questions & answers: itinerary check

9 days - itinerary check

9 days - Itinerary Check

Hi,

Three of us are planning to travel to Japan this July. We are wondering if
a) we can travel on the JR passes for all these places?
b) does the itinerary look doable for all that we want to do?
c) JR pass good option?

Our current plans look like this:

Day 1 Osaka kansai Arrive -->
Day 2 head to Tokyo (Mount Fuji) Tokyo Tower-->
Day 3 in Tokyo for the day; visit a few locations i.e Shibuya, Sensoji->
Day 4 head to Kyoto ; visit Fushimi Inari, -->
Day 5 Kyoto visit Kinkakuji --->
Day 6 Head to Hiroshima Miyajima -->
Day 7 Morning at the Peace Memorial , head to Osaka -->
Day 8 Osaka Castle / Nara day trip -->
Day 9 return from Osaka kansai flight back

What is the most efficient way to get to a place to see Mt. Fuji traveling from Osaka?
I am traveling with all first timers in Japan , so we hope to see the most of Japan but hoping to catch the highlights to each of these places. Any suggestions welcome!

Thank you!

ginnie
ginnie

Hi there,

1.) Yes travel to all these places is covered by the JR Pass, keep in mind though that you still may have to use local transport within these cities, which may not be covered by the JR Pass, such as the metro. The same applies if you visit Fuji, some transport methods around the mountain require separate tickets.

2.) The itinerary is busy but looks certainly doable. Perhaps the only thing I would drop is visiting Fuji, as it could add a lot of extra travel time.

3.) Yes the JR Pass is amazing for your trip, the 7 day JR Pass is about the same price as a normal return ticket Osaka - Kyoto on the Shinkansen.You would make some great savings by visiting Hiroshima and all other places.

I think that you already made a great selection, consider adding a visit to Kyomizu-dera in Kyoto and Arashiyama. Also on the way back from Hiroshima - Osaka, you could add a visit to Himeji which is directly on the route.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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

Thank you for answering all three questions.

1) How do I know if a station is a JR station on a map? Does it always start with JR (Name) ? And the other companies would just have no "JR" in front of it?

2) Fuji - Perhaps it is possible to get a good view of it from one of the surrounding areas? We don't need to see it up close but would like to get a good look of it hopefully like those postcard photos (weather permitting). If we go to Hakone / one of the five lakes, would you also suggest to drop it?

3) Thank you for confirming this!

Kyomizu-dera and Arashiyama - I was thinking about these two locations but my concern is the travel to these places involve lots of climbing it seems especially kyomizu-dera. One of the persons on the trip is older person with weaker knees. I am just concerned the train or bus would only stop us somewhere and we have a long walk? Or am I wrong here?

I'll look into Himeji !

Thank you!

ginnie
ginnie

Hi Ginne,

Most stations are indeed located by a JR sight. Maybe good to learn is the Japanese station for station . I've always thought the last part looks like an R making it easy to remember as it looks like JR.

2.) It is certainly possible to get a good view of Fuji without making a long trip. From the Shinkansen Fuji can be very beautiful. Hakone or Fuji Five Lakes (they are not the same!) both offer great views, only Hakone is 10 times more easy to access. So I would a visit there. You could also just get on the Shinkansen and make a stop near one of the stations that offer a good view of Fuji, think about Mishima, Atami.

For travel around Kyoto, Kyomizy dera is about 5 minutes (maybe 10 if you walk slowly) walk from the closest bus station and I don't think it would be too much trouble to walk to. It is also possible to take a taxi to right in front of the temple area. Which may also be an option to consider. Arashiya does involve a good bit of walking, so maybe it is better to look at something else.

Hope this helps too!
Daniel

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

That totally helps!

1) Thanks for the tip ! I have seen the word "駅" after train stations. I thought it just meant any train station! Now I know it is a JR train station.

2) I have read summer is kinda hard to catch Mount Fuji due to the clouds :( but I will still try my luck. I read a bit about Hakone and Kawaguchiko (Fuji 5 lakes) after your suggestions. From my reading, it said that Kawaguchiko has Lavender field near the Kawaguchiko (Oishi Park) around mid-July which is when I plan to be there. I am now tempted to alter my itinerary a bit to include the following:

Day 2 head to Tokyo (Mount Fuji) Tokyo Tower, head to Kawaguchiko in the afternoon to spend the night -->
Day 3 back in Tokyo to visit around town - sensoji
Day 4 head to Kyoto

How does this sound? I suppose if we don't have good weather means we will have no Mt. Fuji and no lavenders to see.....then it may be wasteful to go all the way to Kawaguchiko?

Ginnie

ginnie
ginnie

Hi Ginnie,

1.) Well it can apply to any station. However you will find it usually only for train stations. JR over 90% of then nation wide so chances are good you've found a JR station.

2.) No this is a good question, I do think visiting Fuji is the most iconic thing you can do when you are in Japan. Also there is enough stuff to see and do around the Fuji 5 Lakes, even without seeing Fuji. So it's not a bad place to visit. The same applies for Hakone. So it's a good plan, you could always check the weather when you in Tokyo and change plans if it really looks bad.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel-San ~ Thank you very much for your advice!

ginnie
ginnie

Hi Daniel-san,

I would like to ask for your opinion again...

Day 1 Arrival - >
We will arrive in the later part of the afternoon on the 1st day - We plan to stay in Osaka..This hotel: Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka. We booked this hotel because they offer bus transportation to the hotel (with a charge). However, with our JR pass...is there a way to get to this hotel with the pass too? Hopefully we can visit some Namba area in the same evening.

Day 2 -->
The next day - we plan to visit Tokyo - so how do we get from the Sheraton Miyako hotel to the bullet train line?
When we arrive, we will check in at Mitsui Garden Hotel Shiodome Italia-gai. With the three of us, how do we get to the hotel from the JR Tokyo station?
With three of us, when will it make sense to take taxi instead of non-JR trains?

Thanks for any input.
ginnie

ginnie
ginnie

Hello Ginnie,

The Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka is not to far from Tsuruhashi Station‎, from here you can take the Osaka City Loop Line (JR) to travel around Osaka city using the JR Pass. You can also travel from there Shin-Osaka, which is the Bullet train station for Osaka. From Shin-Osaka you can directly get on the Shinkansen to Tokyo.

Your 2nd Hotel, Mitsui Garden Hotel Shiodome Italia-gai is not far from Hamamatsucho station, this is only 2 stops away from Tokyo on the Yamanote line. So I would recommend taking the train. However a taxi would be very expensive shared among 3, so you could consider a taxi as well if you don't want to carry your luggage around.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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

Do you know which JR route to take from Kansai aitport to Tsuruhasi station? How long will it take?

From Kawaguchi-ko, can we go to Kyoto station directly? If so, how do we manage it?

Always grateful,
Ginnie

ginnie
ginnie

Hi Ginnie,

Of course I do :)

Here they are:
Kansai Airport - Tsuruhashi.

As for Kawaguchiko - Kyoto, this is actually quite a trip. The most simple would be to return to Tokyo station and take the Shinkansen from there. Here is the full route.

Hope this helps :)
Daniel

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

I think my plans are slowly coming into place…although it seems my head is spinning all the time! Thank you for your advice.

I would like to double-check my notes with you:

Day 1 July 13th - Arrive at the Kansai Intl Airport late PM , activate JR to go to Tsuruhashi station. (via JR Haruka transfer to JR Osaka Loop line)
*Visit sightseeing Namba / Shinbashi (JR Osaka Loop Line) in the evening

Day 2 July 14th - Early AM JR Tsuruhashi to JR Shin-Osaka (via JR Osaka Loop line transfer to JR Tokaido/Sanyo Line) from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo Station (via JR Tokaido /Sanyo Shinkansen) , from Tokyo Station transfer two stops to the Hamamatsucho station to reach our hotel at Mitsui Garden Hotel Shiodome Italia-gai (via JR Yamanote line)

Visit Hama Rikyu Gardens (walking distance from hotel ) Visit Sightseeing Meiji JIngu (what can we take on the JR to get here from Hamamatsucho station?) *Visit Tokyo Tower (walking distance from hotel)

Question:
From the above Day 2 schedule, what is the best route that will get us to our hotel the fastest? Am I correct with all the train routes? From googlemap, it seems that we will take about 3 hours to finish all the transits from Osaka to Tokyo. Realistic?

Thank you!
ginnie

ginnie
ginnie

Hello~

and good morning! Here is the route from Tsuruhashi - Hamamatsucho. The is the best route with the JR Pass. Complete travel time: 227 Minutes, or a little over 4 hours.

Hamamatsucho, is on the JR Yamanote line. I would recommend getting a bit familiar with this train line before going arriving. It's basically a circle loop line that stops at many important stations in Tokyo. Including Shibuya, the stop for Meiji Jingu.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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

Thanks.. It looks like the result is different from googlemaps when using hyperdia instead. Is it because JR Tokaido /Sanyo Shinkansen is one of those lines I cannot use i.e the fastest (least stops) trains?

I will research the JR Yamanote line next.

Thank you!
ginnie

ginnie
ginnie

Hi Agasin!

Yes you are correct, Google maps that not differentiate between trains included in the JR Pass and those that are not. So I would stick to Hyperdia for time tables.

After the Yamanote line, have a look at the Chuo line as well. These are the most useful lines within Tokyo!
-Daniel

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

Thank you!

Since I have 227 minutes on the train (which is a long time), is it possible to have any night time trains for this route so we can sleep on the train and be there in Tokyo in the morning? If not trains, perhaps any buses? What do you recommend on saving time?

ginnie

ginnie
ginnie

Hi Ginnie!

Having looking again at the route, I would recommend travelling it by day. Although there are night buses available between Osaka - Tokyo, they may only give you more trouble. I would recommend taking an early train (6 am?). This way you still arrive early in Tokyo and should have most of the day left for more fun things to do.

Daniel

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

Thanks for the advice. Just out of curiosity, why would it be more trouble to take the night buses from Osaka to Tokyo?

Day 2: From the map, it looks like Meiji Jingu is closer to the Harajuku station on JR Yamanote line. Is it true? I see you recommended to stop at the Shibuya Station instead. Perhaps we can stop at Shibuya Station - proceed to the Takeshita Dori and Omotesando before getting to Meiji Jingu? Do you recommend going to Shinjuku or anything else in the Meiji Jingu area?

Day 3: Tokyo Sky Tree and Senso-ji - How do we get to this place from HAMAMATSUCHO station? I used Hyperdia but it is showing up as route is not found. Take the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa? From Asakusa , walk to Tokyo Skytree and then walk to Senso-ji?

Day 4: Head to Kyoto - is this correct? (Hyperdia: http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=HAMAMATSUCHO&arv_node=KYOTO&via_node01=&via_node02=&via_node03=&year=2014&month=05&day=29&hour=17&minute=57&search_type=0&search_way=&transtime=undefined&sort=0&max_route=5&airplane=off&ship=off&sprnozomi=off&bus=off&walk=off&privately=off&lmlimit=null&search_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7)

From Kyoto station - take a cab to Hotel Sunroute Kyoto 7 minutes for 3 person. Will this be expensive?

Visit Fushimi Inari in the afternoon.

Day 5: I read that there will be Gion Matsuri in the morning of July 17th. Have you been to it? Where is the best place to see it?

Visit Gion / Nishiki Market / Kyomizu dera.

Day 6: Get to Hiroshima from hotel - is this correct? ( http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=KYOTO&arv_node=HIROSHIMA&via_node01=&via_node02=&via_node03=&year=2014&month=05&day=29&hour=14&minute=00&search_type=0&search_way=&transtime=undefined&sort=0&max_route=5&airplane=off&ship=off&sprnozomi=off&bus=off&walk=off&privately=off&lmlimit=null&search_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7)

Check in hotel , go to Peace Museum

Day 7: How do we get to Miyajima from the Mielparque Hiroshima Hotel? The best way - Hiroshima - Miyajimaguchi - Ferry?
http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=HIROSHIMA&arv_node=MIYAJIMAGUCHI&via_node01=&via_node02=&via_node03=&year=2014&month=05&day=29&hour=17&minute=57&search_type=0&search_way=&transtime=undefined&sort=0&max_route=5&airplane=off&ship=off&sprnozomi=off&bus=off&walk=off&privately=off&lmlimit=null&search_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7

From Miyajima - we would like to go back to Osaka on the same day. We will want to be in the Namba area.. How do we get here? I am not finding any results from Hyperdia search.

Thank you!
ginnie

ginnie
ginnie

Hi Ginnie,

How have you been? I see that you've been putting a good amount of research and planning into your trip.

About night-buses, personally I try to avoid them as I can't sleep on the bus and feel like a zombie the next day. I guess it's not so bad if you can sleep on the bus. In general I would not recommend a night bus if you visit Japan with a limited amount of time, as it is just a waste to lose a day due to fatigue.

Now to your train travel, Meji Jingu is indeed close to Harajuku. The walk you quoted is indeed something I would recommend going :)

For the best way toTokyo Skytree, please see this website.

Your travel route to Kyoto is correct, I don't think that a taxi would be very expensive to travel to your hotel. Unfortunately I've not visited the Gion Matsuri myself.

The routes you found to Hiroshima and Miyajima are both good. To travel back to Namba, use the station name JR-Namba. This will give you the best route with the JR Pass.

Enjoy!
Daniel

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

I received my JR exchange orders in the mail ! I am officially excited but very nervous at the same time!

I would like to check in with you if my family (3 persons) will need to buy any additional passes (Haruka, Kansai Thru Pass etc) if we already have JR-passes?

Here's our schedule:

13th - Arrive at KIX in the afternoon -
- take Kate airport limousine bus to hotel (around USD15 per person) - visit / dinner at Namba area (from Tsuruhashi (hotel near this station) station to JR-Namba) - pay single tickets (I could use Osaka City Loop Line (JR) to travel to Osaka city but cannot use my JR pass yet) http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=TSURUHASHI&arv_node=JR-NAMBA&via_node01=&via_node02=&via_node03=&year=2014&month=06&day=22&hour=22&minute=07&search_type=0&search_way=&transtime=undefined&sort=0&max_route=5&airplane=off&ship=off&sprnozomi=off&bus=off&privately=off&lmlimit=null&search_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7

14th - Activate first day of JR pass
- travel to Shin-Osaka station in the morning - take bullet train to Tokyo (from JR-Tsuruhashi - JR Hamamatsucho (hotel near this station)) - we would like to visit Meiji Jingu, Shibuya, Harajuku, Tokyo Tower We can use JR- Yamanote line for all these travels.

15th - wake up early for Tsukiji Market in the AM, Tokyo Sky Tree / Asakusa (Sensoji) - late afternoon head to Kawaguchi-ko for the night - Shinjuku - JR Otsuki station. From here take the non-JR Fujikyu express to Kawaguchiko which will cost ¥1110 each way.

16th
- Walk around Kawaguchi-ko in the morning Mt. Fuji view, back to Shinjuku - Tokyo - Shinkansen back to Kyoto - take a cab to hotel (Sunroute Kyoto) - Visit Fushimi Inari in the evening if there is time.

17th - Explore Kyoto by taxi for three persons (Sunroute Kyoto)
- visit Kiyozumi-dera - 20 mins walk from hotel or taxi or bus - visit Nishiki Market - walk - visit Gion Matsuri - walk - visit Gion for dinner - walk

18th - - if we missed Fushimi the day before we could put it here.
Head to Hiroshima - Peace Museum

19th - Miyajima JR ferry in the morning - head to JR-Namba station - stay at near Shinsaibashi station

20th - Last Day of JR pass (7th day)
- JR-Namba station to JR-Nara station http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=JR-NAMBA&arv_node=NARA&via_node01=&via_node02=&via_node03=&year=2014&month=06&day=22&hour=22&minute=07&search_type=0&search_way=&transtime=undefined&sort=0&max_route=5&airplane=off&ship=off&sprnozomi=off&bus=off&privately=off&lmlimit=null&search_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7

21st -
- Visit Kyoto for market that happens monthly on every 21st (buy single train tickets) - ¥920 x 2 round trip http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=JR-NAMBA&arv_node=KYOTO&via_node01=&via_node02=&via_node03=&year=2014&month=06&day=22&hour=22&minute=07&search_type=0&search_way=&transtime=undefined&sort=0&max_route=5&airplane=off&ship=off&sprnozomi=off&bus=off&privately=off&lmlimit=null&search_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7

  • Visit osaka museum of housing and living (buy single tickets) - i believe there is no nearby JR station here…need to get to this non-JR station Tenjinbashi 6-chome Station on the Tanimachi or Sakisuji subway lines

22nd -
-- Visit Osaka-jo (Buy single tickets) in the morning - ¥180 http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=JR-NAMBA&arv_node=OSAKAJOKOEN&via_node01=&via_node02=&via_node03=&year=2014&month=06&day=22&hour=22&minute=07&search_type=0&search_way=&transtime=undefined&sort=0&max_route=5&airplane=off&ship=off&sprnozomi=off&bus=off&privately=off&lmlimit=null&search_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7

Do you think we need any other passes?

Any suggestions appreciated!

Thank you,
ginnie

ginnie
ginnie

Hi Ginnie,

I think that you are good to go like this!

Buying single tickets to supplement your JR Pass would be the best way to go about this!

-Daniel

(PS the ticket price Otsuki - Kawaguchiko is ¥ 1,140 yen up from ¥ 1,110)

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