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First Trip to Japan

24 days ago
1 response


First tip to Japan this year, planning to go from end of September through October for just over 3 weeks. Itinerary at the moment is roughly as follows:

Tokyo 5 nights (day trip to FujiKawaguchiko)
Matsumoto 2 nights
Takayama 2 nights
Kanazawa 2 nights
Kyoto 4 nights (day trip to Nara)
Hiroshima 3 nights (visiting Himeji on the way, and day trip to Miyajima)
Osaka 2 nights
Hakone 2 nights
Back to Tokyo

I may need to reduce by one day, thinking either Matsumoto or Hakone are likely to go down to one night- any advice on which would be better to spend more time in and around appreciated.

Difficulty is also working out trains and buses between the destinations. Whether a JR pass is now worth the extra cost, or all of the individual type of rail passes and then what they actually cover! Think I will need to get a few buses as well. Is it a risk turning up on the day for transport in Japan? Or should I look to prebook where possible?

An hints or trips on travel and this itinerary would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

657 posts
16 days ago

Hi there,

Apologies for the late reply. Choosing to reduce time in Matsumoto or Hakone is ultimately your choice, but Matsumoto is a significantly more urbanised area than Hakone so it depends if you'd want to spend less time in a more or less urbanised area.

I would suggest trying to prebook a few days in advance, but because you're not going during an extremely busy time you won't find much difficulty booking trains on the day - especially for buses considering how frequently they depart.

I think that even if you decide to not purchase a JR Pass for your trip, I'd suggest looking into a Hakone FreePass (not offered on our site - it is offered by a non-JR company), as it will cover transport to and from Odawara near Tokyo and covers bus/train travel across Hakone, as the JR Pass does not currently fully cover travel to and from Hakone.

Hope this helps!


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