questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo to osaka, may 13-june 2

Tokyo to Osaka, May 13-June 2

Hi everyone,

I fly into Tokyo and out of Osaka and would like to minimize my travel time but still see as much of the country as I can. It's my first time visiting and I was wondering if I should get a 14-day or 21-day rail pass would be good?

I am pretty flexible with my itinerary and route so if you have any suggestions for places to visit I'd appreciate it. I would like to see some cities and small towns, mountains and seasides, modern and historical. I compiled this route by looking at other people's trips. Thanks for your help!

05/15/12 TOKYO
05/16/12 TOKYO (NIKKO)
05/17/12 TOKYO (HAKONE)
05/18/12 TOKYO
05/19/12 KAMAKURA
05/20/12 NAGANO
05/21/12 NAGANO
05/22/12 NAGOYA
05/23/12 NAGOYA
05/24/12 KYOTO
05/25/12 KYOTO
05/26/12 KYOTO
05/27/12 HIROSHIMA
05/28/12 HIROSHIMA
05/29/12 NAGASAKI
05/30/12 NAGASAKI
05/31/12 OSAKA
06/01/12 OSAKA (NARA)
06/02/12 OSAKA (KOBE)


Hi there!

Firstly, lets get a handle on the base ticket costs of the legs you mention to get a feeling for your overall spend over the full length of your 21 day trip:

  1. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5630, (121mins, 150km)
  2. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5630, (117mins, 150km)
  3. Tokyo > Odawara: ¥3840, (35mins, 83km)
  4. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥1450, (36mins, 83km)
  5. Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥2100, (47mins, 51km)
  6. Kamakura > Nagano: ¥8900, (158mins, 273km)
  7. Nagano > Nagoya: ¥7330, (180mins, 250km)
  8. Nagoya > Kyoto: ¥5640, (37mins, 147km)
  9. Kyoto > Hiroshima: ¥10990, (112mins, 380km)
  10. Hiroshima > Nagasaki: ¥10990, (112mins, 380km)
  11. Nagasaki > Osaka: ¥10990, (112mins, 380km)
  12. Osaka > Nara: ¥780, (51mins, 48km)
  13. Nara > Osaka: ¥780, (55mins, 48km)
  14. Osaka > Kobe(hyogo): ¥390, (27mins, 33km)
  15. Kobe(hyogo) > Osaka: ¥390, (27mins, 33km)
  16. Osaka > Kansai airport: ¥2600, (54mins, 57km)

TOTAL: ¥78430 for 16 legs

As a 21 day rail pass is ¥57,700 you'll certainly save money with this option (saving of ¥20,730), and will be fully covered for JR travel for your entire trip. If you can trim your itinerary to do the majority of the travel in your trip from the 16th - 29th you could consider a 14 day rail pass. At ¥45,100, a 14 day rail pass has the possibility of even more savings however you'll both have to change your plans and loose flexibility for the period where you are not covered by the rail pass. I think as this is your first trip to Japan I'd recommend the 21 day option as it will give you most flexibility/comfort, however both options will save you money.

If you don't mind some 'off the beaten track' ideas, I really recommend considering altering the Nagoya stay with a stay in Takayama in the Alps, and if possible a stay in a hotspring onsen town such as Kinosaki onsen (leaving Osaka for a night). You could also spend a night on the island of Naoshima and explore the lovely galleries and art houses there.

Hope this helps!


Thanks Mari! I went ahead and got the 21-day pass. As you said, flexibility on my first trip to Japan is essential. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll definitely look into them and try to fit them into my trip. I'm really open to seeing and doing all that I can while I'm there.


Great stuff! If you have more questions, please ask!


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