questions & answers: itinerary check

5 week travel in japan

5 week Travel in Japan

Traveliing around main honshu for first 2 weeks:

Tokyo - Kamakura

week 1 Kamakura- Osaka

Osaka- Nara

Week 2 Nara -Kyoto

Kyoto- Nagano- Nikko

Nikko - Hokkaido?? (Not sure best way to get to Hokkaido; is it best to fly? Is that the cheapest?)

Week- 3 Then finally Hokkaido - Yamagata

Do i only need a 2 week railpass or 3 week?

Not sure whether to get a 2 week rail pass for whole of japan, then a pass for North Japan?

Please help me plan my travel. Thanks


Hi there,

You have a couple of options here,

Personally I would start using the JR Pass the moment that you leave for Kamakura and on to Osaka. This because local travel in Tokyo is relatively cheap and the JR Pass is best suited for the longer distances and up to Nikko it is certainly the way to trave.
After Nikko you can either fly or take the train to Hokkaido. Taking the train to Hokkaido with the JR Pass is by far the most economic option but will take a long period of time. Travel from Nikko to Sapporo takes about 10 hours by train so it is a very long ride. An airplane will get your there in about 2-3 hours but prices can vary a lot and it is hard to say how much it will cost.

Personally I did the trip by train to Hokkaido last March, I decided to take the train as I would just use one day of the pass and have the other days left and could go where I wised without having to pay any additional fees. You can also plan a stop or two on the way to Hokkaido if you feel the trip is too long in one go.

For the rest, I really like your plan and I hope you have a great time in Japan!


Thanks Daniel, This was very helpful. Feel a bit more at ease about it now. I think I will take the train to Hokkaido, might as well use the pass if i am going to get it.

Also wanted to ask, is it better to book all accommodation in advance or is it easy to find places while out there?


Hi Again!

Japan is a wonderful country to book on the go. Every main train station has a tourist information that can make local bookings for you. They will call every hotel for you and look tell you the availability/price and can even make the booking for you. I have made use of this many times and it always worked out great!

Of course you can book hotels a couple of days in advance with some of the online websites available. I use this website myself as it is focused on only Japan, alternatively websites like, agoda and expedia can be a good resource too.

I would however book hostels in advance if you plan to stay with them. They get booked a lost faster than hotels because they offer lower prices.

Let me know if I can help with anything else!


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