questions & answers: general japan travel

japan adventure 2012!

Japan Adventure 2012!

Hello!

My girlfriend and I are traveling to Japan from October the 17th to the 29th 2012. We have both wanted to go all our lives so this is kind of a big thing to both of us. We are planning to pick up a JR pass for the first 7 days and have thus far planned this.

Wednesday - Arrive Narita 9am travel to Osaka.
Thursday - Osaka
Friday - Hiroshima for the day then back to Osaka.
Saturday - One of either another day in Osaka, Kobe or Kyoto, we plan to stay in Osaka on the Saturday evening.
Sunday - Kyoto
Monday - day in Kyoto then travel to Tokyo
Tuesday - Visit Mount Fuji / Hakone (is this doable with a JR pass or is a package of some sort recommended ?)
Wednesday through Monday 29th Tokyo leaving Narita 11am.

Any advice on this itinerary would be greatly appreciated, whether it be additions , the use of the JR pass or if anyone has any tips on places to go.

Thanks Everyone

Timmy x

Ps I love J-Horror is there anything to do with regards to that in Japan in the moment ?

anotherschmuck
anotherschmuck

Hi Timmy,

Here are some thoughts on your trip

Hiroshima

If you can stretch to it, you should try and visit/spend a night on Miyajima island off the coast of Hiroshima. The JR Pass covers the travel on the ferry to the island so you won't need to pay any further for this. If you don't fancy lugging your luggage around you could leave it in a luggage locker at Osaka station while you travel down to Hiroshima.

Hakone

You should ideally aim to stay overnight in an onsen (hot spring) hotel or ryokan in the Hakone area to get the best out of the area. How about stopping in Hakone on the way back to Tokyo on Monday? It is en-route from Kyoto so will also save you doubling back on yourselves.

For Hakone you should aim to use the bullet train to get to Odawara station. From here you will need to use non-JR lines up to the Hakone area itself. I recommend the 2 day Hakone Free Pass which you can purchase on arrival at Odawara station.

Koya san

As you are spending so much time in the Kansai area, how about visiting Koyasan and spending the night in buddhist temple lodging? It's an incredibly atmospheric experience, and a highlight of many trips. You can find more about Koyasan from the official website here, and while you will need to pay around ¥2000 to get there (Koyasan station lies on non-JR lines) it's well worth it.

J-Horror

While I'm not 100% sure if there are any horror events, if you are J-Horror enthusiasts you should definitely check out the haunted hospital at the Fuji-Q highlands theme park near Mt Fuji. As the 2nd longest haunted house experience in the world, the haunted hospital is set in classic a J-Horror setting and populated with many real actors. As a past customer, I can vouch for it's ability to generate pant wetting terror, and there are many other endorsements on the internet). The entire experience can take around 1 hour (shorter if you run through it terrified out of your mind - ahem...) and the surrounding theme park is excellent too if that's your thing.

FujiQ is not directly accessible with a JR Pass. You can use the JR Pass to get to JR Otsuki station, and from there will need to use the Fujikyuko line to the FujiQ Highland station (approx. ¥1000 each way). If you do decide to go I recommend visiting on a weekday rather than weekend to avoid the crowds.

Hope this helps!

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
Expert_button_2

Hey Mari,

You are a superstar, thank you so much for the suggestions and help. The Haunted House looks insane and right up my street so thanks for showing me that !

I just have one other question. How far in advance can I reserve seats on any of the trains I wish to use ? does it have to be on the day at the station or can it be done online in advance ? I guess our worry is that we get there and the trains are all full! and we wont be able to get from Narita to Osaka on our first day.

We will be getting the 7 day pass from here as we are just putting the finishing touches to our hotel bookings, thanks again.

All the best,

Timmy

anotherschmuck
anotherschmuck

Hi Timmy,

Glad I could help :)

About seat reservations, I think you will be fine to make them on the day of travel. In general there are good numbers of seats available for travel provided you are not travelling on a public holiday or on the last train of the day. If you do happen to experience a very busy train there may be seating in non-reserved or you can wait book seats on the next Hikari bullet train (there are normally 2 Hikari bullets per hour on the Tokyo - Osaka line).

When you arrive at Narita and activate your rail pass, I would make reservations for the Hikari bullet train when you go to make your reservation for the Narita Express. The Narita Express will take around 1 hour to get you into Tokyo (where you need to transfer to the Bullet train to Osaka) and should be more than enough time to ensure you have seats.

Hope this helps, and thanks again for the kind words!

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
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.