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Hi there

We would like to go from Koyasan to Takayama and visit these cities in between:
Okayama, Kurashiki and Onomichi

What is the best route to visit all of these places on the JR pass?



Hi Alex,

Yes all these places are covered by the JR Pass. The only part that requires addition travel is between Osaka - Koya-san. This part is serviced by the Nankai Railway and here the JR Pass is not valid, this is only a minor part compared to the rest.

Here's more on how to access Koya.

Hope this helps,


If you go to Koyasan for a day trip or overnight, which is very worthwhile, a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket can save you a lot. Be aware though that to get from southern Osaka to Takayama will take about 4 hours, in addition to the time from Koyasan to Osaka. Getting from Hiroshima to Nagasaki will also take nearly that long.
There is a lot to see though in the area and not as many tourists make it that far, which can be quite refreshing. Miyajima is by far one of the biggest tourist draws in the area, but aside from the Itsukushima Shrine with the giant "floating" torii, the Daishoin Temple is also a must-see place. Okayama is famous for its castle, plus Korakuen Garden, one of Japan's Top 3, and also the Handayama Garden. Onomichi with its temple tour and Kosanji Temple is spectacular. Just beyond Miyajima also lies Iwakuni with its historical bridge and mountaintop castle.
For Himeji, the castle is the nation's best, but don't miss the Kokoen Garden next to it, and if you want to make a full day trip out of it, there is Mt. Shosha with its huge temple complex (seen also in The Last Samurai).
Nagasaki is worth at least a couple of days to explore, and given the time it takes to get there, you should spend that much. The city sights can take 1-2 days, Genkanjima is stunning although it does take up about 3 hours, plus Unzen is great and seeing Huis Ten Bosch is quite surreal. Don't miss trying the chanpon and saraudon while down there. Every restaurant in its Chinatown offers it, but you can find it nearly anywhere. For Takayama, be sure to expand into visiting Shirakawago as well, and if you have the time, Kanazawa also has a number of great sights to see.

Best of luck.


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