questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

please help with this 15 day itinerary - jr pass

Please Help with this 15 day Itinerary - JR Pass

We will be traveling to Japan for the first time. Here is our itinerary. I am having a bit of trouble finding information on some of the routes and how to make the best use of the JR pass. Any information that anyone could provide to get the best out of our pass would be greatly appreciated.

I am assuming we will need a 14 day pass, but will take advice from others.

Day 1-4 Tokyo
Day 5 TRAVEL Tokyo to Takayama
Day 6 Takayama
Day 7 TRAVEL Takayama to Shirakawa-go
Day 8 TRAVEL Shirakawa-go to Kanazawa
Day 9 Kanazawa
Day 10 TRAVEL Kanazawa to Mount Koya
Day 11 TRAVEL Mount Koya to Kyoto
Day 12 & 13 Kyoto
Day 14 TRAVEL Kyoto to Hiroshima with a stop in Himeji
Day 15 TRAVEL Hiroshima to Tokyo

Here is the information that I have gathered so far, the rest I am very confused on and would love help (or corrections to anything below):

Tokyo to Takayama - JR Pass will cover Hikari train to Nagoya, then it looks like we have to take "Ltd. Express Hida" train - not sure if this is covered with the JR Pass or if there is another route we should take?

Takayama to Shirakawa-go - must take a bus (do I need reservations?)

Shirakawa-go to Kanazawa - This is where I am most confused and having a very hard time getting information

Kanazawa to Mount Koya - This is another that I could use help. I am not sure the best way to go using the JR pass. Also the least amount of changeovers would be appreciated.

Mount Koya to Kyoto - same issue found with the previous route.

Kyoto to Hiroshima - I see we can take Shinkasen Kodama to Shin-Osaka and change to the Sakura train to finish the route to Hiroshima. Questions - is the Kodama covered by the JR Rail pass? Does this route take us through Himeji.

Hiroshima to Tokyo - must use Hikari and Sakura trains for JR pass (no Nozomi trains)

Thank you very much for your help!

ceri7
ceri7

Hi, I'm no expert on this so someone may have a better reply, but based on my research to date the trip from Takayama to Shirakawa-go and from there to Kanazawa is by bus, both with the same company. I found this helpful link for the timetable and costs and an indication of when reservations are needed with one company. I don't know if there are other options but this is a good guide.... http://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/shirakawago_kanazawa.html

No idea if JPR can be used for that bus company sorry.

Have fun.

marie2
marie2

Also, still on the bus to Kanazawa issue, this helpful link that has two bus companies going...

http://www.japan-guide.com/bus/shirakawago.html

it says the bus isn't cover by the JRP.

marie2
marie2

Thank you Marie for your help. If anyone else can help I would greatly appreciate it!!

ceri7
ceri7

Hi there,

Marie posted some great information on the bus from Kanazawa/Takayama to Shirakawago. You do indeed need a reservation for the bus, which can be bought at either train station. There are English speaking tourist information desks available, which are a great help! When purchasing a ticket you can buy a one way ticket Takayama - Shirakawago and a ticket later on the same day Shirakawa-go at the same time.

Okay, now to rail travel. Your research is very good, first the route from Tokyo - Takayama takes you with the Shinkansen to Nagoya and then with the Wide View Express to Takayama - route is completely covered by the JR Pass.

Kanazawa - Mount Koya, first take the Thunderbird express to Osaka. From where take a local train to Shin-Imamiya. At Shin-Imamiya change train company and use the Nankai Express to Gokurabashi (¥850), this is the station for Koya. The route looks like this.

Mount Koya - Kyoto. First take the Nankai Express back from Gokurabashi to Shin-Imamiya, here take a local train to Osaka station, from which you can use the JR Kyoto line to Kyoto. The route looks like this.

Travel to Hiroshima and back to Tokyo.
With the JR Pass you can either use the Kodama or Hikari Express to Shin-Osaka and transfer there to Sakura Express bound for Hiroshima. All these trains are included, Himeji is directly on the route to Hiroshima and all trains make a stop there. For travel back to Tokyo, use the Sakura to Shin-Osaka and the Hikari from there to Tokyo station.

I hope this helps!
Daniel

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

Thank you so much, Daniel!

ceri7
ceri7

I have a question on the following two routes. Which (if any) of these trains are covered by the JR Pass? Thank you.

Kanazawa - Mount Koya, first take the Thunderbird express to Osaka. From where take a local train to Shin-Imamiya. At Shin-Imamiya change train company and use the Nankai Express to Gokurabashi (¥850), this is the station for Koya. The route looks like this.

Mount Koya - Kyoto. First take the Nankai Express back from Gokurabashi to Shin-Imamiya, here take a local train to Osaka station, from which you can use the JR Kyoto line to Kyoto. The route looks like this.

ceri7
ceri7

The JR Pass covers the part Kanazawa - Osaka for the first route and Travel from Shin-Imamiya - Kyoto on the 2nd.

In other words the Nankai Express is the only part not covered.

Hope this helps :)
Daniel

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

Thank you again Daniel for all your help!!

ceri7
ceri7

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