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most economical itinerary

Most Economical Itinerary

Good day everyone,

I shall be making my first trip to West & Central Japan in April. Here are the places I want to visit and I need advice/suggestion on how much time it takes to travel to, see the sights, where to stop overnite, route to follow (no back-tracking) and mode of transport.

  1. Arrive KIX (Osaka)
  2. Kyoto
  3. Takayama
  4. Shirakawa-go
  5. Kanazawa
  6. Toyama
  7. Alpine Route
  8. Nagano
  9. Matsumoto
  10. Nagoya

What are the most economical way to travel (including using pass), length of stay and accommodation available?
Thanks
George

G Kuan
G Kuan

Hello there,

Its hard to say without knowing how long you want to stay in each place and how long you have in total to visit Japan but a JR Pass can certainly be helpful for this route.

My suggested order of places would be: KIX - Kyoto - Kanazawa - Shirakawa-go - Takayama - Toyama - Alpine route down to Shinano-Omachi - Matsumoto - Nagano - Nagoya. This way you would have the least back tracking and can use the JR Pass in the best way possible.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel for your help. Your suggested route order is fine.
No fix length of stay in total. However, at each place numbered 1 to 10, the length would take into consideration the top 3 or 4 (could also be less) must-see sights. The travel time has to be factored in based on suggested mode of transportation. I suppose the Alpine Pass is the only option for the Alpine Route while JR Pass is for the rest.

I am open to a suggested itinerary with indication of day(s) for each place, example:

Day 1: KIX to Kyoto
Day 2: Kyoto - suggested sights
and so forth

G Kuan
G Kuan

Hi again!

Its not that easy to make an itinerary without knowing somebody well, we all have our own preferences and interests. Based on My own experience I would do something as follows.

Osaka 1-2 days
Kyoto - 3 to 5 days
Kanazawa 2 days
Shirakawago 1 day and travel on to Takayama
Takayama 1-2 days
Toyama 1 day
Alpine route 1 day
Matsumoto 1-2 days
Nagano 2 days
Nagoya 1-2 days.

You could of course stay longer or shorter somewhere, depending on what you want to do and see in each place.

Hope this makes for a good start, my advise would be to read about each city and see what interests you.
Daniel

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

Thanks Daniel for the suggested itinerary. No doubt everyone has own interest and preference. Ideally, one should not rush thru, touch-n-go with no time to appreciate local culture and soak the atmosphere. Using rail pass and/or area pass somewhat dictate travel pace or limit interests. For instance, period block of 5 or 7 days for the pass means planning itinerary to maximize its usage. Spending more time at each place would not be utilizing the pass fully. A 7-day JR pass cost 4160 yen per day.

I have taken your suggestion and indicate the number of days at each place. There are some different passes (Osaka, Kyoto, Takayama, Koyasan, etc) to consider and to combine but calculating their value vis-a-vis per journey fare may be difficult for me. Could you help?

Osaka 2 days
Kyoto 3 days
Kanazawa 2 days
Shirakawago 1 day and travel on to Takayama
Takayama 2 days (please suggest alternate/nearest place to stay should all budget accommodation sold out)
Toyama 1 day
Alpine route 1 day
Matsumoto 1 day
Nagano 2 days
Nagoya 2 days
Nara & Koyasan 2-3 days

[** to include from and to KIX]

Thanks again

G Kuan
G Kuan

Hi again!

We mostly focus on the JR Pass here but you could look at the Hokuriku area pass for Kyoto - Kanazawa - Shirakawa-go - Takayama. You could try and find an accommodation in Gero Onsen if Takayama is fully booked. This is also a nice place to stay and not too far away.

For individual route prices use www.hyperdia.com, prices and differ a lot depending on what train you you, route traveled and some even time of day. The Alpine route is pretty costly though and takes over 10,000yen to complete with transportation from Toyama included.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Thanks Daniel

I am looking at using the Takayama-Hokuriku Pass @ ¥13,500 for 5 days plus the Alpine Pass ¥10,500.
With the T-H Pass, I can stay at Gero or Hida Furukawa or Hida Hagiwara (suitable places?).

Instead of going to Matsumoto from Ogizawa/Shinano-Omachi, I like to go Nagano first.
Is there a direct bus service and how much does it cost? Where do I board the bus?

Also, do you think the 7-day JR Pass is value for one-way from Nagano to Fukuoka (with stops in between)?

G Kuan
G Kuan

Hi again,

Yes, you can stay at these places.

I am not sure about the bus from Matsumoto to Shinano-Omachi, you can however use the train.

And lastly, yes going to Fukuoka would give you great savings using a 7 day JR Pass.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Thanks Daniel-san

I was asking about whether there is a direct bus service from either Ogizawa or Shinano-Omachi to Nagano. This comes at the end of the Alpine trip originating from Toyama. I don't want to go to Matsumoto then to Nagano because the T-H pass is not valid for that train line. It does not make sense for me to pay for rail to go the round-about way if there is a direct bus service and the cost is about the same.

I change my mind about going to Fukuoka. From Nagano, I will go to Matsumoto, Nagoya, Himeji, Hiroshima, Miyajima, and to KIX (return home). Will a 7-day JR Pass be worth it?

G Kuan
G Kuan

Hello again!

Certainly, going down from Nagano - Hiroshima to Kansai Airport will already give you good savings using a 7 day JR Pass. Add in all the extra travel and its a very good deal.

You may also find this link useful for access options around the Alpine Route:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7551.html

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

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