questions & answers: general japan travel

itinerary for 9d 8n in japan & using jr pass

Itinerary for 9D 8N in Japan & Using JR Pass

Hi !

Me & my family (2 adults, 1 kid (5 years old), and 2 elderly (64 & 69 years old) plan to visit Japan for 9 days and 8 nights. Our flight schedule : arrive in Japan (from Jakarta, Indonesia), 13 Apr 2013 morning (09.00 am) and depart from Japan (to Jakarta, Indonesia) 21 Apr 2013 afternoon (12.00 pm).

This is our 1st visit to Japan, thus we have lots of place to see, but so little experience or knowledge.

During our stay 9 days and 8 nights in Japan, we plan to spend it like this (initial plan, or more of a wish list) ...

  1. OSAKA for either 2 days 2 nights, or 2 days and 1 night :
  2. Visit Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium, Shinsaibashi shopping area, and Dotonbori.
  3. Full day at Universal Studios, possibly until evening.

  4. KYOTO for either 1 day 1 night, or 1 day only (not staying in Kyoto) :

  5. Visit the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Heian-jingu Shrine, and Ginkaku-ji Temple.

  6. MT. FUJI for 1 day 1 night, or 1 day only (not staying in) :

  7. Enjoy the view of Mount Fuji.
  8. Visit the Fujikyu Highland.
  9. Experience the Japanese Onsen, or Japanese Ryokan (if we decide to stay for 1 night).

  10. TOKYO for rest of the trip :

  11. Visit the Chidorigafuchi (Chiyoda), Asakusa Kannon Temple (Taito), Tokyo Tower (Minato), Palette Town (Koto), Rainbow Bridge (Koto), Gundam Front (Koto), Mega Web (Koto), Tokyo Animation Centre (Akihabara), Harajuku (Harajuku Takeshita-dori), Shibuya and Shinjuku (shopping)
  12. Full 1 day at Disneyland
  13. Full 1 day at Disneysea

Can we go through all of our plan above, within the 9D 8N, using JR pass ?
Can you advise on the most efficient itinerary for us ?

Thanks !

Adharson
Adharson

Hi there,

Nice itinerary! It seems that you already put in a lot of effort to plan it.
The 7-Day JR-Pass is about the same price as a return Osaka Tokyo but since you only plan on traveling one way it may be more economic to buy single tickets.

Here are prices for the train tickets without the JR-Pass.

Kansai airport --> Osaka ¥ 1,160
Osaka --> Kyoto ¥ 540
Kyoto --> Osaka ¥ 540
Osaka --> Mount Fuji, ¥ 12,000 to Mishima station by Shinkansen then bus to Fuji 5 lakes ¥ 2130 (bus is not covered by the JR Pass).
Fuji 5 lakes --> Tokyo ¥ 1,700 by express bus.

For a total of 14,240. Note that this is excluding local travel in Osaka/Tokyo. Since this does not cover the price of the JR-Pass I would recommend buying the tickets as you go. For Tokyo a All Day Metro ticket may be useful. It costs 710 Yen and allows for unlimited travel on the Tokyo Metro for a day.

From your itinerary you seem to have an interest in Technology/Anime, if this is the case I would also recommend a visit to Den Den Town, which is like the Akihabara of Osaka.

If I may ask from what Airports in Japan are you flying? If you have a return from Osaka then it would become worthwhile to buy a JR-Pass.

Have a great time in Japan!
Daniel

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

Hi Daniel,

We'll be using Narita (Tokyo) for the arrival & departure (it's a return-trip ticket). Apologize for the messed-up itinerary format. Somehow the web automatically convert my points into numbers. I'd tried to rework the itinerary, kindly review ...

Day 1 - Narita (Tokyo) to Osaka
Arriving in Narita at 9.00 AM, immediately take the one way JR-Pass to Osaka (¥ 1,160 / pax) ?
After check in the hotel, visit Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium (optional), Shinsaibashi (shopping area, a must for my wife & mother), and also Den Den Town (thank you for the recommendation).
Question : Can we take all in one go, or need to allocate some of the itinerary in Osaka for Day 2 (night) and Day 3 ?

Day 2 - Osaka - Kyoto - Osaka
In the morning, take JR-Pass from Osaka to Kyoto (¥ 540 / pax).
In Kyoto, visit the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Heian-jingu Shrine, and Ginkaku-ji Temple.
Question : What transportation should we use during the visits in Kyoto ?
In the evening, take JR-Pass from Kyoto to Osaka (¥ 540 / pax).

Day 3 - Osaka (full day)
Visit Universal Studio & experience Dotonbori, and possibly some of the itinerary in Osaka that can't be covered in Day 1 & Day 2 (night).
Question : What transportation should we use for the full day in Osaka ?

Day 4 - Osaka to Mt Fuji
In the morning, take JR-Pass from Osaka to Mt Fuji (¥ 12,000 / pax) to Mishima station by Shinkansen (is this the legendary bullet train ? my son would love it).
Then take the bus to Fuji 5 lakes (¥ 2,130 / pax) (bus is not covered by the JR-Pass).
After check in one of the Ryokan in Fuji 5 lakes, enjoy the view of Mount Fuji and visit the Fujikyu Highland.
Question : What transportation should we use during our visit here ?
Experience the Japanese Onsen.

Day 5 - Mt Fuji to Tokyo
In the morning, take the express bus from Fuji 5 Lakes to Tokyo (¥ 1,700 / pax).
After check in the hotel, start experiencing Tokyo, using Tokyo All Day Metro.
Question : What should we visit first from the list of Itinerary in Tokyo ? How to split the list for Day 5 to Day 8 ? Here're the list of Itinerary in Tokyo : Chidorigafuchi for the Cherry Blossom (Chiyoda), Asakusa Kannon Temple (Taito), Tokyo Tower (Minato), Palette Town (Koto), Rainbow Bridge (Koto), Gundam Front (Koto), Mega Web (Koto), Tokyo Animation Centre (Akihabara), Harajuku (Harajuku Takeshita-dori), Shibuya and Shinjuku (shopping).

Day 6 - Tokyo
A must (I'd promised my son) : Whole day at Disneyland !
Transport : using Tokyo All Day Metro.

Day 7 - Tokyo
A must (I'd promised my son) : Whole day at Disneysea !
Transport : using Tokyo All Day Metro.

Day 8 - Tokyo
Whole day for itinerary in Tokyo..
Transport : using Tokyo All Day Metro.

Day 9 - Narita (Tokyo) to Jakarta (Indonesia)
In the morning, check out hotel and go to Narita.
Question : If our flight is to depart Narita at 12.00 pm, what time should leave the hotel ? What transportation should we use ? The Tokyo All Day Metro ?

Many thanks in advance !

Antonius

Adharson
Adharson

Hi Antonius,

Thank you for the expended itinerary. I understand it much better now!
I thought would arrive at Kansai Airport (near Osaka) but since you come from Narita Airport, the JR-Pass suddenly becomes a great option! I will put a new overview of ticket prices below.

Narita Airport -> Osaka ¥ 16,320
Osaka --> Kyoto 540
Kyoto --> Osaka 540
Osaka --> Mishima ¥ 12,000

For a total of ¥ 29,400 the 7 Day JR-Pass is 28,300 so you would save at least ¥ 1,100. Besides this you can also use to JR-Pass on Local trains in Osaka (to Universal City for instance) and in Tokyo (to Disneyland etc) to make further savings. Btw: Yes the Shinkansen is the Japanese name for the legendary bullet train which is also covered by the JR-Pass and you can ride in on your first day to Osaka!

For local travel: In Osaka you can use the JR to reach most places, you can also use the metro which is very handy too but not covered by the JR-Pass. I think you will be able see most in one day but maybe you can combine universal city with the aquarium. Shops are generally open until 20.00 at least so you can go for a long day shopping if you wish, also it is very easy to walk from Shinsaibashi to Den Den town.

in Kyoto Kyoto is relative small compared to Osaka and Tokyo, most places can be reached by bus. Besides the bus there are also 2 metro lines and it is also great to walk around in the city.

In Tokyo you can also use all local JR-lines to travel around. My favorite is the Yamanote line that makes a loop trough the metropolis and stops at many of the great wards, including Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku and Akihabara, to supplement this you can use to Metro for some of the places that can not be reached by JR alone like Asakusa.

I would try to combine the places in Koto on the same day and also try to combine Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku together as they are very close. Lastly, combine Asakusa with Akihabara because you can take the metro directly between them as they are not far apart.

When you go back to Narita Airport: It takes about 90 minutes to travel to Narita Airport from Tokyo by local train or about an hour by the Narita express. If you fly at 12.00 and want to be at the airport 2 hours before departure I would try to leave the Hotel before 8.00 a.m., so you are sure to be on time.

Let me know if I can help in any other way!
-Daniel

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

Hi Daniel-san,

Your advise was very useful in helping me to fine tune my itinerary using JR-pass.

Now, I'm looking for the hotel to stay in Osaka & Tokyo. I'm looking for districts that are : easy to get to the public transport (i.e : JR-pass station, bus terminal), quite friendly to the english-speaking tourist, and have lots of place to eat ?

Based on my itinerary in Osaka & Tokyo, do you have any recommendations of the districts in Osaka & Tokyo, that suit my criteria above ?

Thanks in advance !

Adharson
Adharson

Hi there,

For places in Tokyo, try to find an accommodation around the Yamanote Line that makes a loop trough Tokyo and calls at many of the great stations. Great stops to to stay include, Shinjuku, Ueno and Kanda(Central Tokyo).

In Osaka, stay in Namba for sure! This place has everything, including bus, metro and train connections. It is also a great place to explore by foot. Alternatively Umeda or maybe Shisekai are nice places to stay at.

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

Hi Daniel-san,

To go from Kawaguchiko Station to Gotemba Premium Outlet (Gotemba-Shi, Shizuoka), I found 2 alternatives.

The 1st one use series of trains ( http://goo.gl/maps/25bDx ), it will take approximately 3 hours 45 minutes and ¥ 5,870 / person.

The 2nd one use road near Lake Yamanaka ( http://goo.gl/maps/2Ry5y ), it will take only 40-50 minutes. Personally, I prefer this route since it's faster. However, we can only take this route using mini bus or big taxi (capacity of 7 people or 5 people with lots of luggages). Is there any public buses or big size taxi serving the route ? What is the estimated cost ?

Thanks !

Adharson
Adharson

Hi Again and welcome back!

Has been some time! By accident I was in Gotemba today myself and took some really beautiful pictures of Fuji too, its really worth a visit!

Its also good to see that you are putting some good research into your trip!
About the 2nd route, where did you find the information about the mini bus? I think a normal Taxi would cost about 12,000 Yen judging from the distance but this may be more depending on the company and actual route traveled.

There are however also local buses between, information about them is only available on the internet bus the tourist information at Kawaguchi-ko is a great help and will be able to show what buses to take. I had a similar post about it some time ago that you may find useful.

Hope this helps!
-Daniel

PS: Nice trip! (I think I already wrote that before)

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

Hi Daniel,

Yes, it's been some time. Your information is such a great help for me to do further research.

On my previous posting, the 2nd route, what I mean was : Since we're travelling in a big family (4 adults & 1 kid, plus luggages), taking a regular taxi will require us to use 2 taxis at the same time. Thus, it will be more economical, if we can use a bigger vehicle (the one that can acomodate up to 7 - 8 people, excluding the driver). I was wondering, whether there's MPV-style taxi or small buses.

Based on your posting, I'd find the bus schedule ( http://bus.fujikyu.co.jp/line/jikokuhyo/01.html ). What's the difference between the 1st (above) table and the 2nd (below) table ? During the research, I found this website ( http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+43358 ), stating that the schedule is out-of-date (that the timetable still shows the winter schedule) ?

Thanks !

Adharson
Adharson

Hi Again,

I looked into bigger taxi's but unfortunately could not find any information about them.
An alternative could be to rent your own, Nippon Rent a car allows you to rent a mini at one office and return it at an other.

About the timetable, is actually the same link, so there is no difference and it is up to date as far as I could determine. Buses leave about every 50 minutes, so it won't cause too much of an impact even if you miss one.

The post you linked was written in 2007 and is rather out of date, even worse, is becoming a little notorious as it is popping up in Google as one of the first search results.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

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.