Myself and partner are planning to visit Japan in October for 18days with 10 days in Tokyo and Osaka areas and 8 days in Hokkaido. We wil be arriving in Kansai Airport and straight to Kyoto ( 2mights), follow by Hida -Takayama,(1 Nite), Shirakawa-go (1 nights) and perhaps Kanazawa for 1 night if its worth visiting, - Mt,Fuji overnight- Tokyo (3nights) - train or flight to Hakodate-noboribetsu - Sapporo before fly back to Tokyo for flight back home.
I am not sure whether should get a 14 days JR pass plus Kansai Area pass (3days) or just purchase individual ticket or maybe local passes like Kansai Are pass, Kanto Pass, . Would be glad if anyone can advice on this.
Also is there any direct bus to go to Shirakawa -go fro Kyoto and how to get to Tokyo after this.
Heard about Mount Ontake eruptions lately, will it distrupt our visit around this area?
about 2 years ago
A 14 day JR Pass could be a great help if you travel from Tokyo - Hokkaido by rail. You could then also use the JR Pass for travel to Kanazawa, Takayama - Tokyo and local travel in Tokyo as well. I would not buy a local pass and stick with local tickets upon arrival. The Haruka + ICOCA could be useful when you land @Kansai airport.
Travel from Kyoto - Shirakawago is pretty straight forward. The best way to get there is to take the Thunderbird express to Kanazawa and from there an express bus to Shirakawago, you may then use an other express to Takayama from Shirakawago.
From Takayama - Kyoto you can then use the JR Pass and trains. This part of the journey is very scenic btw. I would also recommend a day in Kanazawa as the city is very beautiful and nice to visit.
Lastly the Mount Ontake is a very local occurrence and does not influence travel around Japan.