR PASS? Since we will not stay at the same place we will be booking hotel one day ahead will this work? We would love to go on a hot spring hotel or place is there recommendations for those?

Any recommendations are welcome! Thank you in advance.

Kelly L.
Kelly L.

Hi,
A 7 day pass makes sense, using it from May 4-10.
Your pace is doable of course, but will leave a lot unseen in Tokyo and Kyoto. You could see some of Osaka or Kobe in the morning, otherwise there are many good places in Kyoto that are more worth your time. Since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day. After the temples of Kyoto close down around 5PM, you can zip over to Osaka for the evening. At night the city comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg, and Abeno Harukas Bldg are beautiful.

However, trying to book a hotel one day in advance is extremely unwise. You are traveling during Golden Week, which is one of the busiest times of the year to travel. You will probably have problems finding a place to stay in Kyoto right now already, and may need to stay in a suburb like Otsu, or farther from where you plan to go. Otherwise the only places open with be the pay-through-your-nose 5 star hotels.
The JR Pass will cover your whole itinerary, except to Fuji.

Regarding going to Mt. Fuji, you didn't specify if you wanted to go to the Fuji 5 Lakes area or Hakone. Both have merits but you should do more research:

HAKONE:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5206.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5210.html

FUJI 5 LAKES:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6904.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6905.html

For hot springs, they are literally all over. More famous places are Kinosaki near Kyoto and Kusatsu near Tokyo. But there are closer places too like Shirahama in Wakayama.
And if you have never stayed in one before, I recommend you spend at least a night in a Japanese Inn or ryokan. There are some inexpensive ones in Tokyo, like the Kimi, the Tama, the Taito and the Tokyo Ryokan. See:

www2.dango.ne.jp/kimi/ryokan.html

www.tamaryokan.com

www.libertyhouse.gr.jp

www.tokyoryokan.com

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hello
First of all, thank you Toraneko for answering my questions. But I would like to add other thing to our questions. We will be staying Kyoto from 4/30-5/7. From 5/7-5/9 wee want to stay in Tokyo. Is a 7 day pass for or should we get the 14 day? Or is it better off not get one? Do you think we can make it from KIX to Kyoto after we land?Or is it better off stay in Osaka the first night? If we can make it to Kyoto, what transportation should we use? Should we change our itinerary area to fit whet we live? We will be staying in here ( http://www.l-c.co.jp/kyoto/detail/56)
Please advice, any advice is greatly appreciated!

Kelly L.
Kelly L.

Hi,
A 14 day pass would not pay off. Using a 7 day pass is the smart choice, and since you are staying in the Kansai area til May 4th, you don't need to activate the full JR Pass until then. A JR Kansai Area Pass might save you some money while there, but it depends on how much you are moving about.
As for going directly from KIX airport to Kyoto, it is certainly doable, and only about another 25 minutes compared to going into the heart of Osaka. But it is up to you - if you arrive like the walking dead after a long airplane ride, maybe going to a hotel that is closer will be easier for you. It is also up to what hotel you can get - you should make all the reservations you can as soon as possible for the days within Golden Week, since there may be few inexpensive places with available rooms.

While you won't be able to see the cherry blossoms this year without going to the far north, you could see the wisteria at their peak. One of the best places to see them is the Ashikaga Flower Park and they are something magnificent to see.

Good luck.

Toraneko
Toraneko

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