questions & answers: general japan travel

tokyo - hakone - kyoto

Tokyo - Hakone - Kyoto

Hi All,

My wife and I (we are based in London) will be travelling in Japan in April. The idea is:
9-April: we arrive in Tokyo (Haneda)
Spend a few days in Tokyo
Go to Hakone: spend 1 or 2 nights there
Go to Kyoto: explore Kyoto for a few days
18-April: go to Osaka KIX to catch our 11am flight

I have a few questions any help would be more than welcome.
1. I'm a bit lost with the transport. what would you recommend? Is the JR Pass too expensive since we only do Tokyo-Hakone-Kyoto-Osaka?
2. Which bits of the train trips should I book? Where can I find an up to date timetable in order to understand how long it takes to go from one place to another? This is crucial to understand where to sleep and how not to miss the flight from Osaka.
3. How many days would you recommend we should spend in each place? We are more interested in the historical Japan rather than the hi-tech side of it.

Any help is really appreciated!


Hello there,

  1. The JR Pass works great if you make a return trip Tokyo - Kyoto or Tokyo - Osaka. However for one way it is better to purchase a normal ticket.

  2. Generally seat reservations can be made on the day of travel or a couple of days in advance, it is not that much different from the UK. For the return from KIX, you could either book a hotel in Osaka (its about 60-90 minutes travel to the airport using the railways) or stay closer near Kansai Airport, such as in Rinku Town.

  3. You could spend 9 -11 April in Tokyo, travel to and say in Hakone 12 - 13th of April, travel to and stay in Kyoto 14, 15, 16. Travel to Osaka and stay there on the 17th and 18th before traveling to the airport. Osaka is only 30min away from Kyoto, so you can leave eurly and still have the full day there to enjoy Osaka.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Thank you very much, Daniel-san!

If I don't buy the JR Pass, is there a website where I can book my train tickets, at least for the longer trips?



Hi again,

I am afraid not, unless you can read Japanese (

However there's no need to worry about this, as trains rarely sell out. Just buy then once you land on the Airport.

Expert button 2

thanks a lot for your advice!


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