questions & answers: general japan travel

first trip to japan

first trip to Japan

Hi..
Me and my hubby will have a honeymoon trip in Japan.
It is our first time to go to Japan. We have arranged our itinerary between Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo and we hope you can help us to make it possible.

Day 01 : SUB – KIX
(Do we need to buy ICOCA & HARUKA? Use it to travel from KIX to Osaka and move around Osaka-Kyoto.) Day 02 : OSAKA PREFECTURE (2 nights)
Osaka Castle, Osaka Station City, Grand Front Osaka, Umeda Building, Kitashinchi District
Day 03 : OSAKA PREFECTURE
Hozenji Yokocho Alley, Universal Studio, Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori
Day 04 : OSAKA PREFECTURE - KYOTO PREFECTURE - MIE PREFECTURE
Basho Memorial Museum, Ninja Museum, Danjiri Museum, Ueno Castle
Day 04 : MIE PREFECTURE - KYOTO PREFECTURE (2 nights)
Nishiki Market, Pontocho
Day 05 : KYOTO PREFECTURE
Fushimi Inari Shrine, Tofukuji Temple, Kiyomizudera, Higashiyama District, Yasaka Shrine, Gion
Day 06 : KYOTO PREFECTURE
Kinkakuji
Day 06 : KYOTO PREFECTURE - LAKE KAWAGUCHI (1 night) - JR PASS active
Onsen, Fuji-Q Highland
Day 07 : LAKE KAWAGUCHI - GOTEMBA PREMIUM OUTLETS
Gotemba Premium Outlets
Day 07 : GOTEMBA PREMIUM OUTLETS - TOKYO PREFECTURE (7 nights)
Tokyo Tower, Roppongi Hills
Day 08 : TOKYO PREFECTURE (NORTH)
(Do we need to buy PASMO?) Kaminari Gate, Sensoji Temple, Asakusa Shrine, Nakamishe Shopping Street, Shin Nakamishe
Edo-Tokyo Museum, Tokyo SKYTREE, Kappabashi Street
Day 09 : TOKYO PREFECTURE (WEST)
Shibuya : Hachiko Statue, Center Gai, Spain Slope
Kagurazaka
Day 10 : TOKYO PREFECTURE (WEST)
Harajuku : Daiso, Takeshita Dori, La Foret, Tokyu Plaza, Kiddy Land, Oriental Bazaar, Omotesando Hills
Shinjuku
Day 11 : TOKYO PREFECTURE (CENTRAL)
Kagurazaka (Akagi Jinja)
Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo Dome City, Ginza, Yurakucho
Day 12 : TOKYO PREFECTURE (SOUTH)
(Do we need to buy Yurikamome one day pass?) Tsukiji Fish Market, Odaiba
Day 13 : TOKYO PREFECTURE
Ghibli Museum, Disneyland and Disneysea
Day 14 : NRT - SUB

As you can see, we plan to buy JR Pass 7 days + ICOCA & Haruka + PASMO. Are they useful to save our travel budget or not? Please help us.
About the route, is it possible for us to do it? We are open to any suggestions.
And do you have any idea about our baggage when we jump on public transport? I love to shopping and I don't think I can make myself to not buy any stuffs on our first day in Japan.
Thank you so much.

Regards,
Regina

regina2011
regina2011

Hello Regina,

Japan is certainly one of the best places to spend your honeymoon. I also like this itinerary -it's got many great visits in it and it's very detailed. Now let's look at what passes and tickets would help your itinerary best! On arrival I would buy an ICOCA card, you can use it for all your local travel in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo (it also serves as a PASMO card) and you won't have to purchase normal tickets all the time.

Now for the JR Pass, I actually think it would be better to buy normal tickets for travel between Kyoto - Fuji - Tokyo. For two reasons, the first is that it is actually more economic to just buy tickets as you travel one way Kyoto - Fuji - Tokyo (the JR Pass would be great if you made a return). The 2nd is that travel around Fuji (such as to Kawaguchiko) is partly done by bus if you come from Osaka/Kyoto.

As for baggage, the offical JR guidelines state: you may bring up to two pieces of baggage on board free of charge. For each bag the total of the length, width and height must not exceed 250 centimeters, the length must not exceed two meters and the weight must be no more than 30 kilograms. Which should allow of plenty of shopping!

Enjoy your time in Japan!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hello, Daniel-san

First, thank you for your suggestion. I can make extra savings for my travel.
I have a few question for you and I wish you can help me to make it clearly.

  1. ICOCA card can be used between Kansai area (in my itinerary Osaka and Kyoto) and Kanto area (in my itinerary Tokyo). I don't need to buy PASMO card in Tokyo. Am I right? With ICOCA card, I can use JR train in Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo (Osaka Loop Line-Yamato Line). Am I right?

  2. For other transportation (non JR) in Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo, such as : Tokyo Metro, Fujikyu bus, Kyoto bus, Keifuku railways, etc; can I use my ICOCA card or I have to buy another tickets or card like PASMO?

  3. I want to try Shinkansen (Nozomi/Hikari). Which route do you think the best for me to try Shinkansen? Can I use my ICOCA card or I need to buy another tickets?

  4. With my itinerary above, would you give me some suggestion about :
    a. Ghibli Museum or Doraemon Museum? I am interested with Ghibli Museum but I really want to go to Doraemon Museum too. Doraemon is my favorite since my childhood time. Can you help me to arrange one (or two) of them to my itinerary? b. Is it too long 2 nights in Osaka, 2 nights in Kyoto?

Thank you, Daniel-san.
Best regards,
Regina

regina2011
regina2011

Hello Regina!

1&2.) You can use the ICOCA card for most of your travel (including JR, local buses, Metro etc.). Note that the Shinkansen end express bus services do require normal tickets beforehand.

3.) The Shinkansen is only one line, so you always have the right train to Tokyo. Just tell the staff that you wish to travel to Tokyo and they will find the best connection for you.

4.) Ghibli Museum, Disneyland and Disneysea does seem a bit much for a single day. So it may be better to move the Ghibli visit to Day 12. Visiting the Doraemon Museum from Tokyo does that the better part of a day. Perhaps you could plan it on day 9 and leave some other things out. This does look like to best time to me to plan it in.

Hope this helps too!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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