Dear JR experts,
My family of 4 adults is planning to visit as follows:
Nights of: 22-25 Dec . Arrive in Osaka airport, travel to Kyoto right away. Spend 4nights.
Nights of 26 and 27 Dec. Travel to visit Shirakawa-go. We are unsure whether it is necessary to spend one or two nights and where? Between Kanazawa or Takayama.
Night of 28 Dec. travel to Hiroshima. Spend one night here?
Night of 29 Dec. travel to Nagasaki. Spend one night here or go back to Hiroshima to spend another night?
Could you suggest alternative. another nice town between Hiroshima and Nagasaki where we can spend two nights to be the base to make the day trips to both places.
Nights of 30,31 and 1 Jan. spend 3 nights in Fukuoka. Fly off from Fukuoka.
In Fukuoka, but local daily tickets. Fly off from Fukuoka.
Your suggestions are much appreciated please. Thank you.
You've made a very nice selection of places to visit in Japan. Most are my personal favorites as well. Let's start with travel to Shirakawago. I would advise to travel to Kanazawa from Kyoto, as it is much easier to reach. Kanazawa is a very nice city and well worth visiting. From there it's pretty easy to make a day trip to Shirakawago.I would probably leave Takayama out, because of the time budget.
Next stop Hiroshima, an other great visit. One night should be enough to see the important places and you could visit Miyajima the following morning. Fukuoka would make for a good stop to visit Nagasaki from, however you could also use Kumamoto for this because you'll visit Fukuoka later on.
As for the JR Pass, I would buy the 7 day JR Pass. The pass would cover all your otherwise pricey train travel and help you make good savings.
Also have a look at the ICOCA + Haruka ticket for arrival at Kansai Airport. This is the best way to travel to Kyoto if you ask me!
Hope this helps!
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