questions & answers: general japan travel

fukuoka-osaka-kyoto-fuji-tokyo

Fukuoka-Osaka-Kyoto-Fuji-Tokyo

Me and a friend are planning to travel Japan in January and have two potential itineraries. I've been to Tokyo for 10 days previously but have little knowledge of Japan outside of that. I'd like to know if either of these plans are feasible time wise. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Itinerary 1 (7 day JR pass)

Arrive in Fukuoka from Busan. (1 day), Osaka (2 days), Kyoto (2 days) Fuji (1day) and on to Tokyo for 6 days hopefully making a day trip to either or both of Nikko and Kamakura.

Itinerary 2 (14 day JR pass).

Arrive in Fukuoka, spend the day there on to Hiroshima ( 2 days), Osaka ( 5 days), Nara (2 days), Kyoto (2 days), Nagoya (1 day), Fuji (1 day) and on to Tokyo for 4 days.

Would that be enough time to experience Kyoto and Osaka? Are there other cities people would recommend that you should not miss? Any recommendations or advice are welcome.

manulman
manulman

Hi Manulman,

Welcome to the forums! If you have the time and money I always recommend people to travel at least for two weeks.
If you go outside of Tokyo you will be surprised by how much else Japan has to offer. So I really recommend that you opt for the two week Itinerary. Depending on what you want to see and do I think that 5 days in Osaka is quite a bit compared to 2days Kyoto. Since you have already been in Tokyo for 10 days I would recommend that you spend a day or two more in Kyoto than in Osaka as in many cases Osaka is much like Tokyo but a little more dirty.

Also I would really recommend that you visit Kanazawa, It really is one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. There is a wonderful Edo Period Geisha quarter, a beautiful castle and castle garden and when it becomes dark it is fairly easy to go on one of the surrounding mountains and enjoy the beautiful city lights.

You can read more about Kanazawa here:
http://wikitravel.org/en/Kanazawa

What you could do for instance is spend 3 Nights in Kyoto, 2 in Osaka and than head to Kanazawa and spend two nights there. Or 3 in Osaka 3 in Kyoto 2 in Kanazawa instead of going to Nagoya for one night.
If you do this it would mean that you travel a bit more but at the same time you would really utilize the value of the JR Pass.

Hope it helps!
-Daniel

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

That's really helpful Daniel San, not even considered a trip to Kanazawa. It looks like a beautiful place. Is there anything worth seeing in Nagoya other than the castle? I'm tempted to scratch it off the list. Thanks again for your assistance, really appreciated.

manulman
manulman

I'd consider removing it. While Nagoya is like a second home town for me, unless you have a specific objective there it's not really especially tourist friendly. If you make it to Kanazawa (or even if not) you could spend the time better in Takayama instead I think.

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
Expert_button_2

As Mari says Nagoya is not a very touristy city Been there twice myself but somehow the atmosphere was just not there. At least not for a non-Japanese I think.

Kanazawa and Takayama are really nice places to visit, so if you can I would really recommend going there.

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

Kanazawa and Takayama look like far more promising destinations, thanks for bringing them to my attention!

manulman
manulman

Just in case,

If you have any more questions you are always welcome here to ask them!

-Daniel

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

One more question Daniel-San, would you recommend staying over in Nara or is it doable as a day trip and then heading back to Kyoto for the night?

Cheers

manulman
manulman

Nara is very well suited for a One-day trip from Kyoto. One way costs 690 Yen (free with JR Pass) and takes 45minutes.

Hope that anwers your question,
Daniel

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

Hey, I've decided it would make more sense for me to get the 1 week pass over the 2 week pass as I'd like to spend a fair bit of time in Osaka. However, I plan on travelling extensively during that 1 week, my plan is to go to Kobe from Osaka (1 day), Kyoto (2 days, Kanazawa (2 days), Takayama (2 days) and on to Tokyo after that. Would I still be getting a decent saving by getting the 1 week JR pass over purchasing separate tickets for each journey? Again, thanks for all your help so far it has been invaluable.

Cheers.

manulman
manulman

Hi There,

Just a quick overview of what it would cost if you did not have the pass.
Osaka - Kobe --> 390 Yen
http://tinyurl.com/d6g4gmg Kobe - Kyoto -->1050 Yen
http://tinyurl.com/c3dqcsv Kyoto - Kanazawa --> 6,710 Yen
http://tinyurl.com/d7oxwsl Kanazawa - Takayama --> 5840 Yen
http://tinyurl.com/cae9jr2 Takayama - Toyko --> 14,300 Yen
http://tinyurl.com/d3tw9at

(Note that I have left Osaka - Kobe out as it otherwise would be a 8 day journey). For a total of 27900 Yen. A one week pass costs 28,300 Yen. So you would have to do some additional traveling to make a saving. Still you could consider buying the pass for comfort as you could travel between Osaka - Kyoto - Kobe with the Shinkansen and also you would not have to go trough any Hassle buying tickets every time.

If you decide not to get the pass you could save some additional money by taking the local train between Kanazawa and Takayama this would take 113minutes longer but save you 2500~ Yen. See Route 3 on http://tinyurl.com/cae9jr2.

Hope it helps!
Daniel

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

Absolutely fantastic! Thank you for being so thorough and quick with the response. You've made it all a lot easier for me to plan the trip. Out of interest, how much is a ticket between Osaka and Kobe? As you say, I think that despite the 7 day ticket being marginally more expensive it would be more convenient. There's also a chance I'll be making a visit to Matsumoto from Takayama so maybe the costs will balance out. Again, thank you.

manulman
manulman

Glad to hear it!

The price of a ticket between Osaka and Kobe is slightly different depending from where you travel in Osaka.
With the local train it is approximately 690 Yen but Local train and 3010 Yen if you take the Bullet train.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!
-Daniel

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

Sorry I made a small error in my last post, as I was considering two things at once.

It should read: With the local train it is approximately 690 Yen and 3010 Yen if you take the Bullet train (Shinkansen).

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

Hey again!

How much would a ticket between Osaka and Kyoto? I'm thinking of cutting the Kobe part of the trip out and heading somewhere else instead.

Thank you!

manulman
manulman

Hi there,

Here are the costs for that leg:

  1. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540 (29mins, 42km)

You can look up precise train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia for JR Pass holders through our video blog.

Hope this helps!

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
Expert_button_2

Thanks for the link Mari! It's helped a lot!

manulman
manulman

Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $254.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.