questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo - tokyo bay - kyoto - sapporo (14 days)

Tokyo - Tokyo Bay - Kyoto - Sapporo (14 Days)

Dear Expert,

ITINERARY CHECK

I have 14 days in Japan in November 2015 and was wondering if the following itinerary is feasible:

Day 1 to 4 - Central Tokyo
Day 5 to 6 - Tokyo Bay (Disneyland)
Day 7 to 9 - Kyoto/Osaka
Day 10 to 13 - Hokkaido - Sapporo
Day 14 - Return to Tokyo for flight

Is the above itinerary do-able? Or do I have to either cut out the Hokkaido or the Kyoto/Osaka leg of my trip?

JR PASS

Assuming I stick with the general plan, I was wondering also if it would be advisable to:

(1) purchase a 14 day JR Pass and use the train for all the travelling: OR (2) purchase a 7 day JR Pass for the earlier portion (day 4 onwards) and take flights for the remaining travel; OR (3) purchase train tickets at regular prices and take flights for the 2 longest distances (Osaka to Sapporo - day 9) and (Sapporo to Tokyo - day 14)

Also, will there be snow in Sapporo in mid November?

Thanks in advance for your help!

JoeyTribriani
JoeyTribriani

Hi,
It is very hard to go from Osaka to Sapporo by train on the same day. So you basically have a choice.

Your first is - stop off at some places between the Kansai area and Sapporo, then a rail pass can make sense and you will see some great places in between.
The second is - buy normal rail tickets and fly from Kansai-Sapporo and then Sapporo back to Tokyo.

Just to give you some sense of the distance and time, from Osaka to Tokyo is nearly 3 hours, and on to Hakodate would be another 5½ -6 hours. Going from Hakodate to Sapporo the next day would take an additional 3½ hours or so. If you fly from Kansai International to Sapporo and you take a low cost carrier like Jet Star or Peach, you can fly for about ¥4890, about US$41 (or even lower) one way and arrive in Sapporo in about 2 hours - note that this route will also add 4hrs going to and from airports.

As for snow, it usually starts to snow in Sapporo in November, but generally doesn't accumulate on the ground much if at all. Other areas on the island though you will see significant snow from October onwards.

Good luck!

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hello there,

Going up to Hokkaido using the train would indeed take up to much of your time, especially since you've only got 3 days for Hokkaido. Even with flying it would be a lighting trip.

A JR Pass would be an interesting option going to Osaka and back. By leaving out Hokkaido, you could explore the Japanese alps for instance, without adding a lot of travel. Takayama, Kanazawa and Matsumoto all make for very nice stops to make, a visit to Shirakawago is also nice to include.

The official snow season starts in December, so you may or may not see snow at the beginning of November.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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