questions & answers: itinerary check

advise

Advise

Hi,

I plan to be in Japan for the second time this summer arriving on the 14/7 to Fukuora and leave from Tokyo
on the 3/8. We plan a 14 days pass starting in Fukuoara.
As we visited the main sites (8 years ago with an organized tour) lke Niko, Kyoto, Nara, Fuji I'd like to get your basic idea how to use the pass the best way to explore most of what we dd not see. We may visit Kyoto again.

Hope getting you advice

Best Regards

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi Eli and welcome to the Forum!

I really like this idea because you will have a lot of great possibilities and freedom,
Here are some general ideas that you can consider, also let me know if you have any specific interests and I may be able to give you some pointers for them too!

Fukuoka is down in the south of Japan while Tokyo is more in the middle/north in Japan, what you could do is slowly travel up slowly and make a number of stops on the way. We have a great map resource that can help planning the trip.

Since you arrive in Fukuoka (the trains station for Fukuoka is Hakata, it is an interesting story), I would recommend vising Kyushu first, this is the lowest main island of Japan. Personally I love this part of Japan but it may be a little hot during summer.
Some of the best places to visit include:

Buppu well knows for its Onsen and Sand-baths Nagasaki it is a very beautiful town with a rich history and many interesting attractions

Kagoshima is a very beautiful city all the way down in Kyushu, in its bay is an active volcano called Sakurajima much like the Vesuvius in Italy. The beautiful view of Sakurajima and the clear Ocean is worth a visit alone. Recently the city was connected to the Shinkansen network and can now be reached quickly by bullet train. It also boasts a range of interesting historic sights.

I could probably write a book about Kyushu itself but I will keep it to a last recommendation for now, which is Mount Aso an other beautiful volcano in Kyushu that makes for a great day trips and houses many hiking trains. Also the train ride there on the [http://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/trans-kyushu-limited-express-kyushu-odan-tokkyu-kumagawa.html] is well worth the ride.

Okay so on the mainland Japan, once you leave Kyushu the next big city you will come by is Hiroshima I would really recommend a 1-2 day visit here at least, the peace museum is something that will leave a deep impression and you can combine Hiroshima with a visit to Miyajima on of the most famous sights in Japan.

As you move up you could make a stop at Kyoto, Osaka or Kobe and enjoy the Kansai Area a little more before heading on. From Kyoto it is easy to travel to Kanazawa by express train. It is a very beautiful town, much like Kyoto but a lot less aimed at Tourism. It has a beautiful old Geisha Quarter, Castle and Kenroku-en Garden, which is one of Japanese 3 most beautiful gardens. After Kanazawa you can travel back to Kyoto or make a quick stop at Nagoya it is perhaps not the best city for tourism but makes for a great base to make day trips.

From Kyoto/Nagoya you can visit Takayama which is an old village in the mountainous mainland of Japan. The train ride is very beautiful and has many stunning sights as it follows a river all the way trough the mountains.

After all this travel you may just want to spend your last couple of days in Tokyo but if you want to travel more Yokohama and Kamakura make for great day trips.

Hope this gives you a better idea of the options available,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hן Daniel,

Thanks for your quick and professional reply.
Questions:
1. If I have 4 full days and need to sleep in Hiroshima on the fourth day what do you recoomend than?
2. Can I stay in Fukuoka and and come back in the evening each day?
3. Can you give me some idea of time in the train between 2-3 destiantions you offered above?

Thanks

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi Eli,

1.) From Hiroshima I would recommend a day visit to Iwakuni it is not far, has some interesting history behind it and is a very pretty place!

2.) Yes you can reach most places within Kyushu in a decent amount of time, so they make for good day trips, for instance the travel time between Fukuoka and Hakata is around 90 minutes with the Shinkansen.

3.) Generally travel times will be less than 2 hours for most trips, let me know if you want to know any travel time for a specific route. For instance Fukuoka - Hiroshima is 68 Minutes. Fukuoka - Beppu can be reached in 99 Minutes. You can also check travel times yourself on Hyperdia.com.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

Thanks again.

Are you sure that you meant in para 2 above 90 min between Fukuoka and Hakata? They seem close to each other.
Can I make the the round trip to Bepu and Mount Aso in one day from Fukuoma?
As I understood I can purchase the pass less than 3 months before issuing the pass?

Best Regards

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi Eli,

Sorry that was a little mistake, I meant to say that it is 90 Minutes between Fukuoka (the station is called Hakata) to Kagoshima.
Yes you can make a day trip to both places but I would recommand a nights stay at Beppu if you decide to visit it, so you can really enjoy the Onsen.

You can buy the JR Pass upto 90 days before activating it.

Let me know if you have more Questions,
Daniel

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

I'm now closed with my flights. Arriving to Fukuoka late 14/7. Leaving from Tokyo on the 3/8 morning.
Before finally start reserving hotels I'd like to get your fruitful comments ad advises.
As my first day is the 15/7 is the Marine day, shall I take it in my account?
My itinerary is:

To stay 4 nights in Hakata and visit Fukuoka, Nagaski, Kagoshima and Mount Aso and Beptu.
Here my question is weather to activate my 14 days pass on the 16/7 and the first day to visit Fukuoka.
but as on n the fourth day I need to arrive to Hiroshima around 1900 I thought may be better to leave it for
the last day
Than after 2 nights in Hiroshima
2 nights in Kobe or Osaka (what's better) including a visit to Himeji Castle and may be Okayama and Kurashiki
Than after 3 nights in Kyoto (we were already some years in this region but worth to visit again and explore
new sights
Than after as you recommended 2 nights Kanazawa
In the end I've 1 or 2 nights before reaching Tokyo (depends if I activate the pass on the 15th or 16th)

So what do you say?
Any comment is welcome

Regards

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi Eli,

I think the best day to activate your JR-Pass is on the first day that you will make a long train trip.
This would be when you visit Nagasaki correct? (It is easy to walk from Hakata to Fukuoka).

I would recommend staying in Osaka if you have never been there before and make a day trip to Kobe. Kobe does have a lot to offer too. Both places are great!

After Kanazawa consider a nights stop at Hakone, many people visit this area and is home to some of the most stunning landscape views of Japan. It is easy to see Fuji-san from there!

It looks like a great trip, so I hope you have a great time in Japan!
-Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

HI Daniel,

Thanks again.
Do you think I can make in same day a trip to Nagasaki or Kagoshima and still reach Hiroshima in the evening?
In Hakone we were in our first visit...can you recommend something else for one or two nights?
What will be the cost travel in Tokyo per day and how is best economic way to get to Narita on our last day?

Regards

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi again and good morning from Japan!

You can make a day trip to Nagasaki or Kagoshima, Kagoshima is especially easy since it is on the Shinkansen and you can reach Hiroshima quickly from there.

If you are looking for an other interesting stop consider going to Izumo/Matsue north of Hiroshima, there are some very beautiful places up there, especially Izumo Taisho.

You can use a local train to travel to Narita Airport, the price is about 1200-1500Yen depending how you travel. It does take a couple of transfers and I would recommand taking the Narita Express instead if you have a lot of luggage.

Best regards,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

Three more qustions:
1. Can I use the JP from Ossaka to Koyasan and from Koyasan to Kyoto?
2. What is the best route from Kanazawa to Tokyo and in which city you recommend to stay one night

in case I do not want to do it in one leg?
  1. Does the JP give me reductions for example in hotels etc.?

Best Regards

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi Eli,

Here's three more answers :)
1.) You can't travel all the way to Koyasan but you can travel most of the way. Here is a good guide how to access Koya. If you do want to use to JR Pass to save some money on the ticket, travel to Hashimoto, from there you can take the Kintetsu line (not covered by the JR Pass) to Gokura-bashi.

2.) Here is the route between Kanazawa - Tokyo. There is no super interesting place along the route but what you could do is to take a train to Takayama, stay there for a night before traveling back to Tokyo.

3.) Here is a website with hotels that give a discount with the JR Pass. They can still be a little pricey though, personally I would recommend using to booking website like japanican.com or travel-adviser and looking for a budget hotel.

Enjoy Japan!
-Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel,

From Koyassan to Kyoto what is the best trip? Should I return first to Osaka?
Why the total trip fare is comprised with fare and seat?
Do you think from what you see above it's worth to buy the 2 weeks pass?
Should I always reserve my seats?

Thanks again

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi again,

Personally I would indeed travel back to Osaka (¥1210 by local train) and from there take the JR Kyoto line to Kyoto(¥540 / free with JR Pass).

A lot has been going on in ''the above'', so I am not really sure where you will go. Please tell me your current plans and I can judge if a JR Pass will be beneficial.

As for reserved seats, it is not necessary but I would certainly recommend it. It just makes traveling around feel more relaxed as you don't have to worry about all seats being taken or lining up to grab one.
-Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

Please find my planned trip:
1. Fukuoka Beppu Mt. Aso back Fukuoka
2. Fukuoka Nagasaki, Nagasaki Kagoshima (same day)
3. Kagoshima Hiroshima
4. Hiroshima Miyajima
4. Hiroshima Kobe, Kobe Himeij and return
5. Kobe Osaka
6. Koyassan
7. Kyoto and surround
8. Kyoto- Kanazawa
9. Kanazawa Tokyo

All in all 14 days excluding Tokyo
If you have any remarks please do

Best Regards

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi Eli,

That's a great plan! Also the JR Pass will give you great value for this trip as you will do a lot of long distance travel.
As you already know Koya san is the only place that can't be reached all the way by JR but the its only a tiny part if you compare it to the rest of your travels in Japan.

Also like that you visit Kanazawa before going to Tokyo. I love that town.

Let me know if I can help with anything else.
-Daniel

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

Thanks a lot. Slowly building the program.
Appart from visiting Toyota or similar, are there other companies worth to visit?

As to pass- will you charge one delivery cost per voucher or twice?
is there any cancellation fee?

Best Regards

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi Eli,

Glad to hear that things are coming together!
What kind of companies are you interested in?
I know that the Mazda museum is very interesting, personally I loved to visit the Asahi factory in Fukuoka.

Back the the pass - delivery cost is only charged once per order no matter on the amount of passes.
There is no fee if you cancel the order before shipping, once it is shipped you can return the unused voucher back to us within a year of purchase for a 85% refund. You can find more about it here.

Kind Regards,
Daniel

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

I've some more questions to you:

  1. Can you recommend a one day tour from Fukuoka and back that will include Mt. Aso Beppu and may be more?
  2. Is the the route from Kanazawa to Tokyo is covered by the pass and is correct that the shortest trip will take 4 hours
    with one transfer?

Best Regards

Eli

Eli
Eli

Welcome back!

1.) I would not do both Mt. Aso and Beppu in the same day. I guess you could do a day trip to Aso and travel later to Beppu to spend the night there, however I would not try to go sightseeing in both places and return to Fukuoka later on.
Beppu has some very low prices hostels/hotels and makes for a great night stop.

2.) You are correct there! The route is about 250 minutes (a little more than 4 hours) with one transfer. It is a very smooth ride, even though it takes some time. The route is completely covered by the JR Pass and a great way to make good use of it!

Let me know if you have any other question!
-Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks
If to choose between Mt. Aso and Beppu what would you recommend?
I booked alsready the nights in Fokuoka and I don't want to move every night to a different hotel

Eli
Eli

You could make a different day trips to both Aso and Beppu. Both places are very different so it is hard to recommend one over the other. I do think that Beppu has a little bit more to do and see (Aso basically is viewing the crater and a lot of hiking) and would make a better destination for a full day trip.

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

Can you store lugage in most of the railway staions? For examle in Nagasaki?

Thanks a lot

Eli

Eli
Eli

Can you please answer my question?

Eli
Eli

Hi Eli,

I am sorry for the late replay, I remember reading your question and thought I had answered it.

As to luggage storage and coin lockers, every station in Japan comes equipped with a good amount of coin lockers, that can even contain suitcases. I have tested this myself at some very remote station in Japan that only see a couple of trains a day.

So Nagasaki is completely fine!

Again sorry for the late replay,
-Daniel

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

Do you update your pass price every time the yen/$ is chenging?

Thanks

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi Eli,

Yes we update it (almost) every day to offer the best price possible.

-Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hello Daniel,

May be my it's last question before departure...
As we'll stay one night in Koyason, is it worth before getting to Kyoto to have a short
visit in MIKIMOTO?
How to do it in the best way also to use the pass I have?

Thanks

Eli

Eli
Eli

Hi Eli!

Hope you had a good weekend.

You can reach Mikomoto in about 2hours from Kyoto but part of this journey is not traveled on the JR and would entail extra cost. It may be a little too much, traveling from Kyoto - Mikimoto - Koya-san san on one day. I am afraid that you may reach Koya a little late and you will miss the rituals that are preformed around dinner time.

You could also travel with the pass via Nagoya, this way you don't have to pay extra but this would add even more travel time.

I hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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