questions & answers: general japan travel

osaka to tokyo

Osaka to Tokyo

Hi we're travelling to Osaka in April and are planning a 14 day trip :) from Osaka to Hiroshima , Miyajima , Kyoto , Takayama and finishing in Tokyo , I'm travelling with my two daughters 15 yr and 11 yr . We would love to experience as much as we can fit in during our trek ! Any suggestions would be great ! Also the JR Rail pass .. Is it the best way to go , I'm guessing its the cheaper option considering our main form of transport will be train ! Please any input would be appreciated x we want to see culture !

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

Just to add to my above post I have settled on a itinerary of sorts .. Not quite set in stone ! Any suggestions would be great ! Also will the Jr Pass be my best option ?
Day 1 arrive Osaka
Day 2 Osaka - universal studio's
Day 3 Osaka sight seeing
Day 4 train to Hiroshima ,.. sight see and then ferry across to Miyajima ( stay two nite Miyajima )
Dat 6 Miyajima sight seeing
Day 7 train to Kyoto (stay two nites Kyoto )
Dat 8 train to Arishiyama , back to Kyoto for the nite
Day 9 train to Takayama stay over nite
Day 10 Takayama sight seeing then bus to Shirakawa-go
Day 11 train to Tokyo
Day 12 Tokyo shopping (we're girls !! )
Day 13 Tokyo more shopping
Day 14 Tokyo Disney
Day 15 Tokyo museums , pokemon world ,
Day 16 Tokyo sensoji temple , Nikko national park
Day 17 fly home :)
As I said before its myself and my two girls age 15 and 11 any input would be great we really just want to see as much culture as we can , at each stop we have sights were keen to see but please suggest any along the way , also should we stop between Shirakawa-go and Tokyo ?!? I think this is a big trek maybe 4 hours ?!?
Thankyou Elle x I'm hoping Daniel-San will reply he seems to the the guru !

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

Oh !! I forgot to add we are desperate to see snow !! We are travelling early April ! We're will we find snow !

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

Hi there,

A JR Pass would certainly be of use, be it a 7 day or 14 day JR Pass. I made a little list of normal ticket prices to see what would be the best.

Osaka - Hiroshima ¥ 9,950
Hiroshima - Miyajima ¥ 1,140 (return)
Hiroshima - Kyoto ¥ 10,790
Kyoto - Takayama ¥ 9,680
Takayama - Tokyo ¥ 14,300

For a total of ¥ 45,860, in addition the JR Pass is also valid for local travel around Osaka/Tokyo using the JR network and to the Airport, adding even more. You could make some really good savings but it would need a little planning. First let's look at available options with the JR Pass.

Option 1: travel using 14 Day JR Pass, the advantage here is that you have one ticket for your entire trip without having to buy other tickets and you would be able to make some small savings on the way as well. The 14 day JR Pass is ¥ 45,100.

Option 2: travel using a 7 Day JR Pass. This would be the most cost efficient way but would require some rearrangement of your schedule. What it comes down to is using the JR Pass for your expansive long distance travel and buying normal tickets for local travel in Osaka and Tokyo. To make the best use of a 7 day JR Pass, you'd have to switch visiting Kyoto and Hiroshima around. This because travel between Osaka and Kyoto is low cost (540 yen) and then start using your JR Pass for Kyoto - Hiroshima - Takayama - Tokyo. This way you could make great savings on your rail travel.

As for what to see and do, I think your basic plan Osaka / Kyoto / Hiroshima / Tokyo is a great start. Kyoto has a lot of culture and tradition to explore and experience. Also consider a day trip from Kyoto/Osaka to Nara, a visit to Miyajima from Hiroshima or Nikko from Tokyo.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Elle,

I wrote the above post before you posted the updates.

For snow: in April most snow will be gone, so you'd have to go up a mountain or visit the Japanese alps.

You could consider a visit to Mount Rokka from Kyoto/Osaka which may still have snow and is a great visit in any event, it is also close to Kobe which is great for shopping!

An other snow option is to visit the Kurobe Alpine route which opens as of the 16th of April although some sections also open as of the 10th of April.

Lastly Shirakawago - Tokyo is quite a trip. It is about 50 by bus from Shirakawago - Takayama and then 4-5 hours by rail to Tokyo.

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

Hi we're still fine tuning our trip ! Pretty much have the same destinations as stated in above post , but desperate to see snow :) where staying in Takayama and Shirakawa-go is it possible to get to Hakuba from either ! I think we may see snow there in mid April ?!?

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

Hi there!

There will still be show in April around Hakuba however I am not sure how much winter sport activities will still be available. It is possible to travel there by train from Takayama but the train ride is about 5 hours, which may be a little long. Your best bet would be to visit the previously linked Kurobe Alpine route :)

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

Hi Daniel-San thankyou for yourendless knowledge !! i have looked at the Kurobe Alpine Route as suggested , would this trip be best done whilst we are in Takayama ?!? If so how long is the trip x

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

Also looks at earlier suggestion Mount Rokka this could be a great option ! It dos'nt seem like a huge trip ! We are stating in Kyoto and hoping to visit Kobe as suggested !

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

You could be there in about 2 hours from Takayama. So I think that you could see part of it as a day trip. It would still need some planning though.

Mount Rokka is great even if there's no snow yet. It is also pretty easy to access from anywhere in Kansai, so if you have a free day - be sure to visit it!

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel-San ! im getting closer to having our trip sorted ! still need a little advice though :) We are really keen to do the Kurobe Alpine Route ! so our timetable is as follows ,

9 th April Arrive Osaka stay the nite
10th April trek to Hiroshima stay nite
11th Miyrajima back to Hiroshima for the nite
12th Osaka
13th Osaka
14th Kyoto
15th Kyoto
16th Takayama
17th Shirakawa-go
18th were hoping to do Alpine pass here and stay somewhere maybe Murodo ?or Matsumuto ?
19th we need to Trek to Tokyo this day !
20 th Tokyo
21st Tokyo
22nd Tokyo
23rd Tokyo
24 th depart for home !

is this looking like a realistic timetable ? can you help me with sorting days 17 through to 19 ! we would like to stay in Shirakawa-go but we are happy to just do a day trip there if it makes our Alpine Route possible ! You mentioned the Alpine Route opens on the 16th April , hopefully weather prevails ! also staying on the Alpine pass would be nice but considering our trip to Tokyo the next day it may be better to stay in Matsumoto or Tateyama ? arghhh so much to think about , your advice is so valuable xx Elle

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

ok so maybe these two options will work !

opton 1
16th April Takayama
17th day trip to Shirakawa-go back to Takayama for the nite
18th ttake early morning rain to Toyama .. do Alpine Route stay in Matsumuto
19th Matsumuto to Tokyo !!

option2

16th takayama
17th day trip to Shirakawa-go catch late afternoon bus to Kanazawa them train to Toyama stay the nite
18th Alpine Route stay in Matsumuto
19th train to Tokyo !

what do you think of either option , if you think theres a better option please help ! xx

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

ok so maybe these two options will work !

opton 1
16th April Takayama
17th day trip to Shirakawa-go back to Takayama for the nite
18th ttake early morning rain to Toyama .. do Alpine Route stay in Matsumuto
19th Matsumuto to Tokyo !!

option2

16th takayama
17th day trip to Shirakawa-go catch late afternoon bus to Kanazawa them train to Toyama stay the nite
18th Alpine Route stay in Matsumuto
19th train to Tokyo !

what do you think of either option , if you think theres a better option please help ! xx

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

im such a pain !!! sorry :)

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

Hi Elle,

Don't worry I am here to help! So ask as much as you like!

I think both options are good but a visit to Kanazawa would be nice if you have the time. Did you know that there are different hotels along the Alpine route as well, or at the end near Shinano-Omachi?

It's bit of a short replay so I hope that I answered your questions, let me know if something is not clear!
-Daniel :)

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel , we are also keen to have stop over in Yuzawa to do some skiing :) after we have done the Alpine Route we head to Tokyo for our final few days, If we finish the Alpine route at Ogizawa is it possible to go to Yuzawa ?!? If its not possible we will just trek to Tokyo and take the bullet train on a free day to Yuzawa x

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

Hi there!

I looked up the route to Yuzawa from Ogizawa but I would not recommend it. The route is almost 9 Hours and takes a lot of transfers. I think that it would be much saver to make the approach from Tokyo.

Enjoy the Snow!
Daniel

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

Hi Daniel -San , I have finalised my itinerary and now just need your advice on which rail pass I should purchase , I'm bot sure if I should buy 7 days and pay for local transport or 14 days ! Your advice please
April 9 Osaka
April 10 we catch the Shinkansen to Hiroshima stay the nite
April 11 ferry across to Miyajima , back to Hiroshima stay the nite
April 12 Shinkansen to Osaka
April 13 Osaka
April 14 Kyoto
April 15 Kyoto
April 16 Shirakawa-go
April 17 Takayama
April 18 we catch transport to Tatayama and start the Alpine Route , we stay the nite in Murudo
April 19 finish Alpine Route and head to Tokyo
April 20 Tokyo
April 21 Tokyo
April 22 Tokyo
April 23 Tokyo
April 24 We fly home

we are on a tight budget now !! Accomadation has killed the budget ! So we just want the best cost effective way ! Thankyou xx Elle

Elleharrop
Elleharrop

Hi Elle,

Japan can certainly be expensive but I've always found that it is money well spend :)
Looking at your latest itinerary it is a bit hard to plan in a 7 day JR Pass. I think the best moment would be to use it from April 10 - April 6 and then buy a normal ticket to Tokyo. I guess that you'll end up at Shinano-Omachi after finishing the Alpine route. In that case I'd recommend traveling to Tokyo via Matsumoto and Shinjuku like THIS as you'll be able to save some money on train tickets vs using the Shinkansen.

Hope this helps and have a great trip!
Daniel

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

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