questions & answers: itinerary check

9 days 8 nights including hokkaido - 7 days or 14 days pass

9 days 8 nights including hokkaido - 7 days or 14 days pass

Hi

I will arrive at osaka international airport on 28th dec 2014 until 5th jan 2015 (departure time : 11.00 am). About 9 days 8 nights.

I plan to cover osaka (1 -2 nights), kyoto (2-3 nights), tokyo (2 nights) and hokkaido (2 nights). I also plan to purchase 7 days jr pass For my travel.

Questions
1) how should i plan my itinerary since osaka is sort of located in the middle. Should i put hokkaido as the first or last destination or in the middle? How should i arrange so that the JR pass can be fully utilized? 7 days pass or 14 days pass?

2) i have read many comments that going hokkaido by flight could be the best and the price may not differ a lot from a train ticket on top of time saving. But i do want to experience their overnight train. Can JR be used without any top up required? If need top up, how much and how long is the train journey?

Appreciate the reply.

Thank you.

pg_lee
pg_lee

Hi there,

1.) I would try to plan in such a way that you can cover all of your long distance travel with a 7 day JR Pass. This would be the most economic way by far. Going to Hokkaido will certainly require some planning ahead and with just 8 nights to spend in Japan, flying to Hokkaido is what I would recommend. The order of travel itself does not matter than much, as you'll be traveling in a bit of a circle. You could do Osaka - Tokyo - Hokkaido - Tokyo/Kyoto - Back home.

2.) Traveling by night train in Japan is a very nice experience. However it may be impossible for you since you'll travel around New Year. This means that tickets will be sold out days if not weeks in advance and it will simply not be possible to get a ticket. You could travel by day to Hokkaido using the JR but this would cost you a lot of time. So basically flying is the best option, although that will be pricey as well around New Year.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel,

Many thanks for your advice. I've been researching online and it seems many tourists spots and attractions will be closed throughout the week pre and post new year as new year is the most celebrated event. Would Christmas week be better to ravel around Japan?

Gee

pg_lee
pg_lee

Hi Gee,

Christmas is a brilliant time to visit Japan (if you can miss the festivities at home). It's a normal working day for the Japanese so things are not very busy. Also good to know may be that on Christmas Eve couples go dine together, so be sure to make a reservation if you want to eat at a restaurant on that evening.

Daniel

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