questions & answers: general japan travel

confused on jr west and jr pass

confused on JR west and JR pass

My itenerary as below.
arrive at Kansai airport and stay at Osaka for 3 days.
Q: Should I buy JR WEST pass?

Day4- from Shin-Osaka going to Shirakawago where fast route is using thunderbird to kazanawa then take a bus to shirakawago.
Q: Does JR WEST pass cover this route or JR pass?
Q: where can I find the timetable to connect from the arrival at Kazanawa to Shirakawago by bus?
Q: Alot of visitor go to takayama then taking nibu bus to shirakawago. What do you suggest?

Day5- From shirakawago to Gotemba/ Hakone
Q: Should I buy JR pass then take the route to Nagoya then Gotemba?

Day6- Day 10 - From Hakone going to Tokyo, I know best option is buying a JR pass.

yiling
yiling

Hi,
If you are staying in Osaka for 3 days, a JR West Pass (or really one of its versions) will be all but useless to you. I suggest you look at the various passes on:

http://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/travel-information/

They are only good if you are traveling in the Kansai area or southward in Honshu. If you are only staying within Osaka you'd be wasting money. To go from Shin-Osaka to Kanazawa, then by bus to Shirakawago will take about 3¾ hours (excluding connection times - there are 6 buses per day). There is a Kansai Hokuriku area pass but if you only use it up to Kanazawa, it would not pay off for you. The buses to Shirakawago are not covered under any JR pass. There is a Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass but it is being discontinued from June 26th. It does cover the Nohi bus lines as well as the train though. See this for more:

http://touristpass.jp/en/takayama_hokuriku/

For a bus schedule, see:

http://www.japan-guide.com/bus/shirakawago.html

Unfortunately for your itinerary, going from Osaka-Kanazawa, then pay for a bus to Shirakawago, then take another bus to Takayama, and then boarding a JR train to Gotemba or Tokyo simply doesn't cover the cost of a 7 day JR Pass. For Hakone though there are other passes to give some discounts. See:

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

Good luck!

Toraneko
Toraneko

Below are more detail on my itinerary.
Should I get a 7 days JR pass + 3 days JR west pass
Or a14 days JR pass?

8th. Day1 arrive tokyo
9th Day2 tokyo
10th Day3 Nikko
11th Day4 tokyo
12th Day5 gotemba- Hakone
13th Day6 Hakone- Nagoya
14th Day7 Nagoya-shirakawa go
15th Day8 shurakawa go - osaka
16th Day9 osaka
17th Day10 kyoto
18th Day11 back home

yiling
yiling

Hi,
A 14 day pass would not pay off for your plans. Also the JR Pass is of limited use for Hakone - look into a free pass for that. See:

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

For Shirakawago/Gokayama you will need to pay for some buses also if you don't use the Takayama-Hokuriku Tourist Pass:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_takayama_hokuriku.html

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 wonderful. Be sure not to miss Nara also.

Good luck!

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi ,
I understand on Hakone passes. been there before.
Can you suggest if I shouldn't get a 14 days pass, is 7 days JR pass + 3 days JR west pass will be the best choice instead?
Since Im not arriving at Osaka KIX airport, where can I redeem my JR west pass if I do an online booking.
Can I get it from Shin-Osaka Station? as Im arriving at HDN airport ( redeem JR pass) and flying off at KIX airport.

yiling
yiling

Hi,
Yes a 7 day JR Pass is the way to go. Regarding the JR Kansai Area Pass , it depends on how much you are traveling here and there - you need to compare the rail pass cost vs your plans.

You can look up normal rail fares on Hyperdia.

Best of luck!

Toraneko
Toraneko

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