questions & answers: itinerary check

2 week itinerary - is jr pass best purchase?

2 Week Itinerary - Is JR pass best purchase?


I'm travelling out to Japan in a couple of weeks for a 2 week trip and I'm looking for some advice to see if buying a JR pass would be best for my itinerary. I'm staying with a friend there who stays in one of the suburbs of Tokyo, Saitama prefecture and will be travelling with them for some days.

At present my schedule is as follows:

Day 1 - Travel in the evening to Mt. Fuji to make the climb for the following day's sunrise.
Day 2 - Descend from Mt. Fuji and stay over night at a Ryokan with Onsen in Hakone area.
Day 3 - Explore Hakone region and travel the Hakon Round Course and stay overnight in Hakone possibly at a Minshuku.
Day 4 - Attend Fuji-Q theme park and travel back to Saitama, Tokyo in the evening.

Days 5-9 I will be by myself and plan to explore Tokyo and visit a friend in Yokohama.
At present I'm hoping to visit Akhibara, Shibuya, Harajuku and track down the Gundam monument. I am open to suggestions for what else to see and do during these days.

Day 10 - In the evening travel overnight to Kyoto.
Day 11 - Visit a number of shrines and Nijo Castle stay overnight.
Day 12 - Explore more of Kyoto, hopefully take part in Samurai Kembo. Depending on my friend's work schedule we may have to travel back to Saitama, Tokyo that evening.
Day 13 - If we are still in Kyoto, further explore it maybe make a trip to Nara. If we are back in Tokyo then do some final shopping.

Day 14 - Travel back to Narita Airport to fly out that night.

During all that I hope to utilise the shinkansen at least once! Your help and any suggestions to maximise my time in Japan would be very much appreciated.

Thanks again.


Hi There!

Reading your itinerary I realize, how much I wish to visit Japan as well, great plan so far!

A JR Pass could certainly benefit your travel if you use it for the return Tokyo Kyoto. The 7 day JR Pass is roughly the same, so any travel you may do after (to Nara or Saitama) is what you save. I see that you wish to travel overnight to Kyoto? Did you know that the Shinkansen only takes 140-160 minutes? I am writing about this because there currently is no night train between Tokyo - Kyoto. You could take the Sunrise Express from Tokyo to Okayama for instance and the train from there to Kyoto but this would not be very time efficient.

I see that you wish to travel around in Hakone too, travel around the area is done by many local transport methods that are not covered by the JR Pass. I would recommend buying a Hakone free pass.

Lastly, while in Tokyo (day 5-9), why not visit the Ghibli Museum? Also be sure to visit Akihabara if you are interested in Gundam and other Anime. Lastly I would recommend a visit to Odaiba which is the most modern part in Tokyo, and home to Tokyo big site, Asahi TV and some great shopping malls.

I hope this helps!


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