questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

hope someone can advise - itinerary & travel access

Hope someone can advise - itinerary & travel access

HI, I have a question for my route below. Appreciate some one can advise what is the best mode of JR pass to buy , for time and economical savings.
We are a family of 4 (2A, 2 youths age 13 & 15 @ time of travel)

Depart from Osaka (3/12) for Tokyo via JR pass.
Will be in Tokyo for only 2N , travel will be just within Tokyo for basic sight seeing as we have been there before.

We plan to leave for Hakodate on 5/12.
Option 1 - Use the JR pass & travel on the new line
Option 2 - Fly from Hanada to Hakodate domestic

For the next 6N ; Our travelling route plan is Hakodate - Noboribetsu - Sapporo - Day trip to Otaru - Sapporo - may go lake Toya if time permits (else we will skip) - Niseko resort

We have to be in Niseko resort on 11/12 . So, that's taken care of.

I need advice for the travelling sectors above and what should be my best mode of transport and train tickets to buy.
Looking forward to hearing your kind advice. Many thanks,

Peggy
Peggy

Hi there,

Whether a JR Pass is useful really depends on if you want to take the new Shinkansen to Hokkaido (Option 1) or fly in (Option 2). A JR Pass would be great for this route.

If you are flying to Hokkaido, there's not a lot left for the JR Pass to do. Basically this option would limit rail travel to a one way Hakodate - Sapporo and buying normal tickets for rail travel would be better.

When it comes to pricing, I think travel by rail is better. There are no low cost airlines and with the JR Pass its even more economic. Also if you love rail travel, then trying out the new H5 Shinkansen to Hakodate is a must.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel. thanks !
Just to sound your advise
1) If I take the JR to Hakodate, and I buy the 7D JR pass, based on my schedule, would it be most economical to start the use on 3/12 when I go to Tokyo from Osaka ? It should cover my trip down to Sapporo , and can I use it on all the trains for sightseeing before Niseko?

2) If I opt to fly (which I am hoping to wait till mid Aug for the advanced low domestic fare promo!) , should I just buy
a) A 1-way Shinkansen ticket from Osaka to Tokyo ?
b) Use my Suica card for the local Tokyo travel ?
c) buy normal rail tickets / sightseeing bus tickets for my trip within Hokkaido ?

3) Luggage forwarding, I remembering utilising this years ago when I travelled within Japan. Does it still work the same way and can I have the luggage forwarded to Hokkaido from Tokyo if I chose a low cost carrier with limited luggage space ?

Many Thanks !

Peggy
Peggy

Hi again,

1.) Yes, yes and yes. Your trip would be fully covered and you can make any stop on the way.

2.) I am not sure about about low cost fares (generally use the train) but why not fly from Osaka, since you've been in Tokyo before. Otherwise a one way ticket to Tokyow ould be the best option with a SUICA card or day passes for within Tokyo, same for Hokkaido.

3.) Yes, though it can take more than 1 day to receive your luggage for longer distances. The new Shinkansen does have enough space, so you would not have to pay extra for luggage there.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Daniel, thanks ! that helps.
For the Hokkaido sector - which would be the most logical route for me to take ,

2N in Hakodate - travel to Lake Toya (will the JR pass cover ? ) & Noboribetsu (1N) - can not be covered in a day ?
and from Noborbetsu - train to Sapporo (JR can cover ?) .. does this makes sense ?

Appreciate your thoughts. Thank you!

Peggy
Peggy

Hi there,

The railway system in Hokkaido is pretty easy, the main line is between Sapporo and Hakodate, both Nobori Betsu and Lake Toya are on this route. You could visit them both in a day (I once did a day trip from Sapporo to lake Toya and that was fine).

Noboribetsu is closer to Sapporo, so it makes sense to go there after Toya. The JR Pass covers all of this.

Hope this helps too :)
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel. that's great help. One last question. I randomly read somewhere that the new JR line passes thro' the active Fukushima radiation area coverage. Is it true and has there been any publicity / coverage on this ? There are divided views on the various forums on this. what are your thoughts ? appreciate !

Peggy
Peggy

Hi there,

The Shinkansen lines are not in the Fukushima danger radius. The Shinkansen does stop at Fukushima city and nearly 300,000 people live there without problems.

Not sure what you have read but there is absolutely no radiation danger on the Shinkansen.

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

that's reassuring to know ! Thanks again for your time and help !

Peggy
Peggy

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