questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

tokyo - takayama - shirakawago - kanazawa - osaka

Tokyo - Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa - Osaka

Hi All

I'm new to the JR pass and appreciate any advice on the suitability of a JR pass. The main places that I'm looking at are:

Tokyo (to Disneysea as well)
Tokyo >> Takayama
Takayama >> Shirakawago (no trains, only buses?)
Shirakawago >> Kanazawa (no trains as well?)
Kanazawa >> Osaka

I will be based in Osaka for a couple of days, taking 1 day trips each to Nara and Himeji.

Total estimated days: 13 days

Though I am considering the 14 day pass, it is a bit pricey, and I would be willing to take up a combination of various other passes if available.

Will appreciate any advice. Thank you! :)


Hello there,

I checked your itinerary for the best options but must say that normal tickets don't add up enough to a point where you can make savings with a JR Pass. So it would be better to either look at normal tickets or see if you can use an area pass such as the Hokuriku tourist pass. There are indeed only buses between Shirakawago and other cities, these are not covered by the JR Pass.

A JR Pass would be useful if you also used it to return from Osaka to Tokyo.

Hope this helps!


Hi Daniel!

Sorry, I just saw your message, thank you for your informative reply!

So I just got to know about about the Takayama Hokuriku 5 day pass (I hope both sites are the same JR company!), and I'd like confirmation that it covers this section of the itinerary entirely:

6-7 Dec: Takayama (2 nights)
8 Dec: Takayama >> Shirakawago (1 night)
9-10 Dec: Shirakawago >> Kanazawa (2 nights)
11 Dec: Kanazawa >> Osaka

The above itinerary consists of 6 days, so we're planning on activating the pass only on 7 Dec for it to cover our travel between Kanazawa to Osaka. Is there any place within Takayama where we can activate the passes? Or may the pass be activated within Tokyo with a stipulated date indicated on the pass?

Also, the above itinerary consists of about 4.5 days in Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa - does this seem like an overkill? It's our second time in Japan (during the first we visited Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe and visited mainly temples and shrines), so it'd be pretty much our first time seeing the Edo-ish side of Japan. We would be fascinated by ninja, geisha-related sights :D



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