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1 month in Japan, advice on itinerary please

over 5 years ago
2 responses


I hope I have come to the right website for help. I will be travelling in Japan for one month, starting from this October, and I just wanted some advice. I want to make sure it is possible to get to and from each place, or if I need to move things around a bit.
I am thinking I will need to buy the 21 day pass. And is it worth getting the First Class pass? What happens if the pass expires but I still have a few days of travel to do?
Here is my itineray. I appreciate any advice, thank you so much!

OCT 1: Fly out from Australia
OCT 2: Land in Tokyo
OCT 3: Tokyo
OCT 4: Tokyo (Disneyland)
OCT 5: Tokyo - Minakami
OCT 6: Minakami – Tokyo
OCT 7: Tokyo – Kamakura - Tokyo
OCT 8: Tokyo - Takayama
OCT 9: Takayama - Kanazawa
OCT 10: Kanazawa
OCT 11: Kanazawa - Kyoto
OCT 12: Kyoto
OCT 13: Kyoto
OCT 14: Kyoto – Himeji - Kyoto
OCT 15: Kyoto - Nara
OCT 16: Nara - Kyoto
OCT 17: Kyoto – Naoshima
OCT 18: Naoshima
OCT 19: Naoshima - Hiroshima
OCT 20: Hiroshima – Miyajima - Hiroshima
OCT 21: Hiroshima - Matsuyama
OCT 22: Matsuyama – Hiroshima - Osaka
OCT 23: Osaka
OCT 24: Osaka – Koya-San
OCT 25: Koya-San – Osaka - Tokyo
OCT 26: Tokyo - Nikko
OCT 27: Nikko – Tokyo
OCT 28: Tokyo (Disney Sea)
OCT 29: Tokyo
OCT 30: Tokyo
OCT 31: Tokyo/Fly home to Australia

1951 posts
over 5 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there,

Here are some answers for you:

JR Coverage

The vast majority of your locations are accessible with a JR Pass. The following 2 areas will need an extra fare to be paid as the route is not 100% operated by JR:

  • Ferry from Hiroshima to/from Matsuyama (¥3500/6500 depending on ship type used)
  • Naoshima. You'll get most of the way there, but will need to pay ¥300 for the ferry from JR Uno station to Naoshima itself. Here's a good forum post with more.
  • Koyasan. You'll need to use non-JR operated Nankai railway to access Koyasan station. I recommend you aim to start from Osaka Nankai station. Here's a good blog post with more.
  • Metro travel in Tokyo. You'll need to purchase separate metro tickets to use this system. I recommend you look into the Narita Express + Suica prepaid card deal giving you ¥1500 (6-8 trips) of free metro travel. You can purchase this on arrival at Narita.

Basic savings with a 21 day pass

A 21 day pass form the 7th to the 27th looks like it'll give you good savings:

  1. Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥2100, (47mins, 51km)
  2. Kamakura > Tokyo: ¥890, (54mins, 53km)
  3. Tokyo > Takayama: ¥14600, (275mins, 532km)
  4. Takayama > Kanazawa: ¥4380, (186mins, 148km)
  5. Kanazawa > Kyoto: ¥6910, (126mins, 224km)
  6. Kyoto > Himeji: ¥5330, (68mins, 130km)
  7. Himeji > Kyoto: ¥2210, (91mins, 130km)
  8. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690, (44mins, 41km)
  9. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690, (44mins, 41km)
  10. Kyoto > Uno: ¥8780, (130mins, 252km)
  11. Uno > Hiroshima: ¥6890, (107mins, 194km)
  12. Hiroshima > Osaka: ¥10820, (109mins, 345km)
  13. Osaka > Tokyo: ¥13950, (194mins, 556km)
  14. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5630, (121mins, 150km)
  15. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5630, (117mins, 150km)

JR ticket cost: ¥89500 for 15 legs

  • 21 day rail pass (¥57,700) saving: ¥31800

Green car

It's always hard to advise on the Green car as so much depends on the type of traveller. Standard carriages is very comforable, however Green Car offers larger and more comforatble seating, quieter carriages and exclusivity :). Here's a post on the Green Car. If it was me, I'd save the money on the green car for a nice meal, hotel or onsen experience, but it is totally up to the individual :).

If the pass expires but I still have a few days of travel to do?

The JR Pass is non-extendible, so if the pass runs out you will need to purchase standard individual tickets as needed.

Final words!

It all looks like an awesome trip :). Please ask if you need any more help. You can look up precise train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia for JR Pass holders through our video blog.

Happy planning!

2 posts
over 5 years ago

Wow, thank you mari, your response is so insightful and helpful! I truly appreciate it.

I think I will go for the ordinary japan rail pass now, and use that money for a nice ryokan or something ;) thanks for that handy tip! I probably would have gone for the green pass, but I have since been reading a few forum posts on the comparisons, and by the sounds of it, the ordinary pass sounds just as nice!

I think you have covered everything I need to know. If I have any more questions I will definitely come back. I'm going to bookmark this page because your info has been so useful. Thank you again, you're the best! :)

1951 posts
over 5 years ago
Expert button 2

Not a problem :)

Hope you have a great trip!

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