questions & answers: itinerary check

2 weeks trip tokyo-nagano-kyoto-koyasan-hiroshima-tokyo-mt.fuji-tokyo

2 weeks trip Tokyo-Nagano-Kyoto-KoyaSan-Hiroshima-Tokyo-Mt.Fuji-Tokyo


We are going to be in Japan on March 21-April 3rd, me and my husband.

We are planning to do the following trip:
21-22/3 Tokyo
23.3 Tokyo-> Nagano
24.3 Nagano->Kyoto
25.3 Kyoto
26.3 Day trip to Nara
27.3 Kyoto-> KoyaSan
28.3 KoyaSan->Hiroshima
29.3 Hiroshima-> night train to Tokyo
30.3 Tokyo
31.3 Tokyo - Akune (or other place near Mt. Fuji if you have any advices :))
1.4 Akune-> Tokyo
2.4 Tokyo
3.4 Morning flight back

So I have couple of questions and hope you can help.
1. We were planning to buy 7-day JR Pass and activate it on the way to Nagano. So it means to get to Akune we will buy a separate ticket. Is it worth? As I see in Koyasan and some other places JR pass is not valid.

  1. From Koyasan - would it be better to go to Hiroshima directly and then to spend night in Hiroshima, instead of going back to Kyoto (the plan above)?

  2. Night trip from Hiroshima to Tokyo - is it too tough?

  3. Is SHINKANSEN ASAMA covered by JR Pass (it looks like, but I am not sure) - the trip to Nagano

  4. Should we reserve places in advance for this period as it will be cherry blossom season?

  5. What places on out route should we visit for cherry blossom?

  6. When travelling from Nagano to Kyoto, it takes about 4 hours and involves NOZOMI line. Is it covered by JRPass?

  7. From Kyoto-Koyasan is about 3 hours (170 min) and from Nara to Kyoto is about 150 min. Would you recommend to go to koyasan from Nara and not from Kyoto? And it's not covered by JR pass, correct?

9.From Hiroshima to Tokyo, again the shortest way it to use Nozomi train, which I am not sure if covered by JR pass...

  1. I heard there is an option to use services which transfers your luggage between the cities and delivers it to your hotel when needed. Is it a good service? Is it safe?

Sorry again about asking so many questions, hope you will be able to help :))
And any other valuable tips will be highly appreciated!!



Hi Tanya,

With the travel you do, you will be sure to get some very good millage out of your JR-Pass. The price is about the same as a return trip Tokyo - Kyoto, with the trip to Nagano and town to Hiroshima you will be using it very well!

To answer your questions:
1.) With the itinarary above I assume you plan to stay the night at Koya-san. After this the easiest way to go the Hiroshima is to take the train back to Osaka and from there hop on the Shinkansen that will take you there directly. I think time wise this is smarter and you will be able to see more of Hiroshima.

2.) This all depends if you can sleep in the train, I think it is a fantastic possibility but if you will be all groggy the next day it may be better to just take the Shinkansen during the day.

3.) YES! The trip with the Asuma Shinkansen is fully covered by the JR-Pass.

4.) Travel will be somewhat more busy, except for the Sakura spotters most locals will celebrate the cherry blossom in their hometown. If you can I would suggest making reservations in advance but you have to worry about seats being unavailable.

5.) This is a hard one! Predicting Cherry blossom is like predicting the weather. So when and where it happens exactly is a real art. Generally it starts in the south of Japan and moves up North, so trying to travel with it is what many try to do. Here is a list with current predictions.

6.) The trip between Nagano and Kyoto is fully covered, you won't be able to use to Nozomi but the Hikari runs on the same track and can be boarded without extra charge. Here is an example for the journey.

7.) Generally there is not much difference if you come from Kyoto or Nara, I would recommend taking the train to Osaka and from there take the Kintetsu railway to Koyasan. The trip up to Osaka is covered by the rail-pass, from there it is ¥1610 by limited express train or ¥1210 normal express train. I would recommend reading the Wiki Travel page about the details of how to access Koya San.

In case you do come from Nara, you can also take the JR to the station called Hashimoto and transfer here to the Nankai railway, which from Nara is the fastest and you can also save a little money with the JR-Pass.

8.) This question must have dissipated somewhere between 7 and 9 :)

9.) Like in question 6, you can use the Hikari Super express instead, it makes a couple more stops on the way but for the rest it is the same as the Nozomi.

10.) Oh yes it is very safe but can get a little pricey. You can use Yamoto transport to transport your suitcases. This company is well known for its black cat logo and can be found all over Japan. Prices start at about 1000 Yen per Suitcase (but expect to pay around 1500 for the average suitcase), depending on size, weight and length of transport. Most Hotels will offer this service if you request it.

For the rest I think you have a very nice itinerary. Frankly I think it works out very well and don't have much to add to it.

Hope you have a great time in Japan!


Thank you so much!!! This is great information and very helpful.
Looking forward toward our trip :))
Thanks again


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