questions & answers: itinerary check

april itinerary and jr pass advice

April itinerary and jr pass advice

Hi everyone! In April 2013 I'll be in Japan for the first time. Here's the itinerary I'm thinking about:

05 - Arrive in Tokyo in the morning, get to the city and to the hotel
06 - Tokyo
07 - Tokyo
08 - Tokyo to Kyoto on first train (activation of 7days JRPASS)
09 - Kyoto
10 - Osaka (day trip from Kyoto)
11 - Kyoto to Hiroshima
12 - Hiroshima to Kyoto
13 - Nara (day trip from Kyoto)
14 - Kyoto return to Tokyo in the late evening with JR Pass
15 - Tokyo
16 - Tokyo (possible day trip to Nikko or Kamakura)
17 - Tokyo
18 - Tokyo (possible day trip to Kawaguchiko or Hakone)
19 - Tokyo to Narita

What do you think about my itinerary? Would you change something?
a 7 days jrpass is good choice? I think the 14 days jrpass is way too expensive for me, but I don't want to end up spending more than its cost on Tokyo metro and with the day trips!


Hi there!

I think your plans are good, assuming that there are no daytrips. The difference between a 7 and 14 day JR Pass is ¥16,800, so your extra trips would need to exceed this for a 14 day pass to be worthwhile. If you do day-trips to Nikko and Hakone/Odawara your costs would look like:

  1. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13,420 (164mins, 513km)
  2. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  3. Osaka > Hiroshima: ¥10,150 (104mins, 345km)
  4. Hiroshima > Kyoto: ¥10,990 (126mins, 380km)
  5. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690 (44mins, 41km)
  6. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690 (44mins, 41km)
  7. Kyoto > Tokyo: ¥13,420 (161mins, 513km)
  8. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5,630 (121mins, 150km)
  9. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5,630 (117mins, 150km)
  10. Tokyo > Odawara: ¥3,840 (35mins, 83km)
  11. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥1,450 (36mins, 83km)

JR ticket cost: ¥66,450 for 11 legs

As you can see you'd make savings with both 7 and 14 day options. Your extra day trips from Tokyo add up to ¥16,550, which is basically the difference between a 7 and 14 day pass. Because of this , if you intend to do these day trips I recommend the 14 day pass as you'll also be able to do the return to Narita on the Narita Express plus have free JR travel within Tokyo (further savings of ¥3000 to Narita plus around ¥500-¥1000/day savings on JR travel within Tokyo).

If you don't do the daytrips, I recommend you use a 7 day pass for your travel outside Tokyo as you plan, and then use either the Keisei Skyliner + Metro pass, or Narita Express + Suica deals to get you to and from Narita + discounted travel within Tokyo, in addition to some 2 day metro passes to fill in the gaps (you may also find the metro passes useful if you choose a 14 day pass).

You can look up precise train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia for JR Pass holders through our video blog.

Hope this helps!


Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $279.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.