questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

28 day trip around japan, we need help!

28 day trip around Japan, we need help!


Me and my friend are going to Japan in april this year and I know our best choice is nationwide JR pass for 21 days but I was wondering if anybody here could give us a little help for where to get off the JR trains to take local trains?

I was looking at the map and I didn't see (or maybe I'm just blind!) how to get to Kinosaki! I saw that pass goes around that area but I didn't see the name or a name close to it. What stations should we get off and if anybody knows what trains that would be great! (not expected but would be amazing!)

Also we'll be going to Mt.Fuji five lake area, I noticed in the map the Gotenba we get off there and then use local transport?

Is it hard traveling in local trains,buses etc? Is there a great language barrier?

I've been on trains like 4 times in my life so I'm pretty damn nervous!

Thank you for the help (I hope you'll give me ;) ) and have a nice day! :)


Hi there!

Kinosaki Onsen is great! It's one of the best experiences you can have in Japan. Getting there by JR is also easy although I can see how you could not find the route at first sight. I've pinned it to a map here so you can get an idea of distances and lines involved. The station name in Hyperdia is KINOSAKIONSEN which you can use to plan your route. I can tell you the exact route if you tell me where you'll be traveling from (for instance Kyoto, Osaka etc?).

Traveling to Kawaguchiko can be done it different ways but the best route is to travel there is to take the train from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko via Otsuki. You could also visit there via the Gotemba but you will have to use a bus from there which is not covered by the JR Pass.

As for some advice in general, not all Japanese speak English but people are going a lot out of there way to help travelers. Almost every station has an English speaking tourist information and you can find signs in English in on most station as well, so you should have no problem getting around. Lastly, trains in Japanese are absolutely amazing and you may never want to travel by car again after the experience :)

I hope this helps!


Hi again! Thanks for the seriously fast reply!

Thank you for the help, I see that you marked Kinosaki from Kyoto and since that's where we'll be staying before going to Kinosaki, that is perfect!

Also I was wondering.. since we'll be traveling for more than 21 days is it possible to buy a 21 day pass and also a 7day pass (which we would activate when the other one runs out). We would probably require a regional pass for the last few days.

I'm gonna put the schedule here :)

I wish I could stop traveling by car! If only we had trains in Iceland! haha

12.april- Tokyo

13.april- Takayama
14.april – Takayama
15.april –Takayama

16.april - Kanazawa

17.apríl - Kyoto
18.april - Kyoto
19.april - Kyoto
20.april - Kyoto
21.april - Kyoto

22.april - Kinosaki
23.april - Kinosaki

24.april - Osaka
25.april- Osaka
26.april - Osaka

27.april - Nagoya
28.april - Hamamatsu
29.april - Shizouka

30.april - Mt.Fuji
31.april - Mt.Fuji
1.may - Mt.Fuji
2.may- Mt.Fuji

3.may- Tokyo
4.may - Tokyo
5.may- Tokyo
6.may- Flight back home to Iceland

Since we would be getting our pass on the 11th or 12th of april we would have nothing at the end of the trip.. is it cheaper to buy a regional 7 day pass instead of paying per trainride?


Hi there!

Traveling from Kyoto - Kinosaki Onsen is also very easy and comfortable. Usually there's one transfer involved along the way but once a day there's a limited express traveling directly from Kyoto - Kinosaki Onsen called the Kinosaki limited express and departs at 11:25 am. I'd recommend taking this train if you can.

It is also possible to buy multiple rail passes for instance 1 x 21 days and 1x7 days. However I see that you'll be staying a lot around Fuji and Tokyo and a JR Pass is better used for when you are on the move. Therefor I'd suggest a 21 day JR Pass and just normal tickets for Fuji and Tokyo, you can buy a bus ticket for just 1,700 between Fuji and Tokyo. I see that you'll be staying a good 5 days in Kyoto, if you have the possibility I'd recommend making a day trip or two to places such as Hiroshima and Nara.

Hope this helps!


Thank you again for the help!

You're a lifesaver!



Hi again,

Does the Kinosaki limited express go both ways? When does it go back to Kyoto? Since we're going to Osaka after Kinosaki, isn't it best to go back the way we came?



Hi Sóley,

From Kinosaki to Osaka it is better to use the Konotori Limited express train which departs almost hourly, which makes it much easier to catch.



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