questions & answers: general japan travel

osaka to nara to kyoto to osaka using 1 shinkansen ticket, ic cards and night bus

Osaka to Nara to Kyoto to Osaka using 1 shinkansen ticket, IC cards and night bus

Hi. We are a family of 4 and we'll arrive in Japan at Dec 31 and leave at Jan 10. Here is our pending itinerary:

DAY 1: Kansai International Airport to Osaka
transportation: Icoca & Haruka card

DAY 2-3: Osaka
transportation: Icoca & Haruka card

DAY 4: Osaka to Nara
transportation: Icoca & Haruka card

Nara to Kyoto
transportation: Icoca & Haruka card

DAY 5: Kyoto to Tokyo
transportation: Shinkansen

DAY 6-7: Tokyo
transportation: Suica card

DAY 8: Tokyo to Osaka
transportation: Night bus

DAY 9: Osaka
transportation: Icoca & Haruka card

DAY 10: Osaka to Kansai International Airport
transportation: Icoca & Haruka card

Do we really need to buy a Suica card when we're in Tokyo or can we use the Icoca in Tokyo? Do you recommend this itinerary that involves a shinkansen, IC cards and night bus? Can this be a cheap alternative for JR Pass or not?


Hi there,

For ICOCA/Suica, please find the details here:

I generally would not use a night bus for travel if you are in Japan for a short amount of time. You can lose the next day to fatigue if you can't sleep on the night bus. Which is a pure waste. Instead I would get a 7 day JR Pass and use it to cover the return between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. This is way more comfortable cheaper than buying normal tickets and you avoid the night bus all together.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

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