questions & answers: itinerary check

14 day trip with a 4 year old

14 day trip with a 4 year old

We are travelling to Japan on a 2 week holiday with our 4 year old daughter (she is used to travelling in foreign countries) and needed some general advice, as well as some guidance on our itinerary;

This is our tentative itinerary and while it does seem to pack in a lot, I'm not sure what to drop from this schedule if at all; Will be grateful for your suggestions.

Day 1 arrive at Narita
Day 2 tokyo city
Day 3 Tokyo- Nikko Day trip
Day 4 Tokyo- Disney Day trip
Day 5 Tokyo - Kamakura Day trip
Day 6 Tokyo-Hakone Day trip
Day 7 Kyoto
Day 8 Kyoto
Day 9 Kyoto Takayama Day trip
Day 10 Kyoto Nara Day trip
Day 11 osaka ??
Day 12 Himeji hiroshima
Day 13 Hiroshima Tokyo
Day 14 Tokyo to Haneda

I also had a couple of other questions -

  • With the itinerary above, should we get a 14 day pass or any other combination like the 7 day + Hakone Free Pass + Suica-Nex;
  • I was wondering if it makes sense to take my daughter's stroller along; In Europe, Australia and North America it has always been useful;

  • I know that she doesnt need train tickets if she doest have a separate seat, I was wondering if it is better to get a JR pass for longer journeys (Tokyo to Kyoto or Kyoto to Hiroshima for eg).

Many thanks in advance.

JB
JB

Hi JB,

Some thoughts on your itinerary:

  1. I think I mentioned before that aiming to spend at least 1 night in Takayama will be best.
  2. Hakone would also benefit from an overnight stay.
  3. You could visit Osaka on a day trip from Kyoto as it is so close (30 mins by train), and this will remove 1 extra hotel move from your journey.
  4. For the Himeji trip, make sure you make good use of the coin lockers at the station to store your luggage.
  5. Please note that Himeji is currently undergoing restoration (here is a webcam). While areas of the castle will be accessible, you won't be able to experience it in it's full glory. How about visiting Miyajima island from Hiroshima instead? (ferry to Miyajima is free with the JR Pass).

With the itinerary above, should we get a 14 day pass or any other combination like the 7 day + Hakone Free Pass + Suica-Nex;

Here's the approximate price breakdown for your trip:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Tokyo: ¥2940, (62mins, 79km)
  2. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5430, (121mins, 150km)
  3. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5430, (117mins, 150km)
  4. Tokyo > Maihama: ¥210, (15mins, 12km)
  5. Maihama > Tokyo: ¥210, (16mins, 12km)
  6. Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥1900, (48mins, 51km)
  7. Kamakura > Tokyo: ¥890, (58mins, 53km)
  8. Tokyo > Odawara: ¥3640, (35mins, 83km)
  9. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥1450, (36mins, 83km)
  10. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13220, (164mins, 513km)
  11. Kyoto > Takayama: ¥9680, (193mins, 314km)
  12. Takayama > Kyoto: ¥9680, (190mins, 314km)
  13. Kyoto > Himeji: ¥5130, (68mins, 130km)
  14. Himeji > Hiroshima: ¥8070, (60mins, 249km)
  15. Hiroshima > Tokyo: ¥18050, (292mins, 894km)

TOTAL: ¥85930 for 15 legs

As you can see, at ¥45,100 a 14 day rail pass gives you good savings over standard tickets. If you decided not to do the Nikko leg, then I think there would be a case for using a 7 day pass and combination of other tickets as you mention, but either way you would make good savings.

I was wondering if it makes sense to take my daughter's stroller along; In Europe, Australia and North America it has always been useful;

A stroller would be handy and wouldn't be a problem - would it be possible to use a baby harness? This may be less cumbersome for you as you travel around

I know that she doesnt need train tickets if she doest have a separate seat, I was wondering if it is better to get a JR pass for longer journeys (Tokyo to Kyoto or Kyoto to Hiroshima for eg).

Your daughter can use a seat as long as it is not needed by a fare paying customer. In practice, this will mean that she should be able to use a seat without a rail pass in all but the most rush-hour conditions.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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