questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

how to spend 14 days in japan for the fist time in december (winter) using 14 days jr pass?

How to spend 14 days in Japan for the fist time in December (winter) using 14 days JR pass?


This Christmas and New Year Eve, I will spend my 14 days holiday in Japan. I wonder what is the best trip for me to experience Christmas day, New Year Eve, hot spring, mount. fuji and play snow using 14 days JR pass?
My trip is 24 December 2014 to 06 January 2015.
Hope to hear from you soon.


YoKi Coco
YoKi Coco

Hi there,

Japan is great to spend the new year in! If possible, I'd advise spending new years day in Kyoto, or visit a temple at the very least. New year's eve is mostly celebrated at home with family but people will go to temples on the 1st of January for various rituals and it's a great experience to join in with the locals.

As for the rest, it does depend on what you prefer yourself. Nagano prefecture is popular in winter and easy to access, you could go to Jigokudani, the famous snow money park or visit an Onsen and enjoy a warm cup of sake in a private bath.

An alternative is to head to Shibuya on New Years Eve to join in the massive countdown and watch the fireworks show.

Let me know your interests, and I can give you more specific recommendations.


As I checked, there is New Year Eve celebration in Tokyo at the Prince Park Tower Tokyo, where balloons were released in the air. Which one is better? Prince part tower Tokyo or Shibuya? I cannot find much info from Shibuya even picture. Oh, and where to see good light and decoration of Christmas day? I wanna feel christmas in Japan.

My Japanese did a camp, where we can see Mount. Fuji. So where do you recommend? Is this possible to camp on winter, around 02 January 2015?

I love art, culture (seeing performing), good food (as local as possible), cycling, shopping and some activities to experience. Just wanna be as local as possible.

I also want to visit my hosted family in Kitakyushu for 2 nights.

So? Please recommend a plan :)

YoKi Coco
YoKi Coco

Hi Again!

Now that you mention it, Tokyo Tower is even better! Some years ago it was the greatest countdown in Japan, then they closed it because it was too popular but I think it is coming back now.

Christmas is not celebrated in Japan as it what you may call western countries. This article over at Tofugu is great to read about Christmas in Japan. Maybe you could head to Odaiba, they have very pretty light decorations there and you can ride the Ferris wheel.

It's not possible to climb/camp near Mount Fuji in winter due to the temperature. You could however head to Hakone and enjoy an open air onsen with a view on Fuji.

For reading your other interests, I get the feeling that you may very much like a visit to Naoshima this island is dedicated to art and cycling around the island is a wonderful experience, it also has a hostel where you can stay with the locals.

As for Shopping, when not head to Premium Outlets near Gotemba. You can shop till you drop and the view on Fuji is amazing!

What do you think so far?


Hi :)

Well, I got a lot of idea from you. So now my rough trip plan should be like this: Tokyo - Nagano - Kanagawa - Mount. Fuji - Nagoya - Kyoto - Osaka - Kobe - Kitakyushu. But is this possible to make it in 14 days? One problem is I need to countdown at Tokyo and see snow on christmas. So Which route you recommend? And What kind of JR Rail pass I should buy?

YoKi Coco
YoKi Coco

Hi :D

Yes that looks like a good start. Will you be traveling out of Kitakyushu or fly out from there?

I think the route you have now looks good already. It's basically the route the Shinkansen travels as well, so it's easy to travel from one place to the next. 14 days is perhaps on the short side but it is certainly possible to visit all places within that time frame.

As for the JR Pass. I am leaning towards a 14 day JR Pass, however it would also depend on what you do after Kitakyushu.


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