questions & answers: general japan travel

jr pass & 18 days itinerary

JR Pass & 18 days itinerary

Dear,

we'll be arriving July 1st and leave back home July 18th, both @ Tokyo Narita.
Our first thought is to visit Tokyo, Kyoto and surroundings, the Japanese Alps & Hokkaido. We 'd love to experience the city life, both modern and traditional, and are looking for an ideal mix of city and nature beauty.
As we are traveling with our 1 year old, we have to consider a lower pace.
We were wondering if the 14 days JR Pass is the best (= fastest & cheapest) way to travel? If necessary, we are prepared to book a domestic flight to win some time.

What are your first thoughts?

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards,
Pieter

persopi
persopi

Hi Pieter,

Visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, the Japanese Alps and Hokkaido in two weeks is possible but feels a bit much as the same time as well. Especially Hokkaido is a long way from the rest, so maybe it would be smart to add a domestic flight from Kyoto/Kansai to Sapporo. You could then make your way down again to Tokyo using the JR and the new Hokkaido Shinkansen from Hakodate.

As for the JR Pass, you'll do plenty of travel and a 14 day JR Pass can give you nice savings compared to buying normal tickets, even if you fly one way.

Those are my first thoughts, hope you find them useful.
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel,

thank you for your fast answer.

We would like to spend 4 days in Tokyo, 4 days in Kyoto, 4 in the Alps & another 4 in Hokkaido.
If we stay in Tokyo from July 1st and head for Kyoto early morning July 5th , we can fully use the 14 days of the JR Pass.
Maybe any suggestions for cheap flights from Kyoto/Kansai to Sapporo?
Other tips & tricks on rental cars in Hokkaido?

Thanks again.

Pieter

persopi
persopi

Hi again!

Try peach airlines, they generally offer low budget fares. There are a couple of other LCC airlines as well, such as Jetstar. Looking from flights from Kyoto, Osaka Itami and Kansai Airport (or even Kobe). There's can be a big price difference, even though the airports are pretty close together.

I mostly travel by train myself (its just too convenient) and don't have much experience renting a car in Japan but it is generally cheaper to reserve one in advance than book it on the day of use.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Daniel,

we decided to leave out Hokkaido and were thinking of doing
- Tokyo 1/7 to 5/7 - Takayama 5/7 to 9/7 - Kanazawa 9/7 to 11/7 - Kyoto 11/7 to 15/7 - Nara and/or Kobe 15/7 to 17/7 - Tokyo 17/7 to 18/7

Will the 14 day pass cover this itinerary? Is there maybe a cheaper alternative (bus/local train or combination of bus travel + 7 day pass)?
For exploring the Alps (shirakawa, nakabusa, tateyama, ainokura, ...), would you recommend a stay of 4 nights in Takayama in terms of distance and local transport?

Kind regards,
Pieter

persopi
persopi

Hi again!

4 Nights for Takayama is quite long but it could be okay if you plan to visit more than the city. You can see Tayama in one day, as its not very big.

As for the JR Pass, for this route I think it would probably be best to simply buy normal tickets. A 7 day JR Pass would work if you finished the whole route in 7 days but normal tickets cost less than the price of a 14 day JR Pass.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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