questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo-kyoto-osaka-nara-kobe-hiroshima

Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka-Nara-Kobe-Hiroshima

Hello there,

First of all, this is a great website, not only does it provide good information about JR Pass but also has great contents around individual itineraries while in Japan. I have learned a lot from question and answer section and I appreciate every bit of information that is available.

I have some specific question about my itinerary so I'd appreciate any feedback, suggestion, and advise you could provide. Except my arrival (June 07th) and departure (June 22nd) dates to and from Japan, everything else is flexible as I will be traveling myself alone and haven't booked any accommodation yet.

I am planning to buy a 14-day JR Pass, so please let me know if it makes sense. I can opt for 21-day JR Pass as well if it makes more sense.

June 07th

Arrival at Narita - Head straight to Shinjuku - Will book something for accommodation around Shinjuku JR station. Would it be possible to use my JR Pass from Narita to Shinjuku JR?

June 08th, 09th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Explore Tokyo

June 13th

Shinjuku JR to Kyoto - Would it be possible to use my JR Pass for this trip for a direct JR train to Kyoto from Tokyo? - Will try to find accommodation around Kyoto JR station.

June 14th

Explore Kyoto

June 15th

Day trip to Osaka from Kyoto and then back to Kyoto - Would it be possible to use my JR Pass for this trip for a direct JR train?

June 16th

Day trip to Nara from Kyoto and then back to Kyoto - Would it be possible to use my JR Pass for this trip for a direct JR train?

June 17th

Day trip to Hiroshima and then back to Kyoto - Would it be possible to use my JR Pass for this trip for a direct JR train?

June 18th

Kyoto to Shinjuku JR station - Would it be possible to use my JR Pass for this trip for a direct JR train?

June 19th

Shinjuku JR to Jigokudani Monkey Park - I am not sure if this itinerary is possible. Is it possible to use my JR Pass for this trip?

June 20th

Shinjuku to Mount Fuji - I am not sure if this itinerary is possible. Is it possible to use my JR Pass for this trip? - I understand the validity of my JR Pass ends here as this is the 14th day of it.

June 21st

Explore Tokyo

June 22nd

Shinjuku JR station to Narita - I will have to buy a ticket for this as my JR Pass will be expired by this time.

Please let me know if this itinerary is feasible with a 14-day JR Pass. I would really appreciate any feedback you provide.

Thank you so much and keep up the good work.

Regards,

Jimmy S.

jimmyashah
jimmyashah

Hi,
I think a 14 day pass would serve you well - use it from June 9 to June 22. So you could use the Narita Express to go from Tokyo to Narita, but coming from there you couldn't without paying its regular pricey fare. So you could use a Keisei/Metro package or a 1000 yen bus and 3 day subway pass. You can use JR and your pass on all the routes you mention, except for going all the way to Mt Fuji. If you go to Hakone or the Fuji 5 Lakes area though there are other regional passes you can use. The monkey park is a bit of a problem too since you can only take a train to Yudanaka Station, and then you need to take a bus.
Since you have lots of time in Tokyo and a chance to use your pass, going to Nikko would make a great day trip. Going to Kamakura also makes a good day trip.
I would also save Osaka for a late afternoon/evening - Dotonbori, is best at night, and the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg, and Abeno Harukas Bldg are stunning. Consider taking half a day to see Himeji - it has Japan's finest castle, newly renovated.

For a day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima, it is possible if you start very early - you can cover the best places in Hiroshima City (Peace Park/Museum, castle, Shukkeien Garden) and spend about ¾ of a day to see Miyajima.

For Miyajima, please note that there are 2 ferry companies there - make sure you go to the JR one if you want to use your pass.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hello,

Thank you for your reply! I really appreciate your feedback and valuable tips.

I have few more questions.

1) Are you saying that going from Narita to Tokyo is more expensive than going from Tokyo to Narita. Also, when I get my JR Pass activated when I arrive at Narita on June 07th, can't I use it for going to Tokyo?

2) Would you please elaborate more on this and what are the uses of these passes? "So you could use a Keisei/Metro package or a 1000 yen bus and 3 day subway pass."

3) For all the routes that I mentioned, JR is available as a direct train to the destination, correct? My routes again are, Narita to Tokyo/Shinjuku, Shinjuku to Kyoto, Kyoto to Osaka, Kyoto to Hiroshima, Kyoto to Nara, Kyoto to Kobe.

4) For Hiroshima, how early would be better to start from Kyoto?

Thank you again for your help. This has been very helpful.

Regards,

Jimmy S.

jimmyashah
jimmyashah

Hi,
To answer your questions:
1) No - each way costs the same. The thing is, the 14 day pass is most economical and the best value for you, but you are staying in Japan for more than 2 weeks. So you can't use the Pass to both go to and from Narita Airport. Given that June 7-12 you are in Tokyo and not going far, the pass doesn't save you much. So using it in your last 14 days of your trip gives you better savings. The more long distance travel you can do on the Pass (especially by bullet rain), the more you will save.
Within the big cities the pass is not so useful. In Tokyo you can use it on the Yamanote Line, and in Osaka on the Loop Line. In Kyoto you can go from Kyoto Stn. to Arashiyama. Be sure not to miss the Otagi Nenbutsuji there - it is one of the most unusual and whimsical places you will see in Kyoto.

  1. So to get from Narita into Tokyo, you can use a Keisei+Metro package. The Keisei will take you into Tokyo, and then you have 2 days of unlimited travel within Tokyo on the subways. Or, if you prefer, there is the bus which is the cheapest way into the city, and a 3 day subway pass can save you a lot also. It is your choice. The info on the websites I linked to have all the pertinent info.

  2. Yes, JR travels to all of them.

  3. The earlier the better. Ideally if you could spend a full day for Hiroshima and a full day for Miyajima it'd be perfect. But since time is limited, you will be missing a few good places in one place or both.

Have a great trip.

Toraneko
Toraneko

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