questions & answers: itinerary check

what is the best rail pass to use for 8d/7nights, arriving haneda out osaka

what is the best Rail Pass to use for 8D/7Nights, arriving Haneda out Osaka

  1. Arrive Haneda 7 Dec @ 2300 hrs
    • Transfer Hotel Toyoko Inn Haneda (Do I have enough time to catch the shuttle bus?)
  2. Dec8 - Go back to Haneda airport to get JR Pass with voucher
    • Transfer to Shinagawa Prince Hotel ( What JR train to take?) Like to go Asakusa, Akihabara, Harajuku , Roppongi... pls suggest train to take
  3. Dec9 - Mt Fuji (Can use JR pass or buy JR Kanto pass or full trip Mt Fuji ticket)
  4. Dec10 - Nikko (Can use JR pass or buy JR Kanto pass)
  5. Dec 11 - Kamakura/Yokohama
  6. Dec12 - Check out to go to Osaka (What Shinkansen to take wtih JR pass?)
  7. Dec12 - Stay at Sheraton Miyako Osaka
             How to go Shinaibashi, Dontobori and Universal Studio??
    

    8 Dec13 - Check out hotel and go to Kinosaki and stay overnight (Can JR Pass go from Osaka to Kinosaki?)

  8. Dec14 - Check out Kinosaki hotel and go to back to Osaka, on the way, go to Hiroshima (morning) and Kyoto(evening) and any other suggestion??
  9. Dec 15 - Flight is at 1645 leaving Kansai airport , any suggestion to go in the morning?

Appreciate if you can provide me the best train routes and maximize the JR pass 7 days ticket. (Start Dec8 , end Dec15)

Lynn
Lynn

Hi Lynn

You are planning a really nice trip!
As to your questions:
1: The last bus leaves at 24.00. Unless your airplane is delayed you should not have to worry about catching it on time as customs and baggage claims on Haneda are always speedy.
Here's some more information on the bus:
http://www.haneda-airport.jp/inter/en/access/portbus.html

  1. From Haneda take the Keikyu Airport Express train to Shinagawa (400 Yen / 17min) Or ride the Monorail to Hamamatsucho and transfer to the Yamanote Line to Shinagawa (Free with the JR Pass ~35min).

You can visit Akihabara, Harajuku ,Roppongi by simply taking the Yamanote Line and getting out on those stations, this is a loopline that rides in a circle trough Tokyo. For Asakusa ride the Yamanote-line to Ueno and take the Ginza Metro Line to Asakusa.

  1. There is several ways you can go to Mt. Fuji here's a nice blog post on how to get there.
    http://www.jrpass.com/blogs/itinerary-tip-mt-fuji

  2. There is only one Shinkansen line to Osaka so you can't go wrong! Just go to the JR ticket office at any station, show your rail pass and get your tickets.

  3. You can use your JR Pass to get to Kinosaki.
    Here's an exaple of what the trip will look like:
    http://tinyurl.com/cffwj5b

  4. To Shinaibashi simply take the train to a Shinsaibashi or Namba, you can simply walk to Dontobori from here. While you are there I would recommend that you visit America Mura, its a very interesting experience.
    Here's how to get to the Universal Studio:
    http://www.usj.co.jp/e/parkguide/fm_air.html

  5. Hiroshima and Kyoto in the same day will be a really busy day. In Hiroshima go to the piece museum, it's the most impressive museum I have ever seen, when I came out I don't think I could speak for some time. In Kyoto make sure to visit a temple or two, I would recommend Kyomizudera and the Golden pavilion.

  6. As for your last day why not take it easy and walk the streets of downtown Osaka. It can be very enjoyable just to see people go about there business. If you are into Anime and Electronics check out DenDen Town in Osaka. It's pretty much the Akihabara of Osaka.

Hope it helps :)

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Daniel-san
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Awesome reply Daniel-san! Just to add - you can use the JR Pass to Nikko so you should also have no problems there.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Gee... that is certainly a very very helpful and detailed information. I hope you dont mind if I ask a few more questions:-

  1. How to get to Nikko and is it worth going with such short time?
  2. With the trip that you have proposed, do you think I should purchase the 7 days JR pass or use the following:-
    • Suica or IOCACA????
    • Or one day pass?
    • JR Kanto, 8000yen? (3 days for central Tokyo) - Can this cover trip to Kamakura/Yokohama/Mt fuji/Nikko?
    • JR Kansai , 5000yen (3 days) - How much will be the shuttle bus from Sheraton Miyako Osaka to Kansai Airport?
    • How much is the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka?
  3. What place is America Mura?
  4. Can you tell me what train to take from Sheraton Miyako Osaka to downtown Osaka like what you proposed for my last day before i leave.
  5. Also, we are adventurous and love trying new types of food, could you recommend in each of the places that we are visiting, any special restaurant that we should visit?

thanks in advance

Lynn
Lynn

Hi there!

Lets take a look at your costs for the 7 days from the 9th to the 15th:

  1. Tokyo > Otsuki: ¥2,860 (85mins, 87km)
  2. Otsuki > Tokyo: ¥2,860 (76mins, 87km)
  3. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5,630 (121mins, 150km)
  4. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5,630 (117mins, 150km)
  5. Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥2,100 (47mins, 51km)
  6. Kamakura > Tokyo: ¥890 (54mins, 53km)
  7. Tokyo > Osaka: ¥13,950 (194mins, 556km)
  8. Osaka > Kinosakionsen: ¥5,250 (161mins, 183km)
  9. Kinosakionsen > Hiroshima: ¥13,470 (298mins, 529km)
  10. Hiroshima > Kyoto: ¥10,990 (126mins, 380km)
  11. Kyoto > Kansai airport: ¥3,690 (79mins, 99km)

JR ticket cost: ¥67,320 for 11 legs

As you can see, with all the travel you intend to do, a 7 day pass will be the best value rail ticket you can use for your trip. You may need to purchase the occasional ticket (eg, the ticket from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko for Mt Fuji, and possibly metro tickets around Tokyo/Osaka), but the vast majority will be covered by the pass.

As you've got 1 full day for Nikko I think that'll be perfectly fine, but it does depend on how much you want to travel :). I think if I were in your shoes, I'd visit Kyoto or Hiroshima rather than doing both on the same day. I think for 7 days a more relaxing base itinerary would be something like the following:

  1. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5,630 (121mins, 150km)
  2. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5,630 (117mins, 150km)
  3. Tokyo > Osaka: ¥13,950 (194mins, 556km)
  4. Osaka > Kinosakionsen: ¥5,250 (161mins, 183km)
  5. Kinosakionsen > Kyoto: ¥4,510 (156mins, 158km)
  6. Kyoto > Kansai airport: ¥3,690 (79mins, 99km)

JR ticket cost: ¥38,660 for 6 legs

As you can see you'll still make savings with the 7 day pass and also will have more time in the various destinations. You could add a day trip to Hiroshima, Mt Fuji and Kawaguchiko if you are feeling energised enough!

You can look up precise train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia for JR Pass holders through our video blog.

hope this helps!

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mari
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I should add - for a restaurant recommendation in Osaka, you should try the crab restaurant Kani Doraku in Dotonbori :)

While you are in Tokyo, you must go to the Tsukiji fish market (early, 5am-7am is good), and then eat a course of ultra fresh and cheap sushi/sashimi from one of the many nearby restaurant stalls

Hope this helps!

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mari
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As Mari wrote I think one day is more than enough to see Nikko it is not that big but really worth a visit.

As to America Mura (or as the locals call it Ame-mura) it is a small district in Osaka where Japanese have somewhat tried to replicate America, for instance there is a small statue of liberty. In Japan it is known to be like the USA while it does not look like USA for foreigners at all. It is very interesting to see how locals have ''tried to'' replicate US Culture.
Besides that it is a nice place to do shopping especially if you are into fashion.
Here is some more information about it.
http://www.infomapjapan.com/sight_Namba.phtml

Getting around in Osaka is a lot easier compared to Tokyo.
Sheraton Miyako Osaka is located near Tennoji station, from here simply take the JR Yamatoji Line to Namba.

Here is a really nice map of the Osaka area, note that Namba is in the middle of the circle.
http://youinjapan.net/maps/osaka/kansai_jr_map.jpg

As for food, if you want to try and get a really nice hamburger try Awajishima Burger.
http://hotelkinki.com/en/blog-en/item/visit-awajishima-burger-for-kansai-s-best-hamburger

An other general tip, I would recommend that you try Okanomiyaki. It is a bit hard to explain what it really is but it is really realllllly good and very popular among the Japanese. The Wikipedia page does a good job explaining more about it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okonomiyaki

Since you will be both in Tokyo and Osaka I would recommend that you try it in both cities as the Tokyo variant (called Monjayaki) as it is quite different from the the Osaka region.

Enjoy your trip in Osaka and let us know if you have anymore questions!

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel and Mari

I really appreciate both your help and advise. I have decided that the JR 7 days pass plus one day open Tokyo Metro ticket will be most economical. I am thinking to change my itinerary and appreciate if you can advise again with the hypermedia links. I am going to drop Nikko and Kinosaki for Nozawa Onsen. Do you think it's a good idea and will I experience snow around Dec11-13th or is it too early?

7dec
Haneda to Toyoko inn (midnight)

8dec
buy one day Open Metro ticket.Heard tourist can get this for JPY600
Can you suggest the route to cover Asakusa, Ginza, and Akihabara, Harajuku in the evening. Staying at Shinagawa Prince hotel

9 Dec- hakone/Mt Fuji
Tokyo > Otsuki: ¥2,860 (85mins, 87km)
Otsuki > Tokyo: ¥2,860 (76mins, 87km)
Is this to Odawara? Should I buy the 2 days Hakone Free Pass will this also cover Mt Fuji?

10 Dec - kamakura/ Yokohama
Can I add Yokohama with Kamakura in one day?
Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥2,100 (47mins, 51km)
Kamakura > Tokyo: ¥890 (54mins, 53km)

11 Dec -13
Decided to drop Nikko to go Nozawa Onsen for 2 days. Do you think it's worth going?
Will it be too inconvenient with all the luggage?

13Dec - Nozawa onsen to Osaka
- staying at Sheraton Miyako. Pls suggest route to take to Shinaibashi/Dontobori/America-Mura

14 Dec- Kyoto any suggestion where else to visit
15dec - Sheraton to Kansai Airport ( pls suggest which train to take)

Lynn
Lynn

Hi there!

Predicting snow is always a little tricky, but it does look like Nozawa Onsen already has some snow so I think if it's snow you're after you should be in luck :). If you're thinking of actually getting out in the snow as well as onsen then I think it's a great idea. If you're after a purely onsen experience, then I think I still recommend Kinosaki. If you think you'll have too much luggage, then i recommend leaving the bulk of your luggage in a left luggage kiosk at Tokyo station to pick up on your trip back down to Osaka.

Also, here's a great metro map to help you plan for your travel in Tokyo. With the Metro pass in your pocket you can visit your destinations at leisure! I'd probably aim to visit Asakusa and Akihabara first, ending with Harajuku and Ginza I think. From here it should be a short hop back to Shinagawa.

Mount Fuji and Hakone are generally thought of as 2 distinct areas. Hakone is a lovely onsen town with great views of Mt Fuji, but if you want to actually get close then most people head to Kawaguchiko. It's worth noting that at this time of year only the most expert climbers should go anywhere near climbing the mountain. Hakone and Kawaguchiko are on opposite sides of Mt Fuji, so I recommend you pick one rather than attempt to do both. It looks like you are using Otsuki/Kawaguchiko in your plans, so I will use that in your itinerary. The Hakone Free Pass will not be valid on the train from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko (it's valid from Odawara station to Hakone on the other side) and as this is not operated by JR you will have to pay around ¥1100 each way to Kawaguchiko.

Kamakura and Yokohama could technically be visited in one day but it does depend on what you think you'll visit. Budget 3 hours per sightseeing spot you plan on visiting and I think you'll be able to work it out. If you do both in the same day, I recommend visiting Kamakura during the day and then Yokohama in the late afternoon/early evening as there are great illuminations down by the water.

For both Kyoto and Osaka I recommend consulting the tourism information centres inside each main station. For Kyoto though you should aim to visit Kinkakuji and the larger Kiyomizu-dera as the basics, however Kyoto's charm is really in wandering the streets and discovering hidden corners of Japan. For the locations you list in osaka, including your hotel, I think you should expect to pay for subway tickets, or perhaps purchase a prepaid pass. You can learn more about these here.

Here's a best guess on the sorts of base JR itineraries you need for your rail pass, but you'll need to tweak them to fit your exact dates and timings and of course build on it with more trips :). It's always a good idea to learn to use Hyperdia as it is a really useful resource for planning. We do have a great video on how to use it that I recommend you watch. Here are some suggested routes for you:

  1. Shinagawa > Otsuki: ¥2,660 (93mins, 88km)
  2. Otsuki > Tokyo: ¥2,860 (76mins, 87km)
  3. Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥2,100 (47mins, 51km)
  4. Kamakura > Yokohama: ¥330 (26mins, 22km)
  5. Yokohama > Tokyo: ¥450 (27mins, 28km)
  6. Tokyo > Togarinozawaonsen: ¥8,500 (160mins, 260km)
  7. Togarinozawaonsen > Osaka: ¥11,700 (330mins, 479km)
  8. Osaka > Kansai airport: ¥3,340 (57mins, 64km)

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Really nice post Mari!

Just to add,
Your Hotel is close to Osaka Uehommachi Station. You can take the Kintetsu Nara Line to Namba and from there take the Osaka City Subway Midosuji Line to Shinaibashi.
See here for some examples.
http://tinyurl.com/b2fptgr

Enjoy the trip! (I am sure you will)
-Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the add on. It's definitely helpful for me.

To all that helped in making my itinerary almost perfect..thank you, here will be my final itinerary with a 7 days JR pasI

Shinagawa > Odawara (continue with Hakone Free pass)
Otdawara> Tokyo: ¥2,860 (76mins, 87km)
Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥2,100 (47mins, 51km)
Kamakura > Yokohama: ¥330 (26mins, 22km)
Yokohama > Tokyo: ¥450 (27mins, 28km)
Tokyo > Togarinozawaonsen: ¥8,500 (160mins, 260km)
Togarinozawaonsen > Osaka: ¥11,700 (330mins, 479km)
Osaka > Kansai airport: ¥3,340 (57mins, 64km)

I have booked into Lodge Nagano and the owner Mark has been very helpful on arranging my accommodation to fit my party of 6. I have decided to activate my JR pass on the 8th which will mean that it will not cover my transportation to Kansai Airport as I reckon it will be much more easier to take the hotel limousine bus to the airport with all the luggage.

Thanks everyone who gave yr input, and if there are any more tips of places and food that we should savour, pls don't chime right in.

Cheers
Lynn

Lynn
Lynn

Hi Lynn,

Looking good and thanks for letting us know your final plans!

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mari
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Hi

Like advise on what is the best route using JRpass from Sheraton Miyako Osaka to Kansai airport without walking to change station. Is the route through Tsurahasi-Tennoji , don't require walking and how much non JR ticket ? Will it be very inconvenient with all the luggage?

Still deciding whether it's more convenient to buy a one day Tokyo Metro ticket on 8th Dec and activate the 7 day JR pass onlynon the 9Dec so I am able to use it on Dec15 to Kansai airport, or activate on the 8th Dec and take the hotel limousine to Kansai.

Lynn
Lynn

Hi Lynn,

From your hotel, I recommend going from the nearby Osaka station direct to Kansai Airport on the JR Kansai Airpot Rapid Service. This route requires no changes. To get to Osaka station from your hotel will be a 5min taxi ride I think.

The JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service is ¥1160, so to make the most savings I recommend using the rail pass for this day and purchasing the ¥600 1 day Tokyo metro ticket for the 8th on arrival into Haneda.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

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