questions & answers: itinerary check

help with best rail pass/passes please

Help with best rail pass/passes please

Hi. We leave on the 1st April for our first trip to Japan. Our itinerary is below and would appreciate your advice on the best rail/bus pass options:

April 1st to 7th apartment in Tokyo - will book a taxi service for late night trip from Haneda Airport to Shibuya where our apartment is and do short sight seeing trips around Tokyo as our 1 year old granddaughter will be with us for this section only

April 7th to 10th - my husband and I do the rest of the trip on our own - travel to and stay 3 nights in Osaka with possible day drip to Hiroshima

10th to 12th - travel to and stay 2 nights in Kyoto with possible 1 day guided tour to Nara

12th to 13th - travel to and stay 1 night in Kanazawa

13th to 16th - travel to and stay 3 nights in Takayama for the Festival - is it possible to stop off in Shirakawa-go on the way to Takayama just to have a walk around the village etc for a few hours - then get back on a later bus/train to Takayama- is there somewhere you can leave your bags in Shirakawa-go while we walk around??

16th to 18th - travel to and stay 2 nights in Hakone and explore this area - cable car etc - a 2 day Hakone Free Pass??

18th - travel to to Kansai Airport or Narita Airport for outbound flight to Seoul - we haven't booked our flight yet - Peach Airlines is the cheapest but only flies out of Kansai to Seoul - JAL flies from Narita to Seoul

Any advice would be very welcome please
Thanks
Paddi

paddibrown
paddibrown

Hi Paddi,

From reading your plans I'd suggest going for the 14 day JR Pass, you can use it for all your travel travel from Tokyo - Kyoto - Hiroshima and on. It also gives you great flexibility if plans happen to chance or you just want to go somewhere at the last minute.

Let's move to your question,
There are coin lockers at the bus station of Shirakawago, you can leave your luggage there for the day while exploring the village and surrounding area.

For travel in Hakone: The Hakone Free Pass can be a very good deal especially if you travel around the area on multiple days. You can use the JR Pass to travel to Odawara and save some money this way on the Hakone pass.

For the rest - it really looks like a nice itinerary! Let me know if you have any more question,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thankyou for your very helpful reply! A couple of questions please:
1. For the day time stop over in Shirakawa-go - do we buy 2 tickets - one for the Kanazawa to Shirakawa-go leg and then another for the continuing journey to Takayama/Odawara?
2. Can you please clarify what you mean by your comment about the Hakone Free pass and saving money on it if we use the JR pass to Odawara (please excuse my lack of knowledge)
3. It looks like Odawara to Kansai Airport is doable - I downloaded the following from the Hyperdia site - I think it is the most direct and quickest way to get to Kansai Airport - how do I find out what parts of the journey are covered by the JR Pass?
4. Last - do you need to pay extra to reserve a seat using your JR Pass?
Thanks again Daniel

Take time: 206 Minutes Transfer: 1 Times Distance: 529.5 km
Total:¥ 14,040(Fare:¥ 8,400 Seat Fee:¥ 5,640) Commuting ticket(1mon:¥ --- 3mon:¥ --- 6mon:¥ --- )

 Commuting ticket

Time Route Fare Seat Fee UsefulLink
10:08
begin ODAWARA
Station timetable | Add to favorite

Map
Hotel
[142 Min] through
SHINKANSEN HIKARI 507
Train timetable | Interval timetable

12:30
12:45
transfer SHIN-OSAKA
[ Arrival track No.24 / Departure track No.11 ] Station timetable | Add to favorite
¥8,400
Map
Hotel
Rent-a-car
[49 Min] through
LTD. EXP HARUKA 23
Train timetable | Interval timetable

13:34
end KANSAI AIRPORT Add to favorite

Map

paddibrown
paddibrown

Hi Again!

1.) You can purchase bus tickets for Kanazawa - Shirakawago and Shirakawago - Takayama at the same time. Then once you arrive at Takayama buy a train ticket to Hakone (Odawara station). It would also be possible to buy your train tickets at Kanazawa, however I'd recommend doing so at Takayama in case there may be a bus delay.

2.) The JR Pass can be used to travel to Odawara station, from here other transport companies run into the Hakone area. For these you can use the Hakone Free Pass, which is valid for the local trains but also for the rope ways within the area. Basically the JR Pass is used for travel to Hakone and the Hakone Free pass for travel in Hakone. Hope this makes sense.

3.) The entire route Odawara - Kansai Airport is covered. First you take the Hikari to Shin-Osaka from there you board the Haruka express to Kansai Airport. Both legs are covered.

4.) All seat reservations are completely free with the JR Pass! Making for very convenient travel!

Hope this helps too!
Daniel

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

Thanks again for the great information Daniel
Just to clarify a few things
- I gather JR doesn't have a service for us to use Kanazawa - Shirakawago- Takayama?? - Do you know if we can buy bus tickets for Nohi buses in Kanazawa as the bus we want to use needs a reserved ticket?? - Can we buy the Hakone Pass in Odawara?? Hopefully we can give you a rest now
Thanks again :)

paddibrown
paddibrown

Hi Again!

Indeed, the bus to Shirakawago is run by an other company than JR. You can purchase a ticket for the bus at Kanazawa station, the bus is reserved seats only so be sure to buy a ticket in advance.

As for the Hakone Pass, it can be purchased directly at Odawara station.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask anything :)
Daniel

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

Thanks again - I have another questions:) While we are staying in Shibuyu, could we take a list of all the booking we want to make with our JR Pass and make them all at once before we leave Tokyo? Cheers

paddibrown
paddibrown

Yes that's no problem at all!

Just best to bring a printed list with routes and trains you wish to travel on. This will save a lot of time during the reservations process and the JR Staff will be greatly thankful!

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

Thanks again Daniel - your assistance is greatly appreciated :)

paddibrown
paddibrown

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