questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo-hiroshima-kyoto itinerary

tokyo-hiroshima-kyoto itinerary

Hi everyone,

I am planning to travel in japan for 7 days in march 2013. Below is my itinerary

day1 - arrive at narita airport 8 30 pm. Sleep in tokyo
day2 - sightsee tokyo. sleep in tokyo
day3 - travel to hiroshima. sightsee hiroshima. sleep in hiroshima.
day4 - visit miyajima. travel to kyoto. sleep in kyoto.
day5 - sightsee kyoto. sleep in kyoto.
day6 - travel to tokyo. sightsee tokyo.sleep in tokyo.
day7 - catch morning flight to leave japan

Could you please help me with the follow questions.

  1. Is this a doable itinerary? I am okay if it is hectic my visiting japan I think would be rare.
  2. I guess purchasing the 1 week JR pass makes sense for my itinerary . Does it not?
  3. I plan to stay in hostels during my trip. Would my JR pass be helpful for travel from Narita to Tokyo city?
  4. Can I use the JR pass for local sightseeing within the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima?
  5. I plan to bring two big suitcases with me. Is there an easier alternative than trying to carry my suitcases with me between cities?

Thanks a lot,

Sid

sidd
sidd

Hi Sid,

Here are some answers for you:

  1. Looks like you are planning a very busy trip! Still I think it should be doable. The longest trip will be Tokyo - Hiroshima, this takes approximately 300min so make sure you have something to do during this time! If you want to do some sightseeing in Hiroshima as well make sure that you leave early enough.
  2. Yes, it would definitely make sense to buy a one week JR Pass, the cost of the pass is roughly the same as a return trip Tokyo - Kyoto and since you are travelling a lot more, you will be sure to make some great savings!
  3. Yes your JR Pass is perfect to travel with to Tokyo, because you can ride the Narita express in style and for free into the heart of Tokyo!
  4. You can use your JR Pass for any Local JR line in Tokyo, depending on where you are staying, this may not always be the best option. If you are travelling a lot in Tokyo consider buying a one day Metro pass locally. They are only 710 Yen and will get you anywhere within the city. http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/1day/index.html
  5. Taking your suitcases aboard the Shinkansen is really easy and there are special compartments where you can place them so you don't have to worry about them. In case you don't want to carry them with you, you can send them by delivery service to your next destination. This costs about 1000-2600 Yen per suitcase depending on the destination and your suitcase size. Visit the Kuroneko Yamato site for more information about this.

Hope it helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi there,

Here are some further thoughts about your travel:

  1. Here is a map of JR lines around Tokyo for reference.
  2. You won't be able to make huge use of the JR Pass within Kyoto and Hiroshima. For these locations I recommend either purchasing individual tickets as needed, or visiting the tourist information center within each main station to ask about 1 day tourism passes for the subway and/or bus services in each city. These range from ¥800-¥2000/day.
  3. Luggage is easily transported on the bullet train (here's a blog post with more), but you may find it easier in general to travel with a soft bag. As a further tip to Daniel's suggestions above, I recommend you think about using coin lockers in stations to store big luggage if needed. We have a good blog post about this too.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel-san and Mari for the responses, really helped. A few additional questions.

1) I would be reaching tokyo on march 05 2013 and would be there till march 11. What would be the earliest date when I can purchase the JR pass?
2) What is the easiest way to be connected to be connected to the internet during my travel? I have heard that Japan follows a different standard compared to US. Would bringing a phone/tablet with data connection help?

sidd
sidd

Hi Sidd,

I am glad you found the posts useful!
As to your other questions.
1.) Directly from the T&C ''Within three months from the date the Exchange Order was issued, you must turn in your Exchange Order to obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS''. So since you plan to obtain your pass on the 5th of March you could already order your pass voucher now.
2.) I assume that you are referring to mobile broadband here (?). These days most modern smart phones will work in Japan if your provider supports roaming but please be aware that charges for this can be very expensive so make sure to check them before hand. We have a great post about renting Mobile Wifi in Japan. http://www.jrpass.com/blogs/mobile-wifi-rental-in-japan. Or you can buy your own data sim card in Japan, see http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/english/ for more details.

Enjoy your trip!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

To add one final internet connectivity tip! (we all love the internets!)

If the sim and mobile wifi are too expensive, you can sign up for 1 month of unlimited hotspot connectivity on the vast wi2 network (yahoobb, livedoor and other hotspots) for ¥380/month. You can use your hotel address as your address, and foreign credit cards work fine (at least it did for me....). Also, don't forget to cancel it at the end of your 1 month!

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

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