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Tokyo with day trip-alps-hiroshima-kyoto-osaka

almost 5 years ago
2 responses

Hi there

Going to japan in about a month so need to consider quickly if we get a jr pass to allow us enough time to organise it. Have looked at hyperpedia website, checked some bus websites and looked in lonely planet guide and it doesnt look like we would save much at all with a jr pass so wanted to check if im understanding it correctly.

Our itinerary is looking something like this:

Arrive at 11pm at haneda airport
Day 1-3 tokyo for 3 days
Day 4. Tokyo day trip to hakone, nikko or kamakura
Day 5. Tokyo to matsumato & matsumato to kamikochi
Day 6. Kamikochi to takayama
Day 7. Takayama to shirakwago
Day 8. Shirakwago to kanazawa
Day 9. Kanazawa to hiroshima (would have to travel through kyoto or osaka)
Day 10. Hiroshima/ miyajima
Day 11. Hiroshima to kyoto
Day 12 -14 kyoto
Day 15. Kyoto day trip to nara
Day 16. Kyoto to osaka
Day 17. Depart osaka & go to kansai airport.

What ive found is:
1. We would arrive to late in night in tokyo to activate jr pass
2. Hakone is not fully coveredin jr pass and we would be better with 2 day free pass- is this correct?
3. Alpico bus from shinjuku tokyo to matsumato is cheaper yet slightly longer travel time than train
4. Bus from motsumato to kamikochi to takayama to shirakwago to kanazawa
5. Based on point. 4. We would be better off activating jr pass from day 9/ kanazawa onwards.
6. Still unclear if we travel from kanazawa to hiroshima via kyoto or osaka

We wondered if it would be worth getting a jr pass at all. We then thought maybe to consider a 7 day jr pass and activating from day 9. ( in kanazawa) but it looks like if we didnt get the pass it would cost us about 30,680yen per person which really wouldnt save us much for a 7 day pass, is this correct?

Thought it wouldnt be worth getting 14 day pass given we couldnt use it in alps area- what do you think?

Based on our itinerary and the places we cam use a jr line are there any extra supplements we need to be aware of?

Thanks heaps, any help is appreciated.

13610 posts
almost 5 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there,

1.) The JR Exchange Office is indeed closed after 11 pm. You could activate the pass the next morning at any of the exchange stations in Tokyo.

2.) This is correct, you can use to JR Pass to travel to the access station of Hakone, however local transport is not covered.

3.) This is correct too, of course the train to Matsumoto is free if you have a JR Pass.

4.) Both Kamikochi and Shirakawa-go can only be reached by bus/car, I can see that you have done your research well.

5.) Here is where is gets interesting, to see if a JR Pass would pay of.
Here's a little break down of ticket prices:
Tokyo - Matsumoto ¥ 10,150 (By Shinkansen)
Matsumoto - Takayama ¥ 10,240 (From Kamikochi)
Kanazawa - Hiroshima ¥ 15,550
Hiroshima - Kyoto ¥ 10,990

This all adds up to ¥ 46,930. The 14 day JR Pass is ¥ 45,100 so you would save ¥ 1,830. The reals savings however would be in any extra travel you may do with the JR Pass. For instance I have left your day trip from Tokyo out as this is still a little unclear. You can use the JR Pass for travel around Kyoto - Osaka - Nara and to Kansai Airport as well (and don't forget the Miyajima ferry), so I do think that a JR Pass would be beneficial to your plans.

You won't encounter any extra fees for travel, except for local travel you may do in Hakone, other day trips to both Nikko and Kamakura are completely covered.

Have a great time in Japan!

2 posts
almost 5 years ago

Hi daniel,

Thankyou for your response.

This is where im confused:

When i search on hyperpedia kanazawa to hiroshima and untick bullet train & private railway price comes up as 14, 950 yen and it uses; limited express & thunderbird 14 and shinskesan sakura (goes via osaka)

Shinjuku (tokyo) to matsumoto im getting 6510 yen using limited express azusa (178 mins)

Can only find buses from matsumoto to kamikochi costing 2400 yen (95mins) or electric train - not covered by jr pas

We need to get bus from kamikochi to shirakwago and then seems odd to go back to takyama to get train to kanazawa when you can get bus from shirakwago to kanazawa for 1800 yen (1hr 15 mins) - so looks like jr pass is not much of a benefit in this section (is there something im missing?)

Hiroshima to miyajima comes up as 400 yen ( or you can use jr pass) as well as ferry as you say. What is difference between tram and train option? How do you get to miyajima ropeway and if considering this would a 1 day trip pass be better value or not?

Im still wondering if a pass is worth it if we dont think we would use it from matsumoto to kanazawa and some of our searches are coming up as a bit less (bit confusing) and not as though we can get a pass once we arrive in japan.. hmm

The other odd thing is bus from shinjuku tokyo to matsumato might be slightly longer but seems much cheaper than train option...

Can you let me know if im missing something?

Thanks emma

13610 posts
almost 5 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi Emma,

Ticket prices vary (a lot some times) on route traveled, train type, seat reservation and sometimes even time of the day.
This can indeed cause some confusion if you try to make an exact budget. All ticket prices quoted in my last post are directly from Hyperdia, however they can very, so it's best better to see them as an indication, rather than an exact amount (this for instance explaing why you come up with a different amount than me on the route Kanazawa - Hiroshima). Now this is in general, let's have a look at your itinerary specifically, I see that you did your research really well but that some points can be confusing too.

I actually did not know there's a bus service between Kamikochi - Shirakawago. So thank you for telling me about this :) The Azusa is also cheaper than the Shinkansen, consider this one if you travel without the JR Pass.

For Miyajima, if you travel there with the JR Pass, take the train from Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi, you can take the ferry from here to the actual island. Alternatively you can take the tram here too, this is a little cheaper (270 yen vs 400yen) but takes longer and is not covered by the JR Pass. The rope way can be reached within 10 minutes from the ferry landing. Basically walk straight from the ferry to Momiji-dani park. You can read more about local access for Miyajima here

I hope this clears things up a little!

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