questions & answers: itinerary check

reasonable itinerary for 5 weeks?

Reasonable itinerary for 5 weeks?

I am going to Japan in September and am planning to buy a three weeks JR pass. And I'm not too sure about how long to stay in each place. But I came to this result.

10/9-14/9 Tokyo
14/9-19/9 Okinawa
19/9-22/9 Fukuoka (activate the JR pass 22nd)
22-25 Hiroshima/Miyajima
25-28/9 Kobe/Osaka
28/9-2/10 Kyoto
2/10-5/10 Nagoya/Gifu
5-8/10 Gujo
8-10/10 Takayama/Shirakawago
11/10-14/10 Tokyo

Does this sounds reasonable?
Is it possibe to go to Koyasan for a daytrip from Osaka or Kyoto?

lillajapan
lillajapan

Also, does the JR pass cover the train to Ota in Gunma prefecture or do I have to pay that separately?

lillajapan
lillajapan

Hi there,

You're giving yourself a good amount of time in each place, which is the most important thing. Also, with the Rail Pass you can always "move around" if you get a little bored of a place. I'd perhaps aim to spend a little more time in Kyoto, and swap Nagoya with Kanazawa (and arrive at Takayama from the Sea of Japan side), but other than that I think your timing is good.

Koyasan really needs at least 1 night stay to get the most out of it, but can be easily reached from Osaka or Kyoto in just over 1.5hrs. Here's a sample itinerary for you.

For Ota from Tokyo you'll need to use the non-JR Tobu line departing from Asakusa (sample itinerary). As this is non-JR it is not covered by your JR Pass and will be ¥2030 each way.

You should also take a look at this excellent discussion where I cover more destinations suitable for a longer journey.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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I've considered your tips, I am meeting friends and my brother in Nagoya which is why I'm going there. Also leaving my luggage there while I'm in Gujo Hachiman.
Is one day/one night enough in Kanazawa? Or should I aim to use the day in Kyoto instead? Or maybe use it to go to Koyasan? I feel I don't want to take away too much time from anywhere else. Not sure if I should use this instead and just have all my time in Tokyo before I go to Okinawa.

10/9-15/9 Tokyo (maybe visit a friend in Ota)
15/9-20/9 Okinawa
20/9-23/9 Fukuoka
23/9-26/9 Hiroshima/Miyajima
26/9-29/9 Kobe/Osaka
29/9-3/10 Kyoto
3/10-4/10 Kanazawa
4/10-6/10 Nagoya/Gifu
6/10-9/10 Gujo
9/10-12/10 Takayama/Shirakawago
12/10-13/10 Tokyo

lillajapan
lillajapan

Hi there!

Yes, one day will be good for Kanazawa - if this is your first time in Japan, I'm tempted to say that you should just spend more time in Kyoto. You mention Koyasan, and I recommend this over Kanazawa if you are making a decision between the two as it is a fantastic destination and will be a totally new experience.

Itinerary looks good!

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mari
Expert_button_2

I might have to save this trip for next year when I'm going with a friend who also want to visit lots of these places, including okinawa and koyasan.
Will probably just go for 3 weeks this year and then I think Ill do this itinerary instead. I've been to Japan before, but only been to kyoto once to watch no.
Day 1 Tokyo
Day 2 kanazawa
Day 3-5 takayama/shirakawago
Day 6-8 gujo
Day 8-9 nagoya/gifu
Day10-17 kyoto/osaka/kobe
Day 18-20 hiroshima
Day 20-22 Tokyo

If i do this will I save money using the 3 weeks jr pass?

lillajapan
lillajapan

Hi there,

A 3 week pass is ¥57,700, so you'll need to spend more than that on individual tickets for a rail pass to be worth it. Lets take a look at your ticket costs:

  1. Tokyo > Kanazawa: ¥12710, (235mins, 460km)
  2. Kanazawa > Takayama: ¥4180, (161mins, 148km)
  3. Takayama > Gujo: ¥4180, (161mins, 148km)
  4. Gujo > Nagoya: ¥4180, (161mins, 148km)
  5. Nagoya > Kyoto: ¥5440, (37mins, 147km)
  6. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540, (28mins, 42km)
  7. Osaka > Kobe(hyogo): ¥390, (24mins, 33km)
  8. Kobe(hyogo) > Hiroshima: ¥9010, (108mins, 304km)
  9. Hiroshima > Tokyo: ¥18050, (292mins, 894km)

TOTAL: ¥58680 for 9 legs

As you can see you'll make a small saving of ¥980 with a 21 day rail pass over standard tickets. You'll also have the flexibility to use any other JR lines while you are in Japan (for example the journey to and from the airport, and other day trips). For this reason I recommend you get the 21 day pass as you certainly won't loose money, and will gain a great deal of travel flexibility.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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