questions & answers: itinerary check

3 weeks including skiing

3 weeks including skiing

Hi,
We are a family of 4 (kids 16 & 11) and will be having 20 days in Japan in January 2014. We'll be making the following train trips:
Day 1: Kansai Airport to Osaka
(4 days Osaka) Day 5: Osaka to Hiroshima
(2 days Hiroshima) Day 7: Hiroshima to Tokyo (Shin-Okubo)
(5 days Tokyo) Day 12: Tokyo (Shin-Okubo) to Togarinozawaonsen
(8 days Nozawa Onsen) Day 20: Togarinozawaonsent to Narita Airport to return home.

  1. Would it be better to purchase individual train fares or get JR Passes?
  2. What are the best options for travel around Kyoto, Hiroshima & Tokyo? What transport does JR Pass cover in these areas and what else would be needed?
  3. If we purchase JR Passes, would it be better to 21 day JR Pass or 14 day JR Pass plus single journey Togarinozawaonsent to Narita Airport on the last day (as we won't be using the train for the last 7 days while in Nozawa Onsen)?
    Many thanks, Kathryn .
Kathryn
Kathryn

Hi Kathryn,

That's a great family trip! Do you plan on visiting Tokyo Disneyland as well? I've have answered your question below.

1.) I would recommend buying a 7 day JR Pass + individual tickets. The trip Osaka - Hiroshima and Hiroshima (¥ 10,220) - Tokyo (¥ 17,850), because this almost equals the price of the 7 day JR Pass (¥ 28,300). You could activate the pass a couple of days before traveling to Hiroshima to explore Kansai (a visit to Kyoto for instance) or use it for local travel around Tokyo.

2.) The JR Pass covers all JR lines around Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima and Kyoto and will be enough to cover most of your travel within Osaka and Tokyo. In Kyoto and Hiroshima other transport methods may be required such as the bus or tram which are not covered by the JR Pass and cost between 150-220 yen for a single ride.

3.) I would recommend buying normal tickets to and from Togari Nozawa onsen, since you spend such a nice amount of time there. It would really be nice if you could plan it in such a way that you can cover Hiroshima - Tokyo - Nozawa within the 7 days of the JR Pass as it would really allow you to make good savings. Namely the ¥ 8,500 for the trip Tokyo - Nozawa. Lastly when you return to Narita Airport, plan well ahead because travel there by rail alone can take around 5 hours!

I hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the information.
I actually made an error as we are staying the first 4 nights in Kyoto not Osaka. All our accommodation is booked. Our travel itinerary (with Adult prices including Reserved Seat fees - but I don't know what is High Season) is:
Day 1: Kansai - Kyoto 3480Y
Day 5: Kyoto - Hiroshima 10990Y
Day 7: Hiroshima - Shin-Okubo (Tokyo) 18250Y
Day 12: Shin-Okubo (Tokyo) - Togarinozawaonsen 7650Y
Day 20: Togarinozawaonsen - Narita T2 11200Y
Total 51570Y

We are thinking of going to Tokyo Disneyland. We travel on day 12 from Tokyo to Nozawa Onsen so maybe the 14 day pass would be better, with the additional single trip on the last day back to Narita.
Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Regards, Kathryn.

Kathryn
Kathryn

Hi Kathryn,

The high season fee is a higher price for seat reservations made during peak season. However you don't have to worry about it as it is covered by the JR Pass.

A 14 day JR pass is 45,100yen but it may not be a good option because you can't use it for all of your travel. A 7 day JR Pass would still remain the most economic option. With normal tickets to and from Togari Nozawa Onsen.

Consider buying a Haruka + Icoca package when you arrive @Kansai Airport and travel directly to Kyoto.

Regards,
Daniel

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