questions & answers: itinerary check

14days jr pass itinerary

14days JR pass itinerary


Me and my family, we are preparing our itinerary for 18 days in Japan (first time!), next summer.
We are planning to buy the 14 days JR pass, however I would love to hear some comments about our itinerary because I think maybe this is too ambitious....

1 - arriving in Tokyo end of the day
2 - Tokyo
3 - Tokyo
4 - Tokyo
5 - FIRST DAY JR PASS : Tokyo - Fukushima and Nikko - Tokyo
6 - Tokyo - Kyoto
7 - Kyoto - Osaka - Kyoto
8 - Kyoto
9 - Kyoto - Nara - Kobe - Kyoto
10 - Kyoto - Ise - Kyoto
11 - Kyoto
12 - Kyoto - Himeji Castel - Hiroshima
13 - Hiroshima - Nagasaki - Hiroshima
14 - Hiroshima - Beppu - Hiroshima
15 - Hiroshima - Miyajima - Tokyo (is this possible to do??)
16 - Tokyo - Kamakura - Yokohama - Tokyo
17 - Tokyo - Takayama - Kanazawa - Tokyo
18 - Tokyo all day. Return fight home end of the day

Questions :

  • on day 10, since we have few time in Kyoto, does it worth to use this day to visite Ise? Or would be better to spend this day in Kyoto?

  • on day 13, instead Nagasaki we would prefer to visit Takachiho. Is it possible to do in same day Hiroshima - Takachiho - Hiroshima?? We would love to visit this place!!

  • on day 17, we would love to visit Shirakawa-go but I guess it's hard to get there... Any advice?

Thank you so much for your help!


Hi there,

Welcome to the forums! Always great to see new people exploring Japan. From looking at your itinerary I can tell that you are very enthusiastic, some times a little too much so. Here are some tips to make your trip as good as possible.

On day 9 when visiting Nara/Kobe, I think that it would be better to pick one of these places. They both have a lot to offer and can keep you busy for days, especially Kobe. So I would recommend making a choice for one or the other but both may be a little too much for a single day.

On day 13 when visiting Hiroshima, consider making your base more south in Fukuoka (Hakata) as it will reduce travel time to Nagasaki and Beppu a lot, even better would be to spend a day in either place and travel on the next morning.

On day 15, I do think that there's enough time to visit Miyajima and take a late train (around 5 p.m.) back to Tokyo however it may be better to go on the Kanazawa and stay the night there. Going from Tokyo - Takayama - Kanazawa - Tokyo on a single day is way too much. Travel time alone from Tokyo - Takayama is 4 hours. My suggestion would be to go to Kanazawa on day 15, day 16 in Takayama and day 17 in Tokyo and make a day trip to Kamakura or Yokohama.

Now to your questions:
1.)Both are fine but remember that travel to Ise does take a couple of hours and it may be nice to relax a little and explore Kyoto.

2.) Frankly this will be impossible on a single day. It's about 2h travel from Hiroshima - Kumamoto from where you'll have to make a 90 min bus ride to Takachiho, although travel time would be okay, buses only leave twice a day making it very hard to plan.

3.) You could make a visit from either Takayama or Kanazawa if you change your plan as suggested above.

Hope this helps!


Hi Daniel,

Thank you sou much for your quick answer, for your advices and for your time!
We are really enthusiastic about exploring Japan! If we had more days and money that would be great, but, no complains, I think we have enough time to see some wonderful places!

It was great to read your comments so we can adjust some important details in our itinerary. As you suggest, we will skip Ise, so we can have more time and relax in Kyoto.
Between Kobe and Nara what would be your choice?

About going to Takachiho... we really want to go there... As I saw, If we take the Shinkansen from Hiroshima we shout pick it about 6 am. and we will arrive in Kumamoto about 8.30. If what I saw is correct... there is a bus departing from Kumamoto JR Station about 9.11 am and it will arrive in Takachiho about 11.58 am. We have about 5 hours to stay there and about 5pm we have the last bus to return again to Kumamoto. It will be a tough day!
Your advice to sleep in Fukuoka sounds great for visiting Beppu. The only question is that I saw in Hyperdia that the Shinkansen from Fukuoka to Kumamoto takes longer than from Hiroshima....?... Is this correct?

What do you think about this?

Thank you again for your help!



Hi Diana,

I know the feeling - the first time I visited Japan I wished to see everything all at once! Of course you can always come back later.

Kyoto or Nara, this is a hard one. Personally I'd head for Kobe as it has a lot too offer, there are over a 100 different spots/attractions/things to do and you really can't go wrong. I'd suggest looking at this website, make a selection of things you find interesting and plan a day trip. Nara is also very nice and should especially be considered if you wish to see Temples and Cultural stuff. However you will already get to see a good amount since you visit Kyoto.

Fukuoka is a great place to stay (I lived there!) it's closer to both Kumamoto and Buppu but be sure to use the station name HAKATAwhen looking it up in Hyperdia. Fukuoka will get you somewhere completely different :)

As for visiting Takachiho, it would be a crazy day! Of course it could be worth it, a saver way could be to stay a night in Beppu and make the approach via Miyazaki.

I hope this helps too!


Hello Daniel!

Thank you so much for your help!!

Considering your comments I made some changes in my itinerary! I think and I hope it´s better now.

1 – Tokyo
2 – Tokyo
3 – Tokyo
4 - FIRST DAY JR PASS : Tokyo - Nikko - Tokyo
5 - Tokyo - and end of the day - Kyoto
6 - Kyoto – Osaka - Kyoto
7 - Kyoto
8 – Kyoto
9 - Kyoto – Kobe - Kyoto
10 – Kyoto (all day) - Train to Fukuoka end of the day
11 – Fukuoka - Nagasaki - Fukuoka
12 - Fukuoka - Takachiho - Fukuoka
13 – Fukuoka - Hiroshima
14 - Hiroshima – Himeji? - Miyajima - Hiroshima
15 – Hiroshima - Tokyo
16 – Tokyo – Kamakura OR Yokohama - Tokyo
17 – Tokyo all day. Return fight home end of the day

As you can see, I took your advice to sleep in Fukuoka. I skip Beppu and also Takayama and Shirakawago. I think this is a bit more realistic itinerary! ;)

If it´s OK to you, I would like to have a comment from you, and thank you again for your time and kindness.




Hi Diana,

Honestly, it looks much better this way! You'll be able to get much more out of your trip, even though you visit less places. I do think that you can make a visit to Himeji but I would plan it on the day when you travel back to Tokyo. Himeji is directly on the route and this will save you travel time on day 14. If you do want to visit some other place than Hiroshima, consider Onomichi is a very lovely town and worth the visit.

Have a great trip!


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